Monday, December 14, 2009

Turning 20 Around the Block

I recently completed a Turning 20 Around the Block Quilt using the 12 Days of Christmas collection by Nancy Halvorsen. The collection included a panel, which I cut apart and integrated into the instructions in the book "Turning 20 Around the Block" by Tricia Cribbs.
This quilt was sooo much fun! And you can use any type of panel for this quilt pattern. The 12 Days is a favorite of mine, and the colors of the collection went so well together. I would recommend trying to incorporate as many coordinating fabrics from the collection that go with your panel, if at all possible. It gives the quilt a very cohesive look.
If you are curious about how to make a panel square or rectangle work, here's how it is done.
Here is the original 12 Days of Christmas panel:

1. Cut your panel squares apart. Usually there is a line in the printing of the panel that you can follow as a "cutting line". On the 12 Days Panel, I cut right down the green line between the squares.
2. Take one (or more) of your coordinates and cut strips to "frame" your blocks. They will be used to bring the focal blocks from your panel up to size. A good size to cut the strips is usually 2 1/2"
3. Place the strip Right Sides Together (RST) with your panel block and align the raw edges.
4. Flip the panel so that the framing strip is on the bed of your machine and the panel block is facing you (and it will now be wrong side up)
5. Stitch along one of the print lines and use that as your "stitching" line. The stitching may not be a perfect 1/4" seam allowance, but that is ok in this instance.
6. Repeat with another framing strip on the other side of the panel block.

Here you can see the green framing strip has been sewn to the panel block.

Once strips have been added to both sides, the strips are trimmed even with the top and bottom of the square.
Then framing strips are added to the top and bottom of the square and trimmed even with the side strips.
Once the block is pressed, you place it under the Turning 20 Template Ruler, and trim it. Be sure the block is centered under the ruler. Continue with the rest of your blocks.

Once the blocks are trimmed you just integrate them into the quilt according to the directions in the Turning 20 Around the Block.

The 12 days panel also included a "title block" at the top of the panel which I chose to integrate into the quilt.
It was a bit longer than the standard 16 1/2" block in the quilt, and not as "tall" as the standard blocks, so I added some scraps from the cutting of my block pieces to bring it up to size.

Next I created 2 side blocks to place on either side of my "title Block". Again, I worked with my scraps and some additional fat quarters so The blocks would blend in, and I made 2 patched hearts which were appliqued onto background squares.

I added these blocks to either side of my title block, and trimmed them to size so that the top row would fit my other rows, and finished off the quilt with the addition of borders.
The end result was totally charming and everyone that sees it loves it.
I hope you will be inspired to try this technique with a 12 Days panel or with a panel of your choice.
We have kits on the web site for the 12 Days, but grab yours soon, as quantities are very limited!
Quilter's Paradise
Merry Christmas to all!

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