So we left off last time with the question of Marigold’s sashing. (See previous post to read Marigold’s story from the beginning.) Or is it called a facing? I think I’ll go with facing; it’s less confusing.
In a quilt-as-you-go project, the quilted blocks have to be joined together and the raw edges covered, which is accomplished by joining them with a facing both front and back. Traditionally, the last step is sewing down one edge of all the back facing by hand. You attach the front facing just as you would sashing when piecing a quilt top, and on one of those seam lines, put the back facing and the back of the quilt right-sides together, sew the facing down, and then fold it over. So three edges of your two facings can be attached by machine; easy peezy. But then, you have to either sew the last edge down by hand, or top-stitch it through the entire quilt sandwich.
That’s exactly what I did last year with The Garden of Light Green Meditations.
As you can see, it has a narrow green facing on the front (blending into the sashing around each block), and a corresponding black facing on the back. You can see it in the corners in this picture.
I cut my black facing to be folded double, like a binding, and to finish just a little bit wider than the green facing. I followed the steps for attaching the front and back facings, but instead of sewing down the last edge of my black facing by hand, I fastened it down with basting glue, turned the top of the quilt up, and stitched in the ditch along the edge of the green facing, catching the last edge of the black facing on the back. This worked almost perfectly; there were a few spots where I didn’t catch the black facing and had to go back and hand-sew, but it was only about a half-hour of hand-sewing instead of the rest of my natural life.
But this approach wouldn’t work with Marigold.
It worked with The Garden of Light Green Meditations because the front and back facings were the same size. With Marigold, I wanted a wide sashing on the front, but a narrow one on the back, to make the batting join more neatly. So, as I so often do, I agonized for several days before coming to the conclusion that I’d been right in the first place: apply the back facing like a sashing, and sew down the front facing/sashing with topstitch.
Having sewn down the back facing (right side to the back of the block sandwich, sew, flip over, press, right side to the back of the next block sandwich, sew, flip over, press), I pressed over the seam allowance on one side of my gray facing/sashing strips.
I then lined up the folded edge with the points of the diamonds, glued the folded edge down, and folded under the other edge to match the points of the other block. Then, topstitch!
This of course gets more challenging as the assembled pieces grow in size. (The pink post-its are there to mark which way is up. They wouldn’t actually stick by themselves, so I added safety pins.)
But it never became too difficult. I really recommend quilt-as-you-go for projects like this, with a few large blocks. The Garden of Light Green Meditations had forty-one ten-inch blocks and sixteen setting triangles, and while quilting them individually was fantastic, joining them all with two facings took all eternity.
And once the front sashing was on, it was a simple matter of binding and adding a label. And then waiting for a nice day to do a photo-shoot.
The finished quilt measures 63″x82″, and I’m very proud of it. It’s listed for sale on my Etsy store, and I hope I’ll be sending it to a good home very soon.
In the meantime, onward!!