Churn Dash I: Polychrome

Martha.Peterson-ChurnDash1Polychrome-FullI remember workshop registration day for QuiltCon 2013. I had studied the catalog and decided on either of two improv workshops with Sherri Lynn Wood. Putting both in my registration cart, I was very surprised when I ended up in both classes. What a great opportunity to get out of the box.

The first workshop in my schedule was Modern Block Improv in which we took a traditional block and repeatedly improvised upon that theme. It was a great experience and an accidental jumping off point for the second workshop, Improv Round Robin.

My starting point. Can you find it in the finished quilt?

My starting point. Can you find it in the finished quilt?

The supply list for Improv Round Robin called for a focus fabric (I vaguely remember instructions to pick something we had a hard time cutting) and other fabrics which coordinated.  I selected a multi-color grid fabric from stash (a peek can be seen in the above picture). After creating a starting section and passing it and our fabrics to our neighbor, we used our focus fabric in our response to the piecework we received. Pass, respond, and create rounds continued at a fast pace (no time to be indecisive!) and each time my focus fabric had to be used. To be honest, I made use of the “if it’s still ugly, cut it smaller” adage all day.

Here’s where chance occurs and that accidental jumping off point happens. In repacking for the Improv Round Robin, I accidentally left my Improv Block workshop pieces in my fabric bin. Someone who got my bin had the brilliant idea to add those blocks to my Round Robin and changed the whole conversation for the better (if you’ve taken a Sherri Lynn Wood improv workshop, you’ll know what “conversation” means). Now the conversation was about responding to those blocks and shapes.



The quilting echoes the lines of those improv blocks and densely covers the entire quilt. The quilting took a bit of time but it was good experience with straight line walking foot quilting. The thread is a very light gray which blends well with all the intense color in the quilt.


Fortunately, I used the rest of the very loud multi-color grid focus fabric on the back, binding, and sleeve. It’s good to see that fabric out my stash. It really is bright. One of my guild friend responds “oh, my eyes” when seeing it.

Quilt Stats

  • Title:  Churn Dash I: Polychrome
  • Size:  30 inches wide by 36 1/2 inches long
  • Fabrics:  From stash and from other workshop participants
  • Quilting thread:  Superior Threads So Fine! Color 503

Takeaways from this quilt:  embrace new learning and different teaching styles, dense straight line quilting is awesome (or, at least I am a fan), keep cutting until ugly is nearly banished

Favorite things about this quilt: dense straight line quilting, decreasing stash a bit, memories of QuiltCon 2013

Things to try next time:  improvisation on block themes, straight line quilting, shop the stash first



8 thoughts on “Churn Dash I: Polychrome

    • Thanks, Debbie. You really are one of the most generous quilters I know. You always take the time to comment, respond, and encourage.

  1. Pingback: Churn Dash 2: Complementary | Once a Wingnut…Always a Wingnut

  2. Pingback: Color Forms | Once a Wingnut...Always a Wingnut

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