Modern Dresden Block – Free Paper Pieced Pattern

I  designed the quilt below while flying on an airplane to our family vacation. It’s amazing what a little boredom on a plane ride can do, right? Now it’s on my “to make” list!

This my contemporary interpretation of a Dresden Plate block. I call it “Modern Dresden.” I am sharing this design for you to use for your personal use only.

Modern Dresden in OrangeI started with the idea of “plates” or “wedges” radiating out from a center. But instead of classic curves, I wanted to keep my design straight and angular. So I played around with lines and angles in EQ7 and this is what I came up with.

It’s a 6″ unit and 4 units are sewn together to create one Modern Dresden block.

Click the image below to download and print off my free PDF paper pieced templates. Please note that I have not included basic paper piecing instructions along with this block. There are tons of blog tutorials on paper piecing, so just google it. :-)

Make as many copies as you like and play around with rotating block positions to see what other designs you can create.

Paper Pieced Modern Dresden

Paper Pieced Modern Dresden

Be sure to print the block size at 100%.

And just for the fun of it, here’s the same design in purple. It really sparkles by using lighter hues of the same color at the edges of the blocks.

Modern Dresden in PurpleIf you decide to make a few blocks, or even a whole quilt, please share them on my flickr group: Christa’s Quilt-Along.


Updated: This block has now been featured as a favorite on FaveQuilts.com. They renamed it Ultra Modern Dresden Block. Pretty cool, huh?

Click here to see my other featured tutorials.


EQClick here for the free EQ7 project download.


Updated: One of my blog followers, Linda B. recently shared with me her version of the block. Didn’t she do such a fantastic job?

87 thoughts on “Modern Dresden Block – Free Paper Pieced Pattern

  1. Carol Irving says:

    This is a wonderful design! I love designing my own blocks, and rarely use anyone else’s unless I tweak it somehow to make it “mine”. I want to do yours exactly as is – there is nothing I could add to make it better! I can hardly wait!

  2. MaryAnne Girouard says:

    I love this block! I have printed it and going to choose my colours now! Thank you for sharing. I’ll definitely give you credit for the pattern as I’m sure many will want to know where to get it.

  3. Suzanne West says:

    Thinking of enlarging the pattern and using a variety of Christmas fabrics for a holiday quilt.

  4. GranNana6 says:

    This is so beautiful. I love the updated look. I will be creating this for some of my grands for the holidays. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Cindy Tiberio says:

    Will the overall size of this block be 12 1/2″, for a 12″ finished unit? Or 12″ for an 11 1/2″ finished unit? Because of the inconsistency in pattern verbage, I get confused. Beautiful pattern, BTW! Thanks!

  6. Pam says:

    I just love your modern Dresden block. I note that you drew it EQ 7. Is it possible to get a copy of the EQ file. I want to make the block smaller and I’m having difficulty drawing it.

    Thank you.

  7. tweetyb421 says:

    Quite a nice block! With this pattern and good color choices and placement this would be a stunning quilt…..

  8. Sue Ann Mason-Ames says:

    I love this block and what would happen if you just paper pieced the plate and appliqued it to the black? Or better yet take each part to the plate and had sew and then applique. I just may try all of it.

  9. Carol Hinkle says:

    Beautiful! Great designing, thanks so much for sharing this pattern. Can’t wait to get into my stash and see what colors I can make this block.

  10. Sherry Robinson says:

    I love it but how do you do the piecing? I printed off the paper pattern and can’t figure out how to start and what to do. HELP!!!!!
    Sherry in TX

    • Christa says:

      Thanks! I would refer you to some online tutorials or youtube for basic paper piecing instructions. Just google “paper piecing tutorial” and you will find a bazillion of them, LOL! Then apply those same techniques to the block. This gives me an idea – I will work up a tutorial on how to make the block later…. so stay tuned!

  11. stipplequilt says:

    What a beautiful pattern and I can’t believe I missed it! Just saw it on 19 Paper Piecing Quilt Patterns at FaveQuilts.

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