Today let's look at the Monkey Wrench quilt block. It is an easy and quick block to sew together. The Monkey Wrench block has been around a long time - it was published in the Ohio Farmer in 1898 and was probably around before that! Of course, being it's been around a long time, the Monkey Wrench goes by a bunch of other names - Double Wrench, Alaska Homestead, Dragon's Head, Hole in the Barn Door - to name a few.
The Monkey Wrench is a variation of the Churn Dash quilt block and goes by that name as well! The difference between the two blocks is that the middle row/column is narrower in the Monkey Wrench.
Let's get started on this easy beginner block!
Fabric Requirements for a 10" Finished Monkey Wrench Quilt Block:
- Light/Ivory: 2 - 5" squares, and 5 - 2.5" squares
- Dark/Teal: 2 - 5" squares, and 4 - 2.5" squares
Half Square Triangle Units:
Using the two Light/Ivory 5" squares and the two Dark/Teal 5" squares, sew together four Half Square Triangle units as shown in the picture below. You can find my tutorial for making a basic Half Square Triangle block at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-half-square-triangle-block
Two Patch Unit:
Using the picture below as a reference, sew together a Light/Ivory 2.5" square and a Dark/Teal 2.5" square. Press the seam allowance toward the Dark/Teal fabric. Repeat for a total of four Two Patch units.
Putting It All Together:
Now you can lay out the Half Square Triangle units, the Two Patch units, and the remaining Light/Ivory 2.5" square as shown in the picture below.
From here the Monkey Wrench goes together like an uneven Nine Patch block. First you need to sew the patches into three rows as shown below.
Press the seam allowances toward the Two Patch units as shown in the picture below.
And lastly, sew the three rows together as shown below.
And press the seam allowances. You can see that I've pressed my seam allowances away from the center of the block but you could press however you like. You're done! Told you it was quick!
The Monkey Wrench quilt block is a great block for a beginner quilter. It is quick and easy to put together and has a nice bold design to it.
I think it would be pretty easy to use a couple of charm packs to make an assortment of blocks. The fabrics would all be from the same collection so they would go together nicely. I might have to give that a try - I'm sure I have a couple of charm packs in my stash!
Speaking of stash - you could also make Monkey Wrench blocks from your stash using one light fabric for all the blocks and an assortment for the dark fabric. I think that would be a nice, scrappy look.
For this simple layout shown below (46" x 46" square), you would need 1 yard of dark and one yard of light for the blocks, 1/4 yard for a 1" inner border, and 3/8 yard for a 2" outer border. Also, if you wanted to use fat quarters, one fat quarter of dark and one fat quarter of light will yield 4 blocks.
I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial for the Monkey Wrench quilt block. If you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click here to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF quilt pattern called Chained Weathervane.