"Starring Monkey Wrenches"

Of all the upcycled blues quilts I've recently made, this one was the one that took the longest time from planning to completion.

I actually drew it up a couple of years ago now I think, but wasn't feeling up to making that many half square triangles, so I let it just sit there. I had made a couple of the blocks, but grew weary of them. It was too slow. And I wasn't sure how to make the stars at that time.

Then, when I began the upcycled blues project I actually I had this quilt in the back of my mind when I started. I found the blocks I had already made and went to town. 

This is just to point out that blocks you put away don't have to become UFOs (unfinished objects) even though I know sometime they do.

 This was number 1 in my series of upcycled blues.  The series has ballooned to 20 tops so far with several more in the works as I keep finding blues in various bags. I had to stop going to these sales as I could come home from one sale and spend a little over $10 and end up with 40 items. Those 40 items each took about 6 min just in take apart - so that's another 240 min. just in separating the pieces!  Then I had to find places for all those items.  Two of the stores have gone out of business,  however (I kinda thought they would - I thought their prices were too cheap to pay their bills.)

This was number 1 in my series of upcycled blues.

The series has ballooned to 20 tops so far with several more in the works as I keep finding blues in various bags. I had to stop going to these sales as I could come home from one sale and spend a little over $10 and end up with 40 items. Those 40 items each took about 6 min just in take apart - so that's another 240 min. just in separating the pieces!

Then I had to find places for all those items.  Two of the stores have gone out of business,  however (I kinda thought they would - I thought their prices were too cheap to pay their bills.)

 

I decided to try some circular-ish (swirls) quilting - something new for me.  Yes, I was scared. I was also determined. I like the look, but have been afraid to try it for years now.

 Staring Monkey Wrenches Quilt On Sewing Machine

I actually did it on a charity quilt maybe 2 years ago and thought it was awful. Then, for some reason, when I was looking through my charity quilts (a while later) I thought, "Wow, someone else must have quilted this - it's nice!"  (I had forgotten that I did it!).

Then it came back to me that I had actually done it. I surprised myself. I decided it really was okay after all. 

By forcing myself to do this, I'm trying to keep expanding my do-able patterns. It's better than just loops, meandering and hearts!  Now I can do stars and loops and now a sort of swirls.

 Starring Monkey Wrenches Pattern

A moment of transparency here.

In Poland in the winter months - starting in late October through March it can be dark and gray and dreary. The sun isn't very bright. We have LED and fluorescent bulbs in our house.

In our house, with our lighting we have, they barely looked off white!  Imagine my surprise when I took the quilt outside to take pictures and saw that huge variation in coloration.  I had noticed some difference while quilting, but honestly, not THIS much.

I was actually shocked at the difference in the whites when I took the quilt outside into the sunshine to get these pictures!

 Starring Monkey Wrenches Quilt
 Starring Monkey Wrench Quilt Pattern

Up close! Very close!

 

For comparison purposes - this was my indoor picture.  You can tell there are some differences, but it's amazing the real difference in the whites/creams/off whites!

 Starring Monkey Wrenches Full Quilt
 
 Starring Monkey Wrenches Backing

And of course the backing. It is all upcycleds as well.

I did update the pattern with new pictures. It is here.

 

The quilt roll does show up the differences in the colors pretty well. It is nice and sunny here on my temporary table. (ahem..my other table is undergoing a renovation! - you know...the table that you are used to seeing underneath all these quilt rolls!) That's another story for a different day, however!

 
 Starring Monkey Wrenches Quilt Folded Up
 
 Starring Monkey Wrenches Quilt In Forrest

So what did I think of this quilt?  Sometimes when I make something, I am not impressed with it - in fact, maybe it's even "underwhelming".

This one, however, exceeded my expectations. In fact, I really am taken with it. I like the quilting I did on it and I like the design.

I like the churn dash blocks on point. I like the freshness of using solid whites and off whites/creams (!) as background.

 
 Star Pattern on Starring Monkey Wrenches Quilt

I hope at least a couple of you can use this pattern. I think it would be cool in a reverse design as well - very darks as the background and white as the churn dash blocks.

 

 From a long distance you really can't see those differences in shades! At least not very much! And yes, I had to rewash this one after I took those pictures. The ground was a little bit too wet and I don't have quite enough grass under my line!

From a long distance you really can't see those differences in shades! At least not very much! And yes, I had to rewash this one after I took those pictures. The ground was a little bit too wet and I don't have quite enough grass under my line!


Don't forget to check out what my sis has for you in the store! You may find just the perfect fabric you've been needing!