Friday, August 23, 2013

QUILT AS YOU GO {TIPS TO REMEMBER}



WHEN
I made my 
I decided to try the
Quilt As You Go (QAYG)
 method
at the last minute.

While I was quilting,
I jotted down a few tips that I wanted to remember for next time.




This is my Blueberry Crumb Quilt.
You can read about this quilt saga HERE
.
There are a couple of links within the post which
will lead you to all of the posts related to the quilt.

As I mentioned before,
this was my first time
using the QAYG method.

I did a quick (meaning I remember reading about it somewhere)
search of the blogs
and I found this tutorial on

I followed her tutorial
and I made a few notes for my own personal reference.
Her are my thoughts:

Quilting the Blocks

  • After you have made all of your blocks, cut your quilt batting into squares that measure at least 1" larger than you block on all sides. 
    • In the case of my quilt, the blocks were 12 1/2" so I cut the batting squares to 14 1/2".
    • Pros:This is an excellent way to use up your scrap pieces of quilt batting that you have left over from previous projects.
    • Cons: This is a time consuming process. In my case, I needed a total of  90 blocks for the two quilts and it seemed like I was cutting quilt batting forever...just ask my tennis elbow & empty bottle of Advil.

  • Place the quilt blocks in the center of the quilt batting. Baste the blocks using your preferred method. I tend to use the curved quilter's safety pins and boy did I use a ton of them on this project.
    • Pros: I found it much easier to baste each individual block versus basting an entire quilt at once (My knees were much happier that I didn't have to spend all of that time bending over my quilt on the tile floor!)
    • I set everything up into piles: one pile of quilt blocks, one pile of quilt batting squares, and one large container of safety pins. Whenever I had a free moment, I would walk over and baste a few quilt squares.
    • In the end, I had a hefty pile of basted quilt squares that were ready at a moment's notice to be quilted.


  • Quilt each square using your preferred method.
    • I am a fanatic for straight line quilting using my walking foot. For these quilts and this QAYG method, I thought that it would be great to quilt each quilt block differently.  I chose 4 different straight line quilting motifs:

Squares Within Squares


Diagonal Lines


Horizontal Lines



X Marks The Spot (which was my favorite)

    • Pros: This is a time friendly process. I would sit down in between tasks (like doing homework, walking the dog, making dinner, etc.) and I would quilt a few blocks! Before I knew it I was done quilting all of the blocks.
    • This was also the least stressed out that I have ever been when quilting a quilt! I don't know about you, but when I normally quilt my quilts I tense up: my shoulders get stiff and I tend to wrinkle my brow because I am concentrating really hard on what I am doing! (and wrinkling anything is not a good thing) Not this time, just me and my blocks without a care in the world.
    • I also liked the fact that I didn't have a HUGE quilt just hanging/sitting on my quilt table...you know what I mean...when you stop quilting for a minute/or an hour and your quilt is sitting at you machine with the needle down!

  • When all of the blocks are quilted, trim the blocks down to the appropriate size.
    • Pros: All of your blocks are perfectly quilted and cut to the correct size.
    • Cons: Once again, this is a time consuming step, which didn't help my carpal tunnel and requirement for more Advil.




    • In the end, I loved looking at the back of all of those quilted blocks. They made such a lovely stack:



Joining The Blocks Together


  • With Right Sides Together (RST), sew two quilted blocks together. 
    • Matching your seams together using this method can be tricky because you really can't see your seams because of the quilt batting.


    • I checked and rechecked my seams several times to make sure that they would match up. Be sure to use LOTS of pins during this step.
  • After you have sewn your blocks together, press the back seams OPEN. This will help to reduce the bulk that can easily become a hot mess.




  • Continue to joins all of your squares into rows. Press each of your seams OPEN.




  • Once all of the rows have been sewn together, give the front of the quilt a really, really good pressing.
Adding The Backing Fabric

  • Now you will add the quilted top to your backing fabric. 
    • I did this the same way that I would normally baste a quilt...the good old fashioned quilt sandwich.
    • Pros: The top of the quilt was already quilted and I didn't have to deal with all of those "puckering" issues that you normally have when you are trying to smooth out the three layers of the quilt.
    • Cons: I had to get back down on the floor to baste the three layers together...once again my aching knees. Because of the weight of the quilt, I used a lot of pins just to be sure that everything was secure. I haven't used spray baste in a long time and it might be a good option for the QAYG method.

  • Add your final stitches to join the backing fabric.
    • Since the front/quilt top was already quilted, I chose to simply stitch in the ditch along all of the rows and columns. I didn't want to add any additional quilting lines to the front of the quilt and it gives the back of the quilt a simple, completed look.

Final Thoughts

  • I enjoyed the QAYG process and I would do it again for all of my larger quilts. 
  • Remember that with all of the additional cutting of the quilt batting and basting of each quilt block, this process takes much longer than the usual quilting process.
  • I would practice on a smaller project before tackling something larger.
  • I would also be cautious if you have lots of points on the block that need to match up when you are joining your blocks together because you really can't see the seams because of the quilt batting.
  • I give the process "two thumbs up"!


Until Next Time...Happy Quilting

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35 comments:

  1. These are all great tips. Thanks for sharing them so clearly and the photos help a lot. I will try this method on one of my smaller quilt projects.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for all the suggestions. I have not yet tried QAYG but it will eventually. I am bookmarking your post for future reference. Your quilt is so pretty and looks so snuggly! I want to know, though, where is that puppy???

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  3. Thanks for the tips. I still haven't tried this method...one day

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  4. What did you back each quilt block with before quilting? Does it make thw quilt stiff having an extra layer of quilting in there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What extra layer? After quilting the fabric block to the batting a backing fabric is added.

      Delete
  5. This came at just the right time, I have a stack of improv scrappy blocks that need to be made up into a quilt.

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  6. Thank you for the clear list of pros and cons!
    Your quilt is very pretty!
    Esther
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com
    Ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have had to give up working on the floor. Instead, I bought a small table and the clips for fastening tablecloths to picnic tables. I can clamp each layer of a quilt separately. I pin paste the center, then remove and reposition the quilt until it has been completely pinned. - I appreciate your list of pros and cons. They are very helpful. I enjoy the photos of your pretty quilt and especially like your quilting.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your idea. It'll be sure to remember that! Lol

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    2. Excellent tip about using those tablecloth clips! Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Great tips!! I am going to give this method a try. =)

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  9. Thanks for sharing this quilting method. I think I will give it a try.

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  10. It's really an amazing tip, thanks for the sharing and just keep up the good work.


    http://www.invillas.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Popped over from The Patchsmith blog to checkout your Valentine table runner and have enjoyed looking around. Love your great tips. I'll be sure to make me a note as I'm not sure what I had for breakfast either lol! Thanks, Sarah

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  12. I guess I'm the only one but I've done a large quilt as you go and the one thing that I consider a major Negative/Con is the back never looks good. The seams made by sewing together the blocks with the quilted batting great unsightly lumps. Everyone I've asked about it who has made these quilts just says, "it's not seen so it doesn't matter", but it matters to me.

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  13. I guess I'm the only one but I've done a large quilt as you go and the one thing that I consider a major Negative/Con is the back never looks good. The seams made by sewing together the blocks with the quilted batting great unsightly lumps. Everyone I've asked about it who has made these quilts just says, "it's not seen so it doesn't matter", but it matters to me.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have seen other QAYG methods where the batting is cut smaller that the quilt top and backing. That way the batting is not part of the seam. Have you tried that? Your quilt turned out beautifully!!

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  15. I have seen other QAYG methods where the batting is cut smaller that the quilt top and backing. That way the batting is not part of the seam. Have you tried that? Your quilt turned out beautifully!!

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  16. I saw a quilt constructed this way just last week. I was amazed that the seams weren't too bulky. I really enjoyed reading this post. Well done! I'm glad it is alive and well on Pinterest!

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  17. When I do QAYG, I quilt the top block to the batting and backing all at one time. I trim a quarter inch of the batting away, and then join the blocks, either with or without narrow sashing. If I use narrow sashing, I do not have to cut away the quarter inch of the batting, which is easier and I like the result. Sashing is also applied to cover the seams on the back.

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  18. Great ideas!!I love it. One of these days I will you my many leftovers of fabric and batting and do the QAYG quilts. Can you use any kind of batting like warm and white or just regular soft batting?

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  19. Was there a specific reason you quilted the quilt with batting side up? I've seen this method done batting side down and it came out just as good.

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  20. Was there a specific reason you quilted the quilt with batting side up? I've seen this method done batting side down and it came out just as good.

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  21. There is another way to do this, I think is easier. lay out your quilt backing face down, cut the batting 1 inch smaller on all sides, lay a block square same size as the ftont.
    pin in place all three pieces, place the block back to back on the front bloca matching the backing and sew together, press on the front open seams, fold under the seames on the top, fold under the extending on the front, makes a beautiful designs. I hope you can understand this way.

    ReplyDelete
  22. There is another way to do this, I think is easier. lay out your quilt backing face down, cut the batting 1 inch smaller on all sides, lay a block square same size as the ftont.
    pin in place all three pieces, place the block back to back on the front bloca matching the backing and sew together, press on the front open seams, fold under the seames on the top, fold under the extending on the front, makes a beautiful designs. I hope you can understand this way.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I'm pretty sure I've seen what you described in several UTube tapes.
    -I have made rows.... will be using iron-on batting and quilting the 3 layers.
    You must not quilt to the very edge but leave a 1/2 or 1/4 inch free.... Sew the back together lined up with the batting, then fold the batt. together; then fold over the free fabric on the top and stitch by hand so no extra seam shows on the back.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm pretty sure I've seen what you described in several UTube tapes.
    -I have made rows.... will be using iron-on batting and quilting the 3 layers.
    You must not quilt to the very edge but leave a 1/2 or 1/4 inch free.... Sew the back together lined up with the batting, then fold the batt. together; then fold over the free fabric on the top and stitch by hand so no extra seam shows on the back.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love this method of quilting larger quilts! Because I use "Warm and Natural" batting this is particularly effective as the batting is not fluffy. I spray baste my backing because I am WAY to lazy to spend a lot of time pinning. I don't like to stitch in the ditch so I straight line quilt about an 8th of an inch on either side of the block seam line. That also helps keep the batting seams flat. Thanks for posting your notes!

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    Replies
    1. Suzan many thanks for mentioning your way of stitching next to the ditch, its an excellent idea.

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  26. I did not take the time to read all the comments. So this question might be in here already, but would it work to make the batting a quarter inch shorter then the block all the way around? That way when it comes time to see the blocks together you could see the seams easier since you don't need batting in the seams?

    ReplyDelete
  27. I did not take the time to read all the comments. So this question might be in here already, but would it work to make the batting a quarter inch shorter then the block all the way around? That way when it comes time to see the blocks together you could see the seams easier since you don't need batting in the seams?

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think you've made my day! I've been quilting QOV on my machine, to save sending them out to a long armer and I love the idea of doing the backing last. I also think I would zig zag the seams flat after joining them, just to make sure there was no bulk or "stray" humps. Great tutorial! I can't wait to try this!!

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  29. This method looks great....I guess you have to use cotton batting, since you are ironing the batting. I have just started using a puffy batting, and everyone LOVES the puffy quilts. I don't suppose I can use this method with the puffy batting though....thoughts? Barb Taylor

    ReplyDelete

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