The Churn Dash quilt block is a great quilt block for quilters of all skill levels. Since the Churn Dash block is easy to make, beginners gravitate toward it; however, seasoned quilters can use it to make complex arrangements that require a skill that comes with years of quiltmaking. Examples of an easy application of the Churn Dash quilt block (Kids Quilts Summer 2009 – left) versus a more complex arrangement (Neapolitan quilt – right) can be seen here:
Another interesting aspect to the traditional Churn Dash quilt block is its variability. This block has been around since the early- to mid-1800s, so quilters have had some time to play around with the Churn Dash block’s design. Take Daisy’s Picnic, for example. This version of the Churn Dash block features “flippy” corners, which add to this quilt’s scrappy look. Another great thing about this one – it’s perfect for those that prefer Quilting Quickly.
If you’d like to watch Liz Porter and Mary Fons demonstrate making half-square triangle units with a special tool, “Love of Quilting,” episode 2008, is the show for you. Half-square triangles are combined with rectangles to make our beloved Churn Dash block. The quilt pattern showcasing the Churn Dash block featured in this episode, Dash Around the Square, is available here. Dash Around the Square was created after several block-making sessions between designer Debra Finan of Fons & Porter, and Liz Porter and friends. More than 300 blocks were made, divided among the group, with each quilter designing a different setting for her blocks. What a story!
You might know this quilt block by another name, or two, or three, or more! The Churn Dash quilt block has been referred to as Shoo Fly, Double Monkey Wrench, and Puss in the Corner, to name just a few. Have you heard it called by another name? Tell me about it! I’d love to hear from you.