19 April 2018

A Little Happy Tutorial ~ Poppsy Doodle Dandy Dresden Quilt

Today I'm going to share (at last I hear you cry!) how to make my Poppsy Doodle Dandy quilt, named after my gorgeous girl Poppy for whom this quilt was made for. 

I absolutely love making Dresden Plate quilts whether they be English Paper Pieced or by machine piecing using a Dresden Ruler.  This one is machine pieced and I used a Dresden ruler to accurately cut the blades.  One day last year I was pondering the idea of making one with tipped edges that gave the illusion of an inner circle....after a bit of trial and error this was what I came up with.

For my quilt, I used a bright and cheery mix of pretty Tilda fabrics from across various Tilda collections alongside co-ordinating Bella Solids.  The quilt measures 60" square.  I hand quilted mine using Aurifil 12 wt #2310 in a star burst, radiating out from the centre Dresden, a simple but effective idea for the quilting.  It reminds me of rays of sunshine, which really does sum up the almost always cheerful Poppy.

So, as promised, here's how I made it (and yes,  just in case you were wondering kits are available on my website, I'll link to all the Scrummy Supplies at the bottom of the post) ....

BEFORE STARTING Always Remember to:

1. Read all instructions before you begin.
2. RST means right sides together.
3. All seam allowances are  1/4”.
4. FWOF means width of fabric.
5. If you need help, please do get in touch!


For the Dresden Blades, from each of 30 different fabrics cut:
  • (3) 5" x 6 1/2" rectangles.  (you will have 90 rectangles in total)

For the tips of the Dresden Blades, from each of 9 different co-ordinating solids cut* :
  • (1)   4" square
  • (10)  1 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles (you will have 90 rectangles in total)
*If you have purchased a kit, here's a cutting diagram for you:

From the Background fabric cut:
  • (9)  21" squares
  • (9)  6 1/2" squares

PIECING INSTRUCTIONS....Let’s get stitching!

To start off with you will need to sort your 90 Dresden Blade fabrics each measuring 5" x 6 1/2" rectangles into 9 groups.  Each group will have 10 different fabrics. 

Allocate a solid colour to each group, put the solid 4" square to one side for the time being.

You will now work on one group of fabrics at a time, each group of 10 fabric rectangles will create one Dresden Plate.

With RST, sew a 5" x 6 1/2" rectangle to a solid 1 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle.   Press on top of the stitches to ‘set’ them, then press with the seams open.  This unit should measure 6" x 6 1/2".

To make the Dresden Plates, you will need a Dresden Ruler/Template that makes a 20 Point Dresden Plate that is a minimum of 6" tall, such as the EZ Dresden Ruler that I have used in the past for various projects.  However, rather excitingly, if you do not already have a ruler, I have had some specific Poppsy Doodle Dandy acrylic Dresden ruler and Circle template sets made up, which in addition to this pattern can also be used to make different sized Dresdens using the ruler marks etched on them ...watch out for more fun patterns in the future!

The Poppsy Doodle Dandy Dresden ruler includes a 1/4" seam allowance.  The nesting circles designed for the centre of the Dresden Plate are finished size and do not include seam allowances.

Place the Poppsy Doodle Dandy Dresden ruler on top of the rectangle.  Make sure you allow enough room to cut 2 blades.

The Poppsy Doodle Dandy ruler should line up exactly with the top and bottom edges and the seam line, aligning with the 4 3/4" BOLD line marked on the ruler, as indicated by the arrow on the picture below.

Carefully using a Rotary Cutter, cut two blades.

Repeat this process with the remaining 9 Dresden Blade fabrics and 9 solid rectangles from the first group.  In total you will have 20 blades.

You're now ready to sew them together.  To create the point on each of the blades, fold it in half with RST as shown below.  Take care to match up the seam lines.  You may wish to pop a pin in to hold,  but normally I just fold and sew as I go.

Sew along the top short solid edge of the solid fabric..remember to use a 1/4" seam allowance.

Chain stitching is extremely useful here...so, as you finish sewing the first blade, stop the machine, place the second blade in position then continue sewing, repeat until you have sewn the top short edge on all 20 blades.

Then carefully snip the thread in between.

Turn through the solid fabric, ensuring that the seam is central.  Use something like a chop stick to push out the point, taking care not to rip the fabric or seam.

Then press, again taking care to ensure that the point remains centred, press the seam allowance to one side.

Layout the 20 blades into an order that you find pleasing.  It is easiest to sew the Dresden in two halves (10 blades per half) .....

Take two blades and with RST match up the seam line between the solid tips as shown.  Take your time and this is what will create a nice neat finish ....

.....then sew along one side edge, press on top of the stitches to ‘set’ them.

  Then open and press with the seam facing in the direction as indicated by the arrow. 

Repeat with the remaining blades, into two halves with 10 blades per half.  Then sew the two halves together.

Repeat the process for the remaining 8 groups until you have made 9 Dresden Plates.

Using thread to match the solids not the background fabric, applique each Dresden to the centre of a Background fabric 21" square.  I used Aurifil 50wt thread, 80wt thread is also lovely for applique.

For the centre circles, using the 3" and 5" circular Poppsy Doodle Dandy templates* (or make your own circular templates),  prepare in your chosen method of applique: 
  • (9) 5" circles from the Background fabric
  • (9) 3" circles from the 4" squares of solid fabrics put to one side earlier,  make (1) in each colour
*Remember that the Poppsy Doodle Dandy Acrylic templates are finished size and DO NOT include seam allowances.

For my circles, I used the Interfacing Method of applique, for which you can find 'a little happy' tutorial HERE.

Once appliqued to the centre of the Dresden Plates, trim the background squares to 20 1/2" taking care to keep the Dresden Plates centred.  Then with RST sew them together in a 3 x 3 layout.

Layer with wadding and Backing fabric.  Allowing for a 4" overhang whilst quilting, you will need a minimum of 175cm if purchasing a wideback 108" fabric.  If you are planning on using standard quilting width fabric you will need double this as you will have to join two lengths.

Quilt as desired.

Finally add your binding.  On this occasion, I chose to bind using the same background fabric so that the focus remained on the pretty Dresdens.  You will need 1/2 metre of fabric.

Here's another picture of my quilt.....

Obviously I couldn't stop at just one quilt and the eagle eyed will have spotted that in addition to the 5" & 3" circle acrylic templates in the set, there is also a 1" circle... oh what fun can be had with that.......

I couldn't resist making a mini quilt, which equally could be cushion/pillow.  I used a pretty 'colour wheel' inspired mix of 20 Liberty of London Tana Lawns, tipped in Art Gallery Pure Elements in White Linen, appliqued on to Essex Linen in Putty.  Oh what a gorgeous combination of fabrics to sew with!

I made this using the method described above, all be it with 20 fabrics rather than the 10 and I cut my background square slightly smaller so I could cut it from a Fat Quarter.  So I cut as follows:

For the Dresden Blades, from each of 20 different Liberty fabrics (this is a great scrap buster) cut:
  • (1)  5" x 3 1/2" rectangle
  • (1)  2" Square
For the tips of the Dresden Blades, from a Fat Quarter of Pure Elements White Linen cut
  • (20)  1 1/2" x 3 1/2" White Linen rectangles
  • (1)    4" square White Linen
From a Fat Quarter of Essex Linen in Putty cut:
  • (1)    19 1/2" square (trimmed back to 19" after applique)
  • (1)    6 1/2" square 
  • (1)    2" square 

As you can see for my Liberty Poppsy Doodle Dandy, I used the 1" circle to add a third circle in the centre from the linen and made 20 circles using the Liberty which I appliqued just above the tips of the Dresden Plate......

For smaller circles I find the best applique method, is one that I saw Sarah Fielke demonstrate on one of her You Tube video's.  First off, you make some 1" cardboard circles.  I cut mine from an old cereal boxe and write the circle size on them,  I then keep and reuse them.  Cut the fabric approx 1/4"  larger than the cardboard circle.  Then using silver foil, make a little parcel wrapping the fabric around the cardboard circle, take your time with this.  Then iron, the heat marks a crease on the circumference and folds under the seam allowance, leaving you with perfect little circle ready to applique in place.

In keeping with the colour wheel inspiration I then used 20 different colours of Aurifil 12wt to hand quilt, although it would look just as lovely hand quilted in my favourite shade  Muslin #2311.

I used my favourite Hera Marker to mark the crease line (which is what I also used on the main quilt).

All that is left to do is add the binding!

So there you have two different versions of the Poppsy Doodle Dandy quilt!  Below you can find a list of the scrummy supplies I used and talked about today.


A Quilt Top Kit which includes the Tilda, Bella Solids and Background fabrics I used, with the option to add the binding fabric is available HERE

The Poppsy Doodle Dandy Acrylic Ruler and Template set is available HERE

I had my favourite Aurifil 50wt in #2311 in my sewing machine and I used the following shades to applique #2830, #2845, #2910, #5016, #2410, #4020, #2150, #5001 & #2720.  

The Aurifil 12 wt colours I used for the hand quilting were #2260, #2277, #2230, #2150, #2214, #2975, #2130, #2110, #2908, #2882, #2888, #2845, #1148, #2710, #2720, #2783, #2520, #2410, #2479, #4020 You can find all our Aurifil HERE

Thanks again for popping by my blog and I hope that you enjoy making your version of the Poppsy Doodle Dandy quilt.  Make sure that if you share a picture, so that mum and I can take a peek, that you use the following hashtags when you share on social media:


See you again soon!


  1. Such a sweet quilt! Poppy is one lucky girl and using Tilda...drool worthy. I love your design, thank you for sharing!


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