There are several blocks called Monkey Wrench – this one is sometimes called Snail Trail and is essentially a 4-patch within several squares, so we’ve added it to the blocks associated with the Square-in-a-Square tutorial.
Just set on its own this two fabric block can look a bit so-so . . .
but turn alternate blocks around and you get the classic Snail Trail pattern.
But what if you add another colour?
The quilt could then look more like this
Or add yet another colour
which gives you more opportunities for playing with the arrangements
or this – which reminds me of waves breaking on the shore
or this (which looks more like arm wrestling!)
You can download your free block pattern here.
This block comes under the heading of ‘Square in a Square’ although in reality it is a 4-patch turned on point and then given a fancy border.
There are many different ways to colour it in changing the emphasis of the block by changing the dark and light colours around.
Using the different colourings can add interest to the quilt setting too.
As does turning on point –
It makes a good block to alternate with other blocks – more complicated ones or much simpler ones. Have a play with some of the other blocks we’ve already featured.
You can download the block instructions here.
. . for children. The Christmas holidays are here and you are trying to find something (other than phones/tablets) to keep everyone amused? Here are two free patterns for you to download that first appeared as projects for Young Quilters some 20+ years ago (when we had Young Quilters).
The felt Christmas Pudding can be made (with a little help perhaps) by under 10s –
whereas the Christmas Bells are more suitable for older children to make on their own, or younger ones with a bit more help.
Of course there’s no reason why adults can’t make them – except possibly time!
This is a really simple block but so many design opportunities. Just one Square-in-a-Square unit surrounded by small squares –
You can download the instructions here. Don’t forget to check out the Tutorials page for further details on making the unit.
This is what happens when you change the emphasis of the dark and light blues around –
And when you put them into a quilt –
Mix the two blocks –
Put them on point –
Use striped fabric –
or a completely different colour –
New Album is very simple block – a plain Square-in-a-Square block with a border. You can download the instructions here. The centre square is an ideal opportunity for ‘fussy cutting’ your print fabric (it doesn’t show too well on this snapshot from EQ) and you can do the same in the smaller cornerstones of the border.
Swapping the colours over gives the block a different look –
Or you can opt for something completely different using Autumnal batiks –
or in more muted fabrics so the centre square is not so prominent
And then put into quilts – first alternate colours, straight-set
and then on-point
And now let’s play around with the colouring a bit –
or blue –
or alternate with a plain Square-in-a-Square
make the background lighter –
This time our Square in a Square unit has pieced triangles around the centre square. You can download the instructions for the free block pattern, Right and Left, here. If you need help with the piecing you can download a free step-by-step tutorial from the Tutorials page or go direct to the pdf here.
When put together these blocks form a secondary pattern of Pinwheels at their junctions. You can have fun playing with the colourings of these triangles to create different effects. And, as with most of these Square in a Square blocks, the centre square allows you to play with ‘fussy-cutting’ large or bold prints.
Or you can turn the blocks on point, colour the corner triangles differently and make something like this –
The Improved Four-Patch block is a merger of the Square in a Square and Four-Patch units – essentially a 4-patch ‘on point’. You can download the free pattern for this quilt block here.
You can have fun playing with the colours and shades in this block, changing the emphasis of lights and darks from one part to another. Like the ordinary Square in a Square it isn’t very exciting when straight set on its own, but changing the colours or combining it with other similar blocks can make quite a difference.
or turning it on point –
A similar patchwork block is Coffin Star – this time a 16-patch square turned on point –