If you have been following along, we have been making Dresden Plates. For this quilt, it has nine blades and sixty-four blocks – that is 576 blades! We had assembled these into sixty-four fans, but what to do with those fans?

It is time to applique then to the block. There are two techniques for applique. In the first, you applique the fans or wreaths – four fans put together – onto a whole cloth quilt or one that has already been pieced. In the second, you applique the fans to a block and then piece the blocks together. With the design I created, the second method is will be used.

Applique can be scary if you haven’t done it before, but this is not your typical applique and you have plenty of options. The most important part is ensure the correct placement. The background block was cut to 10 1/2-inches for a 10-inch finished block. The blade tip for the two edges is supposed to be 1/4-inch from the finished edge, which is 1/2-inch from the cut edge. Using a ruler, the were positioned and pinned in place. The next step is the trickiest – making sure the plate is flat and even. To do this, work from the outside, stitching in the ditch between the fan blades – see diagram below.

Stitch in the ditch working from the outside in.

If you are uncomfortable with pinning and stitching, there are options. Glue basting, spray basting or fusing can be used instead.

At this point, you can leave the fan as is until the next step, or you can stitch the tips down. I prefer to wait until the quilting step to stitch them down. However, you can straight stitch 1/4-inch inside the tips to give a little lip on the ends. You can use a statin stitch, blanket stitch or other decorative stitch for the tips. This is where your creativity shines.

Stay tuned for the next step – adding the centers!

Happy Quilting