The Free Motion Quilting Project: Quilting a Pointy Eight Dresden Plate Quilt Block

Monday, February 13, 2017

Quilting a Pointy Eight Dresden Plate Quilt Block

It feels like this week has lasted forever! I've been so excited about teaching you how to quilt this Pointy Eight Dresden Plate with all these beautiful designs. We're going to learn how to quilt Pebbling, more feathers, Swirl Spirals, and perfectly spaced lines with ruler foot quilting.

Click Here to find the pattern for Block #2.

Just in case you're worried about ruler foot quilting or you don't have a ruler foot yet, please know that this is 100% optional. You don't have to try ruler foot quilting on this block.

Instead you can mark the straight lines in the background and quilt them with your walking foot. We did a very similar design last year with our walking foot in Block #8 from the Sunshine Surprise quilt.

It's important to understand that there's many ways to quilt each design. Ruler foot quilting is a new way to free motion quilt using a foot with a high base and rulers to give you more control over the direction of the quilt. But it's certainly not the ONLY way you can do this. You could also quilt these straight lines with plain Jane free motion quilting and your regular darning foot too.

But if you do have a ruler foot and you're eager to try this new technique, this block will give you the perfect opportunity to give it a try. See what I mean in this new quilting video:

Click Here to find the Dresden Plate Template Set and template #1 that I used to piece and quilt this block. (Yes, these are out of stock right now, but should be back in stock by Wednesday).

What I love most about ruler foot quilting is not having to mark every line on my quilt. I did do a tiny bit of marking to help align my ruler foot and create the 1/2 inch spaced lines, but this was far, far less than I usually mark when quilting straight lines.

Issues with marking pens and pencils not washing out has come up in the Block Party Facebook recently. It's very important to test your marking pencils BEFORE you use them on your quilts or quilt blocks.

If you use a pen or pencil you haven't tested, you're really taking a big gamble with your time and effort on that project. If the marks don't wash out and become permanent, it will be really hard to see your beautiful piecing or quilting design.

So take the time to test your marking pens and pencils before you use them. Mark a scrap of fabric with some lines, then follow the instructions on the marking pencil package to remove the marks. If they don't wash out the way they should, that marking pencil cannot be trusted to mark your quilt tops.

There are unfortunately a lot of really bad fabric marking pens on the market these days and it's really easy to pick something that won't work. This is why I've used the Fons & Porter Ceramic Pencil and the Fine Line Water Soluble Pen for years - because they mark nice visible lines, and wash out or erase off when I need them too. Click Here to find both pens in the Mark Your Quilt Kit.

What did you think of this combination of designs and ruler foot quilting? Did you enjoy using rulers on your block? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. As much as I would love to invest in the ruler set you designed and the ruler foot, it's just not an option for me right now. However, the fact you teach that we can do things differently based on what we have available to us as individuals is absolutely one of my favorite things about your teaching and blogs. I never feel like I "have" to spend money I just don't have right now. I can never thank you enough for that, its very reassuring.

    1. You're welcome Teresa! Yes, this is 100% optional and you can always do the straight line quilting with a walking foot or regular free motion quilting too.

  2. Hi Leah! How did you attach the freezer paper feather designs to quilt without using pins? Was it the little dots that I saw around the edges of the design (are those just basted and you remove them later)? Thank you very much.

    1. Yes, I stitched the freezer paper to the surface of the quilt with water soluble thread. After I stitch the designs, I rip the stitches holding the paper down, then tear it away from the feathers. Does that make sense?


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