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Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

Today I’m going to share a little tutorial for a really big Churn Dash block – I like to call it the Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial. :) This is really for my peeps in the Bee Europa quilting bee – this is the block I’ve assigned them for my turn at the wheel – but I figured I might as well share it for anyone else thinking that Churn Dashes would be even better if they were, like, quite large.

This block is a totally traditional Churn Dash, nothing tricksy going on, but finishes at 18.5″ (18″ when assembled into a quilt). I will end up with 16 blocks in total, which will be arranged in a four-by-four grid to end up with a 72″ x 72″ finished quilt.

If you’d like to use this tutorial to make a full quilt, you will essentially need two contrasting FQs per block. You’ll have lots of scraps, but a FQ isn’t quite large enough to get multiple blocks out of. You may want to do some math with half-metre cuts, but I liked the idea of having no repeating fabrics combined with a fairly strict color scheme, so I stuck with FQs.

Notes: Everything in this tutorial is sewn with 1/4″ seam. I pay special attention below to how to handle directional prints, because almost all of the packages sent out to my bee pals have directional prints in them. Just skim over those bits if they don’t apply to your fabrics!

What You’ll Need

Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

Each block will have a background fabric and a, erm, Dash fabric. (Reminder to bee peeps: the background fabric is the larger piece in your package!) Cut the following pieces:

Background Fabric:

– two 7″ squares
– one 6.5″ square
– four 6.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles (NOTE: if your fabric is directional, cut two vertically and two horizontally!)

Dash Fabric:

– two 7″ squares
– four 6.5″ x 3.5″ rectangles (NOTE: if your fabric is directional, cut two vertically and two horizontally!)

You’ll also need a ruler, a fabric marking pen, and keep your rotary cutter (or fabric scissors) handy.

Making The Pieces

First, we’ll sew our rectangles together in pairs. Make pairs like this, keeping the direction of the print(s) in mind:

Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

The background fabric on the outside, the dash fabric on the inside.

Sew these pairs together, press seams towards the dark side (ha!) and set aside.

Next, we’ll make half square triangles with the 7″ squares. Take one pair of 7″ squares – the lighter is easiest, unless one print is directional, then choose that one. On the wrong side of each square, mark a diagonal line from one corner to the other. On directional prints, mark them this way:

Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

And you will end up with the fabric going the right direction on all resulting triangles!

Pair each marked square with an unmarked square (in the other fabric), place right sides together, and sew 1/4″ away from the line, on both sides of the line:

Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

(If you have a 1/4″ foot, that’s handy for this step. I use the left side of my foot on this machine, which is exactly 1/4″ away from the needle. You can also mark lines 1/4″ away from the center line if that’s easier.)

You’ll end up with two pairs, both with a line drawn down the center and two sewn lines on either side of it. Cut down the drawn line with a rotary cutter or sharp fabric scissors, and you’ll end up with four new squares, each made of one light and one dark triangle. IT’S MAGICS!

Press seams towards the darker side.

Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

Now, you might notice that your new squares a little wonky. Don’t worry, that’s totally part of the magic. We made those squares a teensy bit bigger than they had to be, so that we can trim them nice and perfect before the next step.

Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

Line up the diagonal on your ruler, or your cutting mat, with the diagonal seam, and trim each of these blocks to 6.5″. You’ll only end up shaving a wee bit from each side, but you’ll end up with a nice, neat square.

Assembling The Block

Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

Now, lay out all of your pieces as seen above – again, minding the direction of the prints. Nobody likes an upside-down bunny, am I right?!

Piece the three top blocks together, then the three middle, then the three bottom. Press the middle row seams outward, and the others inward. Then sew the three rows together and press those seams towards the center.

Huge Honking Churn Dash Tutorial

Hurrah! A great big honking Churn Dash! Isn’t it lovely?! This is the perfect size to turn into a throw pillow or a mini-quilt, as is, or you can make 15 more and have a great big honking quilt.

OR, you can get your bee-mates to do it for you! :) Thanks, peeps! I’m so excited about this quilt, I can hardly contain myself!

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: How to Make Orange Peels

Orange Peel Quilt-Along!

Ok, are we ready for the next step? Here’s all of my 6″ squares, 144 of ’em:

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

But don’t worry if you haven’t cut all of your squares yet – in fact, you’ll only need one to follow this week’s tutorials, and then you can go ahead and cut one at a time if you like, it’s totally up to you.

So let’s learn how to make peels!

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

First you’ll need a peel template – here’s one I prepared earlier:

Download Peel Template Here

You can print the template, cut it out, then trace it on to card or a thin cardboard (like a cereal box, for example) – or you can simply print directly onto card (which is what I did). The point is to have a sturdy template, because you’ll be tracing it quite a few times.

(Note: when you print, make sure to print to actual size or choose ‘no scaling’ – and the template includes a 1″ block for testing, so double-check that before you continue.)

Using your sturdy template, you will trace the peel shape onto your freezer paper and cut out the applique shapes:

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

Technically, you’ll need one freezer paper peel per finished peel (so either 36, or 144, or your custom number), but in theory, you *should* be able to reuse them at least once, so I suggest cutting no more than half of what you need to start with. I cut about 60 or so, for now.

In case you’ve never used freezer paper before, here’s how you apply it to your fabric. Check out one of your applique shapes – you’ll see one side is shiny and slick and the other side is papery:

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

The shiny side is what will stick to your fabric. So press one of your peel fabrics and place a freezer paper shape, shiny side down, onto your fabric with 1/4″ seam allowance all around it. With your iron set to cotton (no steam), simply press down on the shape and it will stick to your fabric. It’s magic!

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

How long you need to press for full stuck-ness will of course depend on your iron, but I usually hold for a few seconds to get an initial stick, then go over everything a few times once I have a few shapes stuck. As you stick multiple shapes next to each other, make sure to leave at least 1/2″ between them!

(Note: for those of you making the wall quilt, you should have plenty of peel fabric to be casual with your placement. If you’re making the lap quilt, you’ll need to get 12 peels from each FQ, so you might want to lay them all out first to make sure they all fit properly before you press. Also, there’s no reason to lay them out diagonal like I have, just lay them out however you like!)

Now with sharp fabric scissors, cut out each peel with at least 1/4″ seam:

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

I tend to cut with a slightly bigger seam allowance, just because it’s a little easier to manage and it does no harm to have a bit more fabric to hold later – but it’s not necessary.

Now we’ll baste the seams under. If you’ve ever done any English Paper Piecing, this will be very familiar. Grab your basting / scrap thread and a fairly sturdy needle –

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

– and starting at one pointy end, fold the seam allowance down over the freezer paper:

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

Knot the thread and pull it through so that the knot is on the right side of your peel. This will will make your basting stitches easier to remove later. Now using big stitches (about 1/4″-ish) and folding as you go, baste through all layers all around the peel.

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

At the pointy ends, just fold the second side over the first and stitch through all layers. As I said: if you’ve ever paper pieced a hexagon, you’ll know exactly what to do.

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

Unlike hexagons, though, you’ll notice that your fabric gathers a little as you stitch. That’s totally fine, we’ll press them flat later.

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

Here’s what your peels should look like, right and wrong side:

Orange Peel Quilt-Along: Peels Tutorial

And that’s it. As always, let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll show you how to applique your peels to your squares on Thursday Friday (the 19th)!

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Mid-week Break

  • This fan-made video for Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself To Dance” is absolutely amazing. It’s blowing my mind! I mean, c’mon, what’s more badass than Soul Train?! And the editing is incredible.
  • I love this paper cuckoo clock from Hello Petie on etsy. I have a real one packed away, but I know it would wake me up constantly (how it didn’t when I was a child, I have no idea!) so this would be perfect for me.
  • These little animal embroidery / sewing kits from Kiriki Press are so wonderful! I especially love the bunny, but I’d love to make one these little critters one day!

Mid-week Break - 29 May 2013

1. These lovelies are becoming curtains for my sewing room. I’m gonna need more hankies., 2. untitled, 3. P5140208, 4. esta tarde…., 5. Untitled, 6. morning stitches, 7. Let´s Crochet, 8. vintage sheets quilt, 9. P1190160, 10. eyes up close, 11. Wedding Ring Vintage Sheet Quilt – back, 12. vintage sheet quilt, 13. Botany Diagram Embroidery Hoop Art, Make-Believe Flower, 14. vintage sheet quilt finished, 15. Bee Vintage swap, 16. Snow Goons!!

Gifts #15 – 23

It’s the last week of 29 Gifts, the final stretch. I have really loved this challenge, I’ll be sad to see it finish. But it’s also been, well, more of a challenge than I expected! Before I started, I kind of thought it’d be good fun thinking up something to give someone Every. Single. Day. And I somehow also thought it’d be easy! But somewhere between Gift #15 and Gift #23, I hit an uninspired pocket and couldn’t come up with anything decent. There’s a few days in here that are a bit pathetic:

Gift #15: I sent a message to a fellow online-seller who’s been going through a tough time and had to close her shop for a while. We’ve never talked before, but I’m a big fan of this person’s product and thought she should know it. If I wasn’t doing this challenge, I’d probably have been too shy, but this was a good push to do it. So I let her know that her customers would be there to support her when she was ready to re-open and send my best wishes in the meantime.

Gift #16: This is where my lame pocket started. I wasn’t feeling very well for a few days, a minor cold or something, and I couldn’t muster up energy for anything. I put another postcard in the mail, this one to my BFF. It wasn’t just a saying-howdy postcard, but one I’d picked out specifically for her at the V&A Museum recently.

Gift #17: Only one of my knitter friends was available for Knit Night, so drinks were on me. I was happy to do it, but I wish I could’ve come up with something better to treat her to.

Gift #18: This is where I started to get my groove back a little. I treated my family to a pay-per-view movie, which I never, ever normally do. Pay for pay-per-view movies, that is, not treat – I always feel like I might as well just wait for DVD, so this was a splurge for everyone.

Gift #19: I made a wool sampler pack for one of my knitter friends who recently learned to spin. I remembered that when I first learned, I wanted to try different fibers and see what they felt like, what the differences were, but I didn’t want to spend money on pretty wool I didn’t know how to spin yet. I gathered up a small handful of various fibers and breeds for her to try.

Gift #20: Winston’s turn! I repaired up one of his squeaky toys, let him totally destroy it, then cleaned up the mess. This is not a photo of actual events, but an accurate portrayal nonetheless. Destroying stuff is probably Winston’s most favorite past-time.

Winston, destroying.

Gift #21: I made a wee donation to Project Gutenberg, which I think is awesome in every way. I also made sure to include a note thanking them for what they do.

Gift #22 (today): Today a family member starts a new job. Last night, I snuck around and cleaned up his home office to make it nice for the first day. I left a little note so he would see it this morning when he started the day!

Seven gifts to go.

Operaton Bedroom More Betterer

Operaton Bedroom More Betterer

Sorry to jump so quickly from one thing to another, but this week is all about redecorating my bedroom, so you’ll be hearing a lot about that for a bit. I snagged myself a beautiful new bed during the winter sales, which was sorely needed since my cheapass bottom-of-the-line IKEA bed was literally falling apart while I slept. I mean seriously, the slats would cave in in the middle of the night so I’d have to get up at 3am to lift my mattress and try to rearrange the slats.

Good. Riddance, crappy bed.

I have space issues and it’s not easy to move lots of stuff around, so taking the crappy bed out to make room for the nice bed was the best possible opportunity to paint my bedroom. I was never crazy about a white-and-cream bedroom anyhow, and it was getting a bit dingy (you can see the outline of where a painting hung in the photo above. Ugh.). I decided on a soft gray on three walls, the last wall and ceiling a nice, clean white.

Operaton Bedroom More Betterer

There’s still one wall left, which will have to wait until the weekend. I (with my brother’s help) just couldn’t quite do it in a day. And since I’m really trying to make my bedroom a really soothing, lovely place to be (to help me sleep better, because that’s a recurring problem for me), I’m going to spend whatever time possible this week making pretty things for my new room. I’ll be making Liberty pillowcases like the ones I made my mother, some throw pillows, a Denyse Schmidt Scottie Dog, and maybe a lampshade if I get to it, though that might be a little ambitious. I’ll be sharing all these redecorating endeavors throughout the week!

I’ve even taken my curtains to the cleaners, but a draped vintage sheet does ok as an emergency curtain-replacement!

Operaton Bedroom More Betterer

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