The Golden Ratio Rule of Sashing and Borders

Sew Inspired by Bonnie Golden Ratio of Sashing and Borders

My borders are w-a-y too big for the block. I should have used the Golden Ratio rule. I’ve been trying to finish the Farm Buddies cow wallhanging. I quilted and embroidered the block and found an adorable border print that I thought would be perfect. Then, after I attached the borders, it was not right. Just one more reason for test sews!

Sew Inspired by Bonnie Golden Ratio Rule for Sashing and Borders

Sherri from Sherri Quilts A Lot gives a great explanation on the Golden Ratio. This is the magical way to figure the best sashing and border sizes for a block.

You have a stack of 8.5-inch blocks that will finish to 8 inches once sashing is added. Multiply 8 x 1.618 and get 13. This does not mean your sashing is 13-inches wide. Divide 13 by 4 (for all four sides of the block) and you get 3.25 inches for each strip of sashing finished. Add one-half inch for seam allowances and you can cut your sashing strips up to 3.75-inches wide. That is the largest size sashing that would still look good with your blocks. This size looks particularly nice when using cornerstones with sashing.

For the smallest sashing width, take the finished size of the block (8 inches) and multiply it by it by .618 (roughly half the Golden Ratio): 8 x .618 = 5 inches. Divide 5 by 4 = 1.25 inches. Add one-half inch for seam allowances and the sashing should be 1.75-inches wide.

Your sashing can fall anywhere within these two measurements - 3.25 inches at the widest and the narrowest at 1.25-inches wide (finished) - and it will look wonderful. If sashing is wider than 3.25-inches or narrower than 1.25-inches (finished), it will look out of proportion.

Try, try again!


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  • Bonnie Welsh - July 05, 2023

    Mona—the link to the “Gold Ratio” for sashing and borders is in the first paragraph under the 2nd picture above. =)

  • Mona Hughen - July 05, 2023

    Did you do a borders program. I couldn’t find it

  • Bonnie Welsh - June 15, 2023

    Sylvia—You’re most welcome! =)

  • Sylvia Hopkins - June 15, 2023

    Great advice for sashing.

  • Janice - February 06, 2023

    How would The Golden Rule work with 5-inch squares? Thanks in advance.

  • SANDY FERRELL - December 28, 2022

    Thank you for all your help and knowledge

  • Debbie Henry - November 24, 2022

    Yes, Mary. The golden rule can be helpful in determining borders. It’s a guideline for proportions that work well.

  • L. Mary Maxwell - November 21, 2022

    Is the same ratio used to calculate size of borders? 11/20/22

  • Bonnie Welsh - October 31, 2022

    VJ—We give out weekly tips on everything sewing/embroidery related not just quilting. You can join by clicking on the “newsletter” bar toward the bottom left or on the pop-up that occurs on my page for signing up. Either way works. Hope this helps. =)

  • VJ - October 31, 2022

    really liked the Golden Rule calculations. Do you send regular suggestions? Or, only answer to questions? Can I get on your list for tips on quilting? Thank you in advance

  • Susan - July 17, 2021

    What if your blocks are rectangular in size? Save 5 × 7 or 8 × 10.

  • Debbie Henry - July 06, 2021

    Thank you all for reading! Stay tuned, Leslie. More to come!

  • Doreen Warren - July 06, 2021

    Thanks for all the tidbits of information that you send in your SMS. I always loo km forward to seeing what you have sent me.

  • Leslie - July 06, 2021

    I really would like the other half of the information the title suggests – “Borders”. Will there be another article giving suggested minimum and maximum widths for borders?

  • Teresa W - July 06, 2021

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard this border calculation! But I’m eager to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!

  • LuAnne - July 06, 2021

    Thank you for the help!

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