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The Quilt-As-You-Go Method

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Inside: The Quilt-As-You-Go Method

As a fairly recent quilter I always feel I have so much to share and and even more to learn. Today, I want to talk about something called Quilt-As-You-Go.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked. #howtoquilt #easyquilts #quiltasyougo | seasonedhomemaker.com

The quilt-as-you-go-technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will be able to quilt your project as you piece it.

The Quilt-As-You-Go Method

The first thing to know is QAYG is ideal for machine appliquéd projects. If you’ve ever tried machine quilting over a fused appliqué design you will understand why this method works better. The fusible web product creates too much bulk for machine quilting on a domestic machine and you end up with a ton of skipped stitches and the occasional broken needle.

Another reason to love QAYG is it how ideal it is for those of you with limited space to sew. Instead of having to wrangle a huge quilt around a small area, you are now quilting each block individually before attaching it to the rest of your quilt.

The Tea Time Appliqué Set

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For my QAYG project I chose to make a quilt using my Tea Time Appliqué Set in order to demonstrate how appliqué and piecing work together with this method.

I started by cutting out 20 squares that were 3.5″ x 3.5″ that I then pieced together to make five 4-square blocks. I then trimmed each block down to 6.5″ x 6.5″. My fabric is from a collection called Ardently Austen by Riley Blake. (Check Fat Quarter Shop for availability.)

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.

Then I attached two of the 6.5″ x 6.5″ blocks together. I did this twice. From my background fabric I cut three blocks 12.5″ x 6.5″ and set them aside. Then I cut five 6.5″ x 6.5″ blocks from the rest of the background fabric. After everything was either pieced or cut I then started arranging my blocks on a design board.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.
The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.

I used tone-on-tone fabrics from Moda’s Modern Background Paper collection for my background fabrics. I knew my appliqué fabrics would supply all of the drama necessary for the designs to stand out. This is true with most quilt appliqué – solids or very simple background fabrics will make your designs really pop.

Once I knew my layout, I was ready to start quilting. I started with my larger pieced blocks. I cut a piece of 100% cotton batting that was slightly larger than the block and placed the block on top.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.
I quilted 1/4

I quilted 1/4″ on either side of the seam which made a nice quilted grid.For the solid blocks I had to draw a grid onto the fabric using a water soluble pen. I quilted along these lines and set all of them aside.

Of course, you could get really creative with each of your blocks and use different free motion quilting designs or other grid designs. I kept it simple because I was going to add appliqué designs which would also increase the amount of quilting on each square.

After all of the blocks were quilted, I trimmed away the excess batting and made sure each block was squared. I also removed any markings.

I quilted 1/4

That’s one of the best parts about QAYG; everything is now quilted and squared. Technically, if all I was doing was creating patchwork blocks, I could put my quilt together. However, I still want to add some appliqué.

I want to show you an easy way to create your appliqué designs for the quilt. When I was creating the Tea Time Appliqué Set I knew I wanted to make things simple and easy for those of you who have limited sewing time. That’s why I created designs that could be printed right onto a fusible adhesive product.

For this quilt I used Heat’n Bond EZ Print Featherlight fusible adhesive. This product is a lot lighter than some of the other ones on the market. It will keep your quilt soft and pliable.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.

Just stick a sheet in your printer tray and print out the designs. Cut around the designs leaving a 1/4″ margin and apply to the back of your fabric. Trim the designs and then iron them onto your quilt squares. It’s that easy!

There are several other accessories in the appliqué set that you can use to embellish your quilt. I’ve used a few like the scallop, teabag, and bird. If I were using a very plain fabric I might add one of the Teapot Bands to my teapot.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.
The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.

Here, you can see that I’m now attaching a teapot to one of my QAYG blocks. I used a contrasting black thread to make the teapot design really stand out. At this point, I just let my imagination run wild. I decided to add lettering to the larger blocks and chose a simple font in my word processing program and blew it up to fit the square.

I had thought about adding more teacups around the lettering or even a second bird, but you know what they say: “A little bird goes a long way.” This project is ideal for some fun fussy cutting which I did with the teabag, below. Since the design set is called Ardently Austen and has a Jane Austen theme, I felt like her head should be on a teabag.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.

If you’re wondering where I got my teabag string….well, I just took one off of a teabag I had in my pantry. Once all of the embellishing was finished it was time to attach my blocks. This is just like all other piecing and I used a 1/4″ seam allowance to attach my blocks.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.
The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.
The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.

There are other methods for attaching sashing using the QAYG method, but for now I’m keeping it very simple.I found that pressing the seams open makes the quilt lay better when I go to attach my backing. It is essential that you use 100% cotton batting because you will be using a hot iron with steam to press open the seams.

This will help flatten the additional bulk from attaching the blocks. Notice how everything’s all nice and quilty. Attach all of your blocks together. Be sure to match your corners. At this point on most quilts you would create a quilt back and then sandwich the quilt top between some batting.

That’s not the case here because the batting is already attached. Instead, all you need to do is layer your QAYG top onto the backing and pin-baste to hold everything in place.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.

You will still need to do some minimal quilting to attach the backing to the top. What I did was stitch in the ditch along all of my seam lines. This will hold everything together nicely. If I were using larger blocks I would machine stitch 1/4″ on either side of the seams.

Now that the quilt top and backing are attached all that’s left is squaring up and adding binding.

The beauty of this method is how square the quilt is already. Since everything was squared several steps ago, all that really needs doing is just squaring up the backing and any edges that may have gotten a little wonky in the final quilting.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.

You can see from this image below how there is very little squaring that needs to be done. For most quilts I make binding out of a piece of the fabric. I like the binding to stand out a bit and help frame smaller quilts. With this quilt I went in an entirely different direction.

The quilt as you go technique (QAYG) simplifies quilting for beginners because it is an easy way to join quilted pieces by machine. Instead of handling bulky quilts, you will learn to quilt your project as you piece it. Quilt-as-you-go is ideal for machine appliquéd projects and this tutorial will walk you through this easy quilting method. Try it out on a simple mug rug project and you’ll be hooked.
https://www.seasonedhomemaker.com/pillowcase-tutorial-burrito-style/

I found this crochet edge bias tape on Etsy and thought that it would be perfect for this quilt. You can buy it by the yard and I think it would be awesome on mug rugs and pillowcases, too. And that’s all there is to it. My quilt is about 24″ x 24″ which makes a nice wall hanging or could be a centerpiece on a table.

This post is meant to introduce you to QAYG and offer you some simple ideas to get you started. If you are intrigued and want more instruction on this technique I suggest you try one of these Craftsy Classes.

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Fast & Furious: Quilt-As-You-Go With Pre-Cuts

Quick Quilt-As-You-Go

I know I’ve barely touched on the basics of appliqué in this post. If you have never tried appliqué, I have written an ebook called Appliqué Made Easy for absolute beginners. I also have several tutorials on how to appliqué throughout my blog.

I can’t wait to see your creations. Be sure to tag me on Instagram @theseasonedhomemaker.


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30 Comments

  1. Wow i love this idea. I do admire quilts and how much time it must have taken to make but have been put off by the struggling with the size of them. They did make me think about trying something smaller one day so i have tried a few smaller items but i love this idea of yours for QAYG and i definitely will give it a go soon. Thank you .

    1. Yes, if you go back through the post I’ve mentioned it, just not thoroughly. Here’ what I said: “…all you need to do is layer your QAYG top onto the backing and pin-baste to hold everything in place.You will still need to do some minimal quilting to attach the backing to the top. What I did was stitch in the ditch along all of my seam lines. This will hold everything together nicely. If I were using larger blocks I would machine stitch 1/4″ on either side of the seams.”

      1. How would you do this to a large, let’s say king size blanket quilt? How would the middle hold? Thank you1

        1. The answer to your question is part of a bigger conversation. I plan to talk more about QAYG in the coming months.

  2. I bought the Tea Time applique set and also the QAYG class at craftsy. Now I just need to combine the two! I love your tutorial and thank you for posting this. The quilt layout you have and the chosen fabrics are so pretty.

    1. The project was pretty easy because I did it small bits…an hour here – 15 minutes there. Doing it this way allowed for more creativity!

  3. I love this! I have only done one quilt, and the worst part for me was definitely wrangling that bad boy through my machine to quilt it! Your quilt is adorable, and I am now excited to try QAYG! 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this tutorial. You have explained it in simple language with lots of photos. Brilliant

  5. Thanks for this beautiful work and prefect tutorial, I would like to ask you which font have you used for the TEA TIME.
    Enjoy you tea time:o)
    ciao
    Cleo from Italy

    1. I can’t exactly remember and didn’t write it down, but I think it might be Arial. I didn’t look too hard when I did this.

  6. I have a fairly new sewing machine, have barely used. I come from family of quilting women, even have my Mother’s quilting rack my uncle made for her years ago. Don’t have any place to set up since we have small house. I do sewing for my crafts by making pillow covers and table runner, curtains but haven’t attempted a quilt. Love idea of QAYG, think might be able to handle that.
    Have arthritis in hands, wrists so dealing with big pieces would be difficult for me. Also had right shoulder replaced early December last year, couldn’t do much before surgery either. Have nerve damage in right hand from accident in 1997.
    Because of these problems haven’t challenged myself for while, kept to more easily done projects. Would love to spend time this Fall and Winter working on a QAYG quilt in our Grandson’s name who died from cancer this past June 8th. He was 22 and had suffered with testicular cancer for few years as teenager. It came back last summer. Just feel I need to do something meaningful in his name, hope he’ll be watching and know am still loving/thinking of him. Will be good way to pass cold months here in Western CO.
    Am so glad I clicked on your post. Have great holiday weekend.

  7. I have just found your site. Where to begin, I just love it love it, so many tips, so much info. Can’t wait to get started on all the projects I should have finished so with all the tips I am good to go. I may spend too much time reading and not actually sewing but it’s a start. Just love the quilting ideas , will definitely try it.

    Thanks so much.

  8. I was wondering what QAYG meant and now I know! This is really interesting and makes a lot of sense.
    Just wondering if you will have a blog post about FMQ and doing that at home?

  9. p.s. I love that double fold bias tape with the delicate edge–I saw it on the While She Naps blog when she was writing about Quilt Market. also love that you used a string from a real tea bag.

  10. I just wanted to double check, this is done with just a regular sewing machine and presser foot? Maybe using a stronger needle for thicker materials? I am somewhat new to sewing and am self taught. I am interested in making this adorable project but don’t have a quilting foot for my machine. Thanks!

    1. Exactly. Any straight stitch sewing machine will work. I recommend a Schmetz 90/14 top stitch needle.

  11. Love your presentations. Since I’ve had to downsize my living space, I’ve become very interested in ” Quilt -as-you-go” methods. I don’t want to give up quilting. So glad to have found you !!!!!!!!

    1. Yes, there are details to this that aren’t easy to explain in a “Reply.” However, if you consider the board like you would a block, you should be fine.

  12. I really wish I had seen this or know of this method before I started my quilt. I’m almost done with it but I def struggled with it being a 3/4 bed size and using a home machine. I’ve never even seen before this so the sheer bulk of the fabric was intense. Now I know this method and I def want to give it a try. It also allows more space for error cuz if you make a mistake on a block u can just change it or use another block. Lovely for beginners. Thank you Leslie. Wonderful instructions. I will blog about this and share a link if you don’t mind.

  13. I’m attempting to read this article on my phone as it is the device that is in hand at the moment. But those dang tabs to the left for Pinterest, Facebook, and email are in the way and cover text!!!!!! How do you get rid of them? It is very annoying and thus I’m going to chuck the article and get my information elsewhere! Am I the only one that finds these things irritating?

  14. I’m just curious about the seams. Do they feel bumpy through the back? I love this idea and would love to try it but wonder about that.

  15. This is the best explanatiion/tutorial of QAYG that I have found. I have been longing to make a king size quilt but only have a domestic sewing machine, but I could not figure out how QAYG was done. Now I get it, and I think I could manage it. I’m looking forward to planning my quilt now! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge.

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