Not long ago, you saw me with just a huge pile of individually-quilted squares. They're lovely, but how, you may well ask, do I transform the many into the whole?
Wonder no more. Below is a quick pictorial to walk you through the "quilt as you go" technique. For further information, may I recommend "Reversible Quilts" or "More Reversible Quilts" by Sharon Pederson; also "Crazy Shortcut Quilts" is a good reference.
This is your starting point. (The books will give instruction on how to get to this point... this is by no means a comprehensive guide but a nudge in the right direction if you're puzzled as to how this whole thing works.)
You'll be making many strips of your sashing material (sashing is the "grout" between the "tiles" of the quilt that pulls the whole thing together.) One strip will be wider and folded in half; the second strip will be narrower and unfolded. Exact measurements of these strips vary from project to project, and from author to author; in this instance I am using strips 1 1/8 and 1 3/4 " wide.
The two different strips must always occupy the same place; if you begin with the wide on the top, stick with it throughout the quilt. Choose (I generally prefer the folded strip on the top, but this is almost completely arbitrary) and line up the strips with the edge of your first block. The unfolded strip will be placed right-side towards the quilt block; the folded strip will have its raw edges on the outside.
Pin this sucker down like there's no tomorrow. Be sure to catch all the layers, while maintaining that lovely straight edge.
Now, throw your 1/4" quilting foot on, and sew through all those layers.
Trim the sashing even with the top and bottom of the quilt block.
This post is a little picture-heavy, so I'll leave off here; watch for Part 2 soon.