Use a black-and-white batik as a foundation to showcase beautiful and bright colors. A Dresden Plate block blooms like a flower from the center of this pincushion. Fabrics are from the Indah Hand-Dyed Batiks collection for Hoffman California Fabrics.
Color Wheel Color Option
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Inspired by Color Wheel from designer Sachiko Aldous

Quilt tester: Jan Ragaller


  • 1­--3" square purple batik (appliqué)
  • 4­--5" squares assorted batiks in green, blue, lime, and red (Dresden unit)
  • 1⁄3 yard black-and-white batik (foundation circle, pincushion)
  • 7" square thin batting or flannel
  • Scrap of freezer paper
  • Polyester fiberfill

Finished pincushion: 6-1⁄4" diameter

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" above for patterns. When cutting Pattern A center circle from fabric, be sure to add  1⁄4" seam allowance beyond drawn line.

From purple batik, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern A

From each assorted batik, cut:

  • 3 of Pattern B

From black-and-white batik, cut:

  • 1--1-3⁄4 ×21-1⁄4" strip
  • 2 of Pattern C

From batting or flannel, cut:

  • 1 of Pattern C

Make Center Circle Appliqué

Instructions that follow use a freezer-paper method for preparing the A circle appliqué. To use this method, complete the following steps.

1.    Layer freezer paper, shiny side down, over Pattern A. Use a pencil to trace pattern. Cut out freezer-paper A circle template on drawn line.

2.    Center freezer-paper A template with shiny side up on wrong side of purple batik A circle (Diagram 1). Using tip of a hot dry iron, press fabric seam allowance over edge of freezer paper, ensuring fabric is taut against template. Let cool; remove freezer paper to make center circle appliqué.


Make Dresden Plate Unit

1.    Fold a batik B piece in half lengthwise with right side inside and long edges aligned; finger-press fold (Diagram 2). Stitch about 1⁄4" from top edge. Trim away a small triangle at folded edge to reduce bulk.


2.    Turn Step 1 unit right side out and unfold. Referring to Diagram 3, place unit right side down on a pressing surface. Using crease to center the point, press point flat and seam open to make a wedge.


3.    Using remaining assorted batik B pieces, repeat steps 1 and 2 to make 12 wedges total.

4.    Referring to Diagram 4 for color order, lay out wedges in six pairs.


5.    Sew together wedges in each pair; press seams open. Join pairs to make a Dresden Plate unit (Diagram 5). Press seams open. (The hole in the center of the Dresden Plate unit will be covered by an appliqué.)


Assemble Pincushion Top

1.    Fold a black-and-white batik C circle in half horizontally and vertically. Finger-press to make a foundation circle with placement guidelines; unfold. Referring to Appliqué Placement Diagram, center Dresden Plate unit on foundation circle; pin in place. Center prepared center circle on Dresden Plate unit; pin.


2.    Using desired appliqué method, stitch Dresden Plate unit and center circle appliqué in place to make appliquéd pincushion top.

3.    Layer appliquéd pincushion top and batting on flannel C circle. Quilt as desired. Quilt tester Jan Ragaller machine-stitched 1⁄4" around the outside of the Dresden unit.

Assemble Pincushion

1.    With right side inside, fold black-and-white batik 1-3⁄4 ×21-1⁄4" strip in half widthwise. Sew short ends together to make a side unit. Press seam open.

2.    With right sides together, pin quilted pincushion top to one edge of side unit. Sew together along pinned edges (Diagram 6). Make small clips around edges, being careful not to cut into seam.


3.    With right sides together, pin and join remaining side unit edge to remaining black-and-white batik C circle, leaving a 2" opening (Diagram 7).


4.    Turn right side out, using a chopstick or knitting needle to push out curved edges.

5.    Stuff firmly with fiberfill through opening. Hand-stitch opening closed to complete pincushion.