20-patch Block Tutorial

Today I'm posting on the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild blog.  Every month our guild has a Block of the Month, guild members make one or many blocks, bring them to our monthly meeting where the blocks are then raffled.   For December, I've selected the 20-patch block after seeing Ashley's scrappy quilts (here and here).  I really love a scrappy quilt, and I would love to win those blocks.  If it doesn't happen, I might still make a bright colour 20-patch quilt.

So here is my recipe for a 20-patch block.

  • White and solid or low volume grey fabric, think cold icy grey;
  • Out of each colour, cut:
    • either one 21x3” stripe,
    • or two 10 1/5 x3” stripes,
    • or ten 2x3” rectangles

Method if using stripes:
  • Stitch one white stripe with one grey, along the long side, you get two 10 1/2 x 5 1/2” blocks. Press all seams to the dark side.
  • If working with 21” stripes, sew them together, press toward grey and cut in half and you now have two blocks 10 1/2” long.
  • Sew the 2 sets of stripes together and press seams toward the dark fabric.  You now have a 4-stripe white and grey 10 1/2 x 10 1/2" block.  
  • Slice the block into five 2” wide sub-stripes across the block. Align your ruler on the seams for clean perpendicular cuts.
  • Reassemble the 2” stripes, flipping every other one in order to obtain a checkerboard block, measuring 10 1/2 x 10 1/2”. 

Method if using rectangles:
  • Sew 5 rows of 4 rectangles, stitching on the shortest side, alternating white and grey. Press all seams toward the grey fabric.
  • Flipping every other row, assemble the 5 rows together, making a checkerboard block measuring 10.5x10.5”.

Can we all agree that it’s a super easy block?