Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reconciling the disparate

Last weekend was swap day for the fourth FaceBook Quilt Block Swap Group; we swapped kids blocks. The directions were simple in the extreme: a 4" or larger center block (that may or may not be pieced) bordered up (with border(s) that may or may not be pieced) to 9"/9.5"unfinished. It was our largest block s far & the largest swap: the most participants & most participants sent more than one set of five.

& now what to do with the wildly disparate if roughly the same size, blocks. For me it is a no-brainer, my fall-back sashing: Reconciling the Disparate.

I begin with 2.5" strips of a more-or-less read-as-solid fabric. To calculate how much you need measure your block (9.5") times the number of blocks (9) plus the edge of the block with one side sashed (11.5") times the number of blocks. Or 85.5" plus 103.5" for a total of 189" of 2.5" strips. If you have ever calculated the amount a fabric needed to make a binding, this should already start to look familiar.

I estimate that any bolt has 40" of useful fabric so 189" dived by 40" means that it will take roughly five strips to go all the way around two sides of each block (yes, I rounded up). Then I add an extra strip for my own convenience; I really do not want to piece some of those sashes together. That means I want 6 times 2.5" of fabric Or 15" for the border. I would probably round up again to 1/2 yard.

The rest is easy: I border two dies of each block. In this case, I did not worry too much abut which two sides (if I have blocks of the same pattern I try to border the same sides). & then I put them together so that no seam needs to be matched.

The advantage of this pattern is that I can re-size the blocks if need to be AFTER the sashing has gone on without changing the dimension of the original block (without losing triangle points or having to add if the block was too small). In this case, I took the blocks down to 11" unfinished, trimming only from the sashing. & because there are no seams to match, it is almost impossible to see any difference in the sashing width from block to block.


  1. I have some disparates collected over the years that need reconciling. Thanks for the idea.

  2. What a great idea. I have some blocks I got back from a swap that are of various sizes. This would be a lovely and easy way to sash them. Thank you!