Finishing School I - Design it!

Posted by deonnstott on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Finishing School  I ~  Design it!
Layout * Setting * Sashing

"Pieceful Beginnings"
38 x 38" Wall Hanging Sampler
Sampler featuring Riley Blake Designs "Sweet Nothings" by Zoe Pearn

Design It!
Layout * Setting * Sashing
For today's "Quilting Basics" lesson we're going to grow a fabulous quilt!
Using the nine blocks from our "Building Blocks" series,
we'll see what it takes to make a quilt just the size you'd like! 

Deonn at Quiltscapes Deonn Stott

*Design Wall, batting or flannel-backed plastic tablecloth
*Nine 9-1/2" (unfinished size) Building Blocks quilt blocks
(see previous step-by-step tutorials↓ here)
I - Squares, II - TrianglesIII - Flying Geese
(actually any 9-1/2" blocks will do!)
*Inner Border print:  3/8 yard 
*Outer Border print:  3/4 yard
*Binding: 1/4 yard
*Backing:  1-1/8 yard
(But is that all??  We'll soon see...)

If you are just joining us, you can
get started here ↓ to assemble a basic sewing kit:
   Tips, Tricks & Tools 


Step 1) - Design Wall - the Fun Begins!
If you are lucky enough to have a design wall, you're all set!  If not, here is a snappy idea to get going:  Buy an inexpensive flannel-backed plastic tablecloth (plain, no print) and pin it to a wall with the flannel side facing out. 
A standard size is about 52 x 70". 
This is a great portable design wall - so lightweight - just roll it up and put it away, then unroll and continue designing or sewing.   Or you could use batting, flannel, fleece, etc. or just lay out your blocks on the living room floor. ☺
Now, relax, take your time and enjoy the process!

Step 2) - Lay Out / Design
Lay out your nine quilt blocks, 3 x 3 in an arrangement that pleases you. 

Nine 9-1/2" blocks27" x 27"
Friendship Star, Double Four-Patch, Shoo-Fly

Nine-Patch, Dutchman's Puzzle, Nine-Patch,
Ohio Star, Rail Fence, Sawtooth Star

Add a border:

PB Blocks + Border
33" x  33"

You'll notice that the quilt looks a bit jumbled. 
The balance is OK, but the border print is so busy 
there is no place for your eyes to rest! 
How about adding a little stop border?

PB blocks +2 borders
36" x 36"

Now that seems to help define the quilt and allows your eyes to rest,
but it still needs more definition:

PB Blocks + sashing and border
38" x 38" Wall Hanging or Table Topper

Ahh, much better! 

Step 3)  Quilt, Bind & Enjoy!
Now we can quilt it, bind it and hang it on the wall or use for a table topper.  
But what if you want it a little bigger, say for a baby quilt?  

How about just adding another fun print for a border,
and making the outer border larger?  
40" to 45" square is about the right size for a baby.

PB Blocks + sashing + 2 borders42" x 42" Baby Quilt

This quilt would require an additional:
3/8 yard for the middle border (stripe)
1-1/4 for the backing


 Now, what if we don't want to go to all that work of sashing,
borders and more borders?  Let's put it en pointe  (on point)!  
Tilt each block 45-- This will widen the quilt block
from corner to corner, and you will need to add filler blocks,
or setting squares and triangles.  Then you can decide
if you want to add a border, sashing, more borders,
wider borders, etc.  Here we go:

PB on point
38" x 38" with setting squares and triangles

PB on point + border
45" x 45" - with border

PB on point + 2 borders
47" x 47" with stop border and outer border

PB on point + sashing + border
54 x 54" - Sashing and larger borders

PB on point + sashing + 2 borders60 x 60" Lap Quilt with Setting blocks, Sashing and two Borders

This Lap size quilt will require:
Setting squares and triangles: 1-1/8 yards

Sashing:  7/8 yard
Middle Border:  3/4 yard stripe
Outer Border:  1-5/8 yard
Binding:  1/2 yard
Backing:  3-1/2 yards cotton,
or 1-3/4 yards "Dreamy" plush fur

OK, it's not over yet!  What if we'd like an even larger quilt?  Well, this time, it may require making a few more blocks, maybe even some alternate blocks.  Let's see what happens when we add 4 more Nine-Patch blocks, and use some large quarter-square triangle blocks as our setting blocks? 
Watch this one evolve!

PB + Setting Blocks
45" x 45" with hourglass setting blocks
Don't you love the secondary pattern of large green stars
when quarter-square triangles are added as setting blocks?

PB Blocks + Border
54" x 54" with border

PB blocks +2 borders
57" x 57" adding a stop border

PB + Setting Blocks + 3 Borders
63" x 63" with additional stripe border

PB + Setting Blocks + Sashing +2 Borders
70" x 70" with sashing

PB x 2 + Setting Blocks + Sashing + 2 Borders
70" x 91" - And there's the bed size! (Double the number of Sampler Blocks)

Please send me an email if you'd like the math formula
 for the setting squares and triangles to put blocks
en pointe, or to make the quarter-square triangles,
or if you'd like a fabric /cut list for the larger quilt projects.  

Now I just need to make this quilt.  Hmmm, how should I put it together?  So far, I have 135 different options...  Don't you love the creative process of quilting??

Categories: Quilts, Sewing Basics


  1. This is so nice. I love the pattern. It is so cute. - Paul Perito MD
    by ThomasLieber
    April 15th, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.

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