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
Meadowside seems to have had a rather extended summer break this year – more by accident than design as Life rather took over the last few months.
By way of an apology (and to celebrate the arrival of EQ8 which was used to design them) we bring you these two quick and easy freeChristmas projects to download. They are both on the same pattern sheet and you can choose whether to make a runner or a little quilt. Of course, there’s nothing (except possibly time) to stop you from making both.
The runner is just three blocks and will finish at about 18 x 42 inches. You can choose to make yours longer or wider by adding more blocks or borders or giving your runner ‘pointy’ ends.
The small quilt could be a wall-hanging or table topper and will finish at about 30 inches square – depending on the size you make your borders. And neither of them have to be made in Christmas colours – you could go mad and do one for each season.
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 –
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 –