Monkey Wrench sewed and pressed

Monkey Wrench 2019-Designing as I go

Machine pieced Monkey Wrench Pattern using triangles and squares to form the 10″ Squares started in May 2019.  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 out for her.  I made them out of cardboard.  They can be used in cutting out the shapes of fabric to form the pattern.  She wanted to make hers 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 ths 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 managed to put all my squares together the same way accept one That one square is the reverse of all the others.  I will keep it that way and use it in the center.

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


A New String Quilt 2018

Finished on June 24th in 2019

The Blue and Yellow color scheme is a favorite of mine these days. After an inventory purging and reorganization of my quilting scrapes I am ready to start. I have come up with a pattern and I think I can pull it off with Four different string blocks. I am using a paper piecing technique.

Sorting and Ironing String Scraps
What a process.

Blue and Yellow

all my blue and yellow fabric scraps

Blue and Yellow

Fabric Scraps to be ironed

Blue and Yellow Scraps

I have been ripping some of the scraps so that the process goes faster.


I like to use tissue paper for paper piecing strings because it tears off easily

My sketch of the pattern and the number of squares I think I will need: 16 yellow patches, 76 blue and yellow patches, 12 light value (pale) patches, and 28 dark blue patches.  These numbers will change I am sure!
**If you look at the quilt you will see that I did not use any of the yellow squares.  It was a nice idea but I came to the conclusion that since the room was yellow–the all yellow patches would be too much.
The only yellow square is in the center and is made up of 4 yellow-blue squares.

for sketching and figuring graph paper works well


As you can see I like to design as I go.  This sketch today will help me to make some more adjustments while I am making the squares. At the present I have made 21 squares. I have enough to layout the center section and I can see that some adjustments are in order.

The corner where you see the B’s I will add the light blue strips. So I need to make 8 light+dark blue squares. This will provide a nice border in both the inner and the outer bands.


I have now added the dark blue and yellow string blocks which surround the lighter blue string blocks. Next I think I will add another row of lighter blue blocks.


The blue border I added did not work so well this time.  It stretched during the sewing and did not lay flat.  It was on a roll and I inherited it and have had it a long time.  I think it is time to give it to the scrap exchange.  It was trouble!

I Hand quilted this by myself and it took me over a month and then I finished it off with a yellow ochre print binding.


Final stitches on June 24th 2019