Monkey Wrench Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

This post contains affiliate links  for which I receive compensation. 


Monkey Wrench quilt block tutorial

Skill Level: Beginner

Grid:  5x5

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:

  • Double Wrench
  • Aeroplane
  • Airplane
  • Alaska Homestead
  • Bear Paw Design
  • Bride's Knot
  • The Broad Axe
  • Maltese Cross
  • Pioneer Patch
  • Square Triangles
  • T Design
  • T Quartette
  • True Lover's Knot

...or just plain ol' Wrench.




General Instructions


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.

Pressing instructions are highlighted to make them easy to locate.


Step 1: Cut the Monkey Wrench patches


Monkey Wrench patchwork designMonkey Wrench

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 5" finished sample block).

After stitching they were trimmed to 2-1/2" unfinished.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Monkey Wrench Quilt Block

~Traditional Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block Size
5" 7 1/2" 10" 12 1/2"
1** L 2 2⅞" x 2⅞" 3⅞" x 3⅞" 4⅞" x 4⅞" 5⅞" x 5⅞"
2** D 2 2⅞" x 2⅞" 3⅞" x 3⅞" 4⅞" x 4⅞" 5⅞" x 5⅞"
3 L 1 1½" x 7" 2" x 9" 2½" x 11" 3" x 13"
4 D 1 1½" x 7" 2" x 9" 2½" x 11" 3" x 13"
5 L 1 1½" x 1½" 2" x 2" 2½" x 2½" 3" x 3"
Unfinished Block Size 5 1/2" 8" 10-1/2" 13"
Grid Size 1" 1 1/2" 2" 2 1/2"
**I prefer to cut my patches extra large for HST, stitch, and then trim them to size. If you prefer to do the same, add a bit extra to the measurements for Patches #1 and #2 above.

There is a chart further down in these instructions where you need it for trimming them to size.

Learn more about my favorite, new quilting tool, the Magic Pressing Mat. A valuable addition to your quilting tools—regardless of the piecing technique you use.



Cut patches for the Monkey Wrench block

Our patches are cut and we're ready to continue.



Step 2: Assemble the units for your Monkey Wrench


Half Square Triangles

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of the two #1 squares.

With RST, align the edges of a #1 with a #2. Stitch 1/4" away from the drawn line on both sides.

Stitch on both sides of the line

Cut apart on the drawn line to create two units.

Press.

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.


Strip Set

Align the long edges of the #3 and #4 strips. Stitch.


Stitch the strips together

The arrow points to my anchor cloth. Stitch on one first to prevent
your sewing machine from eating your patches' points.


Use the chart below to check that your stripset is the correct width. Make any needed adjustments.

Square off the end of the strip. (The strips were cut with 1" extra to accommodate this.)

Subcut into four units has directed in the chart below.

StripSet Widths

Finished
Block Size
Stripset Width after stitching SubCut Width
5" 2-1/2" 1-1/2"
7 1/2" 3-1/2" 2"
10" 4-1/2" 2-1/2"
12 1/2" 5-1/2" 3"

Step 3: Assemble the Monkey Wrench


Arrange the units for form the Monkey Wrench design.


Layout finished 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 as needed.

Nest the seam allowances


Stitch the rows together.


Stitch the rows together


This is the finished Monkey Wrench quilt block.


A finished Monkey Wrench quilt block


Ready for More Blocks?


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!



For even more blocks to make...


These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas. 

Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs is my all-time favorite quilt block resource!

Can you tell?

It's in color.

It's got a ton of blocks.

What's not to love?

Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.

This book is no longer in print. If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive.

However...

BlockBase is the computerized version of the Encyclopedia.

It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.

Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.

Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.

Why?

Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.

It does make a fabulous coffee table book though.




  1. Home
  2.  ›
  3. Quilt Block Pattern Library
  4.  ›
  5. Monkey Wrench Block

If you enjoyed this article and found it helpful, please let me know by clicking this button - thank you!



Share Your Comments, Tips and Ideas


Valentine's Day
is coming...

Click here to see the Hello Sweetheart FQ bundle available from the Fat Quarter Shop
Click here for a larger image and more info...


Find even more Valentine's Day quilt fabrics here and here.




Fat Quarter Shop Quilting Fabrics and Supplies


Favorite Quilt Blocks...

...chosen by our readers.

Log Cabin

Broken Sugar Bowl

Rail Fence

Card Trick

Ohio Star

Bears Paw

Pineapple

Autumn Leaf

Friendship Star

Churn Dash



Pattern/Kit
of the Week

Zen Chic Spotted More Paper Quilt Kit and Pattern



Join Bluprint For Just $100 & Get a Free Project Box! Valid at myBluprint.com through 1/31/19.

Quilt patterns, books and kits to tempt you...

Click any image or link for more info

"Quilt As-You-Go Made Vintage"
by Jera Brandvig



"Christmas Figs"
by It's So Emma




"Golden Harvest"
by Quiltworx




"Farm Girl Vintage"
by Lori Holt



"Penguin Party"
by Elizabeth Hartman



Subscribe to our StashTalk Newsletter