Monkey Wrench

The blocks are done and ready to be assembled … with any luck over the next few days I’ll get the top done. It’s simple but I’m happy with how this one is turning out!

After finishing the blocks, I started hand stitching the binding on the Rainbow HeartStrings quilt. I’m being careful not to sit and stitch more than 30 minutes at a time without getting up and doing another activity … I’ve done 2 “ 30 minute sessions” so far and am a little more than halfway done so this will probably be finished tonight or tomorrow.

I won’t get any quilting done this week – it was kind of silly to think I’d be up to that yet but I’m very happy to be sewing and happy for the progress I have made.


I’m up to 24 Monkey Wrench blocks made … and with any luck should finish the rest tomorrow. Only half of the finished blocks are on the design wall because I’m making two blocks from each fat quarter and the others will be placed in the bottom half of the quilt.

This one is taking 18 fat quarters plus the background fabric and there will be a leftover quilt which I’ll piece when I’m done with the one above.

Assuming the plan doesn’t change …. the leftovers will become a split 9 patch quilt. I can’t believe I drafted this in 2018 and haven’t made one yet but like the rest of you, the list of quilts I want to make is a long, long list and I don’t seem to get around to all of them as quickly as I’d like.

Monkey Wrench

You’ll be happy to know that I’m feeling well enough to entertain myself this morning in the hospital by looking at vintage quilts and planning a project for this month’s precut – Fat Quarters.

Here’s a vintage quilt I saw this morning on eBay. The Monkey Wrench block is a variation of a Churn Dash, the difference being a narrower middle row/ column.

Here’s the brown and pink version I’d like to make. As usual I design in two colors but will use different browns, pinks, and neutrals.

My quilt will have 10 inch finished blocks and finish at 50 x 70 which is a nice size for donation.

Vintage quilt

I don’t need any more quilts on my “to make” list but somehow I can’t stop looking. Today I fell in love with this vintage quilt found on eBay.

And then thought what if I made that center a plus? I do love Plus quilts! I had to quickly draw it up in the TouchDraw app on my iPad.

And then I played a little more with the same block, different colors …

I’ve got to head down and start quilting but I’ll save these ideas here to hopefully play with one day!

Old quilts

Don’t you love it when your quilts shows up in a photo?! Chris sent me this one of Rae tonight using one of his quilts that I made in 2001. I don’t remember the name of the pattern but it was in one of my first scrap quilt books. It was so early in my quilting career that I didn’t have scraps and went to Joann’s and bought the smallest piece that they’d cut from the bolts of many different blues.

I started another fat quarter quilt today but didn’t get much beyond planning and some cutting. This will be a blue and brown version of my 16 Patch and Pinwheel quilt. It will be scrappier than the drawing of course!


I’ve got a lot of leftovers from the red/white/black/gray Woven Bricks quilt and I’m searching for ideas so once again I went to look at my own quilts. I’m leaning toward a simplified version of this Beige Squares quilt that was made in the first year and a half of my quilting journey – probably 2001.

I even found my old EQ drawing. It’s interesting that I drafted this to be pieced in a log cabin way since I would piece it differently today adding the side pieces first and then the top and bottom.

I’m not sure if this is how I’ll use the leftovers … and I’m thinking I’ll piece a quilt with different fat quarters first but this is my plan for them for now.

  • Quilt size is 50 x 70
  • Block size is 10 inches finished (10.5 inches with seam allowances)
  • Strips are cut 2.5 inches

Too busy

I made the test block today for Maureen’s quilt (and added a border to make a doll quilt) and it just was too busy for me on the block edges and the Star kind of gets lost.

So I sent Maureen a few other options ….

And after some back and forth … we decided to go with this.

You’ve got to love HSTs … so MANY different options for laying them out. No changes to the number of HSTs needed or the number of blocks. I just have to tweak the instructions for Mom.

King size

I really dislike making king size quilts and need to make two for me …. and my sister wants one too. She’s a bit picky but Mom and I have been talking about making her one if we could agree on the pattern and find fabric – she wants only 2 fabrics – a blue and a white. I spent time looking through blue and white quilt photos today and Mom and I discussed several options – only my sister didn’t really like any of the options. She DID like the idea of a LeMoyne Star quilt like my green and blue one only it has to be in two colors/two fabrics. Do you think I could convince Mom to make a zillion half square triangles?!?

Split shift

I’m back on a stay up all night, sleep all morning schedule so I end up working a split shift – a few hours in the afternoon and then coming back downstairs to work after Keith goes to bed. It works for me when I don’t have any morning appointments but I’ll have to reset myself before my trip to Mom’s next week. Today I finished up the Friendship Stars and I’m ready to start the alternate 9 patch blocks – maybe that will happen tomorrow. Someone asked were the stars going to all be green. Nope – they’re all different colors and the 9 patch squares will be too.

Our power went out between 6 and 8:30 pm so I wasn’t able to cook dinner – we both grabbed something that didn’t need cooking and I’ll fix the pork tomorrow. While we were waiting for the power to come back on I played with another Friendship Star variation. I really got in the zone making these stars and maybe one day I’ll make a quilt just with them. I like alternating light and dark versions of the same block in quilts so I don’t end up with so much background fabric. I’ll save this idea for later.

After coming down and finishing the last few stars, I loaded and quilted another one of the HeartStrings group tops sent to me by AnnG. Pantograph is Seaweed – another favorite of mine for HeartStrings quilts. Lots of great texture. This leaves me with 2 to get bound and I’ll try to get them done before my trip.

Now it’s time to knit!

A new start

I have plans to get two group HeartStrings tops quilted this coming week but since I finished up a few things on my August “to do” list I decided I would start a new quilt. I was tempted to grab a 3 yard bundle – so quick and easy but I wanted to make one of the many quilts I’ve drafted but not yet pieced and it had to be from scraps, not fat quarters or other precuts. I’m on a mission to try and tame some of the scraps around here and even though this will be my 12th quilt since the beginning of the year from the scrap and string bins, there’s absolutely NO difference in how full those bins are. I’ve settled on this Friendship star quilt. I’d intended to make a bedsize quilt from a large set of fat quarters when I drafted this so it will be downsized to a throw size.

Most of my scraps are sorted by color but I’ve got a couple bins of “mixed” scraps that coordinate so I started digging through them and cutting.

I’ve got a set of green scraps pressed and ready to cut when I get back downstairs later tonight. I’m cutting fabric for the stars first although there are extra squares cut from each of these fabrics that will go into the 9 patch blocks.

I should make the background scrappy too but I’m going to make it a little easier and use a single fabric. I’ve got to decide between these although I’ve pretty much decided the one on the left is too busy for this quilt.