a liberty of london churn dash


Several weeks ago my sister and I went to an estate sale in town. It was the kind of sale that people line up for, so we really weren’t holding out too much hope for snagging anything good. Anyway, the doors opened and we both ran through, going separate ways. I ended up in one of the bedrooms where I came across a couple vintage quilts. They were both in pretty nice shape – all hand quilted – and each only $30. I looked at them for a while, but ultimately decided that it would be silly for me to buy a quilt. A few minutes later I got a text from my sister, showing me that same quilt I had been considering. Well, she decided to buy it, and suddenly I felt I had missed out on something good! (isn’t that always the way it goes?!)


There are lots of things I love about this quilt (excuse my poor phone photo!) – first of all, the vintage fabrics and lovely hand quilting. I love the variety of blues, and especially love the center section all made out of the same print. I think it’s interesting that even though the entire quilt is made up of churn dash blocks, since they’re put together without sashing, and since the center is made up of the same print, it seems to trick the eye a bit and I start to see a different pattern emerging.


We brought it home and carefully washed it and Whitney kept exclaiming over her great find – rubbing it in, as sisters sometimes like to do. So finally I declared that I’d just make my own, and that it would be better (yes, that makes me sound immature!). She laughed and said that I’d probably use Liberty of London fabrics and indeed it might feel nicer, and just like that, I had my next quilt project! (I showed you a few of my initial blocks here)


I tried to stay true to the original quilt, and first found a darker Liberty print that I could use for the center portion. Then I pulled out all the other lighter shades of blues from my Liberty stash for the outer border. I didn’t have quite enough, so picked up a couple more from Jones & Vandermeer and Pink Chalk Fabrics.


It was the first time I’d made a churn dash block, and they’re surprisingly fun! While I don’t think my quilt top has the same impact as the vintage quilt – I like the greater contrast between the blues in the vintage quilt – I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’m thinking about backing it in a solid voile to keep it really nice and soft. Perhaps when I’m done we’ll get the quilts together again and see which is softer!

This entry was posted in Fabric, Posts about Quilts, Quilt Blocks and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to a liberty of london churn dash

  1. 1
    mjb says:

    The secondary design in this is really nice.

  2. 2
    Carla says:

    That’s the way it goes. We don’t know what we’ve got til it’s gone ; )
    Both are lovely. Will you add a little hand stitching with Pearl cotton?

  3. 3
    Julie says:

    They’re both gorgeous in their own right, and you are so funny! I do think you should back it as you’re thinking ’cause then for sure yours would win out. haha!

  4. 4
    Jan says:

    Yours turned out great. How large is your quilt top?

  5. 5
    CJ says:

    I’m laughing. Your quilt is lovely, and how nice for you each to have one, with a good story attached. Hope you have a good week.

  6. 6
    rosa says:

    It`s fabulous and the second design is fantastic.Great job!!

  7. 7
    Karen H says:

    I never ceases to amaze me how a humble block such as churn dash can be used to create something that is interesting and very complex looking! Churn dash is one of my favourite blocks and this quilt just reinforces my view! I think I like your colourway better than the original!

  8. 8
    Lisa C says:

    Thank you for encouraging me to try the churn dash block again. I did a test block and turned it into a potholder. (I lost some of the tips doing this…booo) I like the way yours turned out and the story was great. Thanks so much for blogging. I read the blogs while eating my lunch most days.

  9. 9
    Amanda says:

    Beautiful interpretation of the vintage quilt!

  10. 10
    katie says:

    I always enjoy the secondary design. Lovely quilt.

  11. 11
    Jennifer says:

    Do you use regular quilting cotton with the softer Liberty of London fabrics? I’ve been slowly building my stash of Liberty and plan on making a churn dash quilt but I’m not sure what fabric to pair with the soft, light weight liberty fabric.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Sarah says:

    Love this quilt, it looks fantastic! I also totally understand the sister thing, I have three of my own and even as adults we still like to rub things in.

  14. 14
    Pat says:

    Yes, sisters do have those competitive edges now and then. 🙂 I really like this quilt and find doing quick eye-blinks changes what I see in the pattern. It will be fun to see the two together when you are finished.

  15. 15
    Kaesey says:

    This quilt is beautiful. I actually prefer the more subtle contrasts in yours to the vintage quilt! (Although I would have snapped that one up, too. =)

  16. Pingback: Finish: The Churn Dash Dash | Play Crafts

  17. Pingback: FITF: taking stock, once again | Film in the Fridge

  18. 16
    Erin Waters says:

    Any tutorial you could steer me to for churn dash? I made a trial block yesterday, and the non-half square blocks were about a quarter inch too small…

  19. Pingback: Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Churn Dash | Play Crafts

  20. Pingback: FITF: Jubilee! | Film in the Fridge

  21. 17
    Sarah Jeffries says:

    How cool! I think that is awesome lol Sounds like something me and my sister would do. Be the inspiration of another quilt:o) Great job!

  22. Pingback: FITF: a tale of twin quilts. | Film in the Fridge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *