So, we have made the twenty five quilt blocks for the shoofly beginner quilt and now it is time to sew them all together. It would be perfectly OK to combine the blocks without quilt sashing, but I think that this quilt would be improved with sashing.
Reasons for quilt sashing
The hourglass quilt on the left doesn’t have sashing as it would break up the design too much. The jelly roll quilt on the right cannot have sashing as there is just one overall design.
- Quilt sashing can frame the blocks so that the eye sees each block separately.
- It can introduce a new colour or pick out a colour from the quilt blocks.
- Sashing can provide extra width or length to a quilt if you need it.
- It can make a break between two blocks that makes it less noticeable if points of triangles or corners of squares don’t quite match up.
To me, this last point is really important in a beginner quilt. Of course we would all like our points to match up every time, but using quilt sashing give you a little more flexibility if they don’t!
Making quilt sashing
I wanted to have 1″ sashing between the blocks, so I cut strips of 1.1/2″ width to allow for the seams. Cut four strips 12.1/2″ long for each row – that’s twenty strips as there are five rows. With right sides together, sew a strip to the right hand side of a quilt block.
Place a second quilt block to the right of the first block. With right sides together sew the left hand side of the block to the right hand side of the sashing.
Continue until you have a row of five blocks, each connected to the one beside it by a strip of sashing. This will take four strips of sashing as you don’t want sashing on either end of the row yet. Repeat for the rest of the blocks, so that you end up with five rows, each made of five quilt blocks connected by sashing.
Sewing the rows together with sashing
In order to sew the rows together you will need 65″ lengths of sashing. This means sewing two strips together. Make sixe of these and two lengths of 67″.
With right sides together, pin the length of sashing to each end across the bottom of the first row of patchwork blocks. Find the centre of the strip (by rolding it in half) and pin this to the centre of the row of blocks (middle of the third quilt block). Then pin the rest of the sashing strip in place across the row of blocks.
Using a 1/4″ seam sew the sashing strip to the row of blocks. I find it helpful to sew with the blocks on top and the sashing underneath so that I can keep an eye on which way the seam allowances are lying as I sew.
Sew the second row of patchwork blocks to the bottom of the sashing strips, then add a sashing strip to the bottom of the second row and add the third row of blocks. Continue until you have all twenty five blocks joined together by sashing, but with no sashing on the outer edges of the beginner quilt.
Sew sashing to the outer edges of the beginner quilt
Sew a 65″ sashing strip down each side of the quilt top. Then add the top and bottom sashing strips. These will need to be 67″ long as they have to reach across the two extra sashing strips.
You should now have every patchwork block of the beginner quilt completely enclosed by sashing. The quilt top is now ready for the border.
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