Saturday, August 11, 2012

QAYG Update : New Connector Strip Method

I hope you are not experiencing whiplash as I abruptly switch gears from painting and knitting back to quilting, but I did warn you that I had a need to sew.
When my friend Rose was here, I was showing her all my QAYG quilts and explaining (to a non-sewer) about the cool construction that puts a quilt together in parts, faster and easier than the old methods. As I talked, the lightbulb went on in my head.
Ding Dong! I NEED to teach this.
This very thought provided a reason to make more quilts, for which I have long been searching!
Super DdddddUH.
So with my studio all cleaned up, I got out the previously pieced blocks (February's QAWM blocks) and began quilting. Zoom, zoom, zoom. Of course everything went together beautifully, angst free, since I was starting so fresh from the awareness of  finding THE REASON.
The first three blocks were quilted and assembled, as usual, and then overnight (I do a lot of thinking during the night,) I asked myself if I could reverse the assembly and put the topstitched connecting strip on back instead of the front?
The picture above shows the regular method, with the two blocks joined on the back with a lining fabric strip and then the tops are finished with a double fabric strip, topstitched in place. (You are already confused?  Refresh your memory by looking at the top of this page under Quilt As You Go, especially this post).
The second picture shows the two blocks joined with a connector strip, as I would have previously joined the backs  and right above it you will see the line of top stitching done from the back, with matching thread, so it looks just like a quilting line.  HA! It works!
Here are both connectors lined up. The narrow yellow strip is much smaller than the one above it, no?
I like that as it blends with the other strips on that block so much better. Woowoo!

Here's the reverse side. I double the strip and sew the raw edges to the edge of one block, at the same time sewing on the top strip. When both of the tops are joined then the backside connecting strip is pinned and topstitched, again reminding you to use the same thread in the bobbin as the quilting thread, and white (or matching the back ) thread in the needle.
Maybe this shows the strip better. I used pink thread to quilt the blocks with white thread in the bobbin. Then I switched out the colors and used white in the needle and pink in the bobbin to finish the connecting.
The next picture shows the line of topstitching that looks just like all the other quilting lines, thus hiding the connection a bit more than the old method.

I know its only a little thing and may not be that noticeable in the final whole big quilt, but it was a nice breakthrough for me.
So.....I am now going to do this as a lecture demo at the Three Black Sheep Shoppe in September. They are now carrying fabric as well as yarn, and I brought home a roll of 15 long quarters to make a store sample.


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  1. Anonymous9:21 AM

    If you want to learn this technique from the master you should get Sharon Peterson's books - Reversible Quilts and More Reversible Quilts. She really pioneered this method

  2. I don't quite understand but.....I'm thrilled that you're going to quilt for awhile!!!

  3. Anonymous10:04 AM

    But, but, but Mz Melody, why not join the two blocks with a normal seam but include the connecting strip on the back side at the same time? Then go ahead and finish from the back as you said. You'd have to leave the seam allowance on the top, of course, with batting on one of the blocks.

    Maggie in Arizona

  4. Maggie,
    I get what you are saying.. but one then has to trim away batting, and make sure that there is no depression, and make sure that the blocks end up measuring the same...or something like that. I like that the blocks are just butting up against each other, no globbing of seam allowance. Super flat and dumbly simple.

  5. I love, love, love the way you switch gears. So much fun.

  6. OH, yes! QAYG again. Maybe this time I'll actually GET it. It sounds so easy. But Melody, My Dear, you make everything look so easy and quick! Your quilts always look like ART even if they are just for the dear Dawgs! Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. I just want to move in during quilting and painting weeks! I love your studio, style, and color choices. Not sure I understand the QAYG but probably won't until I actually try it, would you say blocks made with prints are best for this method?

  8. Have you checked out Betty Cotton's method called The Cotton Theory? There are many great minds doing the same great things in quilting.

  9. Wowie, it's good you explain so well, I think I can need this knowledge in the near future as I'm going to put together my white patchwork blanket ;-)
    I love your cleaned studio... and fully understand you get inspired to start with the fabrics again.

  10. Ms M--I totally needed to see this technique today as I messed up a block in my QAYG monster quilt. I had added the block, then quilted it on and then realized it was upside down. So instead of removing the whole thing, I just unpicked the top stitching, the backing from the block and rotated it. Then I stitched it from the front and did the top stitching from the backside because it wasn't so nice. (did that make sense??)

    Anyhoo--your method helped me fix a problem I had today. Thanks a lot!!

  11. What is the length of the stitch you use when quilting?


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