Thursday, August 2, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Churn Dash

Here I am continuing my TBT series this year of posts about quilts I quilted during my tiny quilting career in the 1980's and early 90's. For the previous posts, click on the label "my tiny career" on the right sidebar or below this post. These quilts were all made by Becky Schaefer from antique fabrics. She hired me to hand quilt them--a dream job. All quilting was done with off-white cotton thread. This month, in honor of summer, I'm showing Churn Dash quilts. I remember summer trips to visit working farm museums in years past, and they often had butter churning exhibits. I associate this quilt pattern with those trips. Many of Becky's miniature quilts had muslin backs, but some of the ones for this month have interesting antique fabrics, so I'll show backs when I have photos of them. At first glance, the quilts seem similar to each other, but there are subtle differences in the details, so I'll highlight those and, as usual, include any information I have about size, amount of thread used for quilting, and--since this serves as a way to document my tiny quilting career--the date of completion.  

First off, who doesn't like a blue and white quilt? This one is 16 1/2 by 20 1/2 inches. I like the tiny background prints on this one for good proportion and the border print. That looks like quilting with colored thread, but it's really part of the print. 

I quilted it with stylized flowers and outline quilting in the background squares and triangles and a delicate vine in the border. I used 23 1/3 yards thread, completing the quilting in January 1987. The back is a very light weight woven blue check. 
The next quilt, in brown and rust, is notable for an on-point layout and a fussy cut striped border with a chain design that looks like additional "'shadow"' borders or stitching. I outlined behind the dashes and quilted feather circles in the tan background squares and triangles. I like the variety of rusts. This quilt is 9 1/2 by 12 1/2 inches. 7 1/3 yards of thread for quilting. Completed in March 1987.  
The back is muslin. 
Here's another on-point brown and rust quilt. This one has a tiny fussy cut inner border. The color value selection changes the whole look of the blocks even though the design is Churn Dash. I bet that this arrangement also goes by other names. More feather circles here. It's 9 3/4 by 12 1/4 inches, quilted with 3 5/6 yards of thread (picky, picky measurement of thread!), and was completed in March 1987. 
The back is a snippet of antique fabric that coordinates with the front. 
Next is a black and blue version--more Amish style. I love how that double inner border contrasts with the outer border. It's 8 3/4 by 11 1/4 inches. 4 yards of thread for quilting. Completed in May 1987. Feathered circles in black this time--quilting that's hard on the eyes!!
More blue woven check for the back. 
More rust. This is one of my favorites. I love the scrappiness and every-which-way stripes and checks and well as the dark sashing. It's 10 3/4 by 13 1/8 inches. No thread measurement available for this one. I finished the quilting in May 1989.
I outline quilted behind the dashes, which emphasized the sashing in the muslin on the back. 
This brown and cream quilt is notable for the contrasting grayish setting triangles. It's a little bigger than many of the other quilts at 16 1/4 by 19 inches. There's that "shadow" border again. More feather circles and straight lines following the setting triangles for quilting, which used up 10 yards of thread. I finished this one in July 1989.
This one has a really fragile paisley design in the antique backing.
A different color scheme. It looks so structured with the red sashing, but look at those wonky plaids. Aren't they fun? And the subtle echoing of the colors in the border. Swoon worthy, no? This one is 11 1/8 by 14 3/4 inches. The quilting is outlining in the background--9 yards' worth. Finished in July 1989. 
I do like how the muslin backing shows off the quilting. 
I don't have any information on this next one. Too bad because it is quite different from the others with its lavender/pastel color scheme.The important thing to note in this quilt is what I think makes miniatures successful: the scale of the prints--tiny florals, plaids and checks, and those geometric designs in the background that coordinate perfectly with other colors in the quilt. And that tiny inner border is just the right spark. I'm guessing that this quilt is similar to the large quilt above--about 16 by 19 inches, but what makes this one a real standout is the piecing instead of plain fabric in the setting triangles. Amazing. It looks like with all that piecing going on, the quilting is just outlining in the background. 
I do have a back photo of this quilt--another delicate little print. 
Three more quilts. I have no information recorded on any of these, either, which means they were quilted near the end of my tiny career. Still worth sharing, though. They are all proportionally about the same size as the quilts shown above. Isn't that bright red/dark brown striking? It's outline quilted in the background. 
The only medallion style quilt. Wonky plaids again. The colors and designs work so well in this. Look at that multi-striped mitered border and how the red design in it picks up so well on the red sashing. Outline quilting in the light backgrounds and double outlining in the points of the triangles. 
This last is a very poor photo, but the only one I have. There was border all the way around. I'm sharing it because I like the combination of rust and gray, and of course, the plaids and stripes. It has simple outline quilting similar to the quilt above. 
I think these quilts are a fun representation of old fabrics and old color schemes of quilts. Maybe they also inspire you to take another look at the Churn Dash pattern--whether to reproduce a traditional style quilt or to take the pattern in a new direction. 

With school starting for many children in the next few weeks, guess what the theme will be for next month's TBT. Ha, and you thought I was done documenting my tiny quilting career. No, no, no. Not yet. 

Now I feel like eating some bread with fresh butter. I wonder why. 

I'm linking up with Sandra at mmm! quilts for Throwback Thursday. Go there and share your pre-blogging-days quilts and read about others. There are always some great stories. 


Bernie Kringel said...

Haha - Bread and butter.... that was a cute ending Janine. I love the tiny piecing on these quilts. I like when I can see your hand holding it for a point of reference. You and this woman certainly had a very prolific quilting relationship. So many projects!!! Was she selling these? I cannot remember.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

nice small quilts - I had thought to do that at one time and decorate a wall with them and I never have gotten started! Love the Churn Dash pattern

Lisa J. said...

Wow! That's quite the quilting career you had Janine. Thanks for sharing all these beautiful churn dash quilts. I love the red ones but I think my favourite is the Amish style. Very nice.

Kaja said...

I like the Churn Dash block and have considered making one a few times -now you've got me thinking in that direction again. It's particularly interesting to see all of these together, to compare settings,details and colour schemes.

KaHolly said...

You were oh, so very ambitious! Love all your minis, esp. the churn dashes.

Cozy Quilts by Linda said...

Thanks for showing off your minis. Looking forward to more next month.

Mari said...

Oh my gosh, those are tiny! Good thing your fingers are there for perspective. You must have had the tiniest stitches for these. I love that they're all unbound, too. Good thing you kept pictures. I forget what you said before, but I hope that you were well paid!

Louise said...

You really HAVE inspired me to look at churn dashes differently, Janine! I had to squint and concentrate on many of these to see the basic block design. Amazing how different they all are! I like the on point ones the best :)