Once you have all your squares from all your darling little artists, put them through a spin in the dryer to preserve their color. I recommend using a lingerie bag to keep your dryer from getting colorized. I didn't put the squares using fabric paints through the dryer, I figured there was too great a chance of them getting paint all over the other squares.
Next you need to cut your sashing fabrics. As you can see from the picture, we used squares and rectangles in the school's colors. I used an assortment of blues and greens- this was a bit of a stash buster project for me.
All seam allowances are quarter inch. We had 30 squares, so we needed 36 blue rectangles for the vertical sashing and 35 rectangles for the horizontal sashing.
Since the squares were 6.5 inches, the rectangles are 6.5 x 2.5 inches and the squares are 2.5 x 2.5. We sewed one blue rectangle to the left edge of each picture, and put an extra blue rectangle on the right edge of each square that landed on the end of a row. We then stitched the rows together.
For the horizontal sashing, sew green squares and blue squares alternating until your horizontal sash is the same length as your row of blocks and vertical sashes. You'll need one more row of horizontal sashing than rows of blocks.
Press seams to one side. On the rows of blocks, press the seams away from the blocks. On the horizontal sashing, press the seams towards the centers of the squares.
Sew the rows together, alternating horizontal sashing rows and rows of blocks. Where the seams are pressed to one side, line them up as you assemble the rows. This should give you nice crisp corners. (You'll have better luck with this if you DON'T use five different machines to put it together- but in my case, I was so happy to have the help I wasn't too worried about the rows lining up perfectly).
Once all the rows are together, you're ready to layer your batting and backing together and either quilt or tie your project.
Next installment: Putting it all together!