Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

by Julie Baird

This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation.


A tutorial for making this Monkey Wrench quilt block pattern variation

Skill Level: Confident Beginner

Grid: 5x5

This Monkey Wrench quilt block pattern is a variation of this version.

Instead of using plain half square triangles in the corners, Birds in the Air units are substituted in, adding a bit more interest with little increase in difficulty.

On this page you'll find directions and downloadable patterns for paper piecing the majority of this block, making it quick, easy and precise.

Don't you just love it when all the points on triangle are right where they should be.

Let's get started!




General Instructions


Sample Block Size: 10"(10-1/2" unfinished)

Grid Size: 2"

All seam allowances (SA) are 1/4".

Pressing instructions are highlighted for easy reference.

When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front.

You may want to reduce or eliminate the use of steam for pressing these paper pieced blocks. Steam tends to curl the paper.

Take a minute to review our favorite technique to getting the flattest quilt blocks you'll ever see. It works even with the paper attached. Now THAT'S sweet!

Click here to learn the secret!


Step 1: Download the paper piecing patterns

Print the paper piecing patterns you need

You'll need the most current version of Adobe installed on your computer to download the pattern.

On the Adobe Print Menu page, under 'Page Size and Handling' set 'Custom Scale' to 100% before printing for accurate results. Click here to see what it looks like on the Print Menu page.

Print the Birds in the Air Units

Finished
Block Size
# of copies Link to PDF
Download
5" 1 2"
6-1/4" 1 2-1/2""
7-1/2" 1 3"
10" 2 4"

After printing, use the 1" square graphic on the printed pages to confirm they are printed accurately.

My favorite paperpiecing papers are:




Step 2: Cut the Monkey Wrench patches

Monkey Wrench quilt block designMonkey Wrench

The patches for the paperpieced blocks are generously sized to making positioning them a breeze. The remaining patches (6, 7, 8) are cut to the exact size needed.

All the dimensions in the table below are for squares.

That means for Patch #1 for a 10" finished block cut two squares  2-7/8" x 2-7/8". Then sub cut it once on the diagonal.


Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Monkey Wrench Quilt Block

~ Paper Piecing ~

Patch Fabric Qty Finished Block Size Sub
Cut
5” 6-1/4” 7-1/2” 10”
A 1 1 1-7/8” 2-1/8” 2-3/8” 2-7/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
B 2, 3, 4 2 2-3/8” 2-5/8” 2-7/8” 3-3/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
A 5 1 3-3/8” 3-7/8” 4-3/8” 5-3/8” Symbol for a half square triangle
A 6 4 1-1/2” 1-3/4” 2” 2-1/2” na
B 7,8 5 1-1/2” 1-3/4” 2” 2-1/2” na
Grid Size 1” 1-1/4” 1-1/2” 2” na

Oliso Smart Iron



Do you hate to paper piece? Click here for instructions and a cutting chart to make the Birds in the Air unit (Patches 1-5) the traditional way with rotary cut patches.



All the patches are cut and ready to go!


The cut patches for this version of the Monkey Wrench quilt block


Step 3: Make the units in the Monkey Wrench quilt block pattern

Birds in the Air Units

Make 4

For detailed instructions to make this unit, visit Birds in the Air block.

Cut out each of the units from the page you downloaded, cutting just beyond the dashed lines.

Use Elmer's Glue Stick, the kind that goes on purple and dries clear, to stick the wrong side of #1 to the unprinted side of the pattern. Use the dashed placement guidelines to help position it.


Position #1 using the dashed placements lines as guides


With RST, align the long bias edge of a #2 triangle with the long bias edge of #1.



Stitch from the printed side, starting and stopping a 1/4" off the solid line.

Press. (If you've starched your quilt fabric, you should be able to fingerpress for this short piece.)

With RST, align #3 with #1. Stitch and press.

With RST, align #4 with the other side of #1. Stitch and press.

Establish the placement line for #5 by trimming the seam allowances of #3 and #4 to quarter inch. (Click here for instructions if needed).

With RST, lineup the edges of #3 and #4 with #5.

Stitch #5 from the printed side, starting and stopping a 1/4" off the solid stitching line. (see arrows below)



Press.

Trim these four units to size with your rotary ruler.


Pieced Rectangles

Make 4

With RST, stitch a light #6 to a dark #7, repeat for the remaining three pairs.


Stitch the squares together into pairs of a light and a dark


Press with the SA to the darker fabric.

Your finished units look like this and measure 2-1/2" x 4-1/2" at this point.


Stitch the squares into pairs of a light and a dark


Step 4: Assemble your Monkey Wrench

Layout the pieced units and cut patches into rows.


Layout the units and patches into rows


Stitch the units together into rows. Press with the seam allowance in the direction of the arrows below.


Press the SAs of the rows in the direction of the arrows


Stitch the rows together. The nested SAs will help you match the seam lines.

The is your finished Monkey Wrench quilt block pattern!


The finished Monkey Wrench quilt block patternOur Monkey Wrench if complete!


Ready for another block?


There's lots more patterns where this one came from. Find them in our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library.

Need design inspiration? Then go to our Quilt Design 101.


Share your work to inspire other Quilters!


If you use our tutorials to make your blocks and quilts, there are some easy ways to share your creations so other quilters (including me!) can enjoy the fruits of your labor:

Please share your creations on social media with the hashtag #GenerationsQuiltPatterns. Thank you!
  • On Instagram please tag your blocks and quilts with the hashtag #GenerationsQuiltPatterns.
  • Visit our Show n'Tell page on the website. Click here to share photos and tell your own story, just start typing at 'The name of your quilt is...'. If you'd prefer to submit more photos than the form allows, simply email them to me at julie@generations-quilt-patterns.com.

I love seeing your work!

Our readers do, too!


For even more blocks to make...

Click here to learn about my favorite quilt book resources that inspire my patchwork designs.

For you, are quilt block patterns like potato chips...

...you can't have just one?!!

Check the amazing resources I rely on for the majority of the quilt block designs you see on this website. 

To see if they're worthy of spot in YOUR quilting library, CLICK HERE.



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