Friday, November 15, 2019

Vintage Churn Dash Blocks

Many of you know
the simple pleasure I get from
taking a vintage quilt top or blocks,
dissembling it,
and then hand stitching it back together again.

Some how,
 some where, I acquired a set of

22 vintage pink and white striped churn dash blocks.
They have pleasantly sat in my sewing room 
for years,
patiently, waiting for my attention.


My first thoughts were that the blocks
were in perfect shape.👍
Some of the fabrics are brittle,
but no holes or worn areas.

I would set the blocks together with
a simple sashing. 👍
My original thought had been with
a sweet double pink repro.

I would be able to sew them together quickly
because they were close enough in size. 👎

They looked close, but after careful measuring,
not close enough or straight enough.

I wasn't going to have to take these blocks apart. 👎

Guess what?
I began taking the blocks apart.


A churn dash is really a simple nine patch block.
So I left the pieced segments together
and redrew the sewing line 
on the 9 individual segments.

You can see the original stitching lines
 and now
my new stitching lines.

Just enough to make it all off.
It would be very difficult to resew these on the machine
with the uneven seam allowances.

This is a center section put back together.
Look how uneven it appears on the front,
but on the back the sewing lines line up.

It really didn't take too long
to hand stitch the blocks back together.
20 blocks all the same size!

It was then that I realized 
that the original idea of a
sweet double pink repro for the sashing 
wouldn't even be close to working.

With only the black and white shirtings
and the pink and white stripes, 
my color options seem a bit limited.

I finally settled on this gray print
designed by Jeanne Horton
from her "Farmhouse Living" line.

It went along with the style of the vintage blocks
and was the perfect color to surround 
those happy striped blocks . 

 I had another stripe that fit in
for the corner stones
and a wonderful piece of
Di Ford fabric for the outer border.

I love the idea that the original quilt maker
wanted to make a fun pink and white striped quilt.
Look at the variation of
fabrics she used.

Why were the blocks left undone?
Missed sized blocks?
Sashing choice?
Her attention was diverted?
Reasons then and reasons now.

Whatever the reasons,
the quilt top is finally together.

Aren't those blocks wild?!?
I left the block combos just as they
had originally been placed. 
It's a delicious 
Christmas candy cane assortment.

Anyone want to take a guess on
dating these fabrics?
The shirtings, I think, 
are late 1800's - early 1900's?
Not sure about the stripes.
What do you think?

When winter finally settles in,
I'll hand quilt this lovely.

Until next time-


  1. The gray sashing is a good soft contrast for the delicate block colors. Have fun quilting it this winter.

  2. Oh, how perfect! You did a wonderful job and that person (wherever she may be) is so happy now!

  3. This is the sweetest thing I have seen in a long time! I love the finished top and especially the story. I feel the original maker of the blocks is smiling down upon you today! I think the shirtings look very turn of the century and the way you have finished it is perfect for the era. I'm sure, Kyle - the queen of labels, will document the story for future generations to enjoy. Thanks for saving and enhancing this treasure!

  4. I love love this quilt. Simply beautiful.

  5. OH lovely! Bravo!! Such a pretty combination; sashing and blocks...perfectly sweet!

  6. What an adventure! It turned out great! You're much braver than I am. ---"Love"

  7. Christmas candy canes is exactly what this quilt reminds me of. What a beautiful quilt made from someone's long forgotten blocks. I love how fun the different stripes are together. I can't wait to see your handquilting progress - it will be gorgeous!

  8. Such a pretty combination of darling fabrics in a sweet block. Great project, it will look amazing hand quilted.

  9. Gorgeous! And will be a favorite winter themed quilt for years! I'm going to guess that the maker realized the blocks were not all the same size....and put it away for another day (for fixing) and then lost glad you finished it! :-)
    I agree with Janet....Christmas Candy Canes is a perfect name for this quilt!

  10. What a lovely quilt. It does remind me of Candy canes. Hugs

  11. Ooooh you realized a beautiful quilt Kyle !!
    On FB, there is a groupe of vintage quilts you canb ask for the date of your fabric !
    it'S :

  12. What a sweet rescue! I know some quilter somewhere is very pleased that her quilt is finally finished. You did a lovely job saving it's charm.

  13. Your patience in restoring those blocks has given you a beautiful treasure!

  14. Wow! I don't know how much time this has cost you, but the result is great! Love how it turned out. It is going to be great if you have quilted it!

  15. I just love this! A collaboration across time and space - and you treated these blocks with tender loving care. I absolutely love the pink! And your sashing choice is so great with it.

  16. It takes a lot of patience to do all that reverse sewing! But the final results are wonderful and how sweet to know that this UFO from long ago will soon be lovingly handquilted.

  17. Kudos to you, Kyle, for restoring these blocks and setting them in such a way that it honors the era from which they came. It is a delightful top and your hand quilting will be the perfect finishing touch!

  18. What a wonderful quilt, Kyle! Love what you've done with those vintage blocks and how you set them together. The whole quilt makes me smile :)

  19. Well done! These blocks have been given a new lease of life and have finally become a quilt(top) and such a lovely one at that. I love how it has turned out.

  20. Your description of delicious Candy Cane is perfect. It is so so sweet! I admire you dedication to remaking the blocks and for doing such a beautiful job!
    You are a Quilt Angel saving this quilt and giving it a new life.
    (p.s. I think you sent me a couple of these, is that right?)

  21. So much work, but so worth your effort! Perfect choice for the sashing and border fabrics. Don’t you just love it when you find the “right” fabric, it just clicks. Your hand quilting will be the icing on the cake, or should I say candy canes.

  22. I love how you rescued those blocks! The sashing is just right and the border looks perfect.

  23. All those pink stripes. Makes good churn dash blocks. I like the quirkiness of placement of the stripes. I think I have made some blocks and given them away that will make fodder for wondering of some future quilter long after I am gone.

  24. Kyle, I love what you did to save these blocks! They do look like candy cane stripes--so fun. I'm really impressed that you hand sewed everything back together, as well. I have some Dresden blocks that need rescuing and I may be doing some hand sewing myself if I ever get around to them.