Quilt-As-You-Go: 2 Must-Know Methods

Not only are quilt-as-you-go techniques great for making projects quickly, they’re perfectly suited for anyone who’s ever wondered how to stuff a large quilt sandwich through the throat of a domestic sewing machine to be quilted.

With quilt-as-you-go (QAYG), you do the quilting in smaller chunks, then join the chunks, or rather, blocks at the end of the process. You can also combine QAYG with a string-piecing approach, which is particularly well suited for small home-dec projects made with strips.

Here are some tutorials on those two main techniques and some different projects you can make with them.

Quilt-as-You-Go Method 1: Joining Quilted Blocks

Karen Charles joined me for this episode of “Quilters Newsletter TV: The Quilters’ Community” to demonstrate her basic tips for successful QAYG.

In an episode of My First Quilt, Sara Gallegos demonstrated how to use QAYG to make Groovy, a reversible quilt designed by our own Lori Baker. Click here to view the full episode for free.

Running in Circles is made with templates to create a cathedral windows-style pattern, as shown in this Quilting Quickly video.

QAYG methods are also great for making rag quilts, as shown in this Sew Easy video with Jean Nolte and Colleen Tauke.

Quilt-as-You-Go Method 2: Quilt-and-Flip

This method reminds me of string piecing, the big difference being that you’ve already got your batting in place. As you’ll see, it’s a good method to use when you’re working with strips of fabric.

Mary Fons and guest Heather Kinion demonstrate this QAYG method in this Quilty video. As they point out, it’s also a great way to clear out your scrap batting and fabrics and remedies the problem of quilting a large quilt on a home machine.

This Quilting Quickly tutorial demonstrates a similar QAYG technique to make the Hocus Pocus table runner.

You can also use this QAYG technique to make a set of Christmas Gathering placemats using precut 2½” strips, as shown in this Quilting Quickly video.

The Ho Ho Ho wall hanging, which is a quilt-as-you-go method shown in the video from The Quilting Company.

Ho Ho Ho wall hanging designed by ZJ Humbach.

For more holiday décor, check out the episode of My First Quilt in which Sara Gallegos demonstrates this QAYG method to make the Ho Ho Ho Christmas wall hanging designed by ZJ Humbach. The preview video is below; click here to view the full episode for free. The full pattern for Ho Ho Ho is included in Quilters Newsletters Best Christmas Quilts 2013 special issue, and its companion pattern, Joy, is in the Quilters Newsletter Best Christmas Quilts 2014 issue. Both full issues are currently available as digital downloads for only $2.00 each, which is 80% off the cover price (prices subject to change).

Berries and Cream quilt pattern

Berries and Cream Quilt Pattern

The pattern for the Berries & Cream quilted throw pillow is in the McCall’s Quick Quilts February/March 2015 issue and it includes step-by-step photos showing the QAYG technique used to make it. (I’ve been making a number of quilted pillow shams the past couple of years, and I think I need to add one of these to my to-make list.) Both the print and digital download editions of this issue are currently on sale for $1.80 each, which is a great deal for 14 full quilt patterns (prices subject to change).

With any QAYG technique, you do need to plan ahead, and the technique may not work for every quilt pattern. But for certain quilts its certainly the way to go, and you’ll have a project checked off your list before you know it.

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