Oh, my goodness – it’s time to assemble the quilt! I’m so excited, and the blue and white fabrics of the Blue Stitch collection by Riley Blake Designs are stunning. Doesn’t this quilt top look amazing?
Today it’s all about sewing the quilt top together. Let’s get started.
My quilt is on-point and measures 76″ x 76″. If you want to make the quilt larger, you can use wider sashing, wider borders, or add an additional border. I pieced the cornerstones, but you can use a plain square of fabric if you want to simplify the process.
Cut thirty-six (36) pieces at 2½” x 12½”
Cut twenty-four (24) squares at 1⅞“
Cut forty-eight (48) squares at 2″ (cut each square in half diagonally once)
Cut two (2) squares at 19″ (cut each square in half diagonally twice)
Cut two (2) squares at 10″ (cut each square in half diagonally once)
Cut seven (7) strips of fabric at 2½” (Join with a diagonal seam)
Cut eight (8) strips of fabric at 6½” (Join with a diagonal seam)
Cut eight (8) strips of fabric at 2½” (Join with a diagonal seam)
Refer to the square-in-a-square instructions included in Spectrum QAL Block 11 to make the cornerstones. Use one of the centers and four of the small triangle corners to create the units. Trim the cornerstones to 2½”.
Here’s a tip for cutting those large squares to make the setting triangles. You can use two rulers (end-to-end) to cut from one corner to another, as these are large squares. Or you can take a square and fold it in half on the diagonal. Line up a horizontal line of the ruler on the fold (bottom of the picture) and ensure the edge of the ruler intersects the two corners (top of the picture).
Place the two large triangles on top of each other and repeat the cut. This time, you’ll line up a horizontal line on the ruler with the long edge of the two triangles you just cut and ensure the edge of the ruler intersections the corners at the other end.
As I cut the components, I place them on the design wall along with the blocks. Oh – this is amazing. I love it! I was a little hesitant about the dark setting triangles, but the more I look at them, the more I love them.
Then I started to sew the quilt together. Sewing an on-point quilt together is no different than a regular quilt. Just remember your rows are diagonal, not vertical or horizontal.
When you add those setting triangles, be sure to start with the straight edges lined up. There will be excess fabric at the other end of the seam. The setting triangles are slightly larger than they need to be, but we’ll trim up the quilt top when it’s all together.
I pressed all seams towards the sashing. The beauty is, when I stitched a row of sashing to a row of blocks, I didn’t have to pin. I used those intersections as matching points and ensured the seams nested to each other as I sewed them. I love that technique. It speeds things up and ensures the intersections will be crisp!
When you start sewing the rows together, you’ll have no choice but to start with the end of a setting triangle that won’t fit the row – remember, we’ll be trimming the quilt. So, you’ll want to match up the seams at the sashing and cornerstones.
You can see the end of the setting triangles is short, and that’s okay. Start sewing.
TIP You might want to pin that end since you don’t have a nested seam allowance near the end.
You’ll want to trim those big dog ears off the end of the triangles before you start to sew the next row onto the quilt.
Those intersections on the outer part of the quilt near the cornerstones will look funky. Don’t worry – we’re going to trim! Some of them will look like this with a notch.
And some will look like this, with no notch.
Once all the rows are together, it’s time to trim the quilt so you can add the borders. I start at a corner and use a large 12½” square ruler.
Position the lines on the ruler so the ¼” extends beyond the intersections at the cornerstone’s diagonal corners. You may have to tug on the quilt to get those intersections lined up correctly – it won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. And yes, we could have made some cornerstones with only three triangles since we’re cutting one of them completely away in some instances.
Take a big breath, and trim!
I use the square ruler for the corners of the quilt and the long ruler for the sides. Make sure to anchor the ends of the long ruler from cornerstone to cornerstone to ensure you’re getting an even edge.
Once the quilt top is trimmed, it’s time to put the inner and outer border on.
- Using the 2½” strips joined together on the diagonal, cut two pieces that equal the quilt’s vertical length (take the measurement through the quilt’s vertical center). Since this quilt is square, that measurement should be the same whether you do the horizontal or vertical center.
- Match the center of the inner border strip to the center of one side of the quilt and pin. Then match the ends of the inner border strip to both ends of the quilt and pin. You may have to ease the inner border or the quilt.
- Sew the border strip to the quilt top and press seam towards the inner border. Repeat this process for the top and bottom inner borders using the quilt’s width (through the center) as your measurement guide.
Repeat the process using the 6½” strips for the outer border.
Don’t worry if your ¼” seams at the cornerstones aren’t perfect. There’s so much going on in the quilt that no one will notice.
And here’s the finished quilt top. I LOVE IT!!
As I mentioned earlier, I wasn’t sure about those dark setting triangles, but that’s how I designed the quilt. After a brief moment of panic, I settled down and realized that the dark setting triangles truly set off the blocks, as was my original intention during the design process. The blocks shine in this quilt made with the Blue Stitch collection by Riley Blake Designs. A HUGE thank you to Riley Blake Designs for sponsoring this quilt. It’s been so much fun working with Chris Thompson’s Blue Stitch collection.
Here are the links to see how Paul Léger and Claire Haillot pieced their quilts, but for now, I’m off to quilt the quilt. Watch for our virtual event in June 2021 for the big reveal to see how we quilted the 3 versions of the Spectrum QAL 2020 quilts. Stay tuned for details.
Have a great day!