Vining Feathers in the Sashing and 3 other common questions…

As a follow up to my blog post yesterday featuring the Stack and Whack quilt several of you have asked for more specific information about different aspects of the Roses Stack and Whack quilt.

I’ll address the following questions in this order:

  1. how did you do the sashing feathers
  2. what is the focus fabric
  3. how did you do the tiny stack and whack sashing cornerstones
  4. how long did this project take

First, let me start with the vining feathers. I’ve drawn out instructions in the 5 pictures below. For starts, let me say I can’t hold a pen very well so my drawing (when not using a ruler) is pretty pathetic…

  1. This picture demonstrates the sashing of the quilt. The 2 outside fabrics are the dark green, the center fabric is the ivory. Pretend this is the quilt loaded on a longarm. I’ve positioned my wonderful acrylic template so that the center lines on the template fall at the “eye-balled” center of the ivory strip.

Feathers 1

2. In the next picture you’ll see that I’ve stitched/quilted in the feathers stem. If you want it to appear that the feathers are wrapping around the center ivory strip you have to skip every other “center strip stitch over”. Does this make sense? Look at the stitching line and you’ll see that  are several Stops and Starts to the feather stem line. Yes, you’ll need to secure your quilting stitches in some fashion. For this type of project I choose to take several small back and forth stitches at each stop and start point.

Feathers 2

3. After you’ve quilted your feathers stem and remove the acrylic template, you’ll have something resembling the picture below. Looking good at this point!

Feathers 3

4. Quilting in the feathers comes next. I always begin with the feathers on the right. You have to remember that when the feather stem stops, so do your feathers. Yes, you have to secure your stitching in some fashion. You then raise your needle, move it to where the feathers will begin again on the other side of the center strip. Once there, lock your stitches and continue up the sashing until you reach the next point where the stem stops.

Repeat this process up the entire length of the sashing until you reach the top or the sashing cornerstone. At this point, lock your stitches and head back down to the start. Here you will begin the feathers on “the other side of the stem”. Using the exact same techinque, move up the sashing strip until you reach the top, making sure to start and stop where the previously quilted stem directs.

Feathers 4Feathers 5

For the horizontal sashings, use the exact same technique.

Question #2: So….. l was shocked to find the year 1998 on the focus fabric selvage. Let me also say I know this was not an expensive fabric. The manufacturer looks to be Classic Cottons, the pattern name is Emily’s Roses, there is a phone number on the bolt label: 212-391-2300. The style, color way and pattern number are completely smudged out by a label that was attached and then removed. The selvage lists only Classic Cottons and 1998.

Question 3#: How did I make the tiny sashing cornerstone blocks?  First let me say I just pulled Bethany Reynold’s book from my cabinet. If you are referencing her original Magic Stack-n-Whack Quilts book, published by AQS, copyright 1998 then you will find on page 61 the pattern for the LeMoyne Star Throw Quilt. I used this pattern. The strips of sashing are cut 1 1/2″ each, there are three of them so we can assume the sashing will finish to 3″. Her pattern calls for a 3″ 9-Patch as the sashing cornerstones. I substituted a 3″ stack-n-whack. The picture below is a diagram I just drew up as to how I recall making these little blocks. Don’t be intimidated by their size, they are well worth the effort! Notice that on the big blocks I did set in corner squares, not the case on these little babies. Take the easier route and use half square triangles. Sure, these are crazy measurements and sure, I most likely fudged a bit here and there. Give it a try and see how it goes for you, you’ve got nothing to lose but a bit of time!

mini stack whack block diagram

You can see by looking at the 6 tiny blocks below, they are far from perfect but they work! If you strive for absolute perfection on these little babies you’ll make yourself crazy!


4. How long did this project take? hhhmmmmm… well let’s just say I had this UFO on my hands for years! I did everything but the green border and the outside focus fabric border. Why did it sit so long unattended? Most likely because I knew it would be a BIG quilt and at that time I was doing all my machine quilting on either my domestic Bernina or my Juki and I knew it would be a monster to wrangle around underneath the needle. Once I got my awesome wonderful fantastic longarm, I set about to tackle my UFO’s and this one’s number came up. So a long answer to this short question is: a. years and b. 63 hours to quilt.

Is any of this information clear as mud? Please, if you still have questions, please ask! I’d rather stumble through an answer than have you remain bemuddled about my project! After all, we all learn from each other, right? !!!

To close, here are pictures of 6 of my precious little baby blocks, hope you enjoy!

Happy Quilting and blessings,



2 thoughts on “Vining Feathers in the Sashing and 3 other common questions…

  1. You’re right! When you transition to most small scale detailed longarm quilting you have to be comfortable with lots and lots of stops and starts. I have to constantly remind myself during the quilting process that this is no time to get impatient and cut corners. You’ll be glad in the long run that you did it the right way 🙂


  2. Thank you for the detailed explanation of the sashing quilting. The trick is the multiple start and stops. Most of the quilters I’ve been watching travel from one area to another and I could not find a suitable path for that. I can’t wait to try this soon. Today I have learned why no one likes unsewing long arm quilting. Thanks again and keep quilting.

    Liked by 1 person

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