Whimsical Shoofly Quilt

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Jenny demonstrates how to make a fun, rectangular version of the churn dash or shoo-fly block using 10-inch squares of precut fabric. We used Magic Metallic 10″ Squares by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller, Essex Linen Yardage by Studio RK for Robert Kaufman, and fantastic unicorn backing from the Magic line. Learn how to make sashing with cornerstones, snowball corners, and nest seams.

Get the supplies here: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/land/tutorials/whimsical-shoofly-quilt

Video Transcript (Download PDF):

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Today I’ve got a really fun project for you. I love the churn dash block and the shoofly block. And they’re fairly similar. You know a little bit of differences. And they have lots of different names. But basically it’s this block right here. And so I thought it would be fun rather than making the traditional square one to make one that was this long shape and it would just look so much more whimsical. When I saw the fabric it seemed to go with that. And so I made my blocks. But when I put them together, look what happened. It looks like, it looks like there’s this little sashing row in here. You’ve got these pieces here. And it’s just so interesting what happens to me with color placement and choice. Now I never really know what’s going to happen until I finish my block. So this was a fun surprise for me.

So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is one packet of ten inch squares. And we have used Magic by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller. You’re also going to need 3 ¾ yards  of Essex Linen and that’s a yarn dyed linen by Robert Kaufman. And it’s just beautiful. That 3 ¾ yards includes all your sashing, your cornerstones and this first border. For the outer border you’re going to need a yard and a quarter and we did a little four inch border on there. But wait til you see the back. This is one of the fabrics in the pack and look at how cute this is. It’s unicorns, and they’re running, they’re running through a golden forest which why wouldn’t a unicorn run through a golden forest. But it’s beautiful. Just a beautiful fabric. And I think, I just think little girls everywhere are just going to die over this fabric. It’s just so cute. So, well and probably there’s a few big girls like me that are going to die over that too. Anyway, let me show you how to make this.

So to make this what we’re going to need to do is we’re going to take our ten inch square and we are going to cut one long rectangle out of it. So we’re going to lay our ruler right on the edge. It’s going to come over five inches. And we’re going to cut a rectangle that is five by ten. Save that one for our block. Out of this piece we’re going to turn it and we’re going to cut another five inch square out of there. Just like that. We’re going to save this one for another project. And on this one right here we’re going to cut into fourths. Because we need four 2 ½ inch squares for our corners on this block. So let me just turn that. And it’s good to kind of get this cutting out of the way first. Alright so then we’re going to set these over here with this block. Now we need to cut our sashing strips. And I have a strip here. And it’s going to be a little hard for you to see because it’s gray. But that’s alright. I’m going to first cut my selvedge edges off right here. And then we’re going to make two sashing strips for the side. Our block is ten inches so these need to be ten inches. So I’m just going to line up my square here. And I’m going to count off ten, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. And I’m going to make a cut. Those are my two side sashings. Then I need my bottom and top sashing which is going to be a five inch piece. And I’m going to flip this around because I know I can just lay  my ruler on that edge and I’ll have five inches. Just like that. And then we need four 2 ½ inch squares to snowball the corners with. So we’re going to cut those right here. Make sure I’m squared up on here. There we go. There’s two and two more. And that is everything that we need to finish our block.

So first let’s take our block here, our rectangle, five by ten. We’re going to lay our pieces along the side. We’re going to take those over to the sewing machine and we are going to sew those to the sides. So let’s do that. Now what I’ve got is I’m just going to line this up right along this edge and I’m going to sew a quarter of an inch right down the side. Then what we’re going to do is we’re going to just pull this around and sew a quarter of an inch down the other side. Make sure it’s still lined up. Mine moved a little, did a little dancing while I was sewing. Alrighty so here we go. Line it up and sew right down that side. Ok so now we’re going to press these open and I’m going to lay my, my linen piece down and lay it. I’m going to actually do it so that, that I’m pressing to the linen side. The linen happens to be, I mean actually to the print side. The linen is a little heavier and so it will lay nicer I think if I press it so that these seams go in like that. It keeps this linen piece flat and this is the part that moves.

Alright so now we have to do our top and bottom strip. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our sashing strip just like this. And we’re going to sew two squares on either end like that. And we will go over to the sewing machine and we will do both of those. So I’m going to chain piece these. It’s an easy way to do that. Put right sides together on your fabric. And lay them just a quarter of an inch in there. And I’m going to do one piece. And then I’m going to get my next five inch piece of my linen and put my square right sides together. Now what I’m going to do is I’m just going to use my cutter right here to cut my two strips apart. And then we’re going to press this back. And we’ll do the same thing with this that we did with the top piece. So I’m just pressing the, to the dark on this side actually. So our middle sides, our middles are going to go out. So again when I’m pressing I’ll show you that right here. So these are going to go to the outside.

So now I’m ready to add these two pieces on the ends like this to make our whole square. We’re going to put them right sides together and we are going to match up, match up these, these little seams right here, these little junctions. And we’re going to sew those a quarter of an inch down, down the side. And you can feel, you should have your top piece, the seam should be going one direction and on your big piece the seams should go the other so they can nest up really nice. I hope that makes sense. So on this one, my, my heavy seam goes that way and on this one it’s going this way so they nest up which means there’s less bulk in your seam allowance and it makes your corners go together real nice. And we’re just going to sew right down the side. Alrighty. Now we’re going to press this again. I’m going to trim these threads. I am so thready, that is a terrible habit of mine to, to have all these extra threads. A lot of times I clip them at the end and so I end up kind of with this nest of threads going on. It’s never a good idea. It’s always good to clip as you go along. And I’ve got a string right here to the front. I’m just going to carefully, there we go. Alright now I’m going to press this open. Kind of set that seam and press it open. And we’ve got our block.

But now we have to snowball our corners with our gray piece, with our background piece. So that it, so that it looks like a churn dash. It’s an easy way to do a churn dash. And we’re going to put that on there. You can see I ironed the line right there. And we’re going to sew right on that line. And we’re going to do this on all four corners. And I’m just going to line that up. Make sure it matches. And we’ll head over to the sewing machine. So line it up with your corner and sew right down your, right on your fold line. You can draw the line too if you’d like. Now when you start doing these you will always press the line or draw the line. But when you’ve done a whole bunch very quickly you’ll get, you’ll get to where you see that pretty easily and you won’t need to draw that line anymore. Alright now what I did right there is I’m just laying my ruler on seam looking at the quarter of an inch mark, coming a quarter of an inch off of the seam and just trimming off that outer edge there. And I’m going to do that on all four sides. And one more. And that doesn’t have to be exact. You’re just trimming off that bulk so that when you press it it lays down nice. Alright now let’s go press it open. When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a whimsical block. Isn’t that cute? So it makes this wonderful long churn dash.

So as you start putting these together you’re just going to sew them together just like this. Just add one more, add one more, just like that. You’re going to make a row of them. Let’s see how many we have up here, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven across. And because they’re long there’s only one, two, three, four, five, six long. And so seven across by six rows, seven in each row. Now when you get your rows I want to show you how this little sashing row appears because as you start sewing your rows together, just going to move this stuff out of the way a little bit. As you start sewing your rows together, this little block is what appears here. See how that happens, this little block happens right there. And it looks like you did this cool sashing row and I had no idea that was going to happen.
So I had a couple of other thoughts about this. I have some blocks that we did in white as well. And, and I thought, you know originally I wanted to do white and then we went with the Essex and then I thought well what would happen if we like switched these out. You know if we did every other row white and gray. I mean it’s a completely different look. Or if you sashed a tiny sashing around each block. You know don’t be afraid to play with this layout and try some new things because this is a really fun block and it’s really fun to see what happens if. So it’s just a great thing to play with. We hope you enjoy it. It’s been a lot of fun for me to create. I’ve loved working with this line, this Magic line and this linen line. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Whimsical Shoofly from the MSQC.

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  • Jeri

    Love the new twist you have done with this block! I have added it to my “Bucket” Quilt List. Thanks Jenny.