Monday 19 August 2013

Quilting As I Go: Part Deux

Couple of weeks ago I started showing you how I was using the QAYG process on the Crooked Cabins quilt (here is the link to that post). In that post I got as far as step one, quilting the blocks. I promised to show you the next steps, so here we are.

First you start with your delicious pile of quilted blocks.

Following your top layout, start sewing your quilted blocks together. Right sides together and sew with a 1/2" seam allowance.

This of course is more than our regular 1/4", but you need a little extra room so that you can iron the seams flat open to help reduce bulk.  

Trimming the ends of each seam is also important too help cut down on bulk as you join multiple blocks together.

Continue to join all of your blocks until you your top is complete. You wind up with a fully quilted quilt top with a back that looks like this.
Following your favorite technique, baste your quilted top to the backing fabric. I typically pin baste, but on this particular night I was feeling all frisky and pulled out the spray baste. Wild I know. But it worked!

If you do pin baste you should think ahead about where the next quilting lines will fall because the next step is to attach the top to the back by quilting in the ditch between the quilted blocks.

So not all of your quilting will shown on the back, but you will see the block outlines.

Once your quilting in the ditch is all done, square up your top and bind, again using your fave method. And your quilt is done!! Of course a nice picture of my finished quilt would be good at this point right? Sure would, and it has actually been off on location for it's photo shoot. But this quilt is going in the mail to it's new owner, so want to save the reveal until it is in their hot little hands. UPDATE - The quilt has landed, so you can click here to see the finished quilt :)

So, that is QYAG. I really liked the process and for sure will be doing it again. A couple of things I learned trying this process:

1. If you are following a pattern, make sure to take into account the 1/2" seam allowance you are going to need to sew your finished blocks together. I did not do this. Overall it did not affect the pattern, but the finished size quilt ended up being a mite smaller :)

2. This method of quilting is great for a "plain even-sized blocks sewn together in a column" quilt top. if it is anything else, you need to do some pre-planning.

Take my project as an example, I had various sized log cabins and negative space in the pattern. The Log cabins blocks were fine, I quilted those by echoing the shape of the cabins in the quilting. But then when I got to the negative space I had to treat each area of the negative space like a stand alone block as well. In terms of how to quilt those individual pieces, this took some thought. At first I was all like "I will quilt log cabins in the white spaces to echo the log cabin blocks". Sure, this is a good idea, but a lot of the pieces were triangles, and quilting squares in them ended up looking ridiculous. So after some quality time with my seam ripper. I decided to just mirror each shape with the quilting.

I cannot say that I was 100% happy with my solution, but after it was all washed and fluffy, I quite like the result.

3. Light backing fabric is not the friend of QYAG. Why you ask ? The seams show through!

You see the issue I ran into after I had pieced a lovely back? After a quick consult with a quilty friend who quashed my "But it adds more texture to the back", I found a darker colored fabric, re basted, and quilted in the ditch. The seams are now hidden, and all you see is the stitch in the ditch quilting lines.

So, have you tried this method, or is it on your "to try" list? Would love to hear anything you have learned about this process.

Stay tuned for the finished quilt :)

Linking up this week at


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Adrienne. I know someone who has been very interested in the quilt as you go method and will pass along the link to her. I love the idea that the backing is whole and not with the joiner pieces required of the usual method! Great job!

  2. it is on my to try and thanks for the pictures, this was the part i was not that confident about!

  3. Oh you tease!!
    Awesome info Adrienne, thanks! QAYG is on my to try list so i'm definitely pinning for future reference!

  4. This is really useful, thanks! I'm working on some QAYG blocks for my City Sampler quilt and hadn't fully figured out how it would all come together. Looking forward to seeing the finished quilt!

  5. Great tutorial. I love it when some one do things their own way. I would never had thought of doing it this way, but now I see your beautiful quilt, I will give it a try. FMQ blocks, sewing them together and stitch in the ditch. Thank you for sharing. And by the way, you made a beautiful quilt!

  6. This is another QAYG method that I am using on quilt or two atm, it has sashing between the blocks
    Your quilt looks great!! I must try your method of QAYG too:)

  7. Fantastic tutorial Adrienne! I loved seeing your process. Great tips about the backing too, how frustrating! Definitely good to note though

  8. Thank you for the tutorial! This is totally on my to-do list!!!

  9. I guess I need to try this method! I love the way it turned out! Thanks for the tut.

  10. Thanks for the tips! I haven't tried this method before but maybe I will in the future.

  11. Thank you so much for your tutorial! I've been interested in this method and just haven't had the time to try it out. This just makes it so much more easier now that I have guidelines to follow. :) Melanie at

  12. I did the quilt as you go method as well. I have a small sewing machine and found regular quilting quite difficult. I too ran into the problem of having a light backing fabric and had to go shopping for something darker. Overall I like the process though - here's a link to mine (if you're interested)

  13. Great information, thanks. I am not yet brave enough to try it though!

  14. It looks great and I appreciate the detailed photos as well to help me understand the method. I love the idea of making a large quilt project so manageable.

  15. Thank you for this post! It's a great quilt.

  16. Great QAYG method and great tutorial! Your quilt is gorgeous and I can't wait to see the full reveal. I'm sure the recipient will love it!!

    Thanks for sharing at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  17. Thanks for the great tutorial! I've always wondered what that process would really look like and it's really helpful to know how you dealt with the problem of bulky seams.

  18. I'm so glad you took us through this part of it. I was a bit stumped wondering how you handled the negative space :)