Saturday, September 21, 2013

Churn Dash Tutorial

I am writing this tutorial for my wonderful Bee buddies. October is my month to be Queen Bee. I am jumping the gun just a bit because I have to send fabric to Australia and New Zealand. It will take a couple weeks for them to get the fabric bits that I am sending out. Apologies if I seem overanxious.

As Queen Bee, I decree that I want to make a Red and White Quilt. I am sending the white fabric to everyone. I am asking my drones to gather reds from their own stash to add to my whites. I am requesting a Churn Dash block, 12.5" unfinished and 12" finished. I want my red and white churn dashes to be positive and negative, so I am asking half of my drones to make red churn dashes on white background and the other half of my drones to make white churn dashes on red background. Here are a couple samples I sewed up. Won't these make a fun quilt?

I am happy to have the blocks be scrappy as long as they definitely read as red and white. You will notice that the white fabric pieces I have sent are slightly scrappy in that they are not all the same brand/color. The difference is subtle, but I am happy with it. Here are some of the reds in my stash that will work nicely in this project.
Solids are fine, but so are these prints. The reds can be bright or dark. You will notice that I have even pulled out a red with white print, but that it reads as mostly red.

I hope these instructions will be useful. If you don't mind, I am going to be very detailed, not because I don't think my drones know how to sew, but I am also going to post this tutorial on my blog and it might be read by an inexperienced sewer.

When you get your envelope with the white fabric, you will find a paper asking you to make either the white churn dash with red background, or a red churn dash with white background. Either way, I have included all of the white fabric you need for your (my) block.

Here are the reds you will need to add to the whites I have sent:
2-5" squares; 4-2.5"x4.5" rectangles
1-4.5" square; 2-5" squares; 4-2.5"x4.5: rectangles
 1. Put the 5" squares aside for now and layout the remaining pieces as shown below:
Red churn dash/white background; for the white churn dash, the center is red, and you reverse the order of the rectangles

2. Notice that when you line up the fabric, the pinked edges are measured from the tips of the edges. Chain piece the rectangles as shown

3. Press seams toward red fabric.

4. Next we work on those HST corners. Get your 5" squares. This is how I mark the diagonals. Use your preferred method.
I use my handy dandy 1/2" wide ruler. I put the solid line from corner to corner.
I use my Frixion pen (disappears when ironed) to mark my sewing lines.
5. I sew on my drawn lines. You can chain piece both pairs of 5" squares.

6. Cut between the sewn lines for a total of 4 HSTs.

 7. Press seam toward red fabric. Square up to 4.5".

8. Lay out your units in the correct order to sew together.
White churn dash layout
9. Assemble into rows
Red churn dash layout

10. Press this way
Red churn dash
White churn dash
11. Trim to 12.5"

Ta dah! You are done. Thank you so much.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Farmer's Wife Flimsy Done

I have finished working on my FW.
I am so glad that I added that narrow turquoise border. I think it really looks finished now. OK, yet another top to add to the pile waiting to be quilted. On the Lucey front, I am having quite a time getting the tension right so that I don't have huge loops on the bottom. I reached my frustration point yesterday and had to walk away. I will be revisiting the manual and the videos today to see what small detail I have overlooked. I'm sure I'll get it right soon. Update on tension: DH and I found a couple really helpful videos online ( and I now have good tension. I have also changed my thread to be polyester on both the bottom and the top. I am in heaven. Thanks for all of your suggestions.

I'm linking up with Stitch by Stitch: Anything Goes. See the button on the right side of my blog. I am also linking up to Quilt Story found here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fire Her Up. She's Ready to Go!

Here is my Lucey.
Isn't she cute with her pretty little red bow?

I think I have the perfect place for her. When we had our basement finished three years ago, the builder couldn't understand why I didn't want a wall with a door leading to my sewing room. After all, wouldn't I want to be able to close the door to hide the mess? First, I don't consider it to be a mess. And second, I had this in mind the whole time. It took a while, but here she is.

Today, the bow comes off and I will be practicing all of those basic things that will soon become second nature. Turning it on/off, needle up/down, threading, putting in the bobbin, loading a quilt and all of the other myriad things I will have to be able to do before I even begin FMQ. Can't wait.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rabbit, Rabbit!

Happy first day of a new month.
Yesterday, DH and I went to Monticello, KY to attend a quilt show. It was a small show, but it was nice.
It was hard to see the quilts because they were roped off. This was the winner in the small, hand quilted category.
I was trying to get pictures of the quilting details so I will have some ideas when I get started with FMQ on Lucey.

When we left Monticello, we made a special trip to Somerset, KY to go to Paul's Discount. My, oh my! Piles and piles of flat folded fabric at $3/yd. I have been told that I need to get inexpensive fabric to practice my FMQ. I followed that advice. I also found wide backing fabric that I will use for my Farmer's Wife. Got a gallon refill of Mary Ellen's Best Press. Terrific prices! Spent $130, but everything I bought was a bargain. DH is an enabler! Who knew? He helped me look through those piles of fabric and kept calling me over to see what he found. He was probably just thinking he would get out of there faster if he helped. It was a great day.

Today DH and I plan to complete the assembly of Lucey. Our delay is not due to difficulty of assembly. After the casters arrived, we discovered that a different part had been damaged in shipping. It arrived yesterday, so today is the day to get this finished.

Thanks for stopping by.