Thursday, 11 December 2014

December Quilting Bee: Churn Dash

This month is the turn of the gorgeous Churn Dash block.  Definitely one of my favourites!  It's so quick and easy to put together once you have done it once, that you can quickly make an entire quilt top of CDs... ;)

The Churn Dash block is most effective in just two fabrics, one for the feature and another for the "background".  This doesn't mean you have to use one light and one dark fabric, just make them different enough so that they compliment well.

Right, here are your cutting instructions....

Fabric A:
Four x 2.5" by 4.5" rectangles
Two 5" squares

Fabric B:
Four x 2.5" by 4.5" rectangles
Two 5" squares
One 4.5" square (this is the centre block)

Nice and easy to cut!  This month, we are making the two-triangles-made-into-squares blocks differently, using a method called Half Square Triangles.  It's much quicker and when doing it this way, you make it more accurate, as you have to cut down your squares to size.


If you prefer written instructions, here goes!

1.  Cut out all of your fabric as above and lay out on large surface, by firstly placing the 4.5" centre black down.  Then surround this with your Fabric A rectangles and finally your Baric B rectangles above those.  You will end up with a cross shape.

2.  To make the Half Square Triangles, it's best to watch the video, but here is a step by step....

Place one square of each of Fabric A and Fabric B right sides together.  Pin together.
Draw a line from one corner, diagonally, to the opposite corner. 
If you have a quarter inch foot on your machine, all you need to do is use this line to sew a quarter inch EACH side.  If you don't have a foot, then draw another two lines, each a quarter inch from the first line.  Then use these two outer lines to sew along.
Cut along the first line drawn (corner to corner)
Open out your pieces.  You will now have two squares made up of your two triangles of fabric A & B.
Press your seams towards the darkest fabric.
Trim down your squares to 4.5", taking care to place the 45 degree angle line on your ruler along the seam line, to ensure that your square is cut straight (please watch the video if this doesn't make any sense!)

3.  Lay out all of your HSTs in each corner.

4.  Sew each rectangle together, along the longest side.  Press your seams to one side, or open.

5.  Sew together the top row (HST, rectangles, HST), then middle, then bottom.

6.  Press your seams to the LEFT in your top and bottom rows, and to the RIGHT in the middle row.

7.  Sew together the top and middle row, taking care to nest your seams.

8.  Sew on the bottom row, again, nesting your seams.

9.  Press your seams open or to one side!

If you want to have a little experiment with HST (you can make so many lovely designs with just HSTs!)  then firstly decide on the size of FINISHED square that you would like to use.
Take you two chosen fabrics and cut them 1" LARGER than your finished square size (i.e. if you want 5" finished squares, but your fabric to 6")
Make up your HSTs as above, trimming down to your finished size.

Make up 4 HSTs (using just 4 pieces of fabric) and see how many different layouts you can do.  Then add in another 4, play, and so on.  Honestly, they're addictive!!!