Wahoooooo I finished my 1850s Churn Dash doll quilt. The churn dash, named after a butter churn thingy called a dash, is a nine-patch quilt. That means you sew 9 squares, then sew them together. Nine-patches come in all kinds of patterns. This one is also called a Monkey Wrench. No wonder it
only took me at least 5 years to finish! Remember this sad-looking bunch of bias tape? Those weren’t to tie the quilt to the wall or on the seat of a chair.When I went to see Carmen, she calmly told me that, yes, I WOULD have to rip it off and redo it. The size of the stitches were about 1/32 of an inch long, if that. So you can see why it sat in my sewing drawer for five + years.
As we chatted, she taught me about bias tape. “You always cut strips 21/2 inches wide, sometimes cut on the bias, sometimes not. Always sew the strips together on the bias if you want to impress judges.” I hadn’t even thought about judges.
I’ve got to have one of those magnetic pin holders. Pins jump right in, and don’t end up on the floor where you poke them through your toes. I think sewing bias tape is like racing. You can go really fast down the straight lane, but when you come to the corners, you get yourself into trouble if you go too fast. If you go past the 1/4 inch mark. You have worse than puckers! I did that, and had to rip some more after I got home.
Now we were ready for the back side. (Of her quilt – not mine.) Cover the stitches on the back side with the folded edge of the bias tape, and pin or clip. Easy as pie – until you get to the corner. Again, you have to play with it a bit to get it to miter, but no matter.
So my Monkey Wrench/Churn Dash top had bias tape sewn all the way around it so was time to do the back side. Guess what? All hand done using a blind stitch. Sewing so much when I was younger is probably why I am so blind – even after eye surgery, but I can do a blind stitch blind folded, just about – but it takes me FOREVER. I used pins, and did poke myself a few times. So two days later it is done. When you finish mitering, the binding has a diagonal line up the corner. (and a few puckers)
Judges might like my miters, and my blind stitches, but not my puckers. However, my Americana delight had other problems that I didn’t see until I finished hand quilting it. That was another reason it sat in the drawer with its face hidden from me for so long. I decided it would be my humble quilt.
You know what humble squares are, don’t you? I didn’t until Carmen told me the Mennonite tradition. Each quilt should have a square with a mistake to keep the quilter humble. That would not be a problem from me. I’m very ‘umble.
Here is the really ironic part of this whole story I think funny. The quilt came out of Better Homes and Gardens
WEEKEND QUILTS book!!! Design is by Jo Morton (She has a website, and has sold lots of quilting books).
So what do you think of it?