Easy Dresden Ruler

National Sewing Month 2013

Moda has invited me to participate in their Moda Cutting Table Blog to talk about one of my most popular rulers—the Easy Dresden.


Last year Easy Dresden created quite a buzz in the industry. The Salt Lake City Modern Quilt Guild sponsored a contest using the Easy Dresden, and fabulous entries came pouring in. It was amazing to see the creative ways in which quilters used this very simple tool. Go to www.slcmqg.com to see some of the quilts.


I developed Easy Dresden 15 years ago when I was trying to “fix” some vintage Dresden Plate blocks. They didn’t lay flat because the angle of the wedge wasn’t correct. If you remember from your geometry classes in school that you need 360 degrees to make a circle. Anything more or less will not give you a flat or complete circle. I  could not find an accurate template; especially not a template that I could use for rotary cutting. So, I made my own.


I chose to use an 18 degree wedge as it would have 20 wedges in a circle, or 5 in a fan. I also chose to make it mult-sized so you could make everything from a miniature quilt to a single ring for a table centerpiece. Easy Dresden was the result!


Easy Dresden is a simple tool. You don’t need diagrams, long involved instructions or even a pattern to use it.


You can use Easy Dresden to create Dresden Plates of all sizes, Grandmother’s Fans of all sizes and also large Tumbler quilts or tiny Thimble quilts. The directions with the tool and on the website listed above have tables that tell you what size finished block different size wedges will yield. You can easily make the size block/quilt that YOU want to make using these tables. Create your OWN pattern!


If you prefer a ready-made pattern, here is “Sunday Best”, a free pattern for you to use.
Below find a few more photos for inspiration!

Or, go to my website: www.feedsacklady.com for patterns.


I will be giving away one of my rulers to one lucky winner!


To enter please leave a comment about what your favorite notion is.


You will have until September 30th at midnight to comment. All winners will be randomly selected and announced on Moda…The Cutting Table Blog on October 2nd.


Make sure to visit the blog every day for the opportunity to win each giveaway!



Darlene Zimmerman


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115 thoughts on “Easy Dresden Ruler

  1. I’ve owned an easy plate ruler for a year now … A Dresden quilt is on my list! Thank you… My favorite notion is for appliqué work and its a great little shirt magnet and lanyard to attach to my scissors. I am constantly loosing my little snips and this tool saves me much time during needle turn appliqué.

  2. I used this fabulous ruler to complete my version of the Dresden Doilies quilt as featured in McCalls Quilting magazine. I loved using it. I would have to say that my favorite notion right now is that new-ish seam ripper with the “eraser” end which is great for picking up the bits of thread after ripping.

  3. I do have to say that I love my EZ Dresden ruler so much that I already have 3…yes THREE of them! Do I need another one…maybe, I could use it when I cannot find the others…LOL! I actually love all my rulers but use this one a lot.

  4. I think my favorite notion is my thimble! Love how pretty it is and it protects my finger when doing handwork! Love all the ideas with the dresden! Thanks for the chance to win!

  5. I would have to say my favorite tools are my rotary cutters and self-healing mat. What would we do with out them and these awesome rulers you all are making for us. Thanks for this great giveaway!

  6. my favorite notion would be, my 6×12
    ruler, just about had a heart attack
    when I dropped it and it cracked into
    pieces, could not replace it fast
    enough. Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. I’ve been wanting to create with this ruler. Endless possibilities.

    I love tools, so it is difficult to select my favorite. But, I guess after the rotary cutter it would be my pair of micro-fine tweezers from Filmer (bought at IHAN). They help to pull out the finest thread and very handy when re-verse sewing/machine embroidery.


  8. My favorite rotary cutter is the Olfa Quick-Change 60mm Rotary Cutter, followed by my Gingher Thread Snipper. Thank you for the giveaway for your ruler. It looks like a great addition to my collection of rulers.

  9. I have a little simple 8″ ruler of clear green plastic. It has 1/8″ marking on one side and 1/4″ on the other and a half inch line down the middle. I find myself grabbing that ruler all the time.

    I love the Easy Dresden. Would love to have one!

  10. I love my rotary cutter. I couldn’t quilt without it. I love your Dresden ruler and with all the Dresden plate quilts I’ve seen in magazines and on the web, I think I need a ruler to make my own Dresden plate quilt. Thanks so much or the giveaway.

  11. Hard to pick just one because I love tools and gadgets…rotary cutter would be way up there, but I probably use my seam ripper almost as much! Thanks for designing the Easy Dresden, it’s another favorite!

  12. Today my seam -ripper was my best friend as I unpicked a couple of blocks that a friend gave me to ‘sort out’ because she couldn’t seewhere she had gone wrong. Then I used my trusty flower-head pins to pin the pieces in the correct order and sered on my machine.

  13. Oh heavens, in today’s world of wonderful tools and notions it’s hard to pick just one favorite. I think I’ll go old fashion, since I’m binding 5 quilts, and pick the needle and thread. Who thought to invent a needle? I know it was thousands & thousands of years ago but I’m thankful for the invention and all the improvements to the simple needle.

  14. Does the design wall count as a notion? Because I do “sew” love mine. I love adding completed blocks to it as we’ll as rearranging blocks to get to a final layout! kathleen dot lutz at doh dot state dot nj dot us

  15. I’d like to say my rotary cutter, but it’s actually my 5″x24″ olipfa ruler. Misplaced mine at some class or another and Could Not Sew until I’d bought another. Is that sad or what? 😉 {{hugs}}

  16. My favorite notion would be my rotary cutter…makes cutting so much simpler and faster than scissors! I have the EZ Dresden ruler but haven’t had the chance to use it yet but it’s on my to-do-list.

  17. My fave notion has to be my rotary cutter. I’m so bad at cutting with scissors, never manage to get a straight line with them. Good job rotary cutters exist!!

  18. My Gingher thread clips are my FRIEND! They are always helping me out of thread jams.
    I don’t know how my ancestors managed to sew quilts without rotary cutters and mats……

  19. I recently thought my favorite notion was my rotary cutter …but….now I have to say some of my rulers that I just bought to make my life easier are my favorite. I would love your tool it would make things EZ.

  20. I would have to say my Clover binding clips. For years I used office clips & whatever I could find. Now I have my Clover clips in a nice pouch that I made. They are great to use in place of pins.

  21. I always say my rotary cutter is my favorite notion because it has brought me back to wanting to make a quilt. I gave up years ago when I realized how time consuming it would be to cut out each piece with a template.

  22. I’d have to say my rotary cutter, and of coarse need those rulers. I’d love to make a Dresden plate quilt someday and this ruler would help me!

  23. Favorite sort of unusual notion is the Clover needle with the hole so I can click in the thread. But rulers and templates can make designing and cutting – and piecing so much easier. Thanks for putting my name in the hat for this drawing!

  24. I’d have to say my favorite is a nice, new, sharp rotary cutter blade. Of course those are most useful with rulers, so thank you for the chance to win this dresden ruler.

  25. Is there anything that can’t be done with a Dresden ruler? I don’t think so, just a simple twist or turn and you have something new to ponder over. Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. My most used tool besides the rotary cutter is my 6 x 24 ruler, great for cutting strips. A Dresden is on my list of blocks to make someday. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Really hard to say which notion is my favorite, but would have to agree with many here the rotary cutter is a must! Thanks for the chance to win.

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