I also am a relative novice, so I can only tell you how I did it. I decided how big I wanted the project and laid out the blocks that I had cut, leaving spaces between them. I then measured the spaces and cut strips from my background fabric adding about an inch to allow for seam allowances and mistakes in measurements. I started by adding the strips (called sashing) to the centre block. Then attached the side blocks to gather and added to the centre block. Then I created rows for the top and bottom and added these to the centre block. After that I added the border strips.