Sashing is the framework around the individual panels or block motifs of a quilt. Also called lattice stripping, sashing is constructed from separate strips of fabric using different techniques. Not all quilts are designed with sashing, but those that are benefit from its ability to unify disparate designs and colors and as a way to set off individual blocks. Planning the pattern and color of a quilt's sashing is a major design decision for a quilter.
Whole Quilt Plan
Determine the layout of the sashing for your quilt as a whole. Run one direction of the sashing in an unbroken strip of fabric from one edge of the quilt to the other. It does not matter which direction you choose for this technique. The sashing lines that run perpendicular to this first unbroken line will intersect with and be sewn between each existing strip.
Treat the sashing's points of intersection with a separate square of fabric that is pieced in. This square of fabric may match the rest of the sashing or be a contrasting piece. Once the square is sewn in, it will fit in the width of the sashing line.
Each block can be framed before it is pieced together to form the completed quilt. Either piece these separately framed blocks together, ensuring that the design remains square, or set the individually framed block inside of pre-frabricated lattice work that is either intersected or pieced together with a cornerstone fabric block.
The easiest way to incorporate sashing into your quilt is to piece it in as you go. This method is in contrast to preparing all blocks individually and then setting them in the sashing pieces. Sew together all pieces of sashing that will frame one side of a block motif. Include the cornerstone if you are using them. Some sashing strips are made of multiple fabric pieces and should be sewn to create a full side strip. Once the fabric sections for one side of a block are together, lay them alongside their corresponding block and sew them to the block. Work your blocks until a few are complete, then fit the block-sashing pieces together by rows.
If you are using sashing to frame your quilt, begin piecing it together by an initial row of sashing, which may include cornerstones. The next row begins with the vertical strips of sashing and a row of the block motifs. When piecing together the rows, each seam should be pinned before sewing to ensure a perfectly square design.
- "Ultimate Quilting Bible"; Marie Clayton; 2009
- Quilt Lovers Guide: Keep your Quilt Square with Lattice and Cornerstones
- "Mastering Precision Piecing"; Sally Collins; 2011
- Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images