Thursday, June 9, 2022

A 25-Year-Old Finish, Flange Binding, and Chooky's Churn Dash SAL

Wyoming Valley Star is finished! Here it is on the deck off our family room.

Twenty-five years in the making, it was begun in 1997. I didn't finish the top until January of 2000. I had no sewing room, and not even a dining table to take over. I had to go to the trouble of setting up a table in the middle of the living room, and packing it all away when the family wanted their space back. That was a real deterrent to getting things finished. I wonder what I can use as an excuse now?

This is our youngest grandson, Ben. He just had a birthday on June 1st, and this was what I made for him. I didn't get a photo of the whole quilt, but here it is folded in half and laying over Ben. You get the idea.

Among other things, Ben loves Thomas The Train. I ordered this "Thomas" Fabric on Etsy, and had planned to cut out the squares with the trains and make them the center of blocks for a quilt. But our spur-of-the-moment trip to Oregon shortened the time I had to work on this project. So I just attached a couple of borders to the yardage, pin basted it, and did meander quilting over the center of the quilt. On the photos below you can see the quilting in the borders, and my first attempt at doing the flange binding I keep reading about. On the right you see the backing fabric. Ben also likes monkeys, and I found this great  monkey flannel on clearance at Village Dry Goods. Perfect!

A word about flange binding--I am really happy with this first attempt. When I have finished bindings by machine in the past, I was never pleased with the results. But I am so slow at hand binding, that when I was in a pinch, or when I knew a quilt was going to see a lot of wash-and-wear, I would grudgingly machine bind. This time around I had both of those issues involved. 

I have read so much about flange binding, and have seen such good results others have achieved, that I decided now was the time to give it a go. First stop was the tutorial by Jenny at MSQC. I felt empowered after watching, and was certain I could do this, but I watched a couple of other videos and then looked up a couple of written tutorials. If you like instructions you can print out and refer to, Sew Fresh Quilts has good photo illustrations. 

Then, fully armed, I went to work. The only thing I did differently was cutting the pieces each 1/8th inch narrower than instructed. I prefer to make my bindings slim, and the instructions create a wider binding than I wanted. I am not unhappy with the finish, but I think next time I may make the two strips each 1/4" narrower. It really is a clever method (who thinks of these things??). It is fussier prep than a regular binding, but then being able to get a classy looking finish in so much less time than a hand finish, it can be just the method you need at times.

I am keeping up (so far) with Chooky's Churn Dash SAL, making 41 9" blocks. I will be making 10 blocks a month for 3 months, but one month will be 11 blocks--I think this will be that  month. 

Chooky shared some
double churn dash blocks
she was making, and I couldn't resist trying one. The Churn Dash in the center finishes at 3". I was tempted to try and fit a 1" churn dash in the center of it (mini madness), but talked myself off that ledge--for now. I do like the double block, and think I will make a few more and sprinkle them in the quilt.

As to the giveaway for my 11 year blog anniversary, I chose a random number with a number generator, and it landed on Elaine Adair! Congrats, Elaine! I know I sent you some squares for your I Spy quilts not too long ago, but I can't find your address for the life of me. Please email it to me again, and I will get your winnings sent off to you! I discovered Elaine's blog just a few months after I started blogging 11 years ago. She makes great quilts. Check her out at the link above.

Recently hubby and I have enjoyed spending some time on our deck, using an app on his phone to identify the bird sounds that are a constant around us. So many varieties, and it is fun to be able to identify them, even if we can't see them among the leaves. This photo of a Eurasian collared dove was taken about a month ago. This honey locust tree is now leafy, and photos are harder to capture.                                          
I hope you are able to find some quiet time doing something that fills you--whether it is quilting, walks in your neighborhood, curling up with a good book, relaxing with family or friends, or just resting with your feet up. Times are stressful. Take care of yourself.

Until next time, be creative and be kind.
Janet O.

Can't leave you without sharing this lovely sunset from an evening walk last week.


  1. What a fun quilt for your grandson! I know nothing of flange bindings, but will definitely check out the link. It sure looks nice on the quilt. I adore your long time quilt finish too!! Congrats! On another beautiful quilt completed.

  2. OH what a fun finish!!! I really find that blue in the border so peaceful and pretty. And I know your grandson loves his quilt!!! Elaine is such a lovely person...super funs quilts. I am glad she is your winner! You live in such a pretty place. I too am working on churn dash blocks!

  3. Janet, the above comment is from me!

  4. Always love your projects! Must try that flange binding. Thanks for the links.

  5. The flanged finish is perfect; a nice little pop of color there. I've done piped bindings before but will check out this method and definitely give it a try. Your Wyoming Valley Star is gorgeous, two full sized quilts from you in one post! I was beginning to wonder where the mini-master had disappeared to and then, there it was, the double-Churn Dash! :) I love those doubles, too; they will look amazing sprinkled in and, if anyone would (and could) do a 1" center block, it would be you; go for it!! Hugs~

  6. Your Wyoming Valley Star quilt is so beautiful. I'll bet it felt good to finish it. I have one top that is older and needs to be quilted. I should start that. Such a cute quilt for your grandson. His smile shows he loves it. What a beautiful sky. I envy you your views. Hugs

  7. Your Wyoming Valley Star quilt is beautiful, Janet. I especially love the sawtooth border. Good finish! I may have to check out the flange binding tutorial. Thanks!

  8. Happy belated birthday, Ben. LOVE your new Thomas the Train quilt. The background fabric for your churn dash quilt is awesome. It looks great. Way to go keeping up. ~~Kathy S.

  9. Beautiful Wyoming Stars, did it get Quilted by Check? I remember the days of taking over the living room. i'm back to it, but have a sewing table for my machine. Cute birthday quilt. Never have II done a flange binding. Too fussy to stitch in the ditch. Love your view of Utah Mountains. 175 years since the Pioneers arrived.

  10. Wyoming Valley Stars is a beautiful finish, I love the soft colors of that time period. Isn't it amazing to look back and realize how many obstacles there were in our early sewing and quilting adventures, and yet we persevered. Your first attempt at a flange binding was very successful and adds a perfect pop of color to the quilt border. Your little grandson looks mighty pleased with his new quilt. I've never tried a flange binding but really should try one before my quilting days draw to a close. All those lovely churn dash blocks, they would be a great quilt ministry meeting project to use up some ofthe many small fabric pieces we currently have, thanks for the photo inspiration!

  11. Hurray, for the finish! It feels good to get those lingering projects done. Glad you tried the flange binding. It's a great finish especially for those quilts that a going to be loved a lot. Fabulous churn dash blocks.

  12. Congratulations on your finished quilt! One of mine took 17 years; I used to think that was a long time, but now have heard about many taking longer than that 😊. Love your churn dash blocks - I’ve never made one and it’s on my to-do list. Amazing sunset!!!

  13. That looks like a very happy young man. Your Churndashes look great.

  14. Such a gorgeous quilt. Your Mother would be so proud. And grandson seems delight with his special quilt. The churn dashes will be glorious. Cannot wait to see how you set them and border them. Maybe a bit of Kim Diehl finishes? I am starting my third Dresden. First for my sister’s 25, then my niece’s 25, finally one for me, though just thinking my son’s 25 is next July. Where did that time go?

    Dotti CT

  15. Wyoming Valley star is great! I used to quilt that way as well. My storage was a little area in the bottom of a coat closet. YOur quilt is so pretty! Love your little Thomas quilt. So fun to try something new- I love it! Churn dash is a fun block to make- so classic!

  16. Great job on the big quilt. Knowing the flange binding method really helps for quilts that need to be done now!

  17. What a great finish after 17 years, so soft and pretty. That must be a great feeling, to get that done! I have it in the back of my mind to try a flange binding sometime. Your grandson's quilt is happy and cute (so is he). You really live in a beautiful place - a little slice of heaven with that beautiful sky, and bird song too.

  18. I feel your energy waaaay out here in western Nebraska! Yes, the flange binding is not difficult and end result works well. Your Wyming star is a beauty, even if it took a while to complete. Your blog doesnt even NEED quilts to oogle over - just keep showing the stunning landscape photos! Breathtaking!

  19. yeh so pleased it finished after all these years and it is lovely...........
    your grandson looks pretty pleased with his quick and simple as it ended up............
    and the churn dash blocks look the sunset and bird watching..........

  20. Your Wyoming Star is a classic quilt beauty. I love the traditional look and the airy feel of it. Good for you for mastering the flange! I have never tried one myself. Too chicken. I'm not great with new techniques.
    What a great quilt for Ben and he is every cute! Great photo.
    The double churn dash is a great block. Your combinations are just wonderful. I do love that block. Did you ever set the swap blocks? I still have them and have used them here and there.
    Beautiful sunset photo! Just what we need in these stressful times. Take care

  21. Your long time project's finish is so beautiful and inspiring! And Churn Dash is showing up online lately! I have one planned for years, gonna be an eye popper though, not gently lovely like yours.


  22. Congrats on the finish of Wyoming Star, Janet. It is a beauty. It must be so satisfying to have it finished after so many years in progress. (I remember the days of no sewing room. I was grateful to have my mom's old black Singer in a table because it meant I didn't have to pick up everything from the table. But in those days I wasn't sewing quilts, just clothes. I think clothes take less space.)
    What a fun photo of your grandson and his quilt. Good thinking to frame the whole piece of fabric for a quilt. The idea of a flange binding is interesting. I'm glad it worked so well for you, especially since it was your first time going it.
    Your churn dash blocks look like "you." The fabrics and colors say "Janet" to me. The quilt will be gorgeous, I'm sure.

  23. Your Wyoming Star quilt is fabulous! I love it. You must feel so good with having been able to get it done. I'm impressed that you know when you started it!!
    The quilt for Ben is perfect for a little boy. I'll bet he loves it! Great idea to turn to Etsy for the fabric. One of my grandsons also loves Thomas the Train. Now I'm looking for the other boys who love Paw Patrol. I'll have to check out Etsy.
    Love your churn dash blocks, especially the double! That's a tiny block, but right up your alley.
    Love your views!!
    Stay well, dear Janet!

  24. I love the Thomas quilt! Ava is a fan so I just might have to find some of that fabric for her birthday in August! :0)

  25. What a beautiful finish, Janet! I just love the soft color palette of your 25-year old quilt. Your grandson is so cute and it looks like he loves his Thomas Train quilt! I've never tried a flange binding but yours turned out great! A scattering of double Churn Dash blocks is a great idea! Oh, I must get that app to identify bird songs! Beautiful sunset--as always!


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