How I churn out churn dash blocks. . .

Hmm, no matter how funny things sound in my head. . .anyway, let me take you back a couple weeks. I was dreading the next border of my Midnight at the Oasis quilt. . .the tiny churn dash blocks – 52 of them!

Oh my goodness, that looks like sooooo much work – you can tell I’m a newbie, still surprised that this new found hobby of mine actually takes time. I digress. . .I was dragging my feet something terrible.

All those tiny corner pieces how I’ll I ever get them square? Little side strips, how will I ever keep them straight? Then I remembered a little gem I learnt from the free block of the month Craftsy class with Laura Nownes.  Laura was always trimming her blocks.  Sew, press, line up and trim.  Trim.

I knew I would be using this fabulous idea for making the corner blocks aka half square triangles, and thanks to Laura, I knew I would make ’em a little bigger and trim them down to size – sweet.

Now for the strips, I knew I wasn’t going to make them one at a time.  I would piece two long strips of fabric together and then cut them in the length I required.  During this planning one of the girls on Instagram was having a problem where the strips she was sewing together for her jellyroll quilt were smiling. Smiling!  Isn’t that a great term? Seems that is the quilty term.  Well I knew how to solve that one – press those seams open!  Check!

Now all of this pressing and planning and short cut taking seems wasted if that little center square ends up wonky. Here’s where you plan to nest – I’ve got pictures for below so all my future churn dash blocks will be speedy and neat:

1.  the fabric required to make the ying of the completed block to the right *I’ve taken into account the direction of the fabric.

2.   Half square triangles, I like the fabric direction to flow, so place your fabric right sides together and just alter the seam line in the center.  *The first 40 blocks I was pressing the seams open for fear of bulk – but these guys are so small – finish at 3.5″ – I finally gave up and started pressing them to one side.

3. Center third, after piecing press seams out

4. top third and bottom third, after piecing press seams in

5. Nest seams and sew. . .

6. Sit back and admire what a pretty little block:

If I keep at it, MATO might very well be my first ever completed quilt – not to be confused with first quilt started, I have a bin full of WIPs – but I can’t contain myself for the excitement at the possibility that this quilt will be on my wall 🙂

Now this little write up is for my benefit and what better storage place for my reference.  So I thank you everyone for indulging me, and as always I will gladly and gratefully accept any tips and comments.  Till we meet again.

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Categories: how I do it, Midnight at the Oasis, WIPs

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8 Comments on “How I churn out churn dash blocks. . .”

  1. December 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    They. Look. Awesome. I do the same. A wee bit bigger, then cut them down ; )

    • December 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      Thx Carla, good to know I’m on the right track 🙂

  2. December 18, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    Making them bigger and trimming them down sounds like the way to go! They are lovely little blocks!

    • December 18, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      Thank you! They were fun to make 🙂

      Warm regards, Caroline


  3. January 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    pressing and trimming every “round” is the way to go with the last border too. So many seams with the tiny MATO patches….if every patch is sewn or cut just a hair off, you’re heading for disaster (border won’t fit at all) Ask me how I know…LOL

    • January 2, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

      Noted! Thank you! I can’t wait to start cutting my squares this weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing how you quilt yours 🙂

  4. January 3, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    you could cut strips instead of squares. Sew a strip colour/background/colour and one background/colour/background. Press carefully and cut into 1.5″ parts . Sew the 1.5 parts together in a strip long enough for the borderlenght. Much quicker!!!

    • January 3, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

      I was thinking of that, and considering there are 184 rows in total it could still be kind of scrappy. . .but I already started cutting the squares 🙂 glut for punishment, eh? 😉

Looking forward to reading what's on your mind. . .

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