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The churn dash quilt block is a traditional quilting block that has been popular for generations. Here are the steps to sew a churn dash quilt block:
- Fabric in at least two different colors
- Rotary cutter or scissors
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- Iron and ironing board
- Cutting mat
- Choose your fabric. You will need at least two different fabrics for this block, one for the center square and one for the "churn dash" pieces.
- Cut your fabric into the necessary pieces. For each churn dash block, you will need:
- One 4 1/2" square for the center
- Four 2 1/2" squares in one color for the churn dash pieces
- Four 2 1/2" squares in a different color for the churn dash pieces
- Two 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangles in the second color for the churn dash pieces
Sew the churn dash pieces together. Take one 2 1/2" square in each color and sew them together along one edge. Repeat with the other two squares in each color. You will now have two sets of two squares sewn together.
Sew the churn dash pieces together. Take one of the sewn square sets and sew a 2 1/2" x 6 1/2" rectangle to the top and bottom. Repeat with the second square set and the remaining two rectangles.
Sew the churn dash pieces to the center square. Take one of the churn dash pieces and sew it to one side of the center square. Repeat with the other churn dash pieces, sewing one to each side of the center square until you have a complete block.
Press the block. Use an iron to press the seams of the block. Press each seam toward the churn dash pieces.
Repeat. Repeat the steps above to create as many churn dash blocks as you need for your quilt.
Once you have made all of your churn dash blocks, you can sew them together to create your quilt top. You can use the same color scheme for all the blocks or mix and match colors for a more eclectic look. Happy quilting!
This is a great technique for making half square triangles that eliminates the need to directly manipulate the stretchy bias of the triangle. It utilizes two easy to cut squares producing two half square triangles.
On the back of the lighter fabric, draw a pencil line, diagonally from corner to corner.
Stack a pair of light and dark squares, right sides together. Sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance on each side of the line.
You will end up with something like this.
Now cut along the diagonal line.
Press the seam together to set the seam. Then press towards the darkest fabric.
To trim the block to the exact size line up the diagonal 45°angle with the ruler on your seam.
And then carefully trim your block with a rotary cutter.
The secret to the nine patch is all about ironing seams so that they butt when they are joined.
Cut 5 A squares and 4 B squares in the required size.
Chain piecing, join a B square to only 3 of the A squares, right sides together, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. No need to press just yet.
The result will be:
Next, take the remaining A and B squares and, chain piecing, join them to these units, right sides together, with a one 1/4 inch seam allowance:
Your result will be:
To make this faster you can cut strips.
Cut A and B strips for the appropriate width, and join them into A/B/A and B/A/B units. Note you will need twice the length of B/A/B strips, as there are two of these units. Once your strips are joined, right sides together, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Press every seam towards the dark fabric.
Cut across your pre-joined strips to create the units needed for the nine patch:
You will achieve the same result as above, but this method is faster.
To make a standard 9 patch, the width of the unit cut from pre-joined strips is the same as the width of the original strips.
Press all the seams to the dark fabric so that all the seems butt up.
Join the B/A/B units to your A/B/A units with butted seams, right sides together, with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
The direction of the final, central seam is optional. But guided by the placement of the block in the larger scheme, and wherever possible, iron to facilitate budding the seam joints.
Just as the 4 patch, you can apply this methodology to all kinds of 9 patch blocks. As long as the patch has an underlying 3x3 grid, no matter how many pieces, the basic principle applies. It is repeated over and over, each 9 patch laying adjacent to the next 9 patch. As long as you keep pressing seams in pairs of opposite directions, piecing will be smooth sailing.
Try these out. Each block has an underlying 3x3 grid, and can be pieaced as a 9 patch.
Sometimes it is not obvious which direction is the dark with complicated blocks like those above. Just remember the basic ironing plan is:
How to Resize Quilt Blocks: