Skill Level: Beginner
The Monkey Wrench quilt block is a terrific block for the beginning quilter! It's made of just half square triangles and strip sets!
It also makes a GREAT block for block exchanges—either for your quilting bee or your guild because it's simple enough to whip up quickly. (We all know that if it weren't for the last minute...NOTHING would get done!)
You might know it as the 'Churn Dash' quilt block. But this simple, two-fabric block goes by a myriad of other names including:
Bear Paw Design
The Broad Axe
The Crow's Nest
Hens and Chickens
Hole in the Barn Door
True Lover's Knot
...or just plain ol' Wrench.
Block Size: 5" (5-1/2" unfinished)
Grid Size: 1"
All seams are 1/4".
When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to
set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front. Seam
allowances are pressed to the dark fabric unless otherwise noted.
Click here for cutting instructions for additional block sizes.
For this block requires four half square triangles. We'll use Technique #1 to make them two at a time.
I prefer to cut my patches over-sized and then trim after stitching. The squares marked with '**' were cut 1/4" bigger at 3-1/8" for this tutorial. After stitching they were trimmed to 2-1/2" unfinished.
Two 2-7/8" squares**
Two 2-7/8" squares**
Half Square Triangles
Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the two light squares.
With RST, align the edges of one dark and one light square. Stitch 1/4" away from the drawn line on both sides.
Cut apart on the drawn line to create two units.
If you've cut over-sized patches trim to 2-1/2" square, otherwise trim off the dog ears.
Repeat for the other pair of squares to create a total of four half square triangles that measure 2-1/2" at this point.
Align the long edge of the dark and light strip. Stitch.
Press with the seam allowance towards the dark fabric. At this point the strip set measures 2-1/2" x 6-1/2".
Square off the end of the strip. (The strips were cut with 1/2" extra to accommodate this.)
Sub-cut into four 1-1/2" x 2-1/2" units.
Layout the units.
Stitch them into rows. Press the seam allowances toward the strip set units for each row.
Nesting your seam allowances helps to make for perfect matches. Use pins if needed.
Stitch the rows together.
This is the finished Monkey Wrench quilt block.
If you'd like to over-size your half square triangle patches, they are marked with a **.
|Finished Block Size|
|Light||1||2 x 8-1/2||2-1/2 x 10-1/2||3 x 12-1/2|
|Dark||1||2 x 8-1/2||2-1/2 x 10-1/2||3 x 12-1/2|
Your Monkey Wrench quilt block is finished, but there's plenty more to keep you busy!
Just check out our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library to find blocks for your next quilting creation!
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