Turning Twenty in 2020 and Turning Twenty Quilt Block

Hi Quilters!

We know how to celebrate, don’t we? All alone at home!

In honor of the 20th year of the guild, here is the link to instructions for making a Turning Twenty quilt, which uses all of 20 fat quarters, with no leftover pieces.


The quilt photo below is from http://lifeafterlaundry.com/

The ehow link does not include photos or layout plans, so more description has been added here:

Step 1 – Templates

You will need a 10-1/2” x  10-1/2” square, a 7-1/2” x 10-1/2” rectangle,  and a 7-1/2” x 17” rectangle. For the border cut a piece 4” x 17”. This uses up the fat quarter.

Total length and width above are fat quarter measurements.

Step 2 – Fabric Layout

Place the 10-1/2” x 10-1/2” square in the bottom left corner and the long rectangle across the top. Place the 7-1/2” x 10-1/2” rectangle just to the right of the square and the 4-inch by 17-inch rectangle along the right side. Many quilters do not wash fat quarters to avoid the possibility of shrinkage, since fat quarter patterns like this one often take the entire 18-inch length.

Step 3 – Practice Block – For Beginners, if Necessary

Use fabrics of your choice to make a quilt block for practice, cutting each of the three main pieces from a different fabric.  You do not need to cut the 4-inch by 17-inch piece as it is a border piece for the full quilt.

Step 4 – Assembly of Quilt Block

Assemble the three pieces into a quilt block. Use 1/2-inch seams** to sew the 7-1/2” x 10-1/2” rectangle to the square. Sew the 7-1/2” x 17” rectangle across the top of the two sewn pieces. REMEMBER to mix up your 20 different fabric patterns for colour and design variety.

[**NOTE:  Most quilters use a ¼” seam, so if you do this, your actual block will be slightly larger than the dimensions stated in these instructions; and therefore, the difference will just make your quilt larger by a couple inches. The finished block will be 17-1/2” x 17-1/2”, and then 17” x 17” when finished sewn into quilt. If you wish to use ½” seams, see Step 5 below for final measurements.]       BE CONSISTENT WITH SEAM MEASUREMENTS.

Step 5 – Pressing

Press seams away from the square and measure your block for size. It should be 17-1/2″ inches by 17-1/2″ inches – Finished in the quilt, each block will be 17 x 17.  [When sewn into quilt – using ½” seams – the finished size will be 16” x 16”.]

Step 6 – Putting Blocks Together

You can begin with any piece(s) on the top, and turn next block clockwise or counter-clockwise 90 degrees. Above the top block piece is Piece A and each following piece is turned clockwise 90 degrees.

Step 7 – Finishing Your Quilt Top

Many quilters suggest building the quilt into larger blocks, rather than sewing by rows. It is easier to keep the blocks – and the quilt – square. It is also a good idea to use a cutting template to check that you are keeping the blocks squared.

So, in piecing the blocks for the Turning Twenty quilt, you may lay out two rows as desired, and then sew the first two blocks of Row 1 to the first two blocks of Row 2 as shown below. Remember – the layout is totally up to you – just turn the next block 90 degrees in either direction.

Because you are working with 20 different fabrics, whichever way you choose to turn your block is going to be fine because no two blocks will be the same.  It all depends on how you like the colours to flow and if you are doing a secondary design – such as light to dark colours, which may flow from one corner to the next of the quilt.  There is much room for innovation!

Step 8 – Finishing the Quilt

  1. Sew the border pieces in a strip and then sew to each side of the quilt
  2. Pin quilt top, batting and backing fabric together – unless you are having it quilted by a longarm quilter.
  3. Quilt using a design of your choice – straight lines or circles or whatever goes with your quilt.
  4. Sew on the binding – or have someone do it for you.
  5. Beginners will most likely take their batting and quilt top and backing to a longarm quilter to be finished, as it can be daunting to try to quilt a design on something so large.
  6. Sew on a label giving pertinent information – there are web sites with suggestions as to what to include on a label for your quilt.

And although we did not get to hear Michelle Banton speak in March, here are a couple Turning Twenty quilt variations from her: