Simple Sashing with Cornerstones Adds Interest

Your blocks can range from the very simple to the very complex, and they will still benefit from sashing.

Sashing is what goes between the blocks in a quilt. Like quilt blocks, sashing can be very simple or it can be as complex as your quilt blocks. And some quilts have no sashing at all.

In this series of articles, you will see a wide range of sashing ideas. Many of them are a part of quilts I have made. In some cases, the photos are old (as are the quilts) and discolored. If I had the quilts, I would take new pictures, but most of my quilts have been given away, and what I have are the old, discolored pictures and the great feeling that those quilts are in the hands of someone who is enjoying them!

Sashing with Cornerstones

Cornerstones are squares of fabric that are pieced within the sashing and fit in at the corners of the blocks. Although I had seen cornerstones in quilts, the first time I used them in a quilt was when I ran out of fabric in a border.

The small white cornerstones in the sashing add interest to the quilt.

Simple Sashing with Cornerstones

The light bulb in my brain went off, and I realized at that moment that many quilt designs were no doubt created from mistakes and lack of fabric. Frequently now, I use cornerstones as an intentional design feature.

The quilt above is an example of pieced quilt blocks with sashing and cornerstones. In this particular quilt, the blocks are quite large (17″ by 19″). Each block represents a fish bowl with two fish swimming. The sashing is a 1″ wide strip of solid fuschia, cut on the straight grain of the fabric, and the cornerstones have a white background and a heart.

This was a fun little wall hanging sized quilt I made for my son when he was very young, so the fabric is quite bright. The fish are made using a Pinwheel block design, with some of the corners slightly modified.

The sashing on this quilt is placed not only between the blocks but around the blocks, like a first outside border, and making a frame around each block.

The frame-like quality is enhanced because the contrast between the fuschia and the rest of the colors of the quilt. My son had a big hand in the fabric choices in this quilt.

Frequently sashing is just between the blocks and looks like a lattice. Then the first border begins and can be the inside frame of your quilt.

There are cornerstones in the border of this quilt as well. The idea here was to continue the fuschia in some location other than just in the sashing. It also makes the green border

Cornerstones are not limited to sashing made in a typical lattice. If you place your blocks “on point” (i.e. looking like a diamond instead of a square), you can still add sashing and cornerstones, as the example on the right shows.

The sashing on this quilt includes cornerstones. Placing the blocks “on point” makes it a more interesting quilt. The extensions into the border are actually triangles sewn into strips of border fabric. (Click on the picture for a closer view.)

In this quilt, I decided to place the hearts “on point,” or on the diagonal on a square piece of fabric, making them look like they are sewn onto diamonds.

When you sew the sashing onto the blocks, you sew the rows on a diagonal, adding triangles to the ends of each row so that each row fits. (Hmmm – sounds like a good topic for another article – the quick and easy “how to sew diagonal rows on a quilt.”)

By Penny Halgren of

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