Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spiked Wheel/Chunky Dresden Tutorial

This is the block I have chosen for the Travelling Circle Bee I have joined. I'm not sure of it's traditional name..anyone have any ideas??

So who’s up for some English paper-piecing? For those of you who have tried this technique before please just jump right in and ignore my laborious instructions. I have written them with a beginner in mind.
1. You will need 10 pentagons, ten scraps of fabric and a background square.I used 2 " pentagons purchased from here , four inch scraps and a 15" background fabric square. Cut out the fabric for the pentagons to allow a ¼ inch seam allowance around the edges. This does not have to be super exact; I just do it by eye. Cover the ten paper pentagons with the fabric by using either of these two techniques:-
Using a Sewline Pen This is my preferred technique, it is super quick and easy but requires the pen.
Basting the fabric on -

2. After laying out the finished ten pentagons in a circle in a “pleasing arrangement”, start to piece them together.

Begin by taking the thread behind the seam allowance on one pentagon, this leaves the end neatly tucked away.

3. Taking two pentagons, whip stitch the two pieces together, starting with 3 small stitches at the beginning of the seam, and the same when finishing at the other end, to help strengthen those areas. Make sure that as you whip stitch the two pieces together, that you are not sewing the cardboard templates inside.

4. Pick up your next piece and add it onto the first two. Sometimes you can just feed the thread from the previous seam through to the next corner (running behind the seam allowance), rather than cutting it and having to start off again.If doing this remember to do the three tiny stitches at the start of the next seam again
5. When all ten pentagons are together, press really well.

6. Take an 8" plate and use it as a template to cut out the centre of the wheel. You can either use the Sewline pen to attach this onto the backing fabric or do a quick basting thread. (To get it dead centre fold the backing fabric into quarters and iron to form a crease, then do the same with the circle. Then just line up the fold lines!)
7. To attach the pieced circle by machine, gently remove the paper pentagons. You may need to gently peel off the seam allowances from the cardboard.Each time you remove one, give it another bit of a press. This keeps the seam allowances tucked away, as they should be.

8. After removing all the paper templates, lay the pieced circle on top of the centre circle, pin very well and stitch down.

9. To attach the pieced circle, I used a small zigzag in light grey thread, but it really doesn't matter what method you chose.

Alternatively, if you’ve been enjoying hand sewing, then hand appliqué the pieced circle onto the background. For this method, leave the papers inside the pentagons, sew around the outer edge, then sew around the inner edge, taking each paper out as you reach it.
10. Well, done. You’ve finished!


  1. It's lovely! I can't wait to try it! Is it already in the mail? I already have a few scrap fabrics in mind! (Flickr name-redredreeves)

  2. Jut wanted to let you know that I got my package. I love your fabric choices. Are they from different lines? I would love to know what you picked from!

  3. Thank you for this lovely Tutorial on the Spiked Wheel, love it.