Tag Archives: free pattern

Simple Blocks – Monkey Wrench

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.

Monkey Wrench block 1

Just set on its own this two fabric block can look a bit so-so . . .

Monkey Wrench quilt 1

but turn alternate blocks around and you get the classic Snail Trail pattern.

Monkey Wrench quilt 2

But what if you add another colour?

Monkey Wrench block 2

The quilt could then look more like this

Monkey Wrench quilt 3

or this

Monkey Wrench quilt 6

Or add yet another colour

Monkey Wrench block 3

which gives you more opportunities for playing with the arrangements

Monkey Wrench quilt 4

or this – which reminds me of waves breaking on the shore

Monkey Wrench quilt 7

or this (which looks more like arm wrestling!)

Monkey Wrench quilt 8

You can download your free block pattern here.





Quick Christmas makes . .

. . 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 –

christmas pudding

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!

xmas pudding

Christmas Bells


Dancing Blocks Quilt-along

Happy Easter! And welcome to Block six of our Block of the Month quilt-along. This month it is the turn of Card Trick.

block-6-card-trickThis block relies on a clear difference between the colours used to create the illusion of interlocked squares. You can download the instructions for the block here.

Our alternative colourways could look  like these –








And here’s some of the students’ blocks to give you an idea of how fabric choice can affect the look of a block, from the background to the contrast between colours –
















Dancing Blocks Quilt-along

March and block 5 of our Block of the Month quilt-along. This time it is the return of that perennial favourite – Ohio Star.

block-5-ohio-starThis block adds the Quarter-square Triangle to our repertoire of units. You can download the instructions for the block here. Our alternative colourways could look a little like these –








Students also played around with colour –






But be careful that your colours are not too similar

block5-ohiostaras you may lose the pattern altogether.



Simple blocks – Improved Four-Patch

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.

improved-four-patch-block-aYou 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.






improved-four-patch-quilt-cor turning it on point –

improved-four-patch-quilt-dA similar patchwork block is Coffin Star – this time a 16-patch square turned on point –




Dancing Blocks Quilt-along

February already, and the fourth block in our quilt-along Block of the Month quilt. This time it’s the turn of Churn Dash, but with an added twist – ‘Churn Dash Variation’, if you like – I have added Flying Geese units to the traditional block.

block-4-churn-dash-variationYou can download the instructions for the block here. Other colourways could look like these –








You could make the Flying Geese units and the rectangles the same colour as two students did –








They also made the units by just adding triangles to two corners of a square – because they didn’t like making Flying Geese.


Simple Blocks – Square in a Square

Sometimes called Diamond in a Square this unit/block is worth learning how to make as it crops everywhere from a unit in assorted bocks to a simple block used as a ‘spacer’ between more complicated blocks where, as you will see further down the page, it can create the illusion of a star within the quilt design.

The basic block is, as it says, a square within a square and you can find the instructions to make it on the Tutorials page or download them here.

square-in-a-square-blockBut suppose we keep adding squares around our square?

square-in-a-square-block-aand again

square-in-a-square-block-band again

square-in-a-square-block-cThe basic block on its own doesn’t make much of a quilt –

square-in-a-square-quiltBut if you alternate the colours it starts to look a little more interesting

square-in-a-square-quilt-aOr suppose you alternate the different variations of the block?





square-in-a-square-quilt-dand then change the colours completely and emphasise the star in the centre –