The first known example of a dresden plate can be found in the infamous ‘Anna Tuels Quilt’ dated 1785.
The Dresden block however did not derive its name until the height of its popularity in the 1920’s and ’30’s.
It was during the great depression that it became increasingly neccesary to use even the smallest scraps of fabric. The Dresden plate is certainly a pattern that lends itself to a cohesive and striking quilt using a range of different fabrics.
It was also known as Grandmothers Fan, Sunburst, Sunflower and Dahlia among names but became known as the Dresden plate after the rise in popularity of porcelain plates from Dresden in Germany.
Here is an example of a dreden plate quilt circa 1930 American Folk Art Museum.