The Speedy Churn Dash Block – Fat Quarter Super Friendly

This unbearable cold has really kept us locked indoors this past week!  All better to come up with some fun ideas!

I have been putzing around with one of my ‘thoughts’, those ideas that come to me every once in a while and I have to test them out.

My inspiration is this Churn Dash quilt my Grandmother made way back in the 50’s, possibly earlier, possibly later, I don’t know for sure.  She died in her early 50’s in the early 1970’s.  I was about 4 or 5 when she died and we didn’t live close so my memories of her are really the ones right before she passed away.  The rest are through pictures and family stories.  I do know her quilting though.

These quilts were made from clothing and feed sacks, flour sacks and whatever scrap was at hand.  I don’t know if she made this as part of a bee or all on her own, I just know that it was hers and today dresses a guest bed at my Parents home…


Close up, it is stained, tattered and well worn…


…hand quilted but machine pieced…


I love the scrappiness of the quilt and the black sashing.

Now I suppose I could make a pattern for this Churn Dash block and re-create it in a traditional way, however I have on the brain something I’ve been itching to do using the speedy paper piecing method I’ve used in the past.

If you are familiar with the Speedy Half Triangle sheets under the Patterns tab ( See the tab above, I’ve used these for a few projects over the years) then I want to introduce you to another Speedy Pattern Sheet.  This is the Speedy Churn Dash Block pattern sheet that can be used perfectly with Fat Quarters.

Speedy Churn Dash 75 Block

I have lots of fat quarters, 1/2 yard cuts, yard cuts and the like that I can size down to work perfectly with this Churn Dash pattern sheet.

Here’s how the sheet works.


First of all, print the sheet and make sure the control square measures 1.5″ x 1.5″.DSCF7393

Then prepare your fat quarter fabric.  Each Churn Dash Block will use 1/4 of a fat quarter.

Take your fat quarter and fold it in halfDSCF7395DSCF7396

And then fold it in half again (you’ll have 4 layers of fabric)…


Since not all fat quarters are the same (sometimes they are cut smaller than 18″ x 22″) check to make sure the pattern sheet fits…


Then fold back some of the dead space on the pattern sheet.  This will give you the most use of your fat quarter x-tra’s…


…and place the pattern sheet so the left edge of the pattern sheet is closest to the raw edges of the folded fat quarter.  You should have a big area between the pattern sheet and the fold…


Trim off this fold and save for another use.


Then slice into the folds…


…to get 4 pieces plus your extra strip….


Then with one of these pieces, match it with a contrasting fabric and place them right sides together…



Place the Speedy Churn Dash Block pattern sheet on top and pin in place making sure the borders of the pattern are within the borders of the fabric…DSCF7409

You are ready to start sewing, do not cut yet!

Start with the half square triangle area in the upper left… DSCF7411

Sew along the dotted lines following the arrows…DSCF7412

Turning the paper fabric sandwich around to follow the stitching lines.  When you get to the end, use a leader/ender to sew off the edge…DSCF7414

(or just cut the threads)

Then sew the straight lines at the bottom of the sandwich using the same technique…


Going up in one direction, turning the sandwich and sewing back down in the other direction…


Take off the machine, this is as much sewing that can be done until we remove the paper…


Now cut the pieces apart using either scissors or a rotary cutter…DSCF7418

This is what all the pieces look like cut…


Remove the paper…


Press the pieces toward the darkest fabric…


Trim the dog ears off of the half square triangles…DSCF7423

And decide which Churn Dash you’d like to sew!  The Dark with the light background churn dash…


…or the Light churn dash with the dark background…DSCF7425

…you’ll have 4 solid 3″ squares so use 1 and save the other 3.DSCF7426

I chose to sew the Dark Churn Dash!DSCF7428

Press and do it again!!!!


It is so fun and super easy to do!

~Happy Sewing, Happy Quilting!


5 thoughts on “The Speedy Churn Dash Block – Fat Quarter Super Friendly”

  1. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you.
    Another site has these for sae. But on my no budget,this is great.


    1. Thanks Betty! Just be sure to print at Actual Size for the control square to be accurate. Enjoy! I’m sewing lots of Churn Dashes!!! LOL!


  2. Hi Cathy,
    I love what you’ve been up to. I want to share something (good) with you. Would you mind sending your email address to me?
    All my best,


    1. Hi Anita, I’m easy to find…you can email at stitchin.steiner AT yahoo.com so funny that I’ve been talking about and working on the Arrowhead block that has inspired my next scrap project! (now you have me curious!)


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