Monkey Wrench Quilt Block
Pattern Tutorial

Free monkey wrench quilt block pattern... See how to make the block related to the churn dash and shoo fly quilt blocks. Size chart includes 5 sizes!

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block PatternMonkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern

How is this block related to the churn dash and the shoofly? All three have the same basic shape but it is the middle column and row that differ.

The churn dash is made up of half square triangles and bar units. The shoofly and monkey wrench blocks are made up of half square triangles and squares.

However, the middle column and row of the monkey wrench block is half the size of the churn dash and shoofly blocks.

It is a five patch block whereas the other two are nine patch blocks.

The monkey wrench block is known by many names: Double Wrench, The Crow's Nest, Maltese Cross, Hole in the Barn Door, Churn Dash plus a number of others.

Block Fabric Requirements

This block can be made quite dramatic using two contrasting fabrics. The greater the contrast the more the block design stands out.

In this tutorial I have designated the fabrics as follows

Fabric A = primary (print fabric)

Fabric B = background (black solid fabric)

Use your scraps, fat quarters or yardage.

Block Measurements

Here are the unit cutting measurements to make this block in six sizes, including the popular 12.5 inch monkey wrench quilt block pattern.

The math does not work out evenly to make a 12 inch quilt block, but 12 1/2 inches is close enough, right :-).

Block sizes included in the chart are 5 inch, 7 1/2 inch, 10 inch, 12 1/2 inch and 15 inch.

monkey wrench quilt block pattern measurement chart

(Note: To increase photo size, on your keyboard hold 'Ctrl' and hit the + key.)

Simply choose your block size, cut your fabric accordingly and follow the instructions below to make the block.

Block Layout

This block looks like it is laid out on a 3 x 3 grid - 3 rows and 3 columns - but actually it is a 5 patch quilt block. (Not important unless you are drafting your own block.)

See how the middle column and row is half the size of the half square triangles (HSTs).

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Layout

The units that make up the block are

  • 4 half square triangles (aka HSTs)
  • 9 squares (disguised as bar units)

Okay, let's see how to make a monkey wrench quilt block!

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Instructions

Step 1 Cut Fabric

According to the measurements in the chart above decide which size quilt block to make and cut the squares and rectangles.

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Step 1

Step 2a Make 4 HSTs

Make 4 half square triangles from fabrics A and B...

With right sides together and the lighter fabric on top, place two large squares on top of one another.

On the top square, draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other using a ruler and a pencil or pen.

Sew a 1/4 inch seam on each side of the drawn line.

Using a rotary cutter, cut on the diagonal line to separate the triangles.

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Step 2a

Step 2b

Trim the HSTs to size indicated in size chart for your block size. Press the seams open or towards fabric B, the background.

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Step 2b

Step 3a Make Square Bar Units

Make a strip set from fabrics A and B (top strip). With the right sides together, sew a 1/4 inch seam down the longest side of the strip set.

From the strip set, cut 4 bar units (bottom strip) the width needed for the size block that you're making. (You will have a little excess fabric left over.)

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Step 3a

Step 3b

Press the bar units open. Press the seam toward the darker fabric.

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Step 3b

Step 4

Near your sewing machine layout the block in the grid format as pictured below.

Fabric A, which makes up the monkey wrench quilt block pattern, should be pointing to the inside of the block.

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Step 4

Step 5a Sew the Units of Each Row

Sew the units of Row 1 together: With right sides together, place the bar unit from row 1 column 2 on top of the half square triangle from row 1 column 1. Sew the units together using a 1/4 inch seam. Finger press the seam towards the bar unit.

Repeat for Row 2.

Repeat for Row 3.

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Step 5a

Step 5b Press With Iron

Take the sewn rows to the ironing board and press this seams (not pictured).

For flatter seams, use a starch alternative pressing solution if desired.

Step 6 Sew Rows Together

Now sew the rows of the monkey wrench quilt block pattern together.

First, with right sides together, place row 2 face down over row 1. Nest the seams and pin on both sides of each seam. Sew the two rows together with a 1/4 inch seam. Finger press seam upward toward Row 1.

Next, with right sides together, place row 3 face down over row 2. Nest the seams and pin on both sides of each seam. Sew the two rows together with a 1/4 inch seam. Finger press seam downward toward Row 3.

The block is finished!

Monkey Wrench Quilt Block Pattern Step 6

Once the block is sewn together, take it to the ironing board and give it a final press.

Here's the backside of the monkey wrench quilt block. You can see how the seams are pressed.

backside of monkey wrench quilt block pattern

See the churn dash and monkey wrench blocks side by side. See the difference?

Enjoy making the monkey wrench quilt block. It's so easy to make!

Trying making the block out of fabrics with many design styles - modern, traditional or somewhere in between. Any fabric will do. Solids tend to give a modern look and feel.


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