My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Design Wall Saturday

A quick glance at my design wall this morning gave me the inspiration for this post.
It's got a few bits and pieces on it —
First and foremost we see the Churn dash blocks.
I said I was going to sew up the 12" sized blocks next and I made a good start, with five of them made.
I got a little restless with those, wanting to see how the whole quilt was panning out (in other words, hoping that I was heading in the right direction!).
So I made one of the 18" blocks which incorporates one of the 6" blocks previously made) —
And then assembled them. This is the top left hand corner of the quilt. 
The photo below sort of shows the layout of the quilt; there are different sized blocks scattered all over the place!
I haven't really got a colour scheme going, just using fabrics as I find them. I'm using cream/yellow toned neutrals as my background fabrics...and as I run out of one, I have a hunt through my stash, or the shop, for another suitable one. Typical Raewyn-style which works for me.

I discovered, once I sewed these blocks together that this design also has some 8" blocks which form part of some huge 24" blocks...they have peculiar cutting sizes (16ths are mentioned) but not too many are needed so I am hoping they aren't too problematic to make (and get the size right) or I will be doing some improvising!!
The pattern I am using is Barn Dance by Denise Russart.
So the churn dashes have sort-of become my main project, rather than my  leader-ender project which is what they started as.

My leader-ender project is now sewing copious amounts of hourglass blocks. These will be used in the setting of the 36-patch blocks I made a couple of months ago when I was having a sort out of my scrap 'bins'.
I had made the 36-patch blocks and hadn't yet decided on which fabric to set them with. Now that the decision has been made, I will chip away at these blocks. They are all the same fabric and all the same block - not my ideal sewing but they go together quite quickly!
The hourglasses are joined, and frame the 36-patch blocks. The cornerstones will be a light coloured square.
I love to nest seams and it annoys me, when putting blocks together, when I cant! 
To explain (if it will make sense) - on the block below I have an 'uppy' seam and a 'downy' seam where the two blocks join at the top of the blue and two 'downies' where the blocks join at the bottom of the blue. Two downies (or uppies) together means the points don't always meet - even with careful pinning!
I've discovered if I make these blocks as pairs, twirling the centre of one, and not the other, that I can nest the seams nicely, and they sit a lot better - and those points match up a lot easier too.
So below I now have an 'uppie' and a 'downie' nesting nicely, both top and bottom of the blue join.

EDIT no, I don't need to clip any seams to achieve this; it's simply a matter of pressing the seam two different ways .... and it happens like magic! I do try to always press to the dark, but you don't have much choice when making the hourglass blocks (the way I make them!)
Which makes for less bulk in the seam and better points!
Sigh - the things that occupy my mind at times!! But they do say it's the little things that make a difference :-)
And this pattern is Smidgeon by Jessica Dayon.

There are two stitcheries up there on my design wall. The bigger one ("To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow") I have shared before but the small one is one I just completed recently. With idle hands one evening, I searched in the drawers next to my night time stitching chair and found it waiting for some attention. I'm not sure where it came from and what my idea with it was, but it's very cute. Being  just 2" x 3" it didn't take too long to stitch.
Well this missive is getting a little long so I will finish it here. My PC is also doing one of its anti-virus scans and everything is a bit slower than usual.
After very little sewing time this week, I hope to get a bit done now!
'til next time,
happy stitches,


  1. I like the little churn dash inside the big ones - that will be a nice quilt

  2. the churn dash blocks are looking great.......I like the hour glass blocks when spinning the + do you just nick the seam to split it?

  3. I do love your churn dash project, such fun. The hourglass blocks frame your squares beautifully. I call that pressing trick windmilling, usually works a treat and makes for a nice smooth finish. xx

  4. Those Churn Dashes are looking great. The blue hourglass blocks around the scrappy center frames it beautifully. I was imagining HSTs for the cornerstones.

  5. I love churn dash, and you're the second post I've seen today where someone is working on them. I am making some 9" ones as leader-enders in scrappy browns, so we are all three having fun! Your hour glass project looks like a beauty in the making, too, and I really like your prim stitchery. Great job!

  6. You are making good progress with your churn dashes, they will be an interesting quilt once you are done.

  7. Your Churn Dash quilt will look fabulous when it complete...
    It was doing my head in reading about you setting the seams... Hahahaha!

  8. Love your busy design wall Raewyn! And, those churn dashes are looking so good. I checked out the link... it's going to be a huge quilt.

  9. Think your Churn Dash will be brilliant when it's done - 32 was plenty for me!

  10. Love your take on the churn dash SAL with the different sized blocks.

  11. Loving your churn dash blocks Raewyn, so many different sizes. Great stitchery and will be interested to see how your leader and ender project comes out.

  12. Your design wall is looking busy. The churn dash quilt is going to be so fun, compared to the straight forward ones. I do love your scrappy quilt. I love how it uses such a variety of tiny scraps and then pulls it all together. I’m with you about nesting seams. I like your solution.

  13. Love what you are doing with the churn dash blocks and the different sizes.

  14. Perfectly matched seams are magical for me. Just routine for you :-) Beautiful blocks!

  15. Raewyn - the best projects are those done on a whim and without a defined purpose (at first). A very adorable embroidery. Have a terrific weekend!

  16. You've been so busy Raewyn, your churn dash blocks are just so lovely, they're going to make an amazing quilt.


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