I haven't organised a QAL (quilt-along) for any of the CocoWawa quilt patterns just yet (will do for future patterns) but! I wanted to do a special series of posts with more specific details and information about some of the techniques / steps followed on them. I am using my latest pattern release, the Cutting Corners Quilt, as example.
This first post will be about sashing. I will be sharing tips on how to cut and sew the strips necessary for this quilt. You can of course use a similar technique for other patterns or, for example, if you want to add sashing to a quilt design that doesn't have it or if you are designing your own quilt using scraps. It is quite incredible how a design changes just by adding some sashing action to a quilt :) Now, let's start!
HOW TO ADD SASHING
1. First, make sure your blocks are the correct size before attaching the sashing strips. In the case of the Cutting Corners Quilt, the squares need to be 4 ½'' on all sides and the sashing needs to have a 1 ½'' width and the same length as the squares
If you are creating your own quilt (a different design) and want to add some sashing to, for example, HSTs, make sure that there is equilibrium between the width of the strips and the dimensions of the block. Remember that the wider your sashing, the more attention will attract away from your blocks. Test different widths and try to find a good balance.
2. Sew a strip of sashing to the right side of each unit using a ¼” seam allowance and then stitch the units together forming rows.
3. To keep the units aligned horizontally, mark the centre of the sashing and then the centre of the block along the edge where you will attach the sashing. Match those marks, pin and sew. If the units were exactly 4 ½'' and your sashing was also cut correctly, there shouldn't be any misalignment along the row.
Your pressing technique is important. First, set the seam by pressing it with your iron -no steam, so as not to stretch the fabric, and with gentle taps. Then, finger-press your sashing piece and its seam away from the square unit. After that, press again from the right side with your iron and using the same gentle tapping technique.
5. Once all of your rows of blocks are done, attach the horizontal sashing pieces. These might need to be made out of several pieces of sashing (probably 2 per row, depending on the initial width of your fabric). When your strips are ready, mark on the wrong side of your sashing where the square units start and finish, so that you can match and pin them before sewing. This way the sashing running in between units will match in between the different rows as well.
Pin the sashing strip with right sides together to the bottom of your first row and sew. To make sure the seams on your rows stay in place, try to place a pin on each of them. Continue with the rest of rows, pinning the sashing strips to the bottom of each row of blocks. Press those seams open.
6. Now, attach the bottom of each horizontal sashing strip to the top of the next row of blocks. Press all seams open.
Now, your top quilt is finished! You can also play with the sashing strips using different fabrics between the horizontal and vertical pieces (prints or solids) or, for example, by creating a small square piece of a different colour where sashing strips cross each other. Look at the example below.
I hope this post was useful and that you will start adding some sashing action to your quilts!