Friday, February 03, 2017

Chunky Churn Dash Re-Write!

This pattern/tutorial was first uploaded to my blog in 2005.  Long before the Essential Triangle Tool was even a dream.

I am teaching this class in just a few weeks in Michigan, so it was time to do a re-write and get things up to par, and written more in pattern form.  There will be more pattern revisiting and refreshing and updating in the days to come as time allows.

I hope you enjoy this little bit of archival scrappiness!
You can download the new printer-friendly PDF file for this pattern HERE.
Chunky Churn Dash!
A Quiltville Design
©2005 Bonnie K Hunter and Quiltville.com


Block Size: 6’’
Quilt Size: 79’’ X 79’’

What could be more fun than simple little 6" blocks repeated in favorite scrap fabrics?

We are all familiar with the traditional 'churn dash' block that has half square triangles in the corners. It has long been a quilter's favorite. What if we were to leave those triangles out and piece the corners as squares instead? The result is TOO CUTE!

I have a system of cutting down leftover fabrics into strips in widths of 1.5", 2", 2.5", 3", and 3.5". Anything smaller than a 'strip' gets cut into squares of the same various sizes. This gives me a way to keep things always at hand, always ready to sew together when inspiration hits me!

This darling quilt was made using strips from the 1.5" bin and the 2.5" bin. The centers for the blocks came from the bin of light scrap 2.5" squares, though you could just as easily cut them from your strips if you wanted.

For each Chunky Churn Dash block you will need:
1.5" X 11" strip of background
1.5" X 11" strip of 'rail' fabric
(4) 2.5" squares for block corners
(1) 2.5" center background square (can be scrappy or can match the other background strip.)



Start by sewing the 11" strips with right sides together along one long side.
Press the strips open with the seam allowance going towards the darker fabric.

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Fold the pieced strip in half and square off one edge. Using your rotary cutter and ruler, cut the strip into (4) 2.5" sub sections.

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Lay out your block pieces as shown and sew the block together as you would a 9 patch....sew the block pieces into three rows, and then sew the three rows together. Don't you agree these blocks are just TOO CUTE?


My pile is growing!
(Old 2005 photos are grainy!)

This quilt has 61 chunky churn dash blocks, and
60 hour glass alternate blocks.

Hour glass alternate blocks are GREAT because they make the blocks look like they are set 'on point', when they aren't!

*OPTIONAL!* This quilt was made in 2005, 11 years before my Essential Triangle became available.

If you want to work easier and smarter, these hour glass units can be made from 3 1/2'' strips using my new Essential Triangle Tool!

Traditional Rotary Cutting Method:
To make the alternate blocks you will need:
(30) 7 1/4" squares light background
(30) 7 1/4" squares dark focal fabric.

Layer the squares light and dark with right sides together. Cut the matched pairs of squares corner to corner twice with an X. You will get 4 matched pairs of triangles from each set.


Joining block halves.

Pieces are cut this way so that when the triangles are sewn into the hour glass blocks, the straight grain of the fabric is on the outside edge of the block all the way around.

Stitch pairs into hourglass halves. Press seams to the darker fabric. Join halves to complete each unit. Press. Trim dog ears. Make 60.


Loving how these are coming together.


The whole center on my living room floor

Lay out blocks in desired position, watching which way the hour glass units turn to complete the design.

Join blocks into rows and join rows to complete the quilt center. Press.

Inner border:

From neutral print cut 8 1 1/2’’ strips across the fabric from selvage to selvage.
From blue print cut 8 1 1/2’’ strips across the fabric from selvage to selvage.

Join the 8 neutral border strips end to end on the diagonal to make a border length approximately 310” long. Press seams open. Repeat with the 8 blue strips.

Place the long border strips with right sides together and stitch a center seam into one long border length.


Quilt Assembly Diagram

Lay the quilt center out on the floor, smoothing it gently. Do not tug or pull. Measure the quilt through the center from top to bottom. Cut 4 inner borders this length.

Add a 2 1/2’’ cut cornerstone square to each end of 2 of the borders. Press seam toward the border, away from the cornerstones.

Sew the side borders to the quilt sides with right sides together, pinning to match centers and ends easing where necessary to fit. Press seams toward the borders.

Stitch the top and bottom inner borders to the quilt center, pinning to match centers and ends, easing where necessary to fit. Press seams toward borders.

Outer Border:

From border fabric cut 9 5’’ strips across the fabric from selvage to selvage.
Join the 9 border strips end to end on the straight of grain to make a border length approximately 360” long. Press seams open.

Add the outer borders in the same manner as the inner borders were added, using 5’’ squares for cornerstones.

It's not a quilt until it's quilted! I machine quilted this quilt with beige thread using an edge to edge design by Willow Leaf Studios called "Rhapsody".

The quilt is bound in blue and is a favorite snuggle quilt my family fights over.

I hope you enjoyed making Chunky Churn Dash and take the time to discover all the other free quilt patterns and scrappy fun happening on my blog, Quiltville’s Quips & Snips at Quiltville.blogspot.com

I’m busy on Facebook and Instagram and always searching for something more to piece together and quilt up!

And don’t forget that all important label!
©2005 Bonnie K Hunter and Quiltville.com
All Rights Reserved.

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  1. Chunky Churndash has been one of my all time favorites. I don't know how many I have made. Thanks for such an awesome design and for the re-write.

  2. Thank you Bonnie. I know that you are very busy plus not feeling well. I am amazed at all you do!

  3. Thank you Bonnie for this free pdf download! I also put in an order for some of your itty bitty rulers and the new Garlic Knot digital pattern. You are the best! Pam M, FdL, WI :)

  4. Bonnie, you're killing me. I hadn't seen this quilt before, and now I have to make one!! :) I can't keep up! Our guild has a "bucket list" contest. You give the education committee a list of up to 11 UFO's that you want to finish this year. Each time you bring one back finished, your name gets entered into a drawing for a $15 gift certificate at one of our LQS. You can only get entered once per month. I'm making my list, and while I have only 5 things so far (have to be described by color, pattern, size), there are 3 Bonnie quilts on it already! Yikes.

  5. There are so many of your quilts I want to make! I'm 61. Hope I live another thirty years or so! Maybe I'll be able to get done!

  6. Omg you have to stop....I have one of your quilts in progress right now. Just finished up one of your string patterns and now I want to start this one. I have so many scraps and love your style. I will die at my sewing machine. Well I'll go happy any way.

    Glad to read that your face is clearing up. Did they figure out what caused the growth?

  7. Bonnie, I bought your Essential triangle tool and thought that is what was needed to do No. 2 on the En Provence. Since I am a fairly new quilter, I thought that is all I needed until I tried to figure out how to cut the triangles. I cut 100 triangles using the triangle tool and I don't really know if that is right or not. I also just ordered the tri recs ruler because after viewing the video on You tube on how to use it, I figured out that I did not have the correct ruler. Is that right? I need a different ruler, not just a dresden ruler. Am I correct about this? Thanks for your help on this. Vicki

  8. Thanks Bonnie, I think this is a great pattern and I am inspired to have a go, after I finish my Scrappy Mountain Mysteries!

  9. Thanks Bonnie,
    I am really enjoying using the essential triangle tool. I'm glad you are updating the instruction. I am currently working on Lady of Lake Erie and it took me a while to translate the instruction to use this tool. I got it done, and it's working fine.


  10. Boninie the people who write this stuff don't matter. Just delete and go on. Just remember the thousands of friends you have and all the ones that have coffee with you in the morning.

  11. This popped up in your blog at such a great time. My guild here in Virginia is gearing up for its fundraising auction and I was thinking of making one more quilt to donate, but it needed to be quick, scrappy, and not just some little wall hanging. My bee mate and I are going to each sew half the blocks from our strips and squares stash and get this done quickly. Thanks for offering these free patterns and keeping them current with new instructions. We appreciate you.

  12. By setting this block on point, I utilized this pattern to make a "baseball" wedding quilt. It turned out great!


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