Monday, 13 May 2013

Churn Dash Tutorial

I've put this little tutorial together for my Siblings Together Quilt Block Drive.  You folks are amazing, thank you so much for your response so far!!  If anyone else is interested, there is still space for a few more takers - details here.

There are other useful Churn Dash tutorials out there and I tried a few of them to make my blocks, but doing it this way was the way that I got the most accurate results.  I seem to manage HSTs better if I make them a little bigger and then trim them to the required size but the other tutes I used didn't approach them this way. So here's my take on the churn dash, but feel free to use any tutorial you like as long as you end up with a 12.5" unfinished block based on 9 units cut at 4.5".

Churn Dash Block

Fabric A (background) -

Cut 1: 4.5" square
Cut 2: 5" squares
Cut 4: 2.5" x 4.5"

Fabric B -

Cut 2: 5" squares
Cut 4: 2.5" x 4.5"
Use scant 0.25" seams throughout.

1.  Leave your 5" squares to the side for now and lay out all of the remaining pieces as above.

2.  Pair up the 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles of Fabric A with the rectangles of Fabric B, right sides together and chain stitch all four pairs.

 3.  Press the seams towards the darker fabric.

4.  Now let's make those corner HSTs.  Take the 5" squares and pair them up right sides together as shown (pair Fabric A with Fabric B).  Draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of each pair.

5.  Stitch a seam 0.25" on each side of the diagonal pencil line.

6.  Using your rotary cutter cut along the pencil line to separate your HSTs.

7.  As before, press seams towards the darker fabric.

8.  Now trim the HSTs to 4.5" square, taking care to line up the diagonal seam with the diagonal line on your ruler.

9.  Lay out all your 4.5" units in the correct order ready to sew together.

10.  Stitch the units into rows and then take the rows to your ironing board.

11.  Take the middle row first and press the seams towards the darker fabric (that might be different from my photo depending on your fabric choices).  Then, press the top and bottom rows in the opposite direction.  In my sample block, the middle row seams were pressed outwards and the top and bottom rows were pressed in towards the centre.  This alternate pressing of seams will help you to nest your seams together nicely in the next step.

11. Placing rows 1 and 2 right side together, butt the seams and pin in place to hold while you stitch the row together.  Repeat to join rows 2 and 3.

12.  Press the final two seams of the rows open to reduce the bulk in your block.

13.  Trim to 12.5" square.  Stand back and smile because you've just made great looking block!!

Don't forget if you are making this block for my Siblings Together Quilt Block Drive all the other details are on this post.  And, thanks a million!!


  1. This is a lovely tutorial, thank you.

  2. It is on the list for this month. Di x

  3. Brilliant tute! I've given it a plug today! Jxo

  4. Lovely tute! Isn't it funny, how you do something and it seems so simple, and then you write a tutorial, and it becomes so much more longwinded? As far as I am concerned anyway! But perhaps that is just me! Love your tute though!

  5. Thanks Sarah, this is how I've approached Churn Dash blocks before. I'm looking forward to contributing my blocks :o)

  6. Great tutorial, Sarah! Makes it seem very straightforward. Looking forward to starting my blocks!

  7. Hi Sarah, have you got enough people or should I say: enough blocks?
    Or can you already make more than 1 quilt??
    I'd like to contribute too

  8. What a fab tutorial, I've just whipped up a block using this and it was very easy with the great photos!
    Hope you don't mind if I link up to your blog from my Bee Europa Quilt bee on Flickr as I would like to use this tute for my August month.
    Also just realised that you were at FQR - totally missed you! :)


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