Following my last quilt as you go pattern I received loads of emails asking for ideas to keep the sashing straight in quilt as you go projects, so this project gives you my thoughts on that. As ever, I’m not saying that the way that I do it is right – just that it works for me. This quilt measures 42″ by 62″ and to make it you will need 3/4 yard of green, white and brown fabric and 1 yard of red fabric.
green: twenty four 3.1/2″ squares and 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles
white: twenty four 3.1/2″ squares and 3.7/82 squares
red: twenty four 3.7/8″ squares and 3.1/2″ by 6.1/2″ rectangles with six 6.1/2″ squares. You will also need twelve 2.1/2″ red squares for the cornerstones
brown: seventeen 18.1/2″ by 2.1/2″ strips for the sashing.
Making the star quilt blocks
The red and white 3.7/8″ squares are all used to make half square triangles. Place one red and on white square with right sides togethr and mark a line along one of the diagonals. Sew a 1/42 seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangles. repeat with all the 3.7/8″ squares.
Lay the patchwork pieces ut as shown in the photo. The top two and bottom two rows are the same as each and the middle row is made using the 6.1/2″ square in the middle with a red rectangle on either side and two half square triangles on each end. Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together. Make six of these and press well.
Quilt as you go
For each of the six star quilt blocks cut a piece of backing fabric and wadding 2″ bigger all round – they will need to be 20″ square. Lay the backing fabric with right side down, then the wadding and then the patchwork with right side up. Baste with pins, thread or spray adhesive to secure the three layers together.
Quilt the square but make sure that you don’t go within an inch of the edge of the square. You need to be able to fold back the wadding and backing so that you can sew the sashing to the edges of the square. With right sides together sew a brown sashing strip to the right hand edge of one quilt block.
Sew the sashing strip to the left hand edge of the second block so that the two quilt blocks are joined on the front. Repeat with the other two pairs of blocks. Turn over to the back of the pair of squares. leave the backing fabric folded back but fold down the wadding one side at a time and trim so that the two edges of wadding just butt up to each other.
Sew the wadding edges together by hand with a zigzag stitch. fold the backing fabric down and trim each side so that there is an overlap of about an inch.
Turn under a small hem on one side of the backing fabric so that the raw edge is hidden and slipstitch in place so that the two blocks are now joined at the back as well as the front. do the same with each pair of squares.
Now the cornerstones. Sew two brown strips on either side of a 2.1/2″ red square. This is the strip that will be sewn between each pair of quilt blocks to join them together. Lay the strip along the edge of a pair of blocks with right sides together. Hold the middle with the cornerstone against the sashing strip between the blocks.
Nest the seam allowances at each seam so that they go in opposite directions at each seam and the two lines of stitching are lying against each other.
Pin at each seam. You need two pins per seam, one either side of the seam line. Push each pin in vertically rather than at a slope and with the point of the pin towards the edge, so that you caneither sew (very carefully) over the end of the pin, or just remove it at the very last minute. You will end up with four pins at each cornerstone. Place the pins close enough to the seam to catch the seam allowance with the pin.
The point of all this is to stop the two layers of fabric sliding against each other, leaving the sashing above and below the cornerstone not in line with each other. My other suggestion is to hold the fabric fairly taut when you are sewing the seam so that the two fabrics are tight against each other when you sew each cornerstone in place.
My apologies for going on a bit there, but I know that keeping the sashing in line is something that worries quite a number of quilters. So – you need four strips comprising a cornerstone with two brown strips to go and the top and bottom and between each pair of blocks. For the sides you will need two strips made of four cornerstones and three brown strips. Pin these to the sides of the quilt top in the same way and sew in place.
I don’t think that I mentioned how I quilted the blocks. Initially I quilted the stars only, stopping before the tips of the stars so that I would have the edges free of quilting. I used an echo quilting with lines of quilting about 1/2″ apart. Going against my usual advice to start in the middle always, I began with stitch in the ditch around the edge of the star and then continued with lines in the same general shape going towards the centre. After I had sewed all the blocks together using quilt as you go, I used a meander quilting along the sashing. You can now trim the excess wadding and backing fabric and bind the quilt.
Here’s the video: