Welcome to Part 1 of our Quilt Along! Over the course of Labor Day Weekend 2021, we are making table runners comprised of three “Churn Dash” blocks. Of course, you’ll need some yardage of neutral fabric for sashing and first border, for backing, and for binding.
I designed the QAL to use 5″ charm squares, but if you’d rather compose a less scrappy quilt, using fabrics from your stash, I modified the instructions to suit you. Your runner, without a second border, could look similar to the one pictured below.
Click on “Patterns” in the menu; you’ll find links to an introduction with fabric requirements as well as a schedule for the Quilt Along. I have also posted instructions in their entirety so you can sew at your own pace. The QAL plan calls for sorting your fabrics on Thursday, sewing the three “Churn Dashes” on Friday, adding sashing and borders on Saturday and Sunday, and quilting and binding the runner on Monday.
So then, today’s task is sorting the fabrics of your charm pack of 5″ squares, or selecting fabrics from your stash. The “Autumn Day” package contained many light prints and multiples of all the prints. This was helpful when planning my blocks. I chose large scale pumpkin prints for the center of each “Churn Dash,” two identical dark squares for half square triangles (HSTs), two identical light squares for HSTs, two identical dark squares for rectangle units, and two identical light squares for rectangle units. I constructed all three blocks using 5″ squares from the charm pack.
This weekend I’ll be sewing with the “Cottage Bleu” collection. As you study the photo below, you will notice that the charm pack did not contain many lights for background or many multiples of the prints. Read on to see how I surmounted these difficulties.
I sorted the fabrics by color and by scale. From left to right: dark teal, medium aqua green, light/white, citrine, medium blue, navy blue. I first selected three large-scale prints for the centers of my “Churn Dashes.” Then I chose two identical large-scale prints for HSTs for each of my three blocks. I searched in vain for two identical 5″ squares for the rectangle units for each block. Instead, I used two similar prints of the same color. I solved the problem of “not enough light background squares” by cutting squares from a white tone-on-tone from my stash.
For a second example, I sorted “Christmas Village” in a similar manner. Notice that I grouped the squares according to the background colors: white, red, green, and black. Prints are at the top of the photo; tone-on-tones are below. I noticed that there are three Nutcracker prints; they will be perfect as centers for my “Churn Dash” blocks. For the HSTS I’ll use identical tone-on-tones, but I’ll have to use two different prints per block for the rectangle units because there aren’t multiples. I’ll also need to cut off-white squares for background from my stash.
Make a mock-up of your three blocks by folding the squares in half, diagonally to represent HSTs and side to side to represent the rectangle units. Once you are satisfied with the color and print distribution, take a digital photo of each block. This will be an invaluable reference as you cut and sew the blocks in Part 2 of our QAL.
My young friend, Katy, created a video which shows my thought process in selecting the 5″ squares for my “Churn Dash” blocks. Here’s the link for the You Tube video, Dashing Table Runner Quilt, Part 1.
What fabric line are you using for the QAL? What types of prints and tone-on-tones are in your charm pack? Do you also need to add some light background fabric from your stash? Please comment below.