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8 Free Churn Dash Quilt Patterns

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

By: Ashley Jones, Editor, FaveQuilts.com
8 Free Churn Dash Quilt Patterns

If you love classic American quilting, then you won't want to miss these traditional churn dash quilts. Rich in history, the churn dash quilt hearkens back to the mid-1800s, so these patterns are perfect for traditional quilters. Take your beginner quilting skills to the next level with our collection of free churn dash quilt patterns and quilt blocks!

Churn dash quilt blocks also go by many other names, including the monkey wrench, hens and chickens, and several others, so we've also included a short list of common churn dash aliases. These classic churn dash blocks and full quilt patterns are ideal for scrap quilting as well, so you can clean out your fabric stash while you create a gorgeous new quilt. Whether you're searching for a simple quilt block to try or are looking for a new bed quilt, then you'll love these free churn dash patterns.

Looking for more free quilt patterns? Then be sure to sign up for our free eNewsletter, Piecing It Together, to have free quilt patterns delivered directly to your inbox!

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 from suzyquilts.com, in her article The Churn Dash Quilt Will Remind You Why You Love Quilting, 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.

The churn dash quilt block has a somewhat similar structure to a nine patch block, and is composed of triangles, squares, and rectangles. This simple quilt block is popular with beginner quilters but can also be altered to create more advanced designs. This quilt block is a fantastic option for taking your beginning quilter skills to the next level.

Other Names for Churn Dash Quilts

A churn dash quilt by any other name would look as beautiful! 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

Free Churn Dash Quilt Patterns

Shenandoah Churn Dash Quilt

From simple blocks to full quilt patterns, these churn dash quilts are fantastic projects for working on more precise piecing and are a fun mix of squares, rectangles, and triangles. Find your next quilt pattern in this list of churn dash designs.

Have you heard of other names for the churn dash quilt? Let us know below in the comments!

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