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. However, here is a tutorial for you to look at: http://www.mimishimp.com/tutorials/

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 comments on “Easy Dresden Ruler

  1. llavmc says:

    This would be a great tool to have in my ruler collection. Thanks for the giveaway and for sharing the photos of how it can be used.

  2. Mine would be my seam ripper, I use it all the time.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Laura B says:

    I love my glass head pins.

  4. Gotta be the seam ripper 😉 I’d love to try a dresden quilt with this ruler!

  5. JulieD says:

    rulers. they make it so much easier to make compicated squares. this dresden ruler would be great!

  6. Karen says:

    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.

  7. Alicia says:

    My favorite “tool” is my Gammill quilting machine!

  8. JoAnne says:

    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.

  9. Gina S. says:

    Rotary cutter is my favorite. So much faster than sissors!

  10. Paula says:

    My fav tool is a good ruler! all types and sizes. They make quilting so much easier. Thanks for the chance!

  11. Colleen says:

    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.

  12. Deb says:

    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!

  13. Rosa says:

    Rotatory cuttter and mat.It`s easy cut fabrics with them.Thanks for the chance!!

  14. Anita says:

    My favorite notion is the rotary cutter.

  15. Fran says:

    My 60mm ergonomic rotary cutter is my favourite notion, it makes cutting lots of fabric so easy. Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. Grandma M says:

    My favorite tool is my rotary cutter. Can’t imagine cutting fabric without it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. My favorite notion is my little snippers. I have a blue sparkly set now

  18. Karen says:

    My favorite quilting notion is my rotary cutter. I can’t imagine cutting accurate pieces without it.

  19. My fave notion is any ruler that make my quilting quicker and more accurate!

  20. sunny5597 says:

    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!

  21. Chiska says:

    I’m just learning about rulers and really liking them.

  22. Gwen says:

    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.

  23. Paula says:

    My favourite notion is my rotary cutter, without it I couldn’t possibly make any the quilts.

  24. Melissa says:

    I like my seam ripper that has a little blade.

  25. Lee says:

    I love my ergonomic rotary cutter! thank you!

  26. I love my EZ Dresden ruler. I have used it for so many projects. I love that I can make a classic or modern design and it comes together quickly. Thanks for such an easy-to-use ruler!

  27. Heidi says:

    My favorite would be my rotary cutter but the one I use the most is my seam ripper!

  28. I love my new Splash rotary cutter–it makes it so fast and easy to change the blade that I may do that more often now!

  29. Kim M says:

    I’d go crazy without my rotary cutter (which works great with neat looking new rulers)!

  30. Deb says:

    My favorite notion is my seam ripper. I make a lot of mistakes!!!!

  31. Laura Fedewa says:

    I think mine would be my rulers! I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without them!

  32. My favorite notion are my mini scissors. They are so convenient to hang around my neck (on a chain). I love them. Thanks for the chance to win.

  33. Vicki H says:

    I have to have a rotary cutter and seam ripper. thanks for the giveaway.

  34. SewCalGal says:

    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.

    SewCalGal
    http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

  35. bee says:

    i love my pincushions and magnetic plate to hold wayward pins so i dont step on them!

  36. Karen Dobbs says:

    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.

  37. Laurel says:

    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!

  38. Linda says:

    HELLO,It is my scissors,could not work with out them! Thanks for sharing a neat ruler!

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

  39. Barbe says:

    i love Steady Betty, i use it for a whole lot of jobs, on rulers, sewing pedal and of course for pressing.

  40. KMSC says:

    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.
    k.castanette@hotmail.com

  41. Nancy says:

    My favorite notion for quilting is the rotary cutter.

  42. Deb says:

    I think Rotary cutter will be a common answer -it’s definitely my favorite.

  43. Lisas Mom says:

    I luv my Dresden ruler, but my favorite notion is still my stiletto. 🙂

  44. Love, Love, Love all the fun rulers coming out!

  45. Brenda says:

    My rotary cutter would be my favorite notion.

  46. Extra fine quilting pins… they make it so much easier to match seams!

  47. mongghon says:

    I love my brass stiletto. So simple, yet so fabulous!

  48. nancy b. says:

    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!

  49. i love my seam roller. great for small seams, or keeping little hands busy when they want to help 🙂

  50. GranChris says:

    It’s hard to pick just one but a seam ripper, pins and a rotary cutter are very important.

  51. I have several favorite tools but I guess the one I use the most would be my rotary cutter.

  52. Allison C says:

    I like my ergonomic seam ripper

  53. Gloria says:

    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.

  54. mary mahoo says:

    Definitely my seam ripper! Thanks for the chance to win.

  55. Booklogged says:

    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.

  56. Kerry Young says:

    I call it a quick unpick here in Australia

  57. Jagels says:

    The dresden plate is my very favorite block. thanks.

  58. jan says:

    thanks for a chance to win. My favorites and most used are my rotary cutter and mat. The seam ripper a close second.

  59. Kathy Sue says:

    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

  60. JoanG says:

    My favorite notion is without doubt my rotary cutter. How did we live without them!

  61. jskeeffe says:

    I don’t think I can pick just one! To be without a specific tool when I need it is very hard so they each have an important role in my sewing.

  62. Tammy Jones says:

    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}}

  63. Rhonda Davis says:

    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.

  64. Michele T says:

    Selecting a single notion as a favorite is not easy… I love my rotary cutter but need a ruler and cutting pad for it to work!

  65. Nancy in IN says:

    I love Dresden plate and have used it with men’s ties. They are from my dad’s and other men is our family for grands and great grands.
    Would love the ruler.

  66. Rose Smith says:

    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!!

  67. I couldn’t live without my rotary cutter and cutting mat!

  68. Margaret says:

    My seam ripper and I are such good friends. Thanks

  69. Debbie says:

    My favorite notion is a magnetic pin holder.

  70. Nana Jo says:

    My favorite notion is the rotary cutter and mat. I wouldn’t be quilting without them!

  71. Regina says:

    LOL -I think right now mine is my magnifying reading glasses – otherwise I couldn’t see anything I am sewing (or unsewing)

  72. DeborahGun says:

    My favourite notion is my rotary cutter!

  73. phegland says:

    I have a new seam ripper. It is a delight! I just hope I won’t have to use it too much.

  74. nettie says:

    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……

  75. Lisa says:

    My favourite notion is my rotary cutter. Cutting fabric is so much faster and accurate now 🙂

  76. BizyStitches says:

    favorite notion would have to be the rotary cutter. I don’t think I would get anything done without it. Thanks for the fun.

  77. marogez says:

    Just have to say I have this ruler and I love it. I’m making a wall quilt with mine. This one is a must have!!

  78. LeAnne says:

    My rotary cutter and mat are used the most, but I really like the Clover binding clips. They make binding so much easier.

  79. Barbara H says:

    I love my different sized rulers! They make cutting a breeze!

  80. Lisa Rogers says:

    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.

  81. I love my seam ripper and my orange handles scissors – I couldn’t be without them!

  82. My rotary cutter. I love Dresden plates, but I haven’t made one yet.

  83. Beth says:

    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.

  84. Judy1522 says:

    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.

  85. Kathy says:

    Like many others, I couldn’t manage without my seam ripper.

  86. Jan says:

    I really need some rulers. I would love to work with this one.

  87. I love my June Tailor perfect Hst and qst ruler

  88. Cloud 9 says:

    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!

  89. Ann says:

    My favorites are my tweezers and rotary cutter

  90. Gill says:

    I love my rotary cutter – how did we manage before??

  91. OhioLori says:

    My favorite notion has to be my wonderful Rotary Cutter first off!! 🙂 Love my Templates next!

  92. June D says:

    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!

  93. Lesley says:

    Love my rotary cutter and rulers! Thanks for the giveaway!

  94. Doris Rice says:

    My favorite is the rotary cutter but I seem to use the seam ripper the most!

  95. 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.

  96. Abbigail says:

    My favorite notion is my Rotary cutter! It allows me to use great rulers like this one!

  97. Elizabeth says:

    Sad to say, but it’s my seam ripper! I get a lot of use out of it.

  98. Sallie says:

    Right now, Thangles are my favorite because I have to make a lot of HSTs.

  99. Karen says:

    My favorite notion is my rotary cutter, which is enhanced by all these great rulers.

  100. Sarah says:

    My most used notion is my seam ripper.

  101. Carla G says:

    My favorite notion is my rotary cutter. 🙂 This ruler looks fabulous! 🙂

  102. audrey says:

    Love my Olpha rotary cutter! This would be a lovely ruler to have!

  103. Jeanne Gwin says:

    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.

  104. Unknown says:

    My favorite notion would have to be my mini scissors. I’m always snipping!

  105. Jan Baker says:

    My favorite notion is my cutter. I have been wanting to make a Dresden quilt but all the pieces scared me. I would attempt it with this.

  106. DaniQuilts says:

    My favorite notion is my rotating cutting mat!

  107. Lynne says:

    My favorite notion is my rotary cutter and all my rulers.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  108. Ruth B says:

    Dresdens are some of my favorite quilts. I am on my way to check out your website!

  109. My rotary cutter and rulers, of course. But I don’t have a Dresden ruler, yet!

    Hope to win one!
    thanks for the chance 🙂

  110. kbo says:

    Favorite notion has to be my pincushion/trash catcher that is beside my sewing machine. It even has a loop to hold my scissors.

  111. Karen says:

    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.

  112. suesinger says:

    looks like a great ruler

  113. batgirl says:

    besides my radio, my rotary cutter. keeps me focused.

  114. mabear says:

    My rotary cutter!!!

  115. Peggy says:

    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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