Thursday, June 19, 2014

How to make a Churn Dash block

A fellow new blogger asked where to fine a pattern for a plain Churn Dash block, not a nested one. The Churn Dash block is traditional and is in the public domain. 

Churn Dash block

A Churn Dash is basically a nine patch and you can easily make your own pattern. I suggest a finished size that's divisible by 3, such as 6", 9" or 12" finished. Let's use 12" finished for this example. (Block will be 12-1/2" unfinished with seam allowances.)
You will need 1 (one) 4-1/2" cut light square for the center.
You will need 2 (two) strips cut 2-1/2" wide by 19" long, one light and one dark.
You will need 4 (four) half-square triangles, light-dark combo.
Sew the strips together lengthwise, right sides together, 1/4" seam. Press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric. Square up the end of the strip, then cut across the width of the strip to make 4 (four) 4-1/2" cut squares.
For four HSTs to finish 4", cut 2 (two) 5" squares of light fabric and 2 (two) 5" squares of dark fabric. Draw a diagonal line from opposite corners across the wrong side of the light squares. With light and dark squares right sides together, sew 1/4" on each side of the diagonal line. Cut on the diagonal line. Press seam allowances toward the dark fabric. Square up and trim the HSTs to 4-1/2".
Lay out the units in the Churn Dash block and sew rows together. Press seam allowances of the top and bottom row toward the outside and middle row toward the center. Join rows together, matching and nesting seams.
I hope these quick instructions help!


  1. Churn dash is one of my favorite blocks. I've been using all my pastel floral fabrics with WOW background to make 9" blocks. When set together the light backgrounds form a line of dots and dashes. Especially nice on point!

  2. I'm falling in love with the churn dash block again :-)

  3. After quilting for 15 years, just did my first Churn Dash this year. Great block!