Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Churn Dash with Stripes

As if I didn't have enough projects on my cutting mat, but for some reason I just could not turn down the opportunity to participate in Barbs Churn Dash big swap of 2018!  It's closed now, but you can follow the link for a fantastic tutorial on making a Churn Dash block.

I chose to join the Civil War theme and have chosen this paisley feather striped fabric.  Although the stripe is subtle(look closely), it's striped, and that means I need to pay attention.
And since I had to pay attention, I thought I'd draw your attention to working with stripes and 1/2 square triangles.

The details.  The 1/2 square block needs to finish at 2" so I started with 3" blocks.  Yes, I know there are other methods, but for a swap, I didn't want to be the one who gets her blocks back because I didn't pay close attention to the finished size.  So I CHOSE to trim down for precise measurements.

Using striped fabrics means you have to pay attention to the direction if you want all your blocks to run in the same direction when you are piecing the block.  Notice that the stripe is running in the same direction but the marked line is placed in opposite directions.

Here you can see my stacks of finished 1/2 sq triangles and the orientation of the stripes.

First draw a line corner to corner and use that as your guide.  Stitch a 1/4" from the line on either side.
Cut on the line.
and when you press open each piece, you will have striped running in opposite directions.  This is what you want!
Now it's time to trim down to 2 1/2" squares and any ruler with a 45 degree line will work for this task.  Line up your seam to the 45 ruler line, and make sure you have a tiny bit of overhang on all 4 sides of the 2 1/2" lines. Trim on the right side, flip the block around and trim on the left side. 
Now orient your block so the seam is running from bottom right to top left and again, use the 45 degree line on the ruler to ensure a square block.  Notice you have trimming to do on the right, and under the ruler, you can see the trimming you have on the opposite side.  It's all "just a smidge" but it's the smidge that makes for precise blocks.

Now you will have pairs with the stripes going in opposite directions.

Now you have the four corner blocks for the Churn Dash and all the striped are running in the same direction. 

If you were to sew your 1/2 square triangles all the same, below is what you will have to work with.  Notice the stripes are running up and down on the top left and bottom right, and the other two blocks are striped side to side.  Not a great design decision, especially when this can be avoided with a little pre planning in the piecing stage.

And here are 2 of my 66 blocks that are required for this swap.

This will be my focus until I get my blocks all done. I don't want to be the one asking for an extension on the shipping deadline. More sewing time and less computer time!
I hope this helps you in your quilting journey, next month or next year.

Keep stitching,


Lori said...

Love that fabric! I think I have that as a backing on one of my quilts.
I sort of burned myself out on block swaps. So fun to see Barb's so successful!

Janet O. said...

Though I am not doing Barb's swap, this is good information, since I love churn dash blocks!

Mimi said...

Seeing your beautiful blocks makes me wish I had joined this swap.

taylorsoutback said...

Nicely done tutorial and your choice of a subtle striped fabric is perfect...I have that in the pinkish colorway and wish it was still available in the other options...such a nice reproduction print.Have fun with your swap!

Kyle said...

It's those little details that make the difference.

Louise said...

That’s a great little lesson there Sharon, took me a bit over 40 years to wrap my brain around that little trick!

Barb said...

your blocks look great and thanks for being so careful with the HST and making them the right size!