Education Sampler Sew-A-Long

Sashings and Cornerstones

Blocks all squared up? I ended up on both sets of squares trimming to 8.25″, which means I will lose some points, but that is how it goes. When I sew with bias pieces, I seldom get the measurement I aim for in the finished block.

If you decide you just want to sew your blocks together and make a small quilt, it will be approximately 25.5″ wide (based on the 8.5″ intended block) and 34″ long. Here is a look at my blocks 3 across and 4 down without going any further with sashings or borders.

That is a bit busy for my taste so I cut the sashings, 8.25″, from 2.5″ strips.  I needed 9 strips WOF 2.5″ wide.  Check out the photo showing how I did it.  Did you follow the instructions from the video I encouraged you to watch?  Here you see I use my weight for help in keeping the ruler from moving, have placed the same number of scrap fabrics under the ruler as the strip I am cutting and I cut the folded strips 16.5″ long, then cut that strip to 8.25″.  Each folded strip gave me 4 units.   You will end up with one 8.25″ strip unused.

The cornerstones will be squares the same width of your strip.  I used my med light fabric, but you can choose a different fabric than those in the blocks, or one from the blocks.  Or you can make them all different. You can even decide to not put in cornerstones and do a one piece strip 2.5″ wide the measurement of the row of blocks.  That is one of the fun things in making a quilt, deciding how you want it to look!

Here is one of my layouts with sashings.  They have not been sewn, but are on the design wall where I can see how the top will look.

What a big difference!  Each block now stands on its own and the top looks calmer.  See how the corner stones work.  I don’t always use them, but I like what they added to this pattern.

How did I decide on sashing and cornerstone fabrics?  I will use the other quilt top to show you my process.   I audition fabrics either in the fabric store  or from my stash.  This top will be making a trip with me to the fabric store to audition borders since what I thought would work, I don’t like now.  More a bit later on this topic.


With the blocks on the wall, I found three solid colors in my stash I thought might work, and proceeded to pin them on or at the blocks to see which I thought worked the best.  I hate it when they all could work!

The light blue is nice and calming; pink sure draws out the pink in the top, but it is like “hello!”; the dark turquoise is found in the dark fabric and is bold without the “hello!” factor.  Maybe looking at them separately will help me decide.

I think I will rule out the “hello!” pink.  It is a bit too bright, but might work in the border or as binding!




Light blue, so quiet, but is it too quiet?  I will be using the leaf print as corner stones.  It is a maybe for the sashings.






The subtle but dark turquoise is speaking to me, however not sure what it is actually saying.  Looks rich with the floral/leaf print.  Back to look at the photo of the blocks on the design wall.  What strikes me first is the pink does what I wanted – a pop with the quieter fabrics, but I think sashings in a dark solid will act as a frame.  This is the one I will use for the sashings!


I think that is enough for this post.  Treat sashings with cornerstones like a row.  You will have a row of sashings with cornerstones, row of blocks with vertical sashings separating them, another row of sashings with cornerstones, and so on, ending with a row of sashings with cornerstones.  I generally sew the top two rows together (here you will match the cornerstone with the vertical sashing all the way across), then I take rows 3 and 4 and sew them, next rows 5 and 6, followed by 7 and 8 and 9.  Sew the row sets together and your top is done except for the borders.


Post next Monday will address borders – auditioning fabrics, how to measure and cut, if to add cornerstones or not, and preparing a backing fabric.

I will be adding 2 borders- first a narrow 2″ border that will end up being 1.5″ when top is finished.  The outer border will be 3 inches finished, so I will cut it to be 3.5″.  I will audition both with cornerstones and see what I think!

Quilt Sandwich:

Our last week will be making a quilt sandwich.  How your quilt will be quilted will determine which method you use.  I will go over pros and cons of the three methods and I would like to discuss the different battings currently on the market, what to look for when deciding which to buy and what to avoid.

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