Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WIP: Monkeying Around

I saw this rug being offered on sale. Instantly the color palette reminded me of a quilt kit I'd bought a couple years ago. I bought the rug.

I dug the kit out of deep reaches of my closet and was amazed at the similarity. Plus, the rug and the quilt kit both have bananas. I have a special needs adult son who loves monkeys and bananas. "Mun-kee" and "na-nuh" are actually two words in his fairly limited vocabulary so I think he will like this quilt. I've been wanting to make up this kit for him but seeing the rug clinched it and moved it up on my priority list. I began it this week.

A monkey on a bicycle is featured on the center panel. Often panel quilts are tricky to make at first because the picture or scene is rarely printed square. The instructions to this kit had a clever solution that is obvious only now that I have read it. Normally instructions direct you to sequentially attach strips of a prescribed width, often ignoring the non-squareness of the panel, making it worse as you build outward. This kit provided a bit extra fabric so that the first border of strips could be cut oversized in width. Once they were attached by matching the inner edges of the panel picture, the center panel with its first border attached was then squared up to a particular length and width. No decorative printed borders got clipped off. Adjustments were less obvious since they occurred in the strips and not the featured central panel. Adding progressive outer borders of a pre-cut width then flowed smoothly.

Here are the corner stone blocks for the monkey quilt. I was consistent on which edges I added the short border strips and on which edges I added the long border strips so that the lengthwise grain of the dotted fabric could be oriented the same on all four corners. Those bubble dots are somewhat in rows along the grain of the fabric and not just random.

The outermost border around the panel is a piano keyboard design. Here are the components parts. Yellow bananas go with lollipops and green bananas go with fish. Very logical of course!

The assembly is going very quickly. I just need to trim the central panel and join the borders. Here is how the pieces will be oriented in the corners.

This was a productive week for me. I finished my Jack O' Lantern Trio and showed it in my previous post. With Paisley Pearl (February 8, 2014 post) and The Ghastlies (March 17, 2014 post) my number of FMQ'd quilts for this year is at three. FMQ'ing at least three quilts was one of my quilting goals for 2014 so I can check that off. Another goal was to assemble at least two quilt kits from the many I have in my closet. This monkey quilt is starting me off on that goal.

Completed projects since 03/26/14 WIP post:
  1. Jack O'Lantern Trio (See March 31, 2014 post.)
Ongoing projects:
  1. Chicken quilt - awaiting FMQ
  2. Classic Cars strip quilt (August 3, 2013 post) - need to back, quilt, and bind
  3. Grinch quilt (May 22, 2013 post) - all borders added, need to back, quilt, and bind
  4. Overlapping square wall hanging - awaiting FMQ
  5. Mask quilt (October 19, 2011 post) - hidden away awaiting inspiration for arranging hexagons
New projects since 03/26/14 WIP post:  
  1. Monkey wall hanging kit
I will now link up to this week's Freshly Pieced WIP.


  1. Love boh the rug and fabrics! Where will they go when done?

    1. They will go in my son's room when completed. I finished piecing the top this morning. I think the quilting will take longer than the piecing. I plan to FMQ it myself. Thanks for the interest and comment.

  2. This really does look perfect for Alex! Very cool!

  3. Very productive indeed! Such a sweet set of sewing projects :)