Friday, September 4, 2015


The Churn Dash is my very favorite. I'm not sure what it is about it that I like so much because I really like a lot of different ones. But every time I see something made with the Churn Dash, I fall in love again.

I guess that is why it is so surprising that I don't have anything using it. In fact I had never made it until I started my new shower curtain. I decided I wanted a new shower curtain. I've lived with my Turning Twenty (another quilt pattern) shower curtain for a couple of years and am ready for a change. Since I didn't feel like I really needed another quilt, I decided I should make a new shower curtain using the Churn Dash pattern and then I could enjoy seeing it every day.

It is taking a while to make it, but I thought I would share with you how easy it is to make the block. In fact, when I read up on the block, I discovered it became popular back in the 1800s because it was so easy. I bet it was also because it doesn't take much material to make the block. Pioneers often made quilts from material they had (old shirts and clothes, etc).

Here is a picture of one of the blocks (minus the sashing - a border around the block)

My shower is curtain is going to be made with 36 of these blocks. I have 6 different colors - red, blue, green, yellow, pink, purple that I will be using. I have 3 different prints in each of those colors and will be making 2 blocks from each print - giving me 36 blocks. All of the blocks will have a white tonal background - a different tonal print for each different color.

If you look closely at the block you will see it is made with nine  squares ( we call that a Nine Patch) The difference is only the center square is one piece - one square. The other 8 are either half -square triangles or half-square rectangles.

The half-square rectangles are so easy to make. You can sew two strips together (my squares are 2" wide and 3-1/2" long) that measure 2" wide and 14" long. After you press them open, you just cut the strip into 3-1/2" pieces. The finished "square" is 3-1/2" x 3-1/2". 

The half-square triangles are a little bit more work, but also easy. You cut 2 squares from each print - the white and the red - 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" and then cutting them across diagonally, sew one white and one red triangle together.

Since I was making two blocks from each print, I actually cut a strip 4" wide across the wof (width of the fabric). Then from that strip, I cut the 4 squares for the half-square triangles  (remember I am making two blocks) and then cut the remainder in half to make two long strips 2" x 14".  I saved the remaining 12" for another project. Here is a picture from the green print I am using. You can see the little piece I trimmed off the 4" strip when I cut the squares.

Here is a picture I took of a later block cutting the squares in half to make the half-square triangles. (If you want to see more detailed instructions with pictures of making half-square triangles, check out my post on the Friendship Star.)

I had to cut the center square (3-1/2" square) from the white.

Press the seams away from the white tonal.

Then arrange the squares in the pattern.

Sew the squares together in rows.

Press the seams away from the white here also. By doing this he seams will "nest" together nicely when you sew the rows together to make the block.

Here is what it looks like on the back. You can see how the seams were all pressed.

I can't wait until I get all 36 blocks made and then add the sashing. The sashing is really going to make the quilt top pretty.

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