Tuesday, August 3, 2010
BOW #9 Churn Dash
Churn Dash (the block in the center of the star), as with many quilt blocks, is known by other names, as well; Monkey Wrench and Hole in the Barn Door are common. (And at least one other block called Churn Dash does not look like this one.)
It's an easy block, using HSTs and rectangles. (You can find instructions for making Half Square Triangles in BOW #1.) For a 12" block, you will need:
(4) Half Square Triangles (light/dark), 4-1/2"
(4) dark rectangles, 2-/12" x 4-1/2"
(4) light rectangles, 2-1/2" x 4-1/2"
(1) light square, 4-1/2"
Sew the light and dark rectangles together along the longer sides, to make 4 pairs.
Arrange the HSTs, paired rectangles and light square as shown:
The dimensions of the Churn Dash can be changed to make it a frame, so that other blocks can be inserted into the center to make a combination block. We'll look at that, with a couple of examples, next week.
You can almost see the paddles of a dasher on a churn in the block. Pioneers often used a plunger type of churn for making butter, other types of churns with various paddle dashes. (One type of church was on a rocking chair, and you could rock milk into butter!) In our days, we think more about the dasher in an ice cream freezer.
The Monkey Wrench name would not have been used before 1840-ish, as that is roughly the date of the invention of the monkey wrench. This block does look very much like two monkey wrenches laid head to head; take a look at the photos and diagrams in Wikipedia. (In fact, one of the names of this block is Double Monkey Wrench.)
Hole in the Barn Door has always conjured up images of a horse escaping from the large hole in the door!