The Churn Dash is one of my most favourite blocks out there and I love the Jen has included them in the Long Time Gone pattern. I must confess that my sewing machine is in need of it’s regular 6 month service and so it struggled a bit with the way I pressed my seams which caused me issues (due to bulk) when I made the 2 Churn Dash sections of the quilt. I’ve shared details about why this happened and how I’d avoid it if I had to make them again in the tutorial below.
These sections of the quilt are not my greatest work (not as bad as when I first started! but you can tell I was rushed while making them), but here’s the beauty of this quilt – you’re not going to be able to tell when it’s quilted and being loved and used. If you have problems matching your points in the sections don’t lose sleep over it – make it as best you can and then move on to the next blocks. It’s so easy to get bogged down in these types of blocks chasing perfection that you’ll lose steam for the next blocks and no one needs that to happen!
Tutorial: Churn Dash
- See tutorial for seam pressing details.
- I used a Schmetz 70/10 needle.
- I used 50wt Aurifil #2600 (Dove) thread for piecing.
- I used Flatter by Soak in Yuzu 248ml as my starch.
- I used Clover Wonder Clips to help keep my pieces in place.
Measurements for the pieces needed to construct this block will not be provided in this tutorial. It is a pre-requiste of making this block that you have a copy of the pattern, Long Time Gone by Jen Kingwell. Measurements, where applicable, can be found in this book and it’s associated media.
If you’re using the Marti Michell Perfect Patchwork Templates you can find the conversion chart by clicking here.
How to Make the Block
- Tolerance Levels: you need to decide what is an acceptable tolerance level for “mistakes”. For example if your blocks are consistently 6¼” instead of 6.5″ are you ok with this. Or if your seams matching are less than an eight of an inch “off” are you ok with this. There’s no hard or fast rule and it’s different for everyone, so remember it’s your quilt so make your decision for you.
- Press your seams at each step. Click here for a great article on how to press your seams for patchwork.
- You can iron and starch your fabric prior to cutting. I also starch when pressing bulky seams.
- When pinning, pin away from you so that you don’t move your pieces when pinning.
- Where possible I chain piece all the pieces I can in one step. If you’re unsure of what chain piecing is, click here for a tutorial on how to do it. However, for the purpose of the tutorials I will step you through all the seams individually.
This is a block in two parts. If you want to save time (and who doesn’t want to do that!) you’ll need to make all the half square triangles first and then complete the Churn Dash blocks. Making Half Square Triangles (HST) is a foundational quilting skill – it’s such a great block and an easy way to add interest to your designs.
Tip: I’m a big fan in making something slightly bigger and then trimming to size to help improve my accuracy. With these HST I rounded the cutting measurements up to the nearest whole number to give me the space to trim down as needed.
1. HST: On the wrong side of the background squares use a fabric pen/pencil to draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other. This will be the line you use to work out your seam. Pair a background fabric with your feature fabric, place right sides together. (See step 1 above.)
2. Stitch a scant quarter inch seam on either side of the diagonal line. Depicted as red lines on step 2 above. (This is where having the little bit of extra fabric will come in handy if your seam is not as scant as it could be.)
3. Using a ruler and rotary cutter trim the square on the diagonal line to make two. (See step 3 above.)
4. Press the squares open. Trim to the same measurement as the centre square. (See step 4 above.)
Please note: This step is made super easy with the use of a 6.5″ Half Square Triangle Bloc-Loc Ruler and a Sue Daley 10″ Rotating Cutting Mat. I press to one side so I can use my Bloc-Loc but with joining all the finished churn dash together my machine struggled a bit with the bulk (it’s time for it’s regular 6 month service) and I think if I had to do them again I’d press seams open using my Clover Mini Iron.
1. Churn Dash: Chain piece the rectangles together to make the units as shown in diagram 1 below. (If you need to see more details photos of these steps check out my tutorial for the Fussy Cutters Churn Dash by clicking here.)
Tip: Laying the blocks out in the order in which you’ll be joining them will help keep the placement straight.
2. Join the pieces to form three rows as per diagram 2. I alternated the direction of my seams so I could nest the rows together.
3. Join the three rows together to complete your churn dash block.
You’ll need to join 9 blocks together to make one section of the quilt and 12 blocks together to make another. For the purpose of the sew-along and to help everyone manage their workload to be eligible for the prizes you will just need to post a photo of one churn dash block (not the 9 and 12 blocks) as per instructions below.
Alternate Block Information
Don’t forget that you can head on over to Snips Snippets and see what Nicole has made this week using her beloved stash of Anna Maria Horner fabrics. Click here to visit Nicole.
Prize Winning Details
Of course the ultimate prize is making this amazing quilt, but if you’d like to also throw your hat in the ring to win some amazing prizes from our amazing sponsors then here’s the information you need to know. You can find out more about our sponsors and the prizes on offer by clicking here.
How to Win
We’ve made it as simple as possible for you to win. To be eligible for all prizes on offer all you have to do is:
- Post a photo of at least ONE of this week’s blocks to your Instagram account between 26 April and Midnight 2 May 2017 in your timezone.
- Tag your photo with the hashtags #LongTimeGoneSAL #AlisonGlass #AndoverFabrics #SewWithTheBest #AnnaMariaHorner #FreeSpiritFabrics #JenKingwell #LongTimeGoneQuilt #AmitieTextiles #MartiMichell #LovePatchworkQuilting
- Be following these accounts on Instagram:
Please note: You do not need to tag these accounts in your images, if you use the hashtag #LongTimeGoneSAL we’ll be able to find you!
You will need to also do the following:
- Post a photo of each of the blocks in their relevant weeks in your timezone. You can find the block timetable by clicking here.
- Complete the quilt top and post it to Instagram within 12 July and Midnight 21 July 2017 in your timezone.
- All photos will need to have all the relevant hashtags on them.
- You will need to be following all the relevant Instagram accounts at the time of drawing.
This is the requirements to be eligible for all prizes, if you wish to select which prizes to be eligible for see the individual prize requirements by clicking here.
Need help keeping all of that clear in your head, then get your hands on the Long Time Gone SAL Tracker by clicking here to download.
You can find out all the information about prizes on offer from our amazing sponsors by clicking here.
For more information you can find commonly asked questions and their answers by clicking here.
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