A couple of weeks ago I shared with you my tutorial on how to use improv piece your scraps together to make your own fabric and then use that fabric to make traditional patchwork blocks. I love this technique and have had so much fun making my own fabric with all the little pieces of quilts that I’ve made before and I’m so happy to have used this scrappy improv fabric to make my own version of Ms Midge’s Charm Dash.
The pattern uses 5″ Charm Squares to deliver a twist on the tradition churn dash. It’s a great way to use some of those much hoarded charm packs in a patchwork block that goes together quickly. I decided to do things a little differently (you know, cause I like to make life harder than it has to be!) and I had some fun with the negative space found in the patchwork block repeat. I’m so in love with this quilt and wish I’d had more time to make it in a larger size. Oh well, something to remember for next time…
The quilt measures 36″ x 36″ and is the perfect size for either a baby quilt, toddler snuggle blanket or wall quilt. (I’m still trying to decide how we’ll use it…). This version uses a 3 x 3 grid of the Charm Dash block and it’s one of the rare occasions where I’ve run the block all the way to the binding. (I normally like to leave a bit of space between the block and binding by using background colour borders.)
We were lucky enough to spend our last weekend in and around The Entrance and so I took the opportunity to grab some quilt shots down by the beach. I’m telling you now, if we lived near the beach all my quilts would be photographed near the ocean. There’s something so powerful about the sea, no matter what the weather is. I could stare at the waves rolling in for hours on end, the colours, the sounds, the wind on your face… but enough about that, more about my Scrappy Improv Charm Dash.
I was very blessed to have Gemma (of Pretty Bobbins) do an edge-to-edge on this quilt for me. We went with #2600 in 50wt of Aurifil and the edge-to-edge pattern is called Ginger Snap. The loopy nature of Ginger Snap was a nice counterpoint to the geometry of the patchwork block. The light grey of the thread just disappears nicely into the patchwork and doesn’t compete with the background or the mad colour of the scrappy improv fabric.
I bound the quilt in Garden Party (in Navy) by P&B Textiles and backed it with Patty Young’s Just My Type – Type Keys. I wanted to use a binding that could hold it’s own and blend in with the scrappy improv fabric of the patchwork blocks. I think it works well and I’m kind of digging the fact that in places it looks like the scrappy improv goes all the way to the edge.
The only thing that I found working with the scrappy improv fabric is that accuracy took a bit of a dive (there’s an awful lot of wonk in those blocks both in the construction and the optical illusions the improv piecing creates), which wasn’t too big a deal because the Charm Dash pattern is so forgiving (none of the triangles actually have to line up with anything – genius!). It’s one of the good things about the pattern; it’s perfect for beginners.
I love that there’s little pieces of my favourite fabrics in there and that there was no real rhyme or reason to how they’ve all been used. This quilt makes me happy in much the same way Samuel’s Technicolour Yawn makes me happy. It appeals to my love of old school patchwork where people just used what they had on hand and made it work. I just opened my scrap bins and had fun, and that’s a rare thing somedays.
If you’d like to make your own scrappy improv version of the Charm Dash you’ll have to invert the pattern. So where the pattern talks about using charm squares that’s where I used the white fabric, and where the pattern talks about using white fabric that’s where I used the scrappy fabric. I love the way this version makes the secondary pattern in the blocks the focus.
This quilt makes me so happy. I’m so glad that I made it and I’m so thankful and humbled that Melissa (of Ms Midge) blessed me by asking me to be a part of her Charm Dash Blog Hop. I’m keeping great company and if you’d like to see some more amazing renditions of the Charm Dash be sure to check out the bloggers below:
Friday 13th March – Sarah Goer – Things I Make
Monday 16th March – Linden Vine – Vinelines Quilting
Wednesday 18th March – Crystal McGann – Raspberry Spool
Friday 20th March – Anita LaHay – Day Dreams Of Quilts
Monday 23rd March – Progress Report – Ms Midge
Wednesday 25th March – Tsoniki Crazy Bull – Me Being Crafty
Friday 27th March – Tisha Nagel – Quilty Therapy
Monday 30th March – Progress Report – Ms Midge
Wednesday 1st April – Kathy Gordon – Kwilty Pleasures
Friday 3rd April – Angie Wilson – Gnome Angel
Monday 6th April – Roslyn Russell – Sew Delicious
Wednesday 8th April – Abby Rudakov – Things For Boys
Thursday 9th April – Final Post and Linky open – msmidge.com.au
I hope you’ve loved sharing in my Scrappy Improv Charm Dash, if you make a version of the Charm Dash or use my Scrappy Improv Patchwork Block Tutorial I’d love to know about it so either share it as a comment here or drop me an email.
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