How much fabric do I need for quilt sashing and cornerstones? In this tutorial you will learn how to calculate the fabric needed for sashing and cornerstone for any quilt. In the example here, the sashing fabric is a directional print with words. We want the words to all read the same direction. A coordinating fabric is used for the cornerstones.
The following video is by Erica Selman and is about 9 minutes long. Erica gives a great demo and explanation of determining the size of your quilt and finding the yardage needed for sashing and cornerstones. Watch as she explains every step of determining how much sashing fabric you need.
In this demo Erica uses dimensional fabric. This means the design goes in one direction. To keep the design going in the same direction, the horizontal and vertical sashing rectangles are cut at different widths of strips from selvage to selvage. After the video you will see the instructions written out in steps.
Step 1 – Determine Quilt Size
The first thing to determine is the quilt size you need. Start by drawing a pencil diagram. Graph paper is good for drawing to scale but not a requirement. Erica's diagram shows 4 blocks across for the width and 5 blocks down for the length. There is a total of 20 blocks. The finished size of the blocks is 12″. In this example the desired quilt size is about 68″ x 86″.
(4 blocks x 12″) + (5 sashes x 4″)
48″ + 20″
(5 blocks x 12″) + (6 sashes x 4″)
60″ + 24″
This finished quilt will be 68″ wide and 84″ long.
Step 2 – Determine Fabric for Horizontal Sashes
Next figure how much fabric is needed for the horizontal sashes. The total horizontal sashes are 4 across each row and 6 rows for a total of 24 horizontal sashes. The cut size of the horizontal sashes is 12-1/2″ x 4-1/2″. The width of fabric is about 44″. If we divide 44″ by 12-1/2″ we get 3.52. This means we can get 3 horizontal sashes from one strip of fabric. Each strip is cut 4-1/2″ wide.
We need a total of 24 horizontal sashes. Calculate how many strips of fabric we need to cut.
24 total sashes / 3 sashes per strip = 8 strips
Fabric needed – 8 strips x 4-1/2″ = 36″ or 1 yard.
Step 3 – Determine Fabric for Vertical Sashes
Now figure how much fabric is needed for the vertical sashes. To keep the fabric design going the same way we need to cut the vertical sashing strip at 12-1/2″ as shown below. The cut size of the vertical sashes is 4-1/2″ x 12-1/2″. The width of fabric is 44″. If we divide the 44″ by 4-1/2″ we get 9.77. This means we can get 9 vertical sashes from one strip of fabric. Each strip is cut 12-1/2″ wide.
We need a total of 25 vertical sashes. Calculate how many strips of fabric ew need to cut.
25 total sashes / 9 sashes per strip = 2.77 strips. Round up to 3 strips
Fabric needed – 3 strips x 12-1/2″ = 37.5″ or 1-1/4 yd.
Step 4 – Add Fabric for Horizontal and Vertical Sashes
Now we simply add the fabric needed for the horizontal and vertical sashes.
Horizontal fabric + Vertical fabric
1 yd + 1-1/4 yd
The 2-1/4 yd is the exact amount of fabric needed to cut the sashing strips. To allow for fabric shrinkage and/or errors in cutting, you should purchase extra yardage. A good amount would be an additional strip for each set. 4-1/2″ + 12-1/2″ = 17″ or approximately 1/2 yd for a total of 2-3/4 yd. In the video Erica purchased extra yardage for the binding as well.
How Much Fabric for the Cornerstones?
Cornerstones are the squares sewn between the sashing strips. In this example there are a total of 30 cornerstone squares. 6 rows of sashing x 5 cornerstones per row. Cut each square 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″.
Just as in Step 3 above, cut each fabric strip into 4-1/2″ segments to yield 9 segments per strip.
30 cornerstones / 9 cornerstones per strip = 3.33 strips. Round up to 4 strips
Fabric needed – 4 strips x 4-1/2″ per strip = 18″ or 1/2 yd.
Round up to about 3/4 yd to allow for shrinkage and/or errors in cutting.
So how much fabric do I need for quilt sashing? To summarize the steps, it's best to always start with a drawing or diagram. The diagram doesn't have to be fancy or perfect. Erica carefully drew her diagram. In contrast to Erica's diagram, here is what my diagrams generally look like.
Use your diagram to keep track of calculations. Calculate the fabric needed first for the horizontal sashes and then for the vertical sashes. Add the two together and remember to add some extra fabric for shrinkage, cutting errors and/or other uses such as binding.
Use the same process to determine fabric requirements for the cornerstones.
Be sure to cut up all the fabric you need before starting a project.
Explore More Sashing Options
Take an online class to learn many different techniques and designs for sashing and cornerstones.
- Quilting Fabric Terms – Directional Fabric
- Lessons Learned From Projects Half Done
- Cutting Lengthwise Grain Border and Binding
Erica's video on cutting squares from jerseys – Quiltmaking 101: How to Cut Your Jersey Squares
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