Churn Dash quilt block

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For years I have wanted to make a Dear Jane quilt.  I’d bought the fantastic book by Brenda Manges Papadakis from my favourite quilt shop years ago, and had poured over the pictures pretty regularly (is there such a thing as quilt porn?) but it’s never seemed the right time for me to make one myself.


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I think part of the reason was I don’t buy quilt kits, and have always prefered to design my own quilts  rather than use someone else’s idea, (um actually I did buy a pattern for a quilt I made years ago for one of my nieces but then I didn’t use a border as I preferred it without)  for me,  designing and planning the quilt is  a really big part of the joy of making a quilt in the first place.  I know some quilters who prefer to make the patchwork (are they Patchers?), and I know others who can’t wait to get quilting, but I pretty much like both equally.


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Anyway, I’ve recently been looking at The Jane Stickle quilt book again and then I found this picture on Pinterest and slowly the clogs started moving in my head…. I love the Dear Jane quilt so much, and my hat is tipped at quilters everywhere who make the baby Janes…… but I know that way isn’t for me.  Instead I am going to make my own Dear Jane inspired quilt.


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One of the things I love about the original quilt is the disparity in sizes of the blocks, I think some are 5 inches square with no or very little sashing, and others are as tiny as 3 inches with an inches wide sashed edge.  I can’t decide whether that is something I want to incorporate in my quilt  (I still can’t decide whether to sash with natural quilting muslin or just join all the blocks together for a huge riot of colour).


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But sometimes you need to put your foot out of the door for the journey to happen.  So today I have made my first little block.  I know it as Churn Dash, but I’ve noted that it is also called Ludlow’s Favourite, Hens and Chickens,  and Puss in the Corner  amongst others.


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I’ve gone for a slightly larger size block (a “whopping” 6 inchs!!), and straight away I’m using two colours together rather than each block being of one colour .  These two colours were on my sewing table and they just looked so right together that I decided to just go with it.


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Apart from sewinging it all by hand, I’m only going to make one rule for myself with this quilt….to enjoy it.  So there will be much pouring over books for the blocks that I really like, and deciding which  fabrics compliment others from an ever growing fabric stash  (though I am going to try really hard not to use the same fabric twice).