Monkey Wrench Star Quilt Pattern

Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern

Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern

For the Monkey Wrench star quilt pattern I have used only one block.  I have created the stars through variations in the colour.  Altogether I’ve used six blocks which are 16″ square finished size and three borders.  I’m rather pleased with this pattern.

I’ve made each block with a red and white four patch unit in the middle. Then I’ve added a series of triangles attached to the edges of the squares to build up the blocks.

The quilt measures 42″ by 58″.  I have used 3/4 yard each of white and dark blue with 1/2 yard each of light blue, medium blue, red and yellow.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the monkey wrench star quilt pattern

3.3/8″ squares:  twelve red, twelve white

4.7/8″ squares:  twelve light blue

8.7/8″ squares:  eight white, two medium blue, two dark blue

9.1/4″ squares:  four yellow, two dark blue, one medium blue

For the borders cut five 2.1/2″ red strips, five 1.1/2″ yellow strips and five 2.1/2″ dark blue strips, all cut across the width of fabric.

Make the 4 patch units

Make the 4 patch units

Make the four patch units

Sew a 3,3.8″ strip of red and of white together along the length.  Then cut this panel at 3.3/8″ intervals to make rectangles.  Each rectangle contains one white and one red square.  Sew these together in pairs with the colours diagonally opposite each other.  You can see this in the top right of the photo.

Cut squares along one diagonal

Cut squares along one diagonal

Add the first triangles

Cut the light blue 4.7/8″ squares along one diagonal to form two triangles from each square.

Add triangles to the square

Add triangles to the square

Place one triangle on each edge of the four patch unit.  Sew two opposite triangles to the 4 patch unit first.  Press these two triangles open and then add the two remaining triangles.

The progression shown in the photo runs from top left to bottom left, then top right followed by bottom right.  As you can see, you end up with a diamond in a square.

At this stage the squares measure 8.1/2″ square.  Make six of them all the same.  The blocks all contain this central area and then the colours begin to vary in the following frames.  For this reason, I’ve shown the blocks from now on in each row, two at a time.  I found that this was the simplest way to be sure that I had the right colours in the right block.

Cut along both diagonals

Cut along both diagonals

Blocks for row one – first frame

Cut the yellow, medium blue and dark blue 9.1/4″ squares along both diagonals to make four triangles from each square.

Row one next frame

Row one next frame

In the lefthand block of row one, place three yellow and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the central square.  Place the same triangles in the second block, but note that they are positioned differently.  The central squares are placed so that the red squares run vertically within the block.  Now sew the triangles to the central squares two at a time.  Press the first triangles open and then add the second pair of triangles.  At this stage the blocks should measure fractionally under 12″ square.

Final frame for row one

Final frame for row one

Row one – final frame

For the outer frame of these blocks, cut the 8.7/8″ white, medium blue and dark blue squares along one diagonal only to make two triangles per square. On both blocks place three white and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the square.  Notice that the placement is different on each block – the dark blue triangles together form a larger dark blue triangle at the base of the blocks.

As before, sew these triangles on two at a time, pressing before adding the second two triangles.

That completes the two blocks for row one.  They should now measure 16.1/2″ square.  I find it best to sew these two blocks together straight away to avoid any confusion with the next blocks that you make.

Row two next frame

Row two next frame

Row two

Make the next two blocks for row two in the same way, but with different colour placements.  This time each block has two yellow, one medium blue and one dark blue triangle on the edges of the central square.

Row two outer frame

Row two outer frame

Make the outer frame with two white, one dark blue and one medium blue triangle for each block.

Place the white triangles on the sides with the dark blue at the top and the medium blue at the bottom of the block.  Again the blues form larger triangles – dark blue at the top and medium blue at the bottom.

Sew rows one and two together

Sew rows one and two together

Once again sew the blocks to each other.  When you sew these two rows together you can see the stars beginning to form.  I think that you can see now why I chose to sew the rows together as I went.  It would have been terribly easy to muddle the blocks – well, it would for me anyway!

Row three next frame

Row three next frame

Row three

Make the next frame for the blocks for the third row with three yellow and one medium blue triangle on each block.

Row three outer frame

Row three outer frame

For the outer frame place three white and one medium blue triangles on the edges of the squares.  The medium blue together form a larger medium blue triangle and the white lies on the sides and the base of the row.  As ever, sew the triangles on two at a time, then press and add the remaining two triangles.

Sew the blocks to each other and then sew them to rows one and two.

At this stage the monkey wrench star quilt top measures 32.1/2″ by 48.1/2″.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

I’ve used three borders to give a good strong frame to the quilt.  For the first border use 2.1/2″ strips of red.  You need to cut two lengths of 32.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 52.1/2″ for the sides.

Make the second border with 1.1/2″ strips of yellow:  two lengths of 36.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 54.1/2″ for the sides.

Finally use 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue for the third border.  You need two lengths of 38.1/2″ for the top and bottom with two lengths of 58.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the monkey wrench star quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

Athletics World Championships

Athletics World Championships

Thank you so much for all the kind wishes and comments that you sent me last week regarding my hand.  They really did make me feel a huge amount better!  My hand has improved enormously and I’m having the stitches out this afternoon.  I did as I was told and took it easy last week.  I went to stay with my son in London and watched the World Championship Athletics on two evenings.  The first evening it was weather for ducks but still very enjoyable.  The second evening was brilliant weather and a really exciting evening.

 

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Comments

  1. Simone Richards says:

    Nice to hear that your hand is getting better.

  2. Debra (Canada) says:

    Rose – I like the pattern but I have an aversion to red and yellow together (except in fire) so I would change the colour choices. Isn’t that one of the joys of quilting though?

    • Hi Debra. Couldn’t agree more – use your own colours and make the quilt your own. I love red and yellow together because they look so cheerful to me.

  3. Hi Rose, Glad your hand is better. Love the Monkey Wrench Star Quilt. Happy quilting.

  4. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    How did you do this with a bum hand? It is beautiful. Glad your hand is healing and that the stitches are coming out. I too may change the colours, depending on what I have. My stash is growing and I am not quilting as fast.
    I have been quilting another baby quilt. Did it for a girl Will find out tomorrow what it will be Probably will have to start another one for a boy. It is for my daughter-in law,
    sister in law and brother.
    Hope you have a great weekend Happy Quilting
    Sandra

    • Hi Sandra. I didn’t find sewing too much of a problem – it was cutting fabric that I had a problem with. Luckily a friend did the cutting for me. How lovely to know there’s a new baby coming into the family.

  5. Tina Anderson says:

    Going to make this my next quilt

  6. Hi Rose,great to see you are on the mend with your hand. Love this quilt and the colours. This is definately on my to do list. Keep up the good work.

  7. Pauline Simpson says:

    Hallo Rose,
    I am glad your hand is better, I fractured my funny bone last year and it took 6 weeks to heal and 6 months to get my strength back in the arm, but all is well now and I can enjoy making your patterns.

    • Hi Pauline. What a terrible thing to happen. My injury was far less severe- it only affected the muscle, not the bone. Glad that you’ve healed properly at last.

  8. Hi Rose, I can’t believe that you kept the stitched in so long! My doctor wasn’t too happy when I told him that I wanted the dissolving kind. Glad it’s all over for you now and everything is back to normal.

    I liked your quilt but I was curious about the name so I looked it up (odd name) and found that this pattern is also known as Churn Dash and also known for lots of other patterns. I didn’t see a Churn Dash in your pattern – I saw the stars but I remember years back when you showed us how to make a Churn Dash block. I remembered because I thought it too was an odd name for a quilt pattern or block. Are those (Churn Dash -Monkey Wrench) the names of patterns or are they the names of blocks?

    Glad you enjoyed your stay in London.

    • Hi Claire. The nurse who took the stitches out kept commenting on what neat and tidy stitches they were. I’ll have to remember to congratulate the specialist on his sewing skills when I see him for the followup in a few months’ time.
      Quilt block names are fascinating. Sometimes the same block was given a different name in different parts of the world, or sometimes they had different names for slightly different colours. Of course sometimes the block looks like its name, but not as often as I would like. Each block in this quilt has the construction of the monkey wrench block but wide variations in the colour. I’m in the process of starting to look at the history of some quilt books with a view to pulling them all together in a book one day in the future. Yes, I do usually name the quilt after the block that I used to make it.

  9. Glad you hand is better – I cut one finger and it was hard to sew, cook and wash dishes – so its good we are able to heal!
    I always thought the monkey wench was a different pattern – but this is interesting even if it is not quite my taste. http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/monkey-wrench-quilt-block-pattern.html
    Keep up you blessed work of supplying us with ideas for quilts!
    Best wishes
    Fay

    • Hi Fay. Glad your hand has healed. I was putting a plastic glove on to avoid getting my hand wet and I was terribly clumsy with it. It’s a big relief not to have to worry about that.
      This block name thing is really interesting. I also thought that the Monkey Wrench was similar to the one that you have mentioned, but I’ve looked in Maggie Malone’s book and found another two blocks of the same name which are completely different again. My father used to call an adjustable spanner a monkey wrench and maybe it was a common enough name to be used in different areas for different blocks – common enough when there was no internet.

  10. This would make a cheerful and bright quilt for a child – really love your fabric combinations. How interesting that you attended the athletics! We were watching some of it on t.v. Good to know your hand has improved.

    • Hi June. I only went to the athletics because my daughter had bought the tickets, but I really enjoyed myself there. The atmosphere in the stadium is amazing.

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