Four Square Setting Audition

I’m still on the road teaching and in the hotel rooms I have some time to catch up on writing about the quilts I am making. When I’m at home and the choice is: do I work on the computer or do I quilt, guess which one usually wins?

This is my setting audition of Four Square.

Whenever I audition blocks in a setting for a quilt I always start with the blocks just block-to-block and row-to-row.  This would be a good setting for these blocks if you wanted to do some custom quilting in the large plain spaces where four blocks come together.

block to block

However, I am longarm challenged and don’t like my quilting to be the focus on any quilt I make so I’m going to try adding sashing.  I do like the way this looks with the scrappy sashing between the blocks. And the great thing about scrappy sashing is you don’t have to worry about running out of the fabric you’re using!

Scrappy Sashing

But I just have to try these with one sashing fabric.  I really enjoyed the speed of the quilt assembly on the Turnabout quilt with one sashing fabric.  I glanced around my studio and my eyes landed on a piece of vintage gold/mustard yellow. Looked like enough yardage in this piece for what I needed so I gave it a try.

Gold Sashing

I love it! It is so bright and cheerful and makes me happy just looking at it.  I’ll save the scrappy sashing for another quilt someday.

Now it’s time to assemble this quilt!


Turnabout Quilt Assembly

I’m assembling the Turnabout quilt in rows including the pieced border.  I’ve started referring to this method of assembly as “Carefree Borders.”

I used one fabric for the sashing, inner border and binding. If doing the same you will need  2 1/4 yards of fabric.

For the block rows I simply added a 1 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ sashing piece between each block.

Sashing sewn to block

I immediately put the block rows back up on the design wall to admire the view!

Blocks rows sashed

Now I audition the placement of the border blocks.

Placement of the pieced border blocks

Next I sew the side border blocks onto the rows using an inner border piece that measures 2″ x 7 1/2″.

Border Blocks added to rows

For the top and bottom border assembly I used sashing pieces between the border blocks that measure 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ and inner border pieces that measure 2″ x 4 1/2″ to join the corner units to the rows.


The corner units are simply a 4 1/2″ squares with a 2 1/4″ connecting-corner added.

Corner unit

Next I will prepare the sashing rows.

If you think this quilt and its pieced borders are fun your guild would love my Fabulous Nickel Borders lecture!


Turnabout Quilt Sashing Audition

All the blocks are done for my Turnabout quilt!  Now it’s time to go to the design wall and play with the layout of the quilt.  First, I’m setting the blocks just block-to-block and row-to-row.  Before I even do that with these blocks I have a pretty good idea that this is not going to be the best option, but you never know so I always give it a try.

Block to block

Now, I could love this quilt but I think sashing might make it even better; so let’s give a light sashing a chance.

Light Sashing

This sashing was maybe a little too busy with the dots of color in the fabric but I think the light value itself does not add anything to these blocks. So, next I audition black sashing.

Black sashing

I like the way the black sets off the blocks and this might be my choice but I just have to see what a plaid sashing might do.


Interesting, not for these blocks right now but I will have to try the plaid sashing again on another quilt.

So the winner this time around is the black sashing.  Next I’m going to play around with some pieced border ideas for this quilt.


Tulsa Retreat Part 3

Yes, these are more pictures from the Nickel Mania retreat held by the Green Country Quilters in Tulsa, OK. When you are able to choose from any of my published quilts to work on, there is a lot of variety and many pictures to be taken!

A view from the front of the lodge.  We had a great work area with plenty of room to spread out.

These are blocks for the Shoo Fly quilt found in the More Nickel Quilt book.

Here are two versions of the Hopscotch quilt which appears in the Nickel Quilts & Borders book as well as being an individual pattern.

This Hopscotch quilt includes the vertical sashing strips between the columns. This is the style that is shown in patterns.

And this Hopscotch quilt is constructed without the vertical sashing.  Both are wonderful!

Sunny Lanes is in the first Nickel Quilt book and a perfect quilt to use up everything.

Next are two Steamboat Springs quilts and this pattern is found in the Nickel Quilts & Borders book. I love being able to see the different fabric choices.

The Minnesota Windmill quilt is in Amazing Nickel Quilts and below are some blocks already being auditioned with the sashing strips.

Over twenty different quilts were being worked on this retreat weekend.  And participants were also encouraged to practice the different techniques demonstrated even if they didn’t need them for the quilt they were currently working on.  Because once you start with Nickel Quilts you won’t want to stop!

I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of the finished quilts from this weekend!