Wednesday, June 17, 2015

COUNTRY VILLAGE QAL, PART 4: Adding sashings and sewing it all together!

Hi peeps!

Did ya miss me??? 
We have been having some really up and down weather from about mid-May to last week and that factor does some real damage to me in the form of multi-day migraines…I had several...NOT FUN…

The good news is that it looks like the good weather is now here to stay! YAY!!!

Welcome to Part 4(finally!!!) of the Country Village QAL, featuring Maison De Provence by Connecting Threads. Today we will be adding the sashings and sewing the quilt top together. 

In case you've missed them, you can find Parts 1 through 3 under the Country Village QAL tab across the top of my blog, under the header.

I managed to get all 25 quilt-a-long blocks completed last week, so hurray for me!!! I was overly ambitious, thinking that I could get all of the blocks completed within two weeks, groan...

When I was laying out the blocks for the above photo, the sun was not in my favour. By the time I had arranged the blocks into the pretty fan above, the sun had moved and all I had was a small space in our front walkway that didn't have too many shadows. I guess you could say that I have used the sunlight and dark shadows to create an artistic photo…yea, I'll stick to that…hee hee!!!

So…here we go!!!

Collect your 60 x 15.5"-long sashing strips and 36 of the 1.5" squares we cut previously. You'll want to only use the darker-coloured squares, so that the cornerstones will be a 'pop' of colour amidst all the white/t-o-t sashing. 

You can use the lighter-coloured squares in a different project, or as a border around your quilt label!

Add one 1.5" square cornerstone to one end of 24 15.5" sashing strips. Add a 1.5" square to each end of 6 15.5" sashing strips. Press the seam toward the sashing strips.

This is how I mark my blocks. As you know, we have 25 blocks set 5 x 5. I mark the position of my blocks in this way-the center block number is circled and the top, bottom and sides have lines which correspond to their placement.

Now here is the fun part!!! I already knew that the dark red block (#13, at center) would be the center block, as it is the same pattern as the inner border and I didn't want them to be near each other. 

I decided that two pairs of eyes are better that one and got the Hubs to give me a hand! It took us about 15 mins. to decide which block would go where(making sure to align each block with the center fabric running downwards) and then we labelled them. I just use a straight pin to attach the marker to each block and when I'm done, I keep them pinned to the paper marker so that I don't use them for piecing etc.

Now we will do the unusual part. 

I really dislike working with long, skinny sashing strips as all sorts of things can go wrong. I attach the sashing strips to the blocks before sewing all of the blocks together! It only takes a little bit of preparation to do it this way and it has always worked out well for me.

Pin a plain sashing strip down the left side of each block, right side facing the block. Pin a plain sashing strip(right side down-you can assume that all of the directions mean to pin with the right side down) down the right side of blocks #5, 10, 15, 20 and 25. 

We will look at row #1 as it is a bit different. I do it this way to limit the amount of time spent getting up from my machine to re-pin.

Pin a one-ended(a strip with one 1.5" square stitched to it) strip across the top of blocks #1-4. Pin a one-ended strip across the bottom of blocks #1-4. You will have to stop pinning these strips about 2" before the left side of the block, as that side already has a plain strip pinned to it.

Pin a two-ended strip across the top of block #5. Pin a two-ended strip across the bottom of blocks #5, 10, 15, 20 and 25. You will have to stop pinning about 2" away from the left and right sides of these blocks as they are already pinned.

Here is block #10. You can see the plain sashing strips are pinned down the right and left sides of the block. Then the two-ended strip is pinned loosely across the bottom of the block, leaving room so that the side sashings can be stitched down first. 

Then all you have to do is flip all of the side sashings to the outside of the block and finger-press, making sure that the seam allowance falls towards the sashing. Then you can pin and sew the one-ended and two-ended sashing strips to each of the blocks.

When you are stitching the sashings to the block, it is much easier to stitch with the sashings on top so that you can ease a slightly larger block in. 

Do not pull the sashing to match the length of the block! This will make is very difficult to match up and piece all of your blocks together at the end.

Once you have sewn all of the sashings to the sides of the blocks, you can start sewing your rows together. You don't need to lay them out in a row as they are all marked! I sew the #1 block to #2, then #3 to #4. I sew #5 to the #3-4 combo. The #3-4-5 combo is then sewn to the #1-2 pair and you have a row done! Follow this procedure for the remaining 4 rows. 

Give each row a light press, making sure that the seam allowances are pressed towards the sashings(away from the blocks).

Once your rows are all sewn you can sew them together to make your quilt top.   Remember to sew with the sashing strips on top. See how the first two rows look together? I really like the little 'pop' of colour that the cornerstones bring! Four blocks set 2 x 2 would look really nice on a table.

I don't pair up the rows at this step(ie: sew row #1 to #2 and #3 to #4 etc.). Instead, I sew each row subsequent to the next to make the quilt top. This allows you to continue easing in your blocks, if needed.

Here is the end of Part 4 of the Country Village QAL. I hope to have Part 5: Cutting and adding the borders, ready for next Wednesday, June 24.

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Thanks for reading and have a great day! 

Quilty Huggs, 


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