Just lately I’ve been involved with a block drive for Quilts For Care Leavers. There’s more information about the project here in this website.  The issue has been not everyone has the time to create a full quilt,, so the idea is that a block of the month is chosen, along with a colour scheme and each month quilts will be constructed from just the single block.  It means almost any quilter can join in with this worthy cause, after all we all want to help. The Churn Dash block was chosen for October andI agreed to collate and sash the blocks into quilt tops, which would be sent onto a longarm quilter in due course for the quilting, and likely a third person for the binding.

There’s been an amazing response and it’s hoped the project will double figures for just this month.  Some people have even created full quilts from the churn dash block along.

If you would like to play a small part for this worthy cause, please click the link at the bottom of the page.

The Churn Dash block is a 9 patch block pattern from the 18th century. It resembles the butter churn’s perimeter and stick (dash) in the centre.   Its one of the easier blocks to create, but like always, measure twice and cut once for accuracy [how many times do we recite that mantra].

How to create your own Churn Dash Block

2-4 contrasting fabrics.( pressed well)


 4 1/2″ square (this could be fussy cut)

Light fabric 

7 1/2″ square

3″ x 18″

Dark Fabric

7 1/2″ square

3″ x 18″


Half square triangles (HSTs) 4 at a time

Pin the 2 squares (7 1/2″) right sides together (RST) and mark a quarter inch point in each corner.

Sew a 1/4″ seam all round turning with needle in down position at your marked points.

Place your long ruler diagonally on the corners and cut into 4 triangles.

Press each piece open with seam towards the dark side.

Place your square ruler on each square, lining up the diagonal mark on the ruler with your seam. Trim off the two sides. (Make sure the other corners exceeds 4 1/2″ marks before you cut)

Turn it round and position the square ruler lining up the diagonal mark and make sure the previous cut sides are on the 4 1/2″ marks. Trim off these two sides. The squares will be 4 1/2″.

Half squares

Pin the two long pieces right sides together (RST) together and stitch 1/4″ seam.

Open out and press seam to the dark side.

Using your long ruler and lining up with a straight line on ruler with your seam, cut the 4 1/2″ pieces.

Using your square ruler line up the 2 1/4″ mark on the ruler with your seam and trim off that side only.

Turn it around and line up the square ruler with the 4 1/2″ mark on the left side and trim off.

Repeat with the other three half squares. They will now measure 4 1/2″ square.

Lay out all your 4 1/2″ squares ready to sew.

Stitch the horizontal rows together with a 1/4″ and press your seam in the opposite direction as shown.

Pin the rows together matching your seams by carefully pushing the seams together so they nestle well.

Stitch a 1/4″ seam. Open out and press seam towards the centre.

Repeat the process with the other row.

This will now measure a  perfect 12 1/2″ Block…

These beautiful blocks have been donated by individuals and sashed together to make many quilts for care leavers…

If you would like to contribute in a small way by making just one (or more) Churn Block to Quilts For Care Leavers (Q4CL) whether for this years drive, or for future years, then you can join the merry band.   Firstly you shoud visit Quilts for Careleavers [Q4CL] at Facebook and ask to join this private group.  You need to answer three simple questions, just a formality really, and then you can choose to join in on the Block Drive or any of the other sub groups .. like the Bags for the Quilts that will be donated to the Careleavers for example.   It’s great fun, and a worthy cause too.