Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Process

The first panel sandwich is made and ready to pin baste and stitch. In my stash I had just the right size leftover batting, and a piece of Marimekko fabric that was wide enough for the backing. Nice.
Quilting this panel was a snap, and in minutes I was ready to add the second panel to this one.

Here's my stitch in the ditch photo. I don't like the walking foot for this because I like to have more control, don't like the noise it makes and especially like to see where I am going. I have loosened the pressure on the presser foot to nil and it just glides along effortlessly.

After the second panel and backing are sewn to the first it is time to add the batting. Instead of overlapping it, it is butted against the seam allowance and zigzagged in place. This was the scariest part, BEFORE I actually did it. But it was pretty easy in practice.

After it is attached, the second panel and backing are flipped forward and ready to quilt. Again, pretty darn easy.
Repeat for the next panel . If I had made more panels it would continue on in this manner.

When all three were sewn and quilted I measured and decided the quilt needed to be larger, so I added a two inch border all around, log cabin style. It really is impossible to tell on the front that this border was an afterthought. I love that!

I decided to add more quilting in the centers of each of the log cabin blocks, which means I have lots of ends to bury or trim.

And then the dreaded binding must go on. I started this last night and ran out of steam, which means I will return refreshed this morning to finish it up. Yes, I always machine stitch my binding in the ditch.

So my feeling about this QAYG (quilt as you go) method is pretty good. I especially like the easy adding of borders, and can see doing this again. Comparing this method to making individual blocks and joining them after they are quilted is not as attractive a process to me. That requires sewing on a strip to hide the seam on the back. With a little planning, doing it in panels eliminates that part.

Back in March I made this flip and sew-QAYG quilt and never finished it. With this one I used a crib batt and cut backing fabric to what I thought would be the finished size, stitched on and quilted the center group of blocks in one piece and just kept adding strips until I ran out of batting. It's around 36x45, too small for anyone in this house...not for the doggies!
Now I can see adding more to the size the way I added the new borders to the log cabin. Do I have anymore orphan blocks that would work? Hmmm.


  1. I really like the method of adding sections and quilting as you go. A friend of mine does all her quilts that way though I haven't tried it yet I'm sure I will. I'm afraid to machine the binding because I never seem to get it perfect enough to always catch it on the other side. My same friend did her last one with a decorative stitch which solved that problem and was pretty.

  2. I love the quarter log cabin blocks in your crib quilt... the colors are amazing!

  3. Looks like you're having fun with the log cabin QAYG....addictive isn't it? so many possibilities. Quilt looks great...can't wait to see it finished.

  4. Thanks for sharing this! Your quilts are beautiful. I found you through Flickr Solids quilts group, and I will be back!

  5. Thanks for the tip on reducing the pressure foot to nil when stitching in the ditch. I'm going to try that.

  6. Hi, I want to use this method for the first time and on a super king size quilt, do you think there is any problem using this for a quilt that will be 'used' rather a wall
    hanging or so? I also had a look at the tutorials on Quilting Edge, both your posts nicely complement each other I think and help me understand the process :) I think I will use your zigzag connection, not sure yet how I'll quilt my connecting strips and I am a bit paranoid it night pull apart lol Thanks for your tutorial!!!


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