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Article: DIY Quilt at The Featherweight Shop ~ Part 8 "Borders & Sashing"

DIY Quilt at The Featherweight Shop ~ Part 8 "Borders & Sashing"


Welcome back to the Do It Yourself Sew Along: Miss Rosie's Cake Mix ~ Part 8 Borders & Sashing! If you are just joining us on this Blue & Cream Star Quilt journey, catch up from the very beginning here!

At this point, we have created each of the blocks in the quilt, and now it is time to start assembling the blocks with the sashing and borders! I love to arrange the blocks that I have created out on my floor, seeing all the different variations of arrangements that I can come up with! After a few re-arrangements, I decided on my "final" look, which is pretty close to what I originally imagined, with one or two small tweaks! 

Suggested Products & Notions
Miss Rosies Cake Mix #9
1 Layer Cake + 1 Charm Pack + 2 3/4 Yards Low Volume 
12" x 18" Reversible Cutting Mat
Itty Bitty Eights Creative Grids Ruler
Creative Grids 2 1/2 x 12" Ruler
Olfa Rotary Cutter
Glass Head Pins
Quilter's Pressing Fleece
Thread Snips
Aurifil Thread
Magnetic Pin Dish
Sewline Water Erasable Pen
Featherweight Accurate Seam Square
Featherweight Accurate Seam Guide

*More Information On Fabrics Used In Quilt Located In Footnotes Of Blog

Next up, I decided on the width of my sashing strips. For this specific quilt, I created 2" strips in a nice creamy white solid to bring attention to the delicate floral patterns of my fabric blocks. I began by measuring the expected diameter of the quilt. I did this by calculating:

(Width of Block x Number of Blocks in a Column) + (Width of Sashing Strips x Number of Sashing Strips Needed) for both the *row* and *column* side of the quilt.

Using the example below:

Column (or long side) of Quilt

8" (Width of block) x 4 (Number of blocks in the column) = 32"
2" (Width of Sashing Strips) x 5 (Number of Sashing Strips Needed) = 10"
32" + 10" = 42" Length of Column side of quilt. 

Row (or short side) of Quilt
8" (Width of block) x 3 (Number of blocks in the column) = 24"
2" (Width of Sashing Strips) x 4 (Number of Sashing Strips Needed) = 8"
24" + 8" = 32" Length of Row side of quilt. 

Sashing Strips Formula
(Length x Number of Columns / Rows) by WOF
32" (Length)  x 5 (Number of Columns) = 160" *a portion of this will be cut into 8" pieces to match the size of the blocks for each piecing.
160" Length x 2" Width of Fabric
24" (Length) x 4 (Number of Rows) = 96"
96" Length x 2" Width of Fabric
160" + 96" = 265" Length
265" Total Length  x 2" Width of Fabric for Sashing using the example above

Next is to determine the size of borders, if you want one. Take the measurements from above, decide on the width of your border, and apply the following formula:

Border Formula:
(Length of Column x 2) + (Length of Row x 2) = Diameter 
Using the above example
(42" x 2 = 84" Column) + (32" x2 = 64" Row) = 148" Diameter

148" (Length) x 6" (Width of Fabric) for the Border using the example above.

Well - isn't quilt math just so much fun?! Once that was all out of the way, I got to the cutting! I began by trimming off the selvedge edge, and cut the desired width of the sashing strip. I kept this part between 2"-3" (personal preference.) 

Remember to count out the internal sashing strips to bind your blocks together on your columns to make for easy piecing. I did this by trimming down my sashing pieces to match the length of the block, then sewed the blocks together to make a row. When it was time to sew the "rows" together, I flew right through them! Leaving only the outer column and row sashing strips. 

After all the strips were neatly trimmed, I double-checked my count and laid out all the strips on my pre-arranged blocks. 

*In the photo above, I have my trimmed down sashing strips ready to sew on, between the blocks creating the "row." This made for easy piecing!

Using the Featherweight Accurate Seam Guide helped to keep the sashing strips even and straight. I set my seam allowance to a scant quarter inch.

Taking a look at the underside of the quilt top, the sashing strip is neatly set open, the seams exactly as I was hoping they would turn out!

Using that nifty trick of cutting down the sashing strips to match the size of the quilt blocks, making the "rows", saved so much time as well as increased the accuracy of the quilt. One part to look out for is matching up the columns when sewing the rows together!

As you can see from the larger view, each of the rows is neatly sewed together using the trimmed down sashing strips, measured exactly to the size of the quilt block. Next up is sewing the row sashing strip between each of the quilt block rows!

Looking back on this step, I would have paid *much* more attention to how the individual columns were lining up between sewing the row sashing strip on. It is quite easy to get slightly off-center on this step. I would suggest PINNING, PINNING, PINNING!

Now, if your sashing strips are not long enough, don't worry, you can make a "fancy" seam (that is what I like to call it!) I love the look. It is more elegant than the straight up and down seam.

Arrange two sashing strips at a 90 degree angle, right sides together. Take a ruler (I love the Itty Bitty Eights ruler since it helps to keep the fabric from shifting) and draw a line from the upper left point to the bottom right point using a Sewline pen.

Make sure to pin to avoid shift and gain accurate seams.

Sew directly down the drawn line... (check to make sure you measured correctly before moving on to the next step!)

After confirming your seam is correct, trim off the excess fabric and itty bitty dog ears. Press open.

Sew the rest of your sashing strips, including the column and row edges. Make sure to press your seams to create a nice flat quilt top. Trim away stray threads as you go. This will save time when you are prepping for quilting.

Ohhhh.... it looks so pretty! Look at all of that hard work accomplished! Next up is the border, if desired. This step is a replication of sashing.

Cut down borders to the desired width.

Create pretty diagonal seams for additional length to make it around your quilt!

Sometimes, I just have to stop and admire the beauty of the Singer Featherweight. It is a timeless machine that still creates such amazing keepsakes. We are so fortunate to have these wonderful sewing machines in our lives!

Ok, back to work! I laid out the measured border fabric around the quilt top, confirmed correct measurements and had sewed enough border. (It would not be fun to get to the end and come up short.)

I confirmed seam allowances. I love using the scan quarter-inch.

I started sewing those borders on! Almost there!

When I came to the end of one side of the border being sewed on, I took it over to the cutting mat and trimmed off the excess fabric. This created a nice and tidy edge.

Just look at how clean that looks!

Now that all the sashing strips and borders were sewed on, I pressed the quilt top and trimmed off any excess thread in preparation for quilting.

Next week, my quilt top will be back from the quilter and we will begin on the binding! Enjoy!

See You Next Week On Monday, January 10th