See part one here.
I finally put together all of my "Sister's Choice" blocks and started laying them out. It has taken me some time since I usually only make a few segments a day or even week. Laying out all the blocks is the most gratifying part when it has taken so long!
Anyways, for most quilts that have a set design, you do not really need to lay anything out. Since I make so many scrap quilts though, without a real set plan, I enjoy laying the blocks out and figuring out where I want things to go. I like to make sure that there is not too much blue or red in a particular section and that there is not two blocks with the same fabric near each other. Those sorts of things are easier to figure out on the floor but might not be necessary for you depending on what style your quilt is.
After I have layed everything out, I then decide if the quilt needs a border and if it does, what fabric to use. You can see in the picture that I have some fabrics layed next to the blocks in the top right corner. I just go to my stash and lay things out until I find something that works. As you can see, I like to stand at the top of the stairs to get a birds eye view of what it will look like :) I find it to be easiest that way. I liked how a thin border and another wider one looked so I am going with that. I forgot to take a picture but I must have gone through a dozen options! Friends and family are great for this step too because I do find that it is a hard decision, especially with scrap quilts! Sometimes nothing seems to look right and more opinions are helpful. Thanks to those who helped me out! You know who you are :)
If you do not have a lot of fabrics at home to choose from and need to buy something from the store, I think I would still lay my blocks out and just try to imagine what would look best with it. I was fairly confident that a brown/cream/green combo of some sort would be "safe" but I also tried pinks and purples and other colors that were already in the blocks. If you have an idea of what might be "safe" you can probably find something that will work and you can always return it! You can also bring some blocks with you as I am sure the employees at the fabric store would love to see what you are working on!!! :D
Another option is to just not do a border or make a pieced border. I did a narrow white border and then a border with just a bunch of squares on the Irish Chain Quilt. More border hints and tips here.
I numbered the rows of the blocks and stacked them all up after I chose the border and now I will put them all together. After that I will put on the borders so stay tuned for another installment on how to make the quilt "sandwich"!