The Churn Dash Quilt Block

QuiltNotes Learning Center

Last Updated February 05, 2018

Churn Dash Block Craftsy UnlimitedThe churn dash quilt block is an old favorite. It is a 9-patch block, meaning there are 9 sections of construction. There are four half square triangle units, four rail fence units and one plain block unit. In this article you will learn how to piece a 12″ finished churn dash quilt block. Look at the end of this article for other finished block sizes.

There is a link to instructions to make a Churn Dash Quilt approximately 66″ x 80″ finished.

For these instructions you can use scraps or two fat quarters of contrasting fabrics. Two fat quarters will make two blocks.

I suggest you use fabric starch each time you press. See the article, Using Fabric Starch in Quilting. For these samples, I used Faultless Maxx.

 Press and Cut

Press each fat quarter. Stack right sides together.

churn dash quilt block

Fold the two fat quarters in half by folding the selvage edge up to the opposite edge. Position with the fold at the bottom.

churn dash quilt block

As you cut these pieces, leave the two fabrics right sides together. Straighten the edge and cut the following:

  • one 5″ strip for the half square triangle units
  • two 2-1/2″ strips for the rail fence units
  • one 4-1/2″ square from each fabric for the plain unit.

Half Square Triangles

Churn Dash Quilt Block

Using the 5″ strip, draw vertical lines at 5″, 10″ and 15″. This divides the rectangle into four squares. For each square, draw a line along one diagonal. Place pins on the vertical lines.

Churn dash quilt block

Stitch 1/4″ away from each side of the diagonal lines.

chrun dash quilt block

Slice the grid along the vertical and diagonal lines. You will have 8 half square triangle units. Press towards the dark fabric. Trim to 4-1/2″ square.

Rail Fence Units

churn dash quilt block

Using the 2-1/2″ strip sets, stitch along the long side. Press toward the dark fabric. Sub-cut each strip set into four 4-1/2″ segments.

Construct the Churn Dash Quilt Block

Lay out the units. Sew the units together into rows. Sew the rows together. Press towards the rail fence block.

Recommended Products:

Here are some products we recommend for making the churn dash quilt block:

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Table to Make Different Finished Sizes

Block Size

Unit Size

HST Cuts

Strip Cuts



5″ x 20″

2-1/2″ x 18″



4″ x 16″

2″ x 14″



2″ x 12″

1-1/2″ x 10″



2″ x 8″

1″ x 6″

Churn Dash Quilt Pattern

If you would like to make the churn dash quilt blocks into a quilt, find the instructions here:

The Churn Dash Quilt Pattern

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