Dresden Plate is the most familiar name for this block but other traditional names are Aster, Friendship Ring and Sunflower.
The pattern wasn't well known until the late 1920s. Ruby McKim calls it Friendship Ring. Her pattern has twenty petals and she suggests a quilt border of individual petals. It is a Friendship Ring because 'one usually has to call upon many friends for a proper assortment' of different patterned materials.
This is a 12 inch block. I traced the petals onto washaway applique sheets, ironed each petal onto the fabric and hand stitched like English paper piecing. The washaway will soften with washing (the package says).
This is a 6 inch block with five petals in each corner. My inspiration was from a 1930s signature quilt made in Ohio.
The Ohio quilt has a Dresden plate block in each corner and proves that you can have as many petals as you like.
More information on the Dresden Plate block history can be found at: