This type of applique is called a ‘Dresden Plate’ and has been used in quilting for many years. There are different variations and designs to create using these petal shapes depending on what colour fabric and how many of each shape you choose. This applique can be made into quilting blocks or on their own for cushion covers or bags!
In this tutorial, I’ll be explaining how to make a simple cushion cover with the Dresden Plate in the centre and matching piping cord around the edge. The back of the cushion closes with a zip.
Fabric featured – Voysey ‘Birds in Nature’ collection from The Craft Cotton Company. This cushion can be made using a 5 fat quarter pack with plenty left over.
You can shop the fabric here if you wish!
46 x 46cm
What you’ll need:
Dresden Petal Templates – Download here
4cm circle template and a 6cm circle template
4 contrasting fabrics for the flower each measuring approx. 16 x 25cm
46 x 46cm Plain fabric for the background – I’ve used sky blue cotton
Approx. 38 x 38cm Scrap fabric (this won’t be seen)
46 x 52cm backing fabric
192cm piping cord
192 x 2cm fabric for piping (you may need to join two pieces)
46 x 46cm cushion pad
Hand sewing needle and thread
Glue pen (optional)
1cm Seam allowance used unless stated otherwise
Print the template to 100% scale and cut out the 2 shapes. A seam allowance of 6mm included.
1. Cut the fabric using the templates, I’ve kept the darker print for the three pointed shapes and centre circle, then three lighter prints for the rest of the petals. Cut a 6cm circle from the same fabric as the pointed petals.
If your using 3 pointed petals, you’ll need to cut 9 rounded petals from the other fabrics. You could cut more or less pointed petals depending on the design you’d like.
TIP - lay your pieces out to see what your design will look like once it’s sewn!
2. Make a running stitch, by hand, around the edge of the circle and pull to gather slightly.
3. Place he 4cm circle template in the middle of the fabric circle and pull the thread to gather the around it. Knot the thread to keep it in place and press.
4. Lay out the petal shapes as in the picture below and sew the fabrics right sides together along the sides to form a circle.
5. Pin the petal pieces face down on a scrap piece of fabric. Sew around the entire edge using a small stitch width of about 2.2. Snip into the ‘V’ shapes between each petal in the seam allowance.
6. Make a small cut in the centre of the scrap side. Turn the petals right side out through the small cut in the scrap fabric and press.
7. Remove the paper from the centre circle and hand sew the circle to the centre of the petals with a slip stitch. Hand sew the petals to the centre of the fabric for the front of the cushion cover. Hand sewing creates an invisible stitch but you could machine stitch if you prefer.
8. To make the piping, Wrap the long strip of fabric around the cord and sew close to the cord.
9. Starting at the centre bottom of the front of the cushion, sew the piping raw edges together, leaving approx. 3cm extra at the start and the end. As you approach the corners, snip into the seam allowance of the piping to allow it to fold around the corners easily.
When the two ends meet, trim the piping cord inside the fabric back so that the fabric is 2cm longer than the cord. Cut the opposite end of the piping so that the two ends of the cord meet. Fold the end of the excess fabric over by 1cm, then insert the opposite end of the piping and sew.
10. To make the back, mark the position of the ends of the zip opening on the edge of your fabric, this will be approx. 8cm from each end. Sew the two fabric pieces right sides together, with your regular length at each end and a long stitch in the centre.
11. Press the seam open. Place the zip facing down over the seam and secure with your glue stick, or tack by hand if you prefer. Top stitch around the zip. Use a seam ripper to expose the zip.
12. Pin the back cushion to the front, right sides together, and sew around the entire edge, making sure to leave the zip open! Snip across the corners.
13. Turn right side out and insert the cushion pad to finish.
Happy Sewing! Kym x
Fabric commissioned for this project