Over the years I have worked with the hand silkscreen printing, drawing media, quilting and collage. All the while I have continued to paint with acrylic, oils and watercolors. My works are included in these collections Ernst and Young, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Duke, Princeton, UNC, UVA, IBM, Texaco, AT&T, Time Warner, CSX, Verizon and the US State Dept. among others.

Monkey Wrench 2019-2020 Designing as I go

Monkey Wrench sewed and pressed
Machine pieced Monkey Wrench Pattern using triangles and squares to form the 10″ Squares.  This quilt was started in May 2019 and finished in August 2020.

A friend from quilting mentioned that she wanted to do a monkey wrench quilt but all she had was directions for a twelve inch block. Thinking about it I had always wanted to do one too so I got busy and figured out how to make a 10″ block.   Here is the preliminary drawing that maps out the shapes in light and dark that form the pattern.
4 shapes are used in this design.


Below are the Templates I cut.  I made them out of cardboard. They can be used in cutting out the shapes of fabric to form the pattern.   I wanted to make this very scrappy

Shapes that form the Monkey Wrench pattern
Templates for pieces of the monkey wrench pattern

I have included the Math notes figuring the size of squares that the triangles can be cut from if you choose not to use the template. When cutting diagonals out of squares It is important to consider which sides are cut on the diagonal as that side will stretch. Diagonals should not form the outside edge of the larger square. Also triangles need to be cut at least 5/8 of an inch bigger than the finished shape so that points don’t get cut off where seams meet. One quarter inch for seam allowances for the small squares. That is figured into these measurements.


Interlocking light and dark triangles and squares
Layout of pieces that make up the Monkey Wrench pattern, interlocking of lights and darks

Cut Shapes are laid out to form the pattern


Shapes are sewed together and pressed starting with the small light and dark squares.  I put all my squares together two opposing ways.  An equal amount of each.

I have laid out the 11 squares I have with the odd square in the center. This pretty print presented itself at this time as I was pondering over how to lay it out. I inherited it from my mother or my great Aunt. It seems to me that it might serve as an anchor to hold the thing together since it has a lot of colors. It is light and airy even though it is dark and it has a fresh painterly flow about it. The floral pattern will keep the palette from going to far into that autumn and fall look. I plan to quilt the interlocking shapes into the whole cloth pieces.


I am going to make 10 more squares and then see how it looks. Those 10 squares will go down the sides and make it square. At that point I will decide if my plan is working and if that is the case I will sew it together.

Traditional Monkey Wrench Quilting Pattern

Machine pieced interlocking squares and triangles form the Monkey Wrench pattern

I have determined that there are not enough square and that the large squares of fabric do not make an interesting design. I have to make more and I go at that for awhile and later determine I need 32 squares for the thing to work out nicely. Months pass and Covid 19 quarantine-stay at home starts up. I finally get them completed.! 2nd layout is on points. This design suits me the best. The first layout on square I did not like as much.

An assembly of 32 blocks on a square format.  Below the layout is on point.

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