Technique

How to Quilt as You Go

Have you tried the Quilt as You Go or QAYG (try and pronounce that acronym!)? If you haven’t, you’ll have to try it. It is fun and, while you can create a regular block with it, I like to use an improvisational approach to this technique.

We’re going to work on a QAYG block together and you’ll need:

  • Batting - cut into a square, whatever size you prefer (I used a 9 1/2” square)

  • Fabric Scraps

  • Scissors or rotary cutter and mat

  • Seam roller (I loved using my Violet Craft seam roller in this project) or iron

  • Sewing machine

What you’re going to be doing is adding fabric scraps onto the batting ala log cabin technique, either adding each new scrap in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. You’ll be sewing the fabrics right to the batting and doing additional quilting on them too.

Lay your first scrap down on the batting, right side up and then add the second scrap, right side down, being sure to align the raw edges that you’ll be stitching together. Piece them together with a 1/4” seam, just as you would for any block. The nice thing about this technique is that you don’t have to be too accurate with your 1/4” seam, but don’t let this stop you from using this to practice achieving an accurate one.

After you have pressed open these pieces, you will be adding additional quilting stitches to them. Traditionally, quilters would add straight lines of stitching, parallel to the seam line. For my block, I wanted to utilize the stitches on the Janome MC9450 and while I could’ve chosen from the hundreds of fancy decorative stitches, I decided to see what utility stitches would look like when used as quilting stitches. Guess what? They looked really great!

To see exactly how to create this improvisational QAYG block, click on the image below.

 
 

Have you ever tried QAYG with decorative or utility stitches? Let me know in the Comments below how your block/project turned out.

If you’d like to get your own Violet Craft seam roller, click here.

Creatively,

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P.S. Do you strive to improve your quilting skills? Do you want to have fun doing it? Do you want to meet other quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. It’s not your grandmother’s quilting circle! Don’t wait another day! Join now.

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4 Tips on How to Quilt Your Quilt

The biggest problem I hear from quilters when it comes to the quilting part of their project is that they don’t know what motif to put on their quilt. They’re afraid that they’ll “ruin” their quilt, either through lack of skill or poor quilt motif choice. I’m not going to say that you can’t ruin a quilt through poor choices in these areas, but there are 4 considerations that I think will help you to avoid “ruining” your quilt. (And you can’t really ruin a quilt unless you tear it, stain it, burn it, etc. – everything else is just a learning opportunity).

This is what I like to consider before I choose a quilt motif for my quilt.

1.     What is the purpose of the quilt?

This is the first thing I consider before quilting any of my projects.

Most quilts we make are ones that we want to be used. They may be baby quilts to be dragged around the house, a lap quilt to be snuggled under when reading, or a bed quilt to keep us warm at night. These types of quilts will be used and washed repeatedly – they’re what I call “utility” quilts. These types of quilts don’t merit custom quilting. A simple pantograph or all-over design will work perfectly well for the majority of these types of quilts. Pick a quilt motif that compliments the fabric or design of the quilt and get ‘er done.

 
Pattern is Chock a Block by Chatterbox Quilts

Pattern is Chock a Block by Chatterbox Quilts

 

If the quilt top you have created is intricately pieced, it may merit custom quilting. If you would consider this an heirloom quilt to be viewed, but not used, custom or semi-custom quilting is the way to go. This might involve smaller, more complex quilting motifs or ruler quilting. You may want to use different quilt motifs in different parts of the quilt. This type of quilting takes more thought and will take longer to complete, but, if the quilt top merits it, this is the way to go.

Decide what type of quilting this particular quilt top needs and you are then ready to move onto the next consideration.

2.     What is the focus of the quilt?

When I’m looking at a quilt top, I need to decide what will be the focus or star of it: will it be the piecing or appliqué or will it be the quilting itself?

For appliqué quilts, you definitely want to emphasize the appliqué itself. The quilting should enhance or accentuate the appliqué, not compete with it. In this case, the appliqué is the star, and the quilting is the supporting actor. Keeping your quilting motif simple will work on this type of quilt.

 
Pattern is from Community Quilt Along by Chatterbox Quilts & QuiltFusion

Pattern is from Community Quilt Along by Chatterbox Quilts & QuiltFusion

 

If, on the other hand, this is a pieced quilt with lots of negative space, for example, a modern quilt, the star will be the quilting. You’ll be able to do lots of custom or semi-custom quilting in the negative space on these types of quilt. The sky is the limit here, so have fun and combine multiple quilting motifs to show off your skill.

Which brings us to the next consideration.

3.     What is your skill level?

I always say that it is better to do a simple design well than a complex design poorly. (I should have this tattooed on me!).

If you struggle to do feathers or don’t like how yours look, don’t do feathers on your quilts! If you are a master at stippling, use this on your quilts. Simple designs can look just as good as more complex ones if done well.

 
60th anniversary table runner - 1.jpg
 

Don’t think you have to do a certain quilt motif because you see it on many quilts. If you can’t do it well (yet!), stick to the designs that you have mastered. There will be lots more quilt tops just waiting for those feathers when you have mastered them.

The next thing to consider is…

4.     What is the style of the quilt?

Some quilt motifs are more appropriate on certain styles of quilts. I’m not saying that this is a rule (are there really rules in quilting?!), but it’s something to consider.

Is your quilt a traditional or modern quilt? You may want to use more traditional quilting motifs, such as feathers, crosshatching, etc. on a traditional quilt top.

If you have a more modern quilt, simple designs, such as geometric shapes, stippling, or wavy walking foot quilting, might be more appropriate.

All of these considerations are suggestions only as everyone has their own ideas as to what type of quilting they want to have on their own quilt tops, but they are a starting point to help you in making this decision.

In all cases, remember that if your quilt has busy fabrics, you won’t see the quilting well, so your beautiful custom quilting won’t be seen. If you choose to put this amount of effort into quilting a quilt with busy fabrics, don’t be disappointed when the quilting doesn’t show. The reverse is true: you will definitely see the quilting on solid fabrics, so go for that custom work.

In general, I like to use curved quilting motifs on quilt tops that have straight lines in them and straight line quilting motifs on quilt tops that have curved piecing in them. Use the opposite type of quilting motif to the quilt top to work harmoniously together.

For more information on choosing a quilt motif, click on the image below.

 These are some ideas you can use when considering the quilt motif to be used in your next quilt project. What are the things you consider when choosing a quilt motif for your quilts? Leave a comment below to let me know.

Creatively,

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P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Pillowcase Method to Finishing a Quilt

Do you use the pillowcase method to finish your quilt projects? Do you know about the pillowcase method? If you don’t, I’m going to tell you all about it and you are going to love this easy way to finish smaller projects.

The pillowcase method is a way to finish your quilts without binding them. Yes, you know I hate binding, so this is one of my go-to techniques for avoiding it! You’ll need:

  1. Your quilt top

  2. Batting cut to the size of your quilt top

  3. Backing cut to the size of your quilt top

  4. No binding strips!

You are going to layer the 3 parts of your quilt as follows, from the bottom up: 

  • Batting

  • Quilt top, right side up

  • Backing, wrong side up

Pin these 3 layers together around the raw edges, leaving a gap so you can turn it right side out later on. The size of the gap depends on the size of your project: a 3” to 4” is okay for most small to medium size projects. Leave a larger unsewn area is you are working on a bigger project.

After pinning the 3 layers together, sew around the outside of the sandwich with a ¼” seam, remembering to leave that unsewn gap for turning. I like to use a walking foot to do this. Clip off the corners and turn the project right side out, pushing out the corners (I like to use That Purple Thang to do this). Hand sew the opening closed and your project is now ready for quilting.

For detailed instructions, click on the image below.

 
 

Have you ever used the pillowcase method before? If so, let me know your results in the Comments below.

Creatively,

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Print
 

P.S. Are you serious about improving your quilting? Do you want to connect with other committed quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and, if you purchase items by clicking through the links in this post, I will receive a small amount of commission. This doesn’t cost you any more $$$, but helps me to continue creating free content for you. Thanks!

Cutting Fabric Strips with Rulers

Last Thursday I explained my technique for straightening the edge of my fabric before I started cutting into it. This Telecast Thursday I want to show you how to cut strips from your fabric after it's been straightened.

It's important to learn the correct cutting method so that you don't get wavy strips. It's so frustrating to cut 10 strips only to realize that each one has a big wave - or two - in it! Certainly not desirable! 

To properly understand this technique and learn the little tips that will help you in cutting your fabric strips, watch the video below or on my YouTube channel.

Keep in mind that this is my method for cutting fabric strips: there are other ways to do this that you might want to investigate too.

What are your best tips for cutting fabric strips? Leave me a comment below telling me your favourite technique.

Creatively,

 

I'd love to have you join me and hundreds of other quilters in my private Chatterbox Quilts' Facebook group. This encouraging and sharing group provides lots of help and inspiration to all quilters.

Squaring Up Fabric with Rulers

It's another Telecast Thursday and this week I'm addressing a question that I've heard many times: how to I cut my fabric? Do I use the lines on my ruler? Do I use the lines on the cutting mat?

There are many ways to cut your fabric, but you always want to start your cutting with a straight edge, so the most important part of cutting your fabric is how to straighten your edge so the rest of your cuts will be straight.

I use the lines on my ruler to straighten up my fabric edge and I'll show you that in the video below, but before I can start cutting, I want to be sure that my fabric is folded evenly. if the fabric is askew, so will be the cuts!

Watch the video below to see my technique or view it on my YouTube channel.

There are many ways to straighten your fabric edge, but this is the method that works best for me.

How do you straighten the edge of your fabric? Leave me a Comment below to describe your technique.

Creatively,

 

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