Free Motion Mastery in a Month: Assembling Blocks and Sashing Strips

The Free Motion Mastery in a Month with RaNae Merrill continues!  This week, I was busy assembling my quilted Russian Doll blocks and green sashing units together using 1" and 1.75" strips of solid yellow fabric.  This is a very new technique for me, and while I understood the theory of the assembly process, there were still a few details that were a bit fuzzy for me.  Luckily several of the women in my small quilt group were very familiar with this technique and able to provide some reassurance, advice, tips & tricks to help me overcome some of my initial trepidation.  There was a bit of a learning curve as I tackled the first row of blocks and sashing units.  But once that row was complete, I had figured out the process and was able to chain piece the remaining rows for increased efficiency.  By the next day, all my rows were assembled and it was time to attach them to one another.  Lots of pins were used, abused and ultimately had to be discarded as the bulky layers caused some strain and warping.  However, the pinning was very much necessary in order to align all the yellow strips.
Blocks & Sashing Strips Assembled
Here are some detail shots of the quilted texture, which is even more fabulous in person (especially to the touch!!!)
Details of Quilted Textures
The beauty of this technique is that you end up with a reversible quilt!  So should you get sick of the precious red Russian Dolls, you can simply flip it over and get a very different colorway!
Reverse Side
Next up is to quilt my borders, attach them and complete with binding (which I have already cut/pieced and pressed!)  I sketched a few individual motifs based on the red Russian Doll print, but still working out how best to combine them into a cohesive border design that will wrap around all four borders.  Stay tuned for the final reveal!!
Brainstorming Border Quilting Designs


  1. I've never... attached quilt as you go units. I almost said I've never made them... but I have a handful from a project I never finished. The finishing process is intriguing to me. Still a bit of a mystery as I've never tried it. Your quilt looks great! Do you use wonder clips at all? Would they have worked instead of pins?

    1. It is an interesting technique and great for quilters who want to quilt a large quilt but may not have a large harp space on their sewing machine. Wonder clips could be used for the first step or two, but not once you get to the heavy bulk step. If you are looking to finish up your started Quilt as you Go units, let me know! ;-)


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