Monday, April 23, 2012

Dash It All, Light & Bright for June 2012

I am late getting the June & August blocks up; my computer problems continue to be a factor although I have been assured that now the two semesters from Hell are winding down there will be time to deal with everything that has been decaying over the last 9 months, including but not limited to the house computer.

So, as I have left everyone, myself included, stuck with a mad-dash to the June block deadline, I thought Churn Dash was the way to go.  & the twist:  while the completed block should be 9.5" unfinished/9" finished (& a pattern for just such a block can be found here), the churn dash itself can be any size.  You can make a 6" churn dash & then add borders (or border, there is no requirement to center the churn dash within the block) to bring it up to 9.5" unfinished/9" finished.  You can make two or more of the itty-bittiest churn dashes imaginable & if you can fit them in the 9.5" unfinished/9" finished block you are welcome to include more than one in a single block.  Moreover, you can set your churn dash(es) on point rather than plain old conventional whatever-you-call-not-on-point, if that is what you like.  It is as you wish (& whatever works best with the materials on hand).

The only requirements are that the 9 pieces (4 1/2-sqaure triangles & 4 connector pieces & center square) should all be of equal size & that your fabric choices should be light for the background & bright for the dash itself (the center square is background).  Neither of them have to read-as-solid but the contrast between the dash & the background needs to be sharp, so take care when choosing prints & maybe avoid prints that include some of the same colors for both the background & the dash.

Each churn dash, regardless of size, is made of 9 equal parts.  If you are making a churn dash to "fill" the blocks, these pieces will be 3.5" unfinished/3" when assembled.  A slightly smaller churn dash would be made from 2.5" unfinished pieces & an border of the background fabric to bring it to 9.5" unfinished/9" finished.  But as I said before, you are welcome to go even smaller (alas it is not possible to go larger within the 9.5" unfinished/9" finished dimension).

Finally, the unifying thing here is the proportion.  If you exclude the center square (which should be your background fabric), each of the remaining 8 pieces of your churn dash are exactly equal to each other in size & have within each piece exactly equal parts background & dash fabric.

& that's all.  Equal parts of each fabric + 1 extra square of background.  & if you decide to go with an odd size, that much more background fabric.  & you are done.  Please, make one set of six blocks, five to send (we always swap in sets of FIVE) & one to keep.  Blocks are due the last Saturday of an even numbered month, which in the case is Saturday June 30, 2012.

You have the option of sending a 6th block with your five swap blocks; you will get five back & the 6th will go to whichever member of the group asked for them to make a quilt to donate to in her community.  Please let me know by May 15th (or sooner, as it is more-or-less first asked/first given) if you want to be the 6th block person this go round (& you might want to take a look at the guidelines in the Facebook group about the 6th block as there are some restrictions).  We have had 6th block quilts go to organizations across the US & then across the Pacific to Australia & I would love, love, love to expand it to even more places & groups.


  1. I love this block. I made one into a quilt for my Grandpa. Just needs to be quilted by an LQS. I will include myself in this swap Marybeth for sure. How exciting.

  2. I really like this block and I have thought about doing a block swap. I sew and craft and just started blogging and would love for you to join me.

  3. We modified the 'churn dash' by adding a goat to the middle block and put it on the front of our new creamery :)