It's finally here... the first Monday in April and time for our next Classic Blocks: Fresh Fabrics post! Last month we had a little vote for which block I would show you how to make and the winner was the churn dash. I love all the blocks we voted on, but I think this one is particularly special. A lot of the classic quilt blocks have their names rooted in history and this one is especially so. This block originates in the early 1800's and was named by the early Americans because it looked similar to a butter churn looking down from above. I love the fact that our fore-mothers expressed themselves by making beautiful quilts!
Anyway... if you're just joining us now, we're going to spend a year making gorgeous quilt blocks using the classic patterns and fresh modern fabrics from Anna Griffin and Blend Fabrics. Last month we made the Friendship Star. As we go along you can search for 'classic' in the search box above to access all of the posts.
Oh, and even better for you: each month I'll give away a 10 fat quarter bundle of that sweet new fabric to one quilter who made our classic block and posted a picture of it either in our SewCanShe Flickr Pool or facebook group photo album. The winner of the fat quarter bundle will be chosen at random, so don't feel intimidated to enter... all you have to make is one block!
Of course you could make lots of a single block for a whole quilt top or just one each month until you have a sampler. We will be using the iPhone/iPad quilt block app BlockFab to calculate our cutting dimensions for any size block, so if you have an iPhone or iPad I highly recommend downloading it so you can pick any size block you want. In my blog posts I'll always give cutting dimensions for at least 2 different size blocks. If you want to try a size that I didn't mention (and you don't have an iPhone), post a question in the SewCanShe facebook group and one of us will help you out. :)
This month I'm using Modern Eclectic by Khristian Howell for Blend Fabrics. I was so hoping they would send me some of this collection. It's gorgeous!
The churn dash quilt block is essentially a 9 patch. Four of the 'patches' are half square triangles and four are sewn from two rectangles. Once you get all the parts ready, it's totally easy to put together. So let's get started!
I decided to make 6'' blocks this time. They are so cute! I'll give dimensions for a 12'' block too, and you can get dimensions for any size block in the BlockFab app.
Cutting instructions for a finished 6'' block:
- Color 1 (the print) - cut 2 squares 2 7/8'' and 4 rectangles 2 1/2'' x 1 1/2''
- Color 2 (the solid) - cut 2 squares 2 7/8'', 4 rectangles 2 1/2'' x 1 1/2'', and one square 2 1/2''
Cutting instructions for a finished 12'' block:
- Color 1 (the print) - cut 2 squares 4 7/8'' and 4 rectangles 4 1/2'' x 2 1/2''
- Color 2 (the solid) - cut 2 squares 4 7/8'', 4 rectangles 4 1/2'' x 2 1/2'', and one square 4 1/2''
This block uses half square triangle units, just like the friendship star block. I'm going to use the same method because you don't have to sew along bias cut edges. Just stack one of the print squares with one of the larger solid squares (right sides facing) and draw a line diagonally down the middle. Repeat with the other set. This is your cutting line, not your sewing line.
Sew down either side of the diagonal line with a 1/4'' seam allowance. Repeat for the other set.
Now cut along the line and you have 4 half square triangle units.
Next sew all of the rectangles together, one print with one solid right sides facing.
Press all of the units open. I pressed my seams to the print side.
Cut the dog ears off all of the hst units.
And arrange all 9 units like so with the remaining square in the middle. Almost done!
Sew the square units into rows, and the rows into a block. Done!
I strip pieced 12 of these blocks that I'm going to make into a mini-quilt. 3 of them have the solid and print fabrics reversed. I can't wait to show you!
You have two weeks (until April 19th) to sew a churn dash block and post a picture into one of the two photo albums mentioned above to enter to win the beautiful fq bundle from Blend fabrics shown above. You may make any size block using any fabric. I'll announce the winner here on the blog on April 20th so be sure to come back and check if it's you. :) I'll also announce it in our facebook group in case you are lurking there.