Plus tips for determining the placement of each block on the quilt top.
Making each block in the Carolina Sunset series has been fun, and now it’s time to figure out how to arrange the individual blocks to create the quilt top. Lara will guide you through her decision making process and provide tips for assessing placement options of each block within the quilt top. You’ll want to consider color balance as a key factor in coming up with the final placement of each. Then you’ll make sashing and stitch it all together. Yay – you’re getting very close to done!
We’re excited to have Lara Whiting contributing our block of the month series. The series includes 9 different quilting blocks; here are her instructions for putting them all together and making a finished quilt top.
The supply lists.
- Work space large enough to display all your blocks
- Sewing machine
- Iron and pressing surface
- Straight pins
- Marking utensil
- White Background:
- Six pieces 2.5”x WOF strips (from two strips: subcut 12.5” rectangles)
- Two pieces 3.5” x WOF strips for top and bottom borders
- Miscellaneous scraps for optional border feature
- All seams ¼”
- MAKE SURE ALL BLOCKS ARE TRIMMED TO 12.5” SQUARE BEFORE YOU BEGIN STITCHING.
All together now.
Welcome to the tenth installment of the Carolina Sunset block of the month. By this point you should have made nine different blocks and may be starting to wonder: when will they become a quilt?
This month we will tackle putting all the blocks together in a way that is appealing to YOU. I’ve been playing with different layouts for my blocks: swapping them back and forth, rotating 180 degrees – all to see which layout looks best to me.
Read below to see a sampling of the layouts I considered before making my final choice. I encourage you to do the same with your blocks. Come back here if you need further instruction or inspiration to put the top together.
Layout option 1.
This is not an ideal layout. The two blocks with dark blue background need to be balanced better. I want a more even distribution of the blocks with dark fabrics.
Layout option 2.
Now the dark fabrics are spaced on opposite corners of the quilt area – I like that. But now my eye is drawn to the radiating paper pieced block in the right column, second row. Even though there is no dark blue fabric in the block, there is also no white fabric. That, combined with the radiating motif makes me want to center that block more.
Layout option 3.
This layout is very similar to the previous one, I just switched two blocks. I like it better, but I’m still looking for a better option.
Layout option 4.
Much better! This layout appeals to me because we have a focal block in the very center, radiating out towards the others. The two blocks with very dark background fabric are poised above and below the center block. The remaining blocks are arranged based on the amount of white background fabric they have.
Place sashing & check trim.
Arrange the six 12.5” strips vertically on each side of the three blocks in center column. Reserve two of the 2.5” x WOF strips for the horizontal sashings in between each row.
Now is the time to make sure all of your blocks are trimmed to 12.5″ square. Do this before you begin stitching.
Stitch blocks together by row.
Begin stitching the blocks in each row together, separating them with the 12.5”x2.5” sashing strips.
Match horizontal sashing strips with rows.
When you have each of the three rows stitched together, trim the horizontal sashing strips to match the length of corresponding rows. I add an extra 1/2” beyond end of row to accommodate any shifts while stitching. Mine were cut right around 41 inches.
Stitch a sashing strip to the top of bottom row, and top of middle row. Press.
Two rows are now stitched together. A very observant quality control, Pawfficer Steven is making sure things are lined up properly.
Trim side border pieces & stitch.
Now that the main quilt body is all together, trim the side border pieces to match the length of quilt. These are the remaining 2.5” WOF strips. Stitch one strip to the left and right sides of quilt.
Now the top & bottom borders.
Pawfficer Steven returns to help determine strip lengths for top and bottom borders. Thankfully, the minimal selvage edge on batiks is working in my favor and I DO NOT need to piece these. However, if your WOF does not measure up, try piecing some scraps together for a little spark.
Get clever with details.
I decided to make the bottom of my quilt look like the selvage edge of printed fabric. Four squares of the vibrant colors mimic the color dots on fabric edge. Adding this feature is a unique way to get your border strip to the length needed that will cover whole width of quilt.
Each colored square is 1.5”, with a 1” white square spacer stitched in between. The long white rectangles above and below squares are 1.5” x 6”.
TA-DA! Doesn’t she look so crisp and fresh with the white sashing? I really love how it makes the blocks look like they’re floating.
If you haven’t been following along regularly, but are now interested in seeing all of the Carolina Sunset blocks, check them out and make a plan! Remember that you can make only the blocks you like best and you can duplicate them as you wish within your quilt.
Our next and final installment will show you how to baste, quilt and bind your quilt! So close, friends!