January 2014 Block Lottery - Modified Churn Dash

Welcome to the January 2014 version of our monthly block lottery.

If you are new to the group, or our blog, you can read the general information here and see past lottery blocks and the winners.

Digital mock-up of Modified Churn Dash

To start off the new year, for the January 11th meeting we are making a 12.5" (unfinished) modified Churn Dash block.  Also known as the Monkey Wrench and Hole in the Barn Door, it originated in America some time between 1800 and 1849 (go here for more history). The block is a variation of a basic Nine-Patch block that uses a combination of HST (half square triangles) and rectangles.

This is modified so that the HST corner points do not end at the edge of the block (see the red arrows). This makes for a more forgiving block and creates a floating effect. No way to mess up those outside points - isn't that great!!

This block is a very traditional quilt block, but... 
Let's play with the Modern-Traditional style by using 'Pure Saturated Color' for the Churn Dash and 'Low Volume' fabrics for the background in this block.  

You ask what are 'Pure Saturated Color' and 'Low Volume' fabrics? Well...

Pure saturated colors can be intense, vivid jewel tones and rich colors that stand out. They are not always bright fabrics, but they are definitely not pastels or washed out colors. Look for fabrics that pop or draw your eye to them and have very little or no white. Please no solids.

Low volume fabrics usually are have white or very pale neutral background, and very little contrast between the colors in the prints. They can be graphic prints, but read as a neutral when next to a pure saturated color fabric. Please no solids.

Pure saturated color fabrics seem to shout, whereas low volume fabrics whisper!

The rules are simple:
  • The Lottery is open to all ECMQG members in good standing.
  • Please use only quilt shop quality fabric.
  • The aesthetic is ALWAYS MODERN
  • Take your time and effort to construct your block well, and use 1/4" seam allowances (unless the tutorial states otherwise). 
  • Blocks should be the correct size, within about a quarter of an inch.
  • Each block + $1 is one entry in the drawing.You may submit as many entries as you would like.
  • Please label your block with you name, either within the seam allowance on the back or an address label stuck to the back.
  • Past winners can still contribute, but please understand until we see a finished quilt from your win, allow someone else the thrill of winning.
  • If you have any questions please contact Kira or leave a comment below.

With that business out of the way let's have some fun!

This tutorial makes one 12.5" block. 

For a 12.5" (unfinished)  block you will need:
  • Saturated Color Fabric
    • Four - 4" by 4" squares
    • Two - 2.5" by 10" strips
  • Low Volume Fabric
    • Five - 4.5" by 4.5" squares
    • Two - 2.5" by 10" strips
*Hint - you can make two blocks from two fat quarters if you are careful when cutting the low volume fabric pieces.

Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the four 4" by 4" squares.

Arrange the 4" squares on top of the 4.5" squares with right sides together, make sure the line runs diagonally and two sides on one side of your drawn line are aligned as in the picture above (I know it looks funny right now but this is how we make the block float).

Example modified HST units
A digital image to better explain how you line these up. There should be 1/2" over hang to one side of the drawn line. You are going to sew on the drawn line.

Place the 2.5" by 10" strips right sides together. 

Sew on the drawn line on the squares and sew the edge of the strips using a scant 1/4" seam allowance.

When trimming the HST blocks make sure you trim the lined up corner off as in the picture above, 1/4" away from your stitching line. A good thing to remember is that the low volume fabric peeking out will be under your ruler when cutting.  Go ahead - you can ask me how I learned  this trick  :) 

Then Press all four HST seam allowance towards the dark fabric. Check and make sure they are 4.5" by 4.5" square, trim if needed.

Press the strip seam allowance towards the dark fabric.

Trim the strips into 4.5" by 4.5" squares (as above). 

Lay out your pieces, and sew the blocks together to form rows. Sew the top left HST to the block below it, sew the top center block to the center square and sew the top right HST to the one below it. 

For the outside rows press towards the HST, for the center row press towards the center square. This way you have alternating seam allowances.

Continue on by sewing the bottom blocks to the rows until you have rows as in the picture below.

Assemble the block by sewing your rows together. When sewing you may want to pin at the intersections to keep everything lined up. After stitching press seam allowance towards the center. 

Time to step back and admire your pretty block!

Looking forward to seeing all the beautiful blocks in January!!

Good luck,


ECMQG Block Lottery Captain 

Kim's quilt:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Happy New Year! January Sew Day