Time to preview another of my new patterns for this fall. This one is called Country Dance!
One of my favorite block is the Churn Dash. Using that blocks with a beautiful assortment of Civil War reproduction color prints helps make this quilt pattern unique and vibrant! I used an on point setting and alternated between Churn Dash blocks and a checkerboard block. For some pointers on making a quilt with an on point setting, see my blog post: On Point Settings …. Easier Than You Think and Only a Little Math!
A Bit of History
As you know if you follow this blog, I like to use traditional blocks with some history behind them in my quilts. So here’s a bit of history on the Churn Dash block.
The Churn Dash block is considered to be in the equal 9-patch family of blocks. Made up of a center square, 4 half-square triangle squares and 4 units made up of two rectangles stitched together, you can see the equal nine sections of the block. It’s a very old pattern that dates back to the early 19th century. Since the block was thought to resemble a butter churn with the middle square representing the “dash” (the stick that churns the butter), the name “Churn Dash” was readily adopted.
The Churn Dash block also has many other names. Like many traditional blocks from the 19th century, the pattern was shared among women on isolated homesteads but not always shared with a name. In that case, other names were given to the block. Women often looked to utilitarian items in their home when naming a block. Here’s a few of those names: Double Monkey Wrench, Shoo Fly, Monkey Wrench, Hole-In-The-Barn-Door and Lincoln’s Platform.
Color My Quilt!
Another thing that makes my quilt eye-catching is that the Churn Dash blocks are “scrappy”. I love using a wide variety of color prints to keep it interesting. I used 25 assorted color prints so each of my Churn Dash blocks were a different fabric. Picking those colors can sometimes present a challenge. I recommend laying the fabrics out on your cutting table and see how they blend together (that’s what I do!). Stand back and look…. you can remove and replace fabrics until you get the look you like.
Below is an example of how I audition fabrics that I am considering for a project.
By laying them out like this, you can see if the prints look good together and if there is enough variation in shade to give you a good contrast with whatever background fabric you are using. It’s better to do this now, rather than realize you made a mistake after everything is cut out and you’ve made some blocks.
So I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a peek at one of my newest patterns and this little journey through history.