I drafted my first Dresden plate pattern and I thought I had it correct, but the construction in fabric really threw me off. I’d like to know if this has happened to anyone else.
I began with an exact circle (drafted with a ruler fitted with compass holes) and divided it into 4 sections using the X and Y axis. I drew a smaller circle in the center for the familiar Dresden shape. I then separated one quadrant of the circle and folded it twice, down the center, forming 4 “petals”. I separated (cut) one petal and measured it against the other folds to make sure it didn’t grow or shrink. I then shaped the outer edge into the familiar Dresden point and added my seam allowance to the pattern shape.
Now, by my calculations, 4 petals times 4 sections should equal 16, so, I cut 16 petals and began sewing. It was shaping up nicely, until I got to the last petal - I had a large gap in the plate. It wasn’t just an “Oh I can fudge seam allowance” kind of thing, it was a solid gap of about 4 petals; so, I stitched up another 4 petal section and boom, it fit beautifully and pressed perfectly flat. My plate was complete with 20 petals.
I had just assumed I did something wrong in my calculations or folded incorrectly, but I checked my pattern and compared it the cut pieces and the finished plate. The pattern matched the finished petals and fit back into the original circle perfectly. Bizarre.
I looked up other Dresden quilts and I noticed that a lot of them use 20 petals so I didn’t know if my situation was just the norm or if I had created some new kind of experimental math that I should be presenting to rocket scientists. LOL
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
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