Wednesday, June 22, 2016

101 Patchwork Patterns - Block 3

Today we are making block 3 of the 101 Patchwork Patterns quilt. This block is called a Churn Dash. It is also known by the name Monkey Wrench, and you will see variations in size and coloring. I can't find my copy of Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns but I checked at and the earliest examples seem to be from the last quarter of the 19th century (1876-1900) with quite a few from the thirties era.

Churn Dash 

This is essentially another 9 patch block. You will see the term "grid" sometimes and it refers to the units that makes up a block. So for the Double Nine Patch last week, and the Churn Dash this week, the grid is an equal 9 patch. You can have unequal grids where the rows are not all the same size as well.

Download Block 3 pattern here. Follow the cutting instructions given. Below is a step by step with photos of how to assemble the block. 

1. Make half square triangle units:
Place the 3-7/8" purple and beige squares right sides together. On the wrong side of the beige 3-7/8" squares, draw a line from corner to corner.
Sew 1/4 inch from the drawn line using your 1/4 inch presser foot. If you don't have one, you can draw additional lines 1/4 inch away from the diagonal in both directions.
Sew 1/4 from the drawn line on the other side.
Cut the 2 sets in half on the drawn line. Press open towards the dark fabric. This will give you 4 half square triangle blocks that should measure 3-1/2".

2. Make side center units:
Sew the right sides of the white and purple strips together. Cross-cut at 3-1/2" (cut piece shown).
Press open towards the purple fabric.

3. Make the block:
Lay out the 8 sewn units with the 3-1/2" center square. Sew the parts of the rows together.
Sew the rows together.
As you sew seams, clip off the points that extend beyond the 1/4" seam allowance. I always wait to clip the points until I've sewn over the point, like shown here. I was taught that you didn't have to secure a seam if it was crossed by another seam, and that's what I wait for to trim the points.
More points to trim.
And here's a shot of the back of this block. With the row seam allowances pressed to the purple fabric everything lays flat. The only slightly bulky area is at the top of the points. If my light fabric wasn't so light I would have pressed the row seams towards the center. And even though the seam allowance would show through, there may be spots where it does need to be pressed that way. No one will notice but you! I know I'm super picky about my blocks and that I see things wrong that no one else does. Think about when you look at someone's finished quilt. Does your eye go straight to the one spot where the seam allowances were pressed to the lighter fabric and they show through a little? You see the overall design of the quilt, and it's beautiful!

Thanks for following along and making another block in the quilt. 

I have created a Flikr Group for sharing photos of our blocks. You can view blocks at If you want to add your blocks to the group album you need to have a Flikr account (it's free).


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