Alternative block for the Sew Much Fun Tour - 6" churn dash

>> Wednesday, September 1, 2021

 I knew when I started the Sew Much Fun tour that I wasn't going to want to make all the blocks offered by the different designers. Whether it was a time restraint or a technique that would take me too much time (and patience!) to learn, or just a block I didn't want to make, I started thinking about my options.

 One would be to just not make them and carry on. That had me asking myself what I intended to DO with all of these blocks? I do have an idea that I'm still commiting to and will share once I have :) 

In the meantime, I decided that I could make alternate blocks to fill in for the designer blocks I don't make.



The first alternative block that came to mind was a churn dash - of course! I love this block as it was the first block I made in an internet block swap back in 1998! Still my favourite!

Here's a visual tutorial of how I made my first churn dash as I am planning to make them from scraps which are hopefully leftovers from the other Sew Much Fun Tour blocks so they look good together. This is not the only way to make a churn dash, especially colour placement; I made this one using the fabric scraps I had on hand.

6" churn dash block tutorial

You will need:

1 - 2 1/2" square for the center of the block - it will not be cut so you could fussy cut something fun for this square

2 - 3" squares of background fabric for the Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

2 - 3" squares of fabric for the HST corners

2 strips  1 1/2" x 5" of background fabric to make the dashes

2 strips  1 1/2" x 5" fabric to make the dashes

The dashes can be made several ways - you will see the size requirements for each dash unit as we go and you could use 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" strips to make your units separately - you would need 4 strips.

You could also cut one long 1 1/2" x 10" or so then cut the units once sewing the background and dash fabric strips together.

My corner fabrics and dash fabrics are different for this churn - they can match or they can all be different. Enjoy using what you have to make your block.


Make the Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

Draw a diagonal line on the back of the 2 background 3" squares.

Put one square RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER with one corner fabric 3" square. Sew 1/4" away from each side of the line.



Cut on the line and press the seam toward the corner triangle. Trim to 2 1/2" square.

Repeat with the second background and corner 3" squares to make a total of 4 - 2 1/2" corner squares.



Make the Dash units

Sew one background and one dash fabric strip together along one long edge. 

Press the seam to the dash fabric. Cut the strip into 2 - 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" dash units.



Repeat with the second set of background and dash strips to make a total of 4 - 2 1/2" square dash units.

Assemble the block rows


It can help to layout all the units before starting to sew. I actually moved around some of the dash units to make the design in the white background look better to me.


Top row - sew one HST with the corner fabric on the right to the left edge of  a dash unit with the dash fabric on the bottom. See the photo for orientation.

Sew a second HST with the corner fabric on the left to the right edge of the same dash unit to complete the row. Pres the seams to the HSTs.


Middle row - sew two dash units, one to each opposite sides of the center 2 1/2" square with the long edge of the dash fabric towards the center. Press the seams to the center square.


Bottom row - sew one HST with the corner fabric on the right to the left edge of  a dash unit with the dash fabric on the top. See the photo for orientation.

Sew a second HST with the corner fabric on the left to the right edge of the same dash unit to complete the row. Pres the seams to the HSTs.



Sew the rows together

Sew the bottom edge of the Top Row to the top edge of the Middle Row, nesting the seams between units.

Sew the top edge of the Bottom Row to the bottom edge of the Middle Row to complete the block. Press each seams to the row below.

The block should measure 6 1/2" square.


Feel free to use this block as a scrapbuster too! 


With Joy,

Sarah V.


p.s. I have other free blocks available in my online shop and Newsletter Subscribers have access to free patterns. Subscribe and see!

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