To Sash or Not to Sash

Aqua-Red Sampler - August 2018
Aqua-Red Sampler – August 2018

As part of the Sampler Quilt Class and other tutorials I have on this site, I want to add one about putting a quilt together. I thought it would be good to include information about sashing at the same time. Since I have been using this quilt to write the Sampler quilt posts, I thought I would use it to create the latest tutorial.

Process can be a difficult mistress (boy toy??) and she had both fangs and talons out for me on Sunday. I really wanted to just piece a bunch of stuff together, so I took Who Am I? off the design wall and started checking out sashing options for the Aqua-Red Sampler. I thought this would be a relatively easy task and I would be sewing in no time.

HA! I should never think that.

I started off thinking that the version above with no sashing just wasn’t quite right. I have a stack of fabrics that I keep for backs and sashing (larger pieces) so I started to look through them and try them out.

I always use Lorraine Torrence’s rule to “make visual decisions visually”. Well, when I do that I usually get good results. When I don’t, I ruin the quilt.

Sample Sashing n.1
Sample Sashing n.1

I pulled out the most likely option and pinned some blocks up on my design wall (2 layers of fabric don’t stick). You can see how optimistic I was that this would work based on the number of blocks I put up. It isn’t terrible, but I didn’t like the way the red was interacting with some of the reds in the blocks.

Sample Sashing n.2
Sample Sashing n.2

I thought maybe some blue and I have a nice turquoise solid that I got out. Not terrible, but nowhere near great either. The blocks with the lighter blue backgrounds stick out like sore thumbs and the blocks with the medium blue backgrounds wash out. I wasn’t daunted yet.

Sample Sashing n.3
Sample Sashing n.3

I thought maybe I should introduce a new color. I know I wanted this to be a, basically, two color quilt, but I started to think, perhaps, that there was no way to keep that dream alive with the two colors I had chosen. I thought about the green in Stepping Stones n.2 and I picked out a nice floral without flowers that included that green plus the blue.

Hideous.

Sample Sashing n.4
Sample Sashing n.4

I couldn’t yank that fabric off the design wall fast enough. It made me think of my man, Phil, though. I tried one of his prints. Also hideous. Well, not hideous, but it really didn’t work. The blue was wrong. The pink was wrong. It looked messy and slapped together.

Sample Sashing n.5
Sample Sashing n.5

I decided to try some white. It wouldn’t be my first choice because it is too predictable, but I was starting to feel desperate. Just a little. The white is wrong, too. I am not sure why, but it doesn’t add anything. It was too white as well, as if THAT makes any sense.

Sample Sashing n.6
Sample Sashing n.6

Since I liked the dots and was still thinking the white might just too white, so I pulled out a different dot and tried to like it. It isn’t terrible. It does add a bit to the whole piece, but the black dots just aren’t right. There is none of that fabric in the whole piece. I put it aside as a possibility.

Sample Sashing n.7
Sample Sashing n.7

Still thinking dots would work, I pulled out a different red dot print. The red wasn’t exactly the shade I would have chosen if I had all the fabric in the world, but the dots were larger and that was promising. Also, not terrible, but also not exactly right.

By this time, I was starting to feel disheartened and needed some input so I posted to Instagram to get some feedback. People were very kind and had some good ideas.

Sample Sashing n.8
Sample Sashing n.8

One person suggested navy, which might work, but I don’t like navy much and don’t have any navy fabric – yardage, at least. I might have some scraps. Amanda suggested yellow. I had a nice sunshine-y orange, which I just thought I would try to see. Not terrible, but not right either. It came across as gold in the photos (even the one above, I think). You remember the hunt for yellow in which I engaged for the basket quilt? I really didn’t want to go out and buy fabric. I really felt I had to have something that would work.

Sample Sashing n.9
Sample Sashing n.9

I found some cherry fabric, again by my man, Phil, and thought I would try it. The first Philip Jacobs option was still on my mind. I wasn’t ready to give up on him again. This fabric is actually okay. I think ‘okay’ is a step above ‘not terrible’. Still it didn’t scream YES! at me.

Much more sighing went on.

Sample Sashing n.10
Sample Sashing n.10

My last option for the day was a grey. I was not hopeful. I really wanted to sew and I had used most of my sewing time on an unsuccessful attempt to choose some sashing.It didn’t work. It doesn’t look much better than the white

I gave up and went to sew the latest donation quilt. I am starting to think this quilt does not want sashing and I’ll have to make the tutorial with another quilt.

 

Author: JayeL

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

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