Simple sashing setting squares

July 26, 2012

When you’re the quilter and not the piecer, you know what a barrel of fun it can be if the sashing strips on a quilt don’t quite line up at the corners of the blocks. The only way you can camouflage that faux pas is to use a design that is very organic that draws the eye away from those mismatched intersections (wandering vines are a great choice)!

If you happen to be the piecer, though, you can save yourself lots of agony trying to match up those fabric strips and blocks by adding setting squares (sometimes called corner posts) where the sashing strips meet at the corners of each block. Once you’ve pieced together long sashing strips that incorporate these setting squares, assembling the quilt is simple and error-proof (okay, how about “error resistant?”)

First, determine the number and size of your sashing strips and setting squares.

You may find it helpful to sketch out your quilt layout. The width you choose for your sashing strips will determine the size that you’ll cut your setting squares. For example, if your quilt blocks are 12 inches square when finished, a common sashing with would be 3 inches (a number that easily goes into 12 and is proportional to the size of the block). Therefore, your setting squares would be 3 inches square when finished. You would cut your setting squares 3-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches to allow for a 1/4-inch seam allowance on all sides.

Next, sew together a horizontal row of block with sashing strips between them.

Add sashing strips at the outer edges as well. These strips will be cut to the finished width you desire, and the length of the strips will match your block’s unfinished length (In our example above, for 12-inch finished quilt blocks the sashing strips would be cut 3-1/2 inches by 12-1/2 inches.) Press the seams toward the sashing strips to make construction easier down the road. Repeat this process for each horizontal row of blocks in your quilt.

Now sew a long row of sashing strips together by connecting their short ends with a setting square between each sashing strip.

Again in our example, the setting squares would be 3-1/2 inches square. Press the seams toward the sashing strips.

Sew a long row of sashing strips and setting squares you just completed to a horizontal row of blocks.

Press the seam toward the long row of sashing strips.

Continue assembling the rows of blocks and long sashing strips and setting squares until you have completed the entire quilt.

Press each seam toward the long row of sashing strips and setting squares. Don’t forget to add a final row of sashing strips and setting squares on the other end of the first row of blocks. Add borders if you like, and “ta da!” No wandering sashing strips to contend with!