Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Churn up the volume!

 Ok, I'm going to apologize for that terrible pun, but I really couldn't help myself! I've been working on a churn dash baby quilt, and as I was picking out fabrics, I knew one of them might be too low volume (meaning too much white for contrast with the rest of the block elements). Can you pick out the offending block?

One of these blocks is not like the other...

The fabric was pretty cute before it was cut - strawberries, birds, flowers.  Alas, there was too much white. If I had chosen a bright pink solid for the contrasting fabric of the churn dash, this probably would have worked.  For this particular quilt, it was important to me to have the white dashes standing out as negative space among the prints.  Here she is up close:

I didn't even get to sewing all the elements together before realizing that it wouldn't work!

 It's interesting how the quilters came up with block patterns in the olden days.  One of the chores back in the day was to churn butter using something that looked like the churn dash below.  You can see how these quilters took elements from their every day life and made some beauty out of them.  Pretty inspiring!

 In this quilt, I'm working from 8 inch churn dash blocks all the way down to wee 3 inch blocks.  This is part of the precise piecing section of the Penny Sampler class. I've done one 8 inch block, shown below and the rest are 6 inches.  Once I get the teeny weenys done, I'll let you know how it goes! This is definitely a work in progress!

8 inch block

6 inches

I replaced the low volume pink blocks with two of these - I think it works better. And how can you not love hedgies and foxes?


  1. Churn dash is on my list of blocks to try! These are lovely. I'm loving the color choices. I hate when I when I don't get the contrast I'm looking for, but the mistakes are as important as the successes to learn what works next time! :)

  2. i love churn dashes! great colors.

  3. Your churn dash blocks look great! They will make a very pretty baby quilt. So glad I found your blog.


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