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Posted by on Aug 12, 2013 in Featured, Finishes | 22 comments

Finish: The Churn Dash Dash

Finish: The Churn Dash Dash

The South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild came together to make this quilt for Julia, one of our officers, who was moving to LA to learn textile design at FIDM. Yah, I’m a little jealous!


We wanted to honor all the hard work she’s put into the guild, and send her off with a quilt (that she won’t need hardly ever while in LA, but whatever. Everyone needs a quilt!)

Julia loves Heather Ross fabrics, so we knew from the get go we needed to incorporate them. Her color palette tends towards the Mendocino line, but we just honestly didn’t have enough to make a quilt. Briar Rose had just come out, and we were leaning towards that but couldn’t figure out a design for the quilt at all. A couple weeks went by with some back and forth on design ideas when the following fateful conversation happened at an officer’s meeting.

Julia: “My Briar Rose collector’s pack arrived today!”

Me: “Oh awesome! Are you going to make a quilt with it?”

Julia: “I was thinking about making one of those churn dash quilts like the one that Film in the Fridge made, but there’s not enough time before I move.”

Me: “Oh, that’s too bad!”

Well thanks Julia for ending a weeks-long design debate by custom ordering your goodbye quilt! (No, she had no idea what we were up to!)

The officers were worried there wouldn’t be enough time to pull off such an involved quilt (we had a little less than a month), so we got plannin’ and mathin’ (omg the math…) We split up the tasks of making the basic units: one person cut the center squares, one person did the HSTs and one person did the bar pieces.


Then we met up with the guild for a special secret sew day to put together all the blocks. It was a lot of fun, and the quilt top flew together! It was an incredible thing to see!


We finalized the layout at the sew day, and sent the blocks home so the top could be put together.



A back was made, and the quilt was basted, quilted and bound by various members of the guild.

Photo by Julia

It was finished and the label put on just a few hours before the meeting was held, but it got finished in time!

Photo by Karen (capitolaquilter)

Julia was super thrilled, and it was such a great feeling to be a part of something that so many people put such a great effort into.

Design notes:
We chose the green for the center because it was the only real cool color in the prints we used of Briar Rose. We stayed away from the prints with too much white in them, as it would have made the block shape less clear. We put the warm colors around the outside to contrast with the green/cool tone inside.

For the background we decided white was too harsh, and the off whites didn’t work well with Briar Rose (in our minds), so we went with a soft yellow (Kona Maize) which gave the quilt a bit of a vintage feel. It went well with the warm tones and soft colors without overpowering any of prints.


This is normally where I would list the things I wish had been done differently, but other than maybe a slightly higher prints to solid ratio on the outside ring, I have nothing. I’m really pleased with how this turned out!


Dimensions: ~60″ x 70″
Fabrics: Briar Rose by Heather Ross, Kona medley (Maize, coral, bubblegum, violet, school bus, and pear, plus a darker green that didn’t get noted)
Quilting: Done on a home machine. :O (Not by me!)
Bar set for next goodbye present: Super high!


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  1. Such a nice gift! I really love the green on the inside. It looks great :)

    • Thank you! :D Everyone did such a wonderful job with it! And I know Julia was totally thrilled with it! (Even though it’s a billion degrees in LA right now so she can’t use it!)

  2. This is either the first or second best quilt I’ve seen made of Briar Rose so far. (I can’t decide whether this one beats the Noodlehead one for me…) Amazing! Amazing! I know your Julia will treasure it. Filing away Kona Maize as a must-buy solid.

    • That’s so sweet, thank you!! The noodlehead one is gorgeous, and did you see she posted matching pillows last night?? So adorable.
      I was really impressed with the Kona Maize! I’ve never been a yellow person, but this particular one just really works well with that line. :)

  3. This is just adorable! I love it so much!
    Great job
    xo jan

    • Thank you, Jan! :D The group did such a wonderful job with it! It felt really good to work with a group of people to create this labor of love. It makes me wish I had more opportunities for such things. :)

  4. Such a lovely quilt. It’s so interesting to read about how you made it and the fabrics used. Thanks.

    • Thank you, Ann! I enjoy the design process of quilting almost as much as the creation process, so it’s really fun for me to talk about. :) I’m just glad there are people out there who like reading about it!

  5. awww, her sweet face in that photo! Love!!!!!

    • Heheheheh the reveal was SO FUN. She had zero clue it was coming at all. :) And I’m pretty sure she was pleased and she wasn’t just fakin’ it! ;)

  6. This is perfection. Simple, sweet, and perfectly balanced ;)

    • Awww, thank you!! Everyone kicked some butt making this quilt! :) I’m so happy you think it looks well balanced, though! This is pretty much almost exactly what I pictured in my head when I thought about Briar Rose as a churn dash inspired by the film in the fridge version. :)

  7. It’s so sweet I’m sure she will cherish it. I would!

    • She posted a picture of her new room in LA, and the quilt was on her bed! :D So awesome!

  8. What an awesome gift! It turned out beautifully. There’s certainly not a thing to do differently.

    • Thank you so much! :D It was such a fun project to be a part of. :) She just posted a picture on facebook of her new room in LA, and you could see the quilt on her bed, so cool! :)

  9. Beautiful quilt! I think she was pretty shocked, and very happy with it. She almost wouldn’t let me hold it during the swap exchange! lol

    You all did a fabulous job!

    • lol it’s good to hear what was going on back there! I was busy trying to pull the quilt out and totally missed her initial reaction! :) And I understand her unwillingness, I didn’t want to give you my tote back, either!! :D

  10. That is so stunning! I think the ratio is perfect and you are right, the bar is pretty high now:) Fabulous job, I really love the churn dash block.

    • Thanks so much! :D I’ve actually never been drawn to that block (it’s so humble and doesn’t stand out) but I love the secondary pattern it creates and how well it works in a group. :)

  11. searching for quilt pattern for Broken Herringbone,
    where to purchase.

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