Dresden Color Wheel Mug Rug Tutorial

(Please ask for permission to use my photos from this post beforehand.)

I had a lot of fun making mini Dresden color wheels this past week, so I wanted to share a quick tutorial on how to make your own. I backed this one with felt to use as a mug rug, which really brightens up my work space and makes me happy!

dresden color wheel mug rug

dresden color wheel mug rugs

After choosing fabrics from your stash, cut about 20-21 wedges (I used 20 wedges in the sample above and 21 in the sample below – use your own judgment to see what you can make work), using one of the smaller measurements on the Easy Dresden Template designed by Darlene Zimmerman (got mine from Joann’s). For the examples pictured here, I used the 1-1/2″ and the 2″ positions to cut my 20 wedges.

cutting dresdens

Fold each wedge in half the long way and stitch along the top, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Turn right side out to form a point at the top.

turning dresden plate right side out

This is a great step to chain-stitch the pieces together.chain stitchingLay each wedge right side together, and stitch all the wedges together to form a ring, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seams open.

sewing dresden plates together

dresden plates sewn into a circleMeasure the inner circle and add 1/2″ to 3/4″ to each side for the seam allowance. Cut a circle from paper or plastic to use as a template; cut 2 circles from your center fabric.

measuring inner circle

For these smaller dresdens, I cut circles that measured 4″ to 4-3/8″. With right sides together, stitch the two circles together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Cut notches in the seam allowance to reduce bulk. Pinch the fabric on one side of the circle and cut a small slit. Pull the fabrics through that slit to turn the circles right side out. Press.

circles right sides together

cut notches in seam allowancecut slit in circle for turning

circles sewn togetherLay the fabric circles on top of dresden ring, pin if necessary, and top-stitch to attach to ring of the wedges. I top-stitched twice to make sure it was secure.

dresden color wheel mug rug

Lay the dresden on a piece of felt for backing and top-stitch 1/8″ in around the points and valleys. Trim the felt close to the points and valleys.

felt backing for dresden color wheel mug rug

Stitch in the ditch around the circle to fasten more securely to the felt backing.

dresden color wheel mug rug

Happy sewing, my friends!


PS – Note: Because I create with human hands, my cutting is never perfect. My sewing is never perfectly straight. My circles aren’t perfectly symmetrical or even. And I always have threads to trim. Please forgive me for that 😉 This is just a fun project I was excited to share. I’m sure there are many ways to make this; I’m just sharing my concept and process here.

Color Wheel Happiness

I try to maintain a relatively short list of unfinished projects. Today, I am happy to show you my most recent finish – my color wheel dresden plate mini quilt!

I quilted a few circles in the center, and lines radiating through each dresden to make this dresden plate look like a sun. I just love how it turned out!

I used a fabric for the backing that had a rainbow of colors similar to the front. I also used a binding fabric that had circular shapes, similar to the front. I think this is one of my favorite quilt projects, even though it’s only a 16-inch square. It’s going to hang in my sewing room to radiate happiness and inspiration.

Right now, my unfinished list is at about seven projects. I have three quilts that just need binding, fabrics cut for three quilts that need piecing, and my patchwork blocks from Sew,Mama,Sew’s April Quilting Month II need to be quilted and bound. I’m going on a quilt retreat next weekend with some infamous bloggers (Shelly S, Shelly P, Andrea, Mary, Doris, Amanda, Toni, Rene , Heather and Victoria), so I should be able to make a dent in a few things on my to-do list. For now, I’m giddy with color wheel happiness!

Friday Inspiration

I have had this stack of color wheel fabrics for a couple years, with the intention of making the color wheel project in the Last Minute Patchwork Gifts book by Joelle Hoverson. After seeing a few other people blog about that endeavor, I decided it was a bigger project than I had time for. So I continued to savor this pretty stack.

The first Dresden Plate block I made as part of the Sew,Mama,Sew quilting month gave me the idea to make this mini color wheel, using Elizabeth’s pattern.  It’s not quite finished yet because I still have to quilt it, but I love it! It was so fun arranging and re-arranging the fabrics so they lined up as close as possible to my actual color wheel. I can’t wait to hang it on the wall in my sewing room for inspiration.

I still have so much fabric left for more color wheel projects, since my dresden plate only used a tiny piece of 20 colors.

Spring has come early here, so our crab apple tree is in full bloom one month ahead of normal. It always reminds me of a giant flower, and it smells oh so good!

I am loving all the beautiful tulips blooming throughout our yard.

These blushing sunshine tulips are my all time favorites.

Enjoy your weekend, my friends, whether you plan to do some sewing, gardening, or visiting the market (three of my personal favorites).

Sunday Stash – Color Wheel Bundle

Time to share from my stash.


I ordered this color wheel bundle when Joelle Hoverson’s patchwork book came out, thinking I would make her Color Wheel quilt.

colorwheel bundleI love staring at the color wheel, studying all the wonderful things you can do with it, and dreaming up project ideas.  I’m excited to take a color theory class to learn more about designing with color.

color wheel bundle on it's sideYou can see the fabulous selection of fabrics the ladies at Purl offer in this bundle, some you might recognize, some great choices to fill in the color slot.

color wheel fabricsI have always loved Katie’s colorway quilt, a coin quilt version of the color wheel.  Now I’m debating which version to make with my color wheel bundle, but I’m leaning toward the coin quilt version instead of the wheel. Isn’t it fun to dream?!

Share some of the fabrics from your stash by joining the Sunday Stash group.


Check out everyone else’s stash at the flickr group.  It’s fun to see the variety of fabrics out there, many of which I have not seen anywhere else.