Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nickel Churn Dash and Greek Cross quilt block tutorial

How to make a Churn Dash or Greek Cross quilt block from 5" fabric squares ( known as nickel or charm squares)

                     Churn Dash quilt block
Greek Cross quilt block

Step 1.  Cut the following 5" squares of fabric or use pre-cut squares from a charm pack.

Step 1

Step 2.  Draw a line on the back of the white squares. Draw line down the center of 2 squares and diagonally on the other 2 squares as shown below.  I just use a mechanical pencil to draw my lines because it makes a very fine line and you can get close to the ruler.

Step 2

Step 3.  Place a blue square and a white square that has been marked with a diagonal line, right sides together with.  Repeat for the remaining blue square.  Place a red square and a white square that has been marked down the middle, right sides together. Repeat for the remaining red square.

Step 4.  Sew 1/4" away from each side of the marked line for each set of squares that you placed right sides together.

Step 4

Step 5.  After sewing on each side of the line, cut on the marked line.  This cutting does not have to be accurate since you've already done your sewing.  Cut with your rotary cutter or scissors. Your blocks will look like this before they are pressed.


Step 5

Step 6.  Press blocks open.  Press seam to dark fabric.  The blocks should look like this.


Step 6

Step 7.  Square up the half square triangle blocks to 4 1/2" by trimming as shown below.  Line the ruler up with the block on the diagonal line.  Trim 2 sides and then reposition your ruler to trim the last to sides.  You may have very little to trim as shown.

Step 7
trimmed half square triangle block
Step 8.  After your half square triangles are trimmed, all of the units of your block are done.  Arrange the units as shown below to make either a Churn Dash quilt block or a Greek Cross quilt block. 

Churn Dash quilt block

Greek Cross quilt block
Step 9.  Sew the block together by sewing in rows, i.e. sew the 3 blocks in the top row together, the 3 in the center row together, and the 3 in the bottom row together.  Then, sew the 3 rows together.

I love this block because you use all of the nickel square without having to trim any down to
4 1/2" like you do in many patterns.  To create the scrappy corners in my Crosswise quilt, I used 4 different half square triangles at the corners of the block.  Since 1 white square and 1 print square make 2 half square triangles, there are duplicate half square triangle blocks used throughout the quilt to create the scrappy look.

There are many ways to arrange these units and many names for this block if the color placement is moved around. Some of the other names are Broken Plate, Double Monkey Wrench, Double T, Dragon's Head, Fisherman's Reel, Hems and Chickens, Hole in the Barn Door, Indian Hammer, Joan's Doll Quilt, Lincoln's Platform, Love Knot, Ludlow's Favorite, Old Mill Design, Picture Frame, Puss in the Corner, Quail's Nest, Sherman's March, Shoo Fly, Wrench, Grecian Design, Grecian Square, Grecian, and Greek Square according to Maggie Malone's book entitled 5,500 Quilt Block Designs.


  1. Thank you for writing the tutorial. I have a bunch of 5 inch squares and am putting this on my to do list.

  2. Can you tell me the finished block size (raw)?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.