Want to learn to sew a quick and versatile quilt block? The churn dash quilt block (also known as the monkey wrench quilt block) is a great place to start!

This tutorial creates a small block – 6 1/2″ square – that is the perfect size to use scraps for practice and to turn into a mug rug!

For this example I used 3 prints from my Homestead Life Fabric sold by Riley Blake Designs.

FABRIC 1: Flowers on white

  • (2) 3″ squares
  • (1) 2.5″ square
  • (4) 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles

FABRIC 2: Flowers on green

  • (2) 3″ squares

FABRIC 3: Golden Wheat

  • (4) 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles

STEP 1: Create 4 half-square triangles (HST)


Place the FABRIC 1 and FABRIC 2 squares, right sides together. (You will make 2 sets which will create the four corners of your block)

Draw a line diagonally on one square.

Stitch 1/4″ to each side of the line.

Cut on the diagonal line you drew originally.

Press towards the darker color fabric.

Square the HSTs to 2.5″.

STEP 2: Create the building blocks


Place the FABRIC 2 and FABRIC 3 rectangles, right sides together. (You will make 4 sets)

Stitch together with 1/4″ seam along long side of the rectangle.

Press towards the darker color fabric.

Layout your Churn Dash block as shown. I like to put mine on a felt square or wool pressing square so everything stays in place and I can move it if need be. Pay attention to any directionality of your fabric.

STEP 3: Sew the Churn Dash Block together


Sew the 3 building blocks together for each row. Press seams to darker fabric.

Sew the 3 rows together to make the Churn Dash block. Press seams open and square the block.

Your finished block should be 6.5″ square.

OPTIONAL: Create a Mug Rug!


This block is the perfect size for a mug rug – a great gift or for yourself!

I used Pellon 987F Fusible fleece and ironed it onto the back of the Churn Dash block. I then placed the block, wrong sides together, onto a piece of fabric that would be the bottom of my mug rug.

I quilted the pieces together by stitching along the seam lines.

Then add binding and you are done! 

Pretty quick and easy – have a creative day!

– Tara Reed

P.S. If you make this block I’d love to see it!

Tag me on Instagram: @artisttarareed
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P.P.S. Want to see more free projects using my Homestead Life Fabric? CLICK HERE >

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