We left off with a stack of 9 four square blocks.
Before we start sewing, I just need to warn you that some of my methods are unconventional. If you are a seasoned quilter and don't agree with my techniques, please use your own wisdom. There are three things in particular I would like to point out that may seem odd:
- I like to leave the selvedges on my sashing and border strips. Why, you ask? Because they make it easy to determine the right and wrong side of the fabric - no easy feat with dark solids. If the little hole are smooth, you're on the right side of the fabric. If they stick out a bit, you're on the wrong side of the fabric. As you line up your sashing to start sewing, make sure you start your sewing past the selvedge. Those little holes don't usually disappear upon washing :(
- I'm the world's laziest pinner. I prefer to press seams flat with my finger tips as I feed the fabric under the needle. I urge you to take the time to pin your seams if you're not comfortable with this method.
- Finally, are you wondering why I tell you to press your seams
before trimming off any excess sashing or border fabric? I've found
through trial and error that even when I take extra care and caution
when trimming extra fabric before I've pressed, I rarely get a
square/even cut. Try it out yourself and see what you find.
|Dreaded squaring up. Maybe you love it?|
|All the blocks in order|
Grab the 2 1/2" x WOF sashing strip. Now grab the left and center blocks from the first two rows.
|Four blocks off to get sashed|
|Mind the selvedge|
|Pressing the center seam flat while sewing - the lazy girl way!|
|Notice the gap between the blocks|
Head over to your ironing board. Set the seams, then press all seams open - even the four blocks sewn to the long strip.
Using your acrylic ruler, line trim off the excess sashing on both sides of all six blocks.
Put your blocks back in order. Now we're going to sew the rows together. Working from left to right, pin the left side of the center block to the right side of the left block (right sides facing). Do this for all three rows.
|Center block is on the top facing the left most block. Sew seam on the right side|
Repeat with the center block and the right blocks. Pin, chain piece, snip. Press the sashing seams, setting first then pressing them open.
Hooray! The rows are done. Now we'll join the three rows together with the remaining two 2 1/2" sashing strips.
Sew a sashing strip to the top and the bottom of the center row.
|One side sewn, one to go|
Pin the top row to the top of the sashed center row. Double check that the shashing between the blocks lines up.
Pin the bottom row to the bottom of the sashed center row, again making sure that the vertical sashing strips all line up.
|Why yes, those are pins!|
Set seams with your iron and then press them open. It's starting to look like a quilt, don't you think? Hang in there because we only have four more seams to go.
Once all seams are pressed, use your clear ruler to cut off the excess sashing along the left and right sides of the quilt top.
|Aack! Where did the sun go? Sorry for the blurry pic.|
|Stitching the right border strip|
Repeat the steps above with the border strips on the top and bottom of the quilt top. Press and trim.
Phew! We did it! The top is done. Come back for the next installment where we'll start machine quilting.
Thanks for following along. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.
Constructing the Blocks
Link to Four's a Charm Page