Churn Dash Blocks

It is chilly and raining outside and I think I heard sleet hitting my windows earlier today. A perfect day for staying in and quilting. Isn’t it great that we have hobby we can work at no matter what the weather!? It’s raining – perfect quilting day, it’s snowing – perfect quilting day, and it’s a beautiful day – perfect quilting day!

And a great day for getting the information posted on these adorable churn dash blocks from waste triangles.

This is what you need for each block:

4 half-square-triangle units – mine are trimmed to 1 3/4″

2 different 2 1/2″ x 5″ rectangles – I used a denim and a plaid

1 center 2 1/2″ square – I used a plaid

Step 1. Placing the two rectangles right sides together, sew scant 1/4″ seams on each long side of the rectangles.

Step 2. Measure over 1 1/8″ from the edge and cut – do this on both of the long edges.

Step 3.  Set the seams and press towards the plaid.

Step 4.  Measure over and cut at 2 1/2″ on both of the pieces.

Step 5. Arrange all the pieces into the block as shown and sew together.

The blocks will measure 5″ at this point (unfinished).  Have fun turning them into a quit!  I will have 120 of them to use in one quilt or more and since I am using these as my leaders and enders, it will be awhile before they are all done and I have decided on a layout for them.  When I do take the time to play with these blocks and design some layout options in EQ6 I will post them here for you.

While working on this block the thought came to me, “Churn Dash – what is a churn dash?”  Now, I did have the idea that it must have something to do with a butter churn, but what exactly, I didn’t know – so I did a little research on the internet and found this site- Old and Interesting Stuff. Also this blog from a Living History Farm, where this photo is from.

The “churn” refers to the butter churn, or the mixing container, and the “dash” is the stirring stick. See how the churn dash quilt block looks like the picture of the cross-shaped dash inside of the cylinder churn!? The quilter that named that block obviously spent some time churning her own butter!


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