{Classic Quilt Blocks} Churn Dash - How Aussie Designers Have Used This Block

Before I started this months blog series, I reached out to some of my favorite Australian designers and asked if they'd like to share any quilts or patterns they'd designed using the Churn Dash block - which is a real treat for my blog I must say!

There were a few ladies who have used this Classic Quilt Block in very unique ways, and they agreed to share their work with you and tell you why they chose the Churn Dash block for their projects.

In my introduction post I showed you some gorgeous antique Churn Dash quilts but how is this block still relevant in todays modern quilting world? This block remains extremely popular and designers use it because its recognisable, its suitable for all levels of quilters and you have to admit its pretty darn cute, right?

Classic blocks like the Churn Dash heavily influence everything we design and as you will see from some of these projects, not only pieced projects. Prepare to be inspired!

First up is the lovely Joy Coey from JoyPatches and she has stitched a Churn Dash Block for a block roll she called Doddle Blocks:

How gorgeous is this design? I love how intricately Joy has stitched each of the blocks and her Churn Dash block is just the sweetest. Wouldn't her doodles make the most gorgeous quilting designs? They are stunning!

Its such a clever way to use quilt blocks and its an unique combination of Joy's love of stitching and quilting, with her own modern twist. Her block roll is a fun way to store blocks while you're sewing, and the whole design pays homage to the women who created these classic blocks centuries ago.

Here's what Joy had to say about choosing the Churn Dash block for this project:

"While I love traditional blocks and quilts I must admit that I always end up making things with a more modern twist.  As stitchery is also a passion of mine I decided to incorporate some of the traditional favorites in this block roll with my love for needle and thread. I called it "Doodle Blocks" because its exactly how I designed it - by doodling in the block shapes, such fun!!" - Joy Coey from JoyPatch.

Currently Joy doesn't have a website but she has invited you to follow her on Facebook HERE or on Instagram HERE so pay her a visit and say hello.

Next up is the very talented Anorina Morris from Samelia's Mum and she has two designs which are both free patterns on her blog. The first one is her gorgeous Chunky Monkey Quilt:

Adorable right? And the quilt is pretty darn cute too! ;) Anorina has designed wider rectangles for her Churn Dash blocks, making them delightfully plump and more cohesive with the HST's. I love the chunky, pudgy look of these blocks - they feel so cuddly and squishy don't you think?

This is the baby quilt size and isn't it perfect for a nursery? I love those fabrics too, such pretty colours! What new mum wouldn't love this quilt?

If you head to Anorina's blog you will also see her full sized Chunky Monkey Quilt, which is equally as stunning. Its available as a free pattern for you to download, and you're going to want to sew one of these quilts for yourself.

Anorina's second pattern is the stunning Scrappy Churn Pillow and this is another clever example of the modern day Churn Dash. Anorina has incorporated a scrappy mix of squares and triangles to create the block and she's added a floating four patch to the centre. So cute! Its such a great use of that negative space.

This scrappy look has really added the WOW factor to this Classic Quilt Block - its clever, its fun, its a little funky and I absolutely love it! Don't you?

Anorina has a free tutorial on her blog for her Scrappy Churn Pillow so head on over for all the information and give her some love while you're there.

Next up is one of my favorite stitching superstars, Jenny from Jenny of Elefantz:

Wow! Stunning right? Jenny designs the most gorgeous stitcheries and for this quilt she has framed her sweet Shabby Rose Stitcheries using the Churn Dash block. She has used a 5 x 5 grid Churn Dash and don't they work perfectly in this quilt?

This is another clever example of combining two loves, stitching and quilting, and it makes such an eye catching quilt. Jenny told me that this hangs on her sewing room door and it makes her heart happy as its one of her favorite designs - I can see why. It also shows how versatile the Churn Dash can be and how effective it is in framing stitcheries, quilt blocks or fussy cut fabric squares.

Jenny and I had a lovely email conversation about why the Churn Dash is one of her favorite blocks and here is just a little of what she had to say:

"During our homeschooling years we read a book by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, "Understood Betsy" (1916). The main character is Elizabeth Anne (Betsy) and she goes to live in the country to be raised by Aunt Frances. The lessons of living in the country and becoming a very self-assured and confident young girl have you cheering from the sidelines and laughing quite a lot. It was this book which stirred my love for the churn dash block because whenever I see one or make one I am instantly back in the book with Aunt Frances teaching Betsy to make butter in the churn." - Jenny from Jenny of Elefantz.

Isn't that lovely? You can see individual pictures of all twelve stitcheries on Jenny's blog and you can purchase her gorgeous Shabby Rose Churn Dash Quilt pattern in her Etsy shop - and its currently on special until the end of July (a little gift to you I think.)

Next up is the very lovely Jemima Flendt from Tied With A Ribbon and Jemima has a reversible Churn Dash quilt in her new book Quilt Big: Bigger Blocks for Faster Finishes:

This is the front of the quilt and isn't it stunning? Jemina has used a clever layout and switched up the colour values to give the classic Churn Dash block a modern makeover. I love how all the churns connect and with blocks this size you can showcase your favorite large scale prints.

The concept of Jemima's Quilt Big book is to take a traditional block and super size it to sew faster finishes with bigger blocks and this is a stunning example of how its done. She also has a chapter on quilt backings and how to make them just as striking as the quilt front. Are you ready to see the back of this quilt?

Wow! I love this one so much!  A super sized Churn Dash block makes a stunning modern quilt - it creates maximum impact with very little effort. I'm not sure which side of this quilt I'd want to use first or the most!

Here's what Jemima had to say about the Churn Dash block and her quilt:

"I have always loved the Churn Dash block - it is striking and whilst steeped in tradition so wildly modern all at the same time. My vision for this design was to showcase the fabrics and how they could be incorporated into the design in a modern way. I also wanted to showcase a desing for the backing which could also make the quilt reversible. The Churn Dash has been given an upsized makeover in this quilt with the beautiful big blocks on the front and then the even bigger single Churn Dash on the back." Jemima Flendt - Tied With A Ribbon. 

If this quilt has inspired you to try bigger blocks you can purchase a copy of Jemima's book Quilt Big: Bigger Blocks for Faster Finishes, which is a wonderful reference for blocks and quilts with super fast finishes.

And finally, me! I didn't have a Churn Dash project but I have included one in each of the three sampler quilts I've designed:

The quilt on the left is my Country Sampler Quilt and I designed and taught this at my local quilt shop many years ago - you can just see the Churn Dash block circled. Once the ladies had mastered the nine patch block they moved onto the Churn Dash, and they were always looked so proud of themselves once they pieced this block.

The block on the right is the Nine Patch Churn Dash from my Chatelaine Sampler Quilt. This was drafted on a 5 x 5 grid and I added the centre nine patch. You can find this free pattern in my Free Chatelaine Sampler Quilt tab.

And I had to include a Churn Dash block in my Ma Petite mini sampler quilt - they are even cuter super tiny aren't they? This quilt hangs over my cutting table and it silently influences the designs I produce today.

PDF patterns of Ma Petite can be purchased in my Etsy shop.

All of these projects are an unique and gorgeous way to use the classic Churn Dash block, and I hope they inspire your next quilting project.

Thanks so much to the lovely ladies who shared their work. Its been an honour to learn more about your designs, and to see how you use this gorgeous Classic Quilt Block. :)

Happy quilting :)
email signature


  1. So many varied and pretty projects! Thanks for sharing a bit of my own love for this lovely block, Rose. Have shared your link on my blog as well.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story with me Jenny. I loved learning more about your design and your affection for the churn dash. You're a beautiful soul :) xx

  2. Very informative. I loved reading your blog. Thank you for posting this! And, I want to try making a Churn Dash block, too!

    1. Oh that's awesome! I hope last weeks tutorial helps you out :)

  3. Rose, what great inspiration this is! I love this block, and have used it SO many times in quilting. It's one of my top 3 favorites. I have one in the works right now ... maybe two. LOL These were such an enjoyable spread on the block, thanks for contacting all these designers and showing their work. There are some awesome new ideas for me, and of course I love Jenny!

    1. They're all so different but such beautiful examples Susan. It was a treat to learn more about these designs and have them on my blog. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post :)

  4. I really like seeing all of the ideas together, it is very inspiring. x

    1. Its fun to see how others use the block Kay. I enjoyed putting this post together and seeing all the gorgeous designs :)


I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog. I love hearing from you so thank you for taking the time to leave me a message. 😊