6 Free Churn Dash Quilt Patterns

Love traditional quilt patterns? Then don't miss these DIY churn dash quilts!

Churn Dash Quilt Block Patterns

Looking to show off some stunning fabrics or fussy cuts with patterns that are easy to piece and come together in no time? Sounds like you need a churn dash quilt pattern.

Also sometimes called monkey wrench quilts, these patterns feature beautiful, geometric designs made with only a couple of simple shapes. Most churn dash quilts feature a square in the center that is framed with four rectangles and for half square triangles; the variation in these matters typically comes with the density of the border around the central square.

Some patterns, like the Colorful Churn Dash Quilt pattern featured below, find other ways to turn this traditional quilt design on its head by rotating the design slightly within the block. Check out our compilation of patterns below to find the right one for your next quilt!

What Is a Churn Dash Quilt?

The churn dash quilt, which has several other names, is a distinctly American quilt block with a long history that stretches back to pioneer days and wagon trains. Dating back as early as the mid-1800s, the churn dash block was created by women and girls traveling West and was inspired by everyday objects in their lives, specifically the butter churn.

According to Suzy Williams, the churn dash design "resembled the block of the butter churn, with the center block being the stick, or 'dash' of the churn." These quilts were often made with fabric scraps, and were a great way to inject a sense of comfort (the butter churn that served as a reminder of their homes in the East) as the pioneers made the dangerous journey to the American West.

You might know these quilts by a different name:
While this popular design is most commonly known as 'churn dash', it also goes by several other names, with 'monkey wrench' being a common alternative. Check out our list below to find out the other names associated with this pattern:

  • Monkey Wrench
  • Hens and Chickens
  • Lincoln's Platform
  • Shoo Fly
  • Hole in the Barn Door
  • Fisherman's Reel
  • Broken Plate
  • Love Knot
  • Ludlow's Favorite
  • Quail's Nest
  • Joan's Doll Quilt

Shenandoah Churn Dash Quilt

The Blueridge Churndash Quilt Pattern uses a medley of light blues and minty greens to create a color scheme that reminds you of a crisp mountain morning.

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Shenandoah Churn Dash Quilt

Churn Dash Fix Up Quilt

This particular churn dash quilt places the emphasis on the half square triangles and tightens up the center square. With this quilt, it's all about your color choice!

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Churn Dash Fix Up Quilt

Colorful Churn Dash Quilt

This bright, colorful pattern has a scrappy feel and can be used as a scrapbuster, if you want to use leftover fabric instead of following the pattern. This pattern invokes the feeling of a friendly, country house quilt!

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Colorful Churn Dash Quilt

Sadie's Churn Dash Quilt

A baby's room should be calm and peaceful for them, which makes Sadie's Churn Dash Quilt an excellent choice for their crib. This baby quilt pattern has a sweet, decorative quality, but also a bit of fun with the use of scrappy quilt pieces.

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Sadie's Churn Dash Quilt

Backyard Roses Churn Dash Pattern

Using about 9 fat quarters, this gorgeous vintage-inspired pattern is a cheery way to brighten up any room and can easily be made in vibrant fall oranges and reds or even with fun holiday prints. 

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Backyard Roses Churn Dash Pattern

Churn Dash Block

A traditional quilt block pattern that never loses it's charm can be found in this tutorial for the Churn Dash Block. Combine flying geese quilt patterns with an array of geometric shapes that will draw attention to any part of a quilt pattern you include this in.

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Churn Dash Block
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