Sew Ottawa! HST Week 10 [HST Sew-a-long 2018 11/18]

Let's Get Sashy!

It was March Break for many of us this week and I know it was hard to get to the sewing machine. Many of us were travelling, or were quarantined with the great flu of 2018. Kudos to everyone who completed blocks or chimed in to encourage each other. We made it through.

You should now have 13 blocks in your Work-In-Progress (WIP) bin. If you're just joining us, you have 13 templates for block options. We set out to complete 16 different blocks. Today we will go through the last 3 blocks of the Sew-A-Long. We will also talk about optional sashing. I know, I know... this is a lot to discuss. Continue along at your own pace. There is lots to discuss coming up and so you will have time to catch up later if you complete less this week.

Week 10 Giveaway!

Colleen kindly crafted this adorable teacup pincushion for this week's giveaway. I love it so much! the Dresden plate on the top reminds me of the sweetest little flower. I can use any reminder of Spring that I can get. Anyone who posts a single new block this week will be eligible to win.

Block 14

This block is so darling and reminds me of the tulips that are on their way!

Block 15

Block 15 gave me some serious heartache. My machine is due to be serviced. Between the crabby sewing machine and my children waking eleventy times a night, these aren't my best work, but I'm moving forward! We have some sashing to get to!!!

Block 16

Your final block! I think this is my favourite block of all. It holds a bit of a kaleidoscope effect. To me, it looks different each time I look at it. One moment, I see the spinning centre circle. The next, simple, geometric shapes. I think repeating these blocks would make a very pretty table runner.


Now that you have all of your blocks completed, this is a friendly reminder to square them up to 10.5". Colleen kindly provided a great tutorial in Week 8. It's possible that some of your blocks are less than 10.5". It has been a journey and you have gotten progressively better at squaring HST squares and maintaining a 1/4" seam allowance. You have two options. You can either make new ones to measure 10.5" and repurpose your smaller blocks into pillows or other projects. What I would do however is to square up to 10.25" by taking equal amounts off of the sides. Yes, your points won't be perfect on the sides of your blocks, but for me, looking back on my previous work brings me joy. It's really fun to reflect on the successes and lessons learned. It's a good reminder of just how much I've learned. Also, your family members don't have a critical eye to those points!

To Sash or Not to Sash?

Congratulations! You now have 16 beautiful blocks of equal size. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will assume your blocks are 10.5". You now have an design element decision. You can proceed and sew all 16 blocks together, or you can choose to frame each block with strips of fabric, called sashing. This decision is completely your own, based on your preference. Here is how pretty my blocks looked without sashing (Sorry guys, I prepared these photos before we decided to just complete all blocks this week... there are 4 blocks missing from this photo, but I know you'll get the idea):

In comparision, here is my quilt top with sashing. See how the blocks look framed? I chose the sashing to be the same colour as my main fabric, Kona Snow. Because each block is different, I wanted them to stand out while still maintaining a cohesive look. You could choose any colour if you would like to include sashing.Bonus! I didn't need to line up every individual square in each block! Given my success rate this week, I'm going Sashing all the way!

How to Measure out Your Sashing

First, we math. You need to do a quick calculation. I try to aim for sashing that is the same width as your individual squares. I find it gives a nice composition. In our case, our finished squares are 2.5" and so we will cut our sashing to be 3" (3" minus 0.25" SA on each side leaves us with 2.5")

Here is a diagram of our quilt. Here, we have:
Pieces A 1-16: Your finished HST Blocks. They are 10.5" x 10.5"
Pieces B: These are the sashing pieces that go in between your blocks. You will need 12 total, measuring 3x10.5
Pieces C: These are the long sashing pieces that go in between your rows of blocks. You will need 3, measuring 47.5" x 3"
Pieces D and E: These are optional Boarder pieces that Colleen will talk about next week. You may decide to include them or not. They may be the same colour as your sashing, or an accent colour. You can choose to make them any size. Typically, I like them to be larger than my sashing and I have included suggested dimensions.

Piecing your Quilt Blocks

Now it is time to put it all together. Are you excited?! I always get giddy at this point. If this is your first quilt, you're likely going to see the progression of improvements as you piece the blocks together. Be proud of all of your blocks as they all tell a story.

You may choose to lay out your blocks on the floor, or on a design wall. Here is a great how-to if you're interested in creating one. First, lay out your 16 blocks in 4 rows of 4 with the small 3"x10.5" sashing pieces in between each block. In between each row, lay out your long strips.

Begin by sewing the 7 pieces of row one together, one at a time. Sew right sides together, using pins and maintain your 1/4" seam allowance and PRESS. Repeat this process with all block rows.

Now to sew on the strips. Treat these just like sewing two blocks together. Find the middle points of both pieces. Pin together. Pin at the ends together. Find the mid points between the middle and end and put in another pin. When in doubt, add more pins!! It will keep you from stretching the fabric. Stretching the fabric will give you waves along your seams (this isn't what you want). Now sew and repeat until all rows are sewn together. Press as you go.

In the interest of time (and my mommy schedule today), I'm demonstrating 3 rows. You will have 4 for a 16 block quilt. Thank you for understanding!

Congratulations!!! You have a quilt top!!! I cannot wait to see them.

Join Colleen next week at Sewing for Sawyer to talk about optional Boarders and preparing your quilt top for the quilting process.


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