Easy 12" Churn Dash Quilt Block Pattern

Churn Dash Quilt Block Pattern

The Spruce / Janet Wickell

How to Make Churn Dash Quilt Blocks

Try this Churn Dash quilt block pattern if you're looking for a traditional patchwork design for your next quilting project. Work with any fabrics that suit you, even reproductions from past eras are perfect for this quilt block. Choose batiks and other similar quilting fabrics to give Churn Dash a more contemporary look.

Do you love scrap quilts? Grab your fabric stash and stitch a scrappy batch of Churn Dash quilt blocks.


  • Other variations of the block are stitched with more narrow bars and larger half square triangle units.
  • Try making Churn Dash quilt blocks with quarter square triangle units at their centers.
  • You’ll also see Churn Dash quilt blocks with varying arrangements of color value—the amount of contrast between a patch and its neighboring fabric.
  • Album Churn Dash has a center signature panel that can be used when a group of friends gets together to sew a friendship quilt.

Finished Block Size

  • 12" x 12"

Cutting Chart

Red/Green/Gold Print

  • (1) 4-1/2” x 4-1/2” square
  • (2) 4-7/8” x 4-7/8” squares

Mottled Green Print

  • (1) 2-1/2” x 19” strip

Light Neutral Print

  • (2) 4-7/8” x 4-7/8” squares
  • (1) 2-1/2” x 19” strip

Sew the Quilt Block

Churn Dash Quilt Block Pattern
The Spruce / Janet Wickell
  1. Use a quarter-inch seam allowance to sew the green strip and neutral strip together lengthwise to make a strip set.
  2. Press to set the seam.
  3. Press seam allowance towards the green strip.
  4. Square up one end of the strip set. Beginning at the squared up end, cut four 4-1/2” long segments.
  5. Draw a diagonal line, from one corner to the opposite corner, on the reverse side of each 4-7/8" light neutral square. Use the quick pieced half square triangle method to sew a light square to a multicolor square of the same size. When complete, each of the four resulting half-square triangle units should measure 4-1/2" x 4-1/2".
  6. Arrange all fabric to create three rows as shown in the illustration.
  7. Sew the units in each row together. Press all seam allowances towards the strip pieced units.
  8. Sew rows together, carefully matching patch edges and seam intersections. Press. The quilt block should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2".

Contrast Options

Churn Dash Quilt Block Pattern
The Spruce / Janet Wickell

The illustrations above show how easy it is to alter the looks of a Churn Dash quilt block by changing the contrast between patches.

Remember that "light" doesn't necessarily mean that a patch will fade to the background, because color dominance is a factor, too. For instance, the warmth of a yellow patch might make it more noticeable than dark brown patches.

Sew 56 Churn Dash Quilt Blocks

Make the outer triangles in half square triangle units from at least two different fabrics, so that, if blocks are sewn side-by-side, you won't end up with four like triangles that meet at block intersections. It's much more interesting when you create visual movement by varying color in those adjoining areas.

Always cut just enough fabric to make a sample block or two before you cut all of the fabric for any quilt.

  • Red fabric: 2-1/8 yards
  • Light fabric: 4-1/8 yards
  • Green fabric: 2 yards

Half Square Triangle Units

You'll need a total of 224 half square triangle units. Choose the method linked on in step two or another technique that results in half square triangle units that finish at 4-inches square (in other words, are 4-1/2" x 4-1/2" before sewing them into the block).

For the method from step 2:

  • (112) 4-7/8" x 4-7/8" light squares
  • (112) 4-7/8" x 4-7/8" red squares

Follow the previous instructions to complete the half square triangle units.

You might like the Magic 8 half square triangle method.

For the Strip Pieced Segments

Make longer versions of previous strip sets.

Note: You might need one or two more strips of each than indicated below (if you square up often or if your fabric shrinks a bit; the extra is included in yardage calculations)

  1. Cut (25) 2-1/2" strips of light fabric from selvage to selvage
  2. Cut (25) 2-1/2" strips of green fabric from selvage to selvage
  3. Sew contrasting strips together in pairs to create strip sets as shown in step 2. Press, square up and cut as many 4-1/2" segments from each strip set as possible. Cut a total of 224 segments.
  4. Assemble each of the blocks as shown in step 2.

The amount of backing, batting, and binding you'll need depends on the final layout of your quilt blocks.