Fall into a Quilt Along: Setting Tutorial

The grand reveal of our Fall into a Quilt Along mystery quilt is here! I had a bit of trouble with the lighting for the pictures, but I’m thrilled with my quilt. If you missed the final block, it’s this adorable owl. To find links to the rest of the past blocks and general information, visit my quilt along page. Remember, all block patterns will be free until the quilt along ends on November 12, 2018.

I’m really excited about my setting for this quilt. My goal was to create something stunning that’s way easier than it looks. I know some people struggled with getting the blocks to come out the right size. I’ve compensated for that by framing then trimming every block. The diamond sashings are also trimmed after piecing, and the points float away from the seam (so you don’t have to worry about losing your points!). With the blocks and sashing all the same size, the top sews together like a dream. I hope you’ll give it a try!

For this layout, you’ll need 4 1/2 yards of background fabric to complete your quilt (not counting what you’ve already used in the blocks). Of course, you could also get creative and use different fabrics. I’m excited to see what you make!

Framing the Blocks

To frame the blocks, cut 18 strips at 2” by the width of fabric. You’ll use 12 strips to frame the sides of the blocks, with the leftover fabric used along the top and bottom.

Important - Don’t use the leftover fabric on the side of another block. If you do, you won’t have enough for the tops and bottoms. If you forget this, you can sew some of your scraps together and make it work.

Step 1 - Smooth a 2” strip along the center of your block from top to bottom. Make sure it is square with the block, then trim the excess even with the bottom of the block. This makes sure the strip is the same height as your block, no matter what size your block ended up being.

Pin the strips right sides together with the sides of your block.

Tip - If the strip isn’t exactly the same size as the block, sew with the longer piece towards the feed dogs. This will ease in the excess fabric.

Sew with your normal 1/4” seam and press towards the framing strips.

We repeat this process to frame the top and bottom of the block. To finish all twelve blocks, you will use the fabric leftover from framing the sides of the blocks, as well as the 6 remaining 2” strips.

Gently smooth the strip along the center of your block from side to side. Make sure the strip is square to the block, then trim the excess fabric even with the side of the block.

Pin the framing strips right sides together with the top of the block.

Sew and press towards the framing strips.

Trim the block to 14 1/2” square. I used a large square ruler. The seams for the framing strips should be at about the 1 1/4” lines and the 13 1/4” lines. Center the block as best as you can, and trim the excess fabric from the top and the side.

Rotate the block and trim to 14 1/2” square.

The block is framed! You want to frame all 12 of your blocks.

Making the Sashing

Tip - I recommend completing one sashing unit before chain piecing the rest of them.

Extra Important Tip - Starch is your friend. The fabric will be on the bias in the finished sashing unit. To help prevent the fabric from distorting while being handled, I starched it heavily prior to cutting.

Place a 5” by 7” background rectangle face up. Make a mark 1” in from opposite corners on the long edge as shown. (I circled my marks in the image below.)

Line up a ruler with the marks you just made and cut the rectangle diagonally.

Do this for all 31 5” by 7” background rectangles.

For each sashing unit, you will need:

  • Bright Colors for Diamonds

    • 2 – 1 1/4” squares (matching)

    • 2 – 2” squares (matching)

    • 1 – 2 3/4” square

  • Background

    • 4 – 1 1/4” by 3 3/4”

    • 4 – 2” by 3 3/4”

    • 2 – 2 3/4” by 3 3/4”

    • 1 – 5” by 7” rectangle cut diagonally 1” in from the corners

We will make 31 sashing units. I recommend finishing one before chain piecing the rest.

Lay out the bright squares with the corresponding background rectangles as shown.

Sew and press towards the bright squares. These are the diamond strips.

Lay out the diamond strips and remaining background fabric as shown. It is essential that the direction the diamond strips tilt matches the angle you cut in the large background rectangle.

Set aside the large backrgound pieces and sew the diamond strips together. Nest the seams where the bright fabrics meet.

Press all seams towards the outside of the sashing unit as shown.

Now we will attach the remaining large background pieces.

Line up the background pieces with the outer diamond strip. The final background piece should be evenly spaced from the corners of the diamond strip.

Sew and press towards the large background pieces.

We will be trimming the sashing to 4” by 14 1/2”. Line up the 2” line on your ruler horizontally through the centers of all of the diamonds. Line up the 7 1/4” line on your ruler vertically through the center of the large diamond.

Trim along the side and top of the sashing unit.

Rotate the sashing unit. Trim to 4” by 14 1/2”.

Your sashing unit is complete! You need 31 of them for the quilt.

Assembling the Top

Lay out the blocks, sashing units, and cornerstones as desired.

I like to use small sticky labels to mark each of my pieces before I start sewing them together.

Each piece has a grid position marked in the upper right hand corner.

Sew into rows. Press all seams away from the sashing.

  • For the sashing rows, press towards the cornerstones.

  • For the block rows, press towards the blocks.

Sew the rows together, pressing towards the blocks.

Adding the Borders

Cut 7 – 2 1/2” by width of fabric strips and sew them end to end for the borders. I’m planning to trim down the border after quilting so it finishes at 1”, but the wider border gives the quilt top much needed stability.

I measure and attach my borders in much the same way as I framed the blocks. Gently smooth the border strip along the center of the quilt, taking care to keep it straight and not to pull on it. Trim the excess fabric even with the bottom edge of the quilt.

Since borders are long, I always anchor one end with pins. I put the pins straight down into my carpet. This ensures that the border strips don’t get pulled and end up too short.

After carefully smoothing the fabric along the center of the quilt, I trim the excess even with the bottom. Make sure the border strip is straight and square with the quilt before trimming.

Pin the border strips right sides together with the quilt top. Sew and press towards the border strips.

Repeat this process to add the top and bottom borders. Pin the border strip to the center of one side of the quilt. Carefully smooth the fabric, making sure it stays straight, and trim the excess even with the other side of the quilt.

Pin the border strips right sides together with the top and bottom of the quilt top. Sew and press towards the border.

The quilt top is finished! Now I just need to figure out a backing so I can quilt and bind it. I really can’t wait to use this quilt.

More Setting Ideas

All seven quilt along hosts are sharing their own finished quilt tops with setting tutorials. Be sure to check them out!

Abbie Danahy at Sparkle On
April Adams at JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi Bridgeman at Snowy Days Quilting <--- That's me!
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Sherry Shish at Powered by Quilting
Vanda Chittenden at Quilting with Vanda

A Special Announcement

Many have asked if we will be doing another quilt along, and the answer is yes! We’re still hashing out the details, but you can expect a quilt along in 2019. We’ll be posting as soon as we know more. Follow the blog, keep an eye on our Facebook group, or check out the Instagram hashtag #quiltypartnersindesign to catch the announcement.

Grand Prize

We have an incredible grand prize package that’s worth $200! Anyone over 18 is eligible to win, including international participants.

To be entered in the drawing, you need to make a complete quilt top with all 12 quilt along blocks. There's no need to have it quilted. Simply share your finished quilt top on Instagram with the hashtag #fallintoaqal, in the Partners in Design Facebook group, or in the linky party below. The deadline for entry is 11:59 pm Eastern time on November 12, 2018.

What are the prizes? I’m so glad you asked! Our grand prize winner will recieve:

  • Exclusive Shabby Fabric quilt pattern “Blessings of Spring” designed by Jennifer Bosworth. The pattern set includes patterns for all 9 blocks to finish to 56" x 62".

  • An Omnigrid zipper pouch containing an Omnigrid 4” square ruler and a

    pair of 4-Inch Needlecraft scissors

  • A six month subscription to Make Modern Magazine


Please link up your finished quilt tops here! I can’t wait to see what you make.

Question for You

There are so many great ways to finish this quilt. What kind of setting are you planning to use? I can’t wait to see what you do!

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