January “Monkey Shines”

“Monkey shines,” an English idiom, refers to mischievous tricks and fun escapades usually with an unharmful  or entertaining outcome. I thought of this idiom when naming my “Monkey Shines” quilt design. You will find printer friendly instructions for the design on the Patterns page of this blog; scroll down the list to “Fun with Fat Quarters Monkey Shines.”

“Monkey Shines” is a workshop project I will teach the Logan Lap Quilters in Columbia, SC in mid-February. It is based on the traditional “Monkey Wrench” or “Churn Dash” design. To revisit the fun of this design, I made a new sample on Sunday afternoon. As you will read in the instructions, I pressed and stacked four contrasting yet coordinating fat quarters. The trick is cutting through all four layers and swapping the stacked fabrics according to the pattern diagrams. Do you see the mistake I made when swapping? This occasioned a bit of un-sewing!

My friend, Kathy, has been up to shenanigans of a different sort. She earmarked my Valentine’s Table Topper blog post of February 5, 2018, and changed the size of the quilt squares to 5.” By using 2 packages of 5″ charm squares (“Winter Manor” by Holly Taylor for Moda), she up-scaled the table topper into a lap quilt. If you want to create a similar quilt, note that Kathy placed dark green 5″ squares, cut from yardage, diagonally through the two initially made “Thirty-six Patches.”

She cut through these green squares and rearranged the 4 resulting triangles so that the small green triangles helped form an inner border.

Kathy then added a 2″ inner border of the same dark green print and a 4 1/2″ plaid outer border. The quilt measures about 51″ square.

There you have it — Two fun quilts employing different “mischievous” quilting tricks! What January Monkey Shines have you been up to?

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