The Churn Dash is a terrific little quilt block for beginning quilters to make.
Whether your version is based on a 3x3 or 5x5 grid, the basic construction is like that of a nine patch quilt block.
A perfect choice for a scrappy quilt or a bee block exchange!
Pictured to the right is the block based on a 3x3 grid with two fabrics.
This quilt block is known by many other names that include: Broken Plate, Double Monkey Wrench, Double T, Dragon's Head, Fisherman's Reel, Hens and Chickens, Hole in the Barn Door, Indian Hammer, Joan's Doll Quilt, Lincoln's Platform, Love Knot, Ludlow's Favorite, Old Mill Design, Picture Frame, Puss in the corner, Quail's Nest, Sherman's March, Shoo Fly, and Wrench
To learn how to make this 3x3 version, go to the Churn Dash quilt block tutorial. Instructions are included for 5 different sizes. Eight different variations.
This next version (below) of the Churn Dash is based on a 5x5 grid and is called the Monkey Wrench.
You can see that the center patch in the sides and center of the block are half the size of the corner units. (Some may refer to this layout as an uneven nine patch.)
It, too, goes by many other names (including some of the same ones from above): Double Wrench, Aeroplane, Airplane, Alaska Homestead, Bear Paw Design, Bride's Knot, The Broad Axe, The Crow's Nest, Dragon's Head, French 4's, Hens and Chickens, Hole in the Barn Door, Honey Dish, Maltese Cross, Monkey Wrench, Pioneer Patch, Square Triangles, T Design, and T Quartette, True Lover's Knot and Wrench.
To learn how to make this 5x5 version, go to the Monkey Wrench Quilt Block tutorial. Instructions are included for 4 different sizes.
Choose a color palette, vary the values of the background fabrics from light to dark and you create this fun scrappy quilt.
Did you notice how some of the blocks are very low contrast--there's very little difference in the value of the two fabrics in the block. I like the effect this gives my quilts...a bit of a space for the eye to rest.
It doesn't have to be scrappy. A two color Churn Dash quilt is a graphic quilt. Just reverse the fabrics for each alternate block and you get this quilt...
Back to a scrappy quilt and now adding a sashing strip between the blocks. The sashing helps make a little bit bigger quilt without a lot of extra piecing. Another benefit to the sashing is that you no longer have to match the points on the Churn Dash blocks.
This block takes on a whole other look when the blocks are set on-point.
First, the blocks are set edge-to-edge. Solid setting triangles complete the layout.
Next, sashing is added between the blocks.
This final example uses blocks in two different sizes. It's a fun way to showcase your fabrics, the bigger blocks providing a space for larger scale fabrics. In this quilt, the small blocks are a quarter of the size of big blocks.
When you're ready to start your own quilt design, we have a couple free downloads to help you plan and stitch your quilt. Each download will open in a new window.
To assist you with color placement for your quilt designs, use one (or both) of our coloring pages.
To ensure these coloring pages print at the proper size, set 'Page Scaling' to 'None' in your printer's set-up menu.
You need to have Adobe Reader (the latest version is recommended installed on your computer in order to open and print any of these patterns or coloring pages.
You can get Adobe Reader here. A new window will open so you can download it without leaving this page.
In order to print any of our free downloads, open the downloaded file, and select the 'Print' option.
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