Friday, February 17, 2012

Cleaning before quilting

Ever since I started following and becoming friends with Keren from sew la vie, I've had quilting rolling around in the back of of my brain. I started with my Retro Pillow Challenge entry, then my daughter's pink rag quilt, then my son's chevron rag quilt, then my Solids-Only Tote Challenge entry, and then pillows for Mom.   Now, I'm wanting to try to make a king-sized quilt for my bed.  I am scared to machine quilt such a huge project so I searched online for some alternative quilting methods.  This is what I found:

quilt as you go |quilt-along| part one
Quilt-as-you-go is a method where you cut your batting into blocks and sew your blocks right onto it, log cabin style.  I won't attempt to explain in further detail, but rather direct you to the great tutorial by sewtakeahike.  Miss Penny from sewtakeahike hosted a quilt-along last fall and posted her quilt-as-you-go tutorial over four posts.  The photos are great.  Penny's instructions are simple and easy to follow.  I highly recommend you head over and give it a read.  

Before I could allow myself the luxury of scratching my quilting itch, I needed to clean up and organize my fabric a bit.  Check out the difference in my 2 fabric shelves when everything is folded and tidy:

Top shelf is blacks and greys,
second shelf is reds and pinks,
third shelf is blues and purples,
and the bottom shelf  houses a box of denim
 and ticking and other heavy duty fabrics.

Top shelf is my whites and creams and ironing what-nots,
second shelf is oranges and greens,
third shelf is browns,
and the bottom has all the silky and satin-y and slippery fabrics.
After the big clean up, I was ready to choose fabrics for my quilt-as-you-go project.  I'll make 18 blue/grey blocks with black centers, 19 pinkish blocks with black centers, and 19 purple/black blocks with grey centers.  I've completed about 14 of the blue/grey blocks.  Each block is different.  Well, as different as you can be when working log-cabin style with 2" strips.  I'm having fun mixing it up so far, but have so much more to do.....

Have any of you tried this quilt-as-you-go method?

If you're reading this before February 29, 2012, go HERE and vote!
If you're reading this before March 31, 2012, go HERE and sign up!

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,


  1. My first and only patchwork class was for a quilt -as-you-go quilt. The squares are all now quilted and ready to be attached together but I haven't made the middle square yet! I am about to baste a king-size quilt and like you, I have no idea how I will manhandle that through my ordinary sewing machine. Quilt as you go is definitely much more manageable! Looking forward to seeing your quilt grow.

  2. Good of you to have rolled up your sleeves and organized your fabric stash! I'm impressed with your joining that quilt along. I headed over there and read the instructions. It's an interesting method - a light bulb went on in my head as she explained it - and

    So basically if I understand correctly, this method has some limitations:
    1. Your quilting is per-square (I think you can quilt it per-square rather than per-"log" in the square) so this limits your quilt style to some degree.
    2. You connect two squares that already have batting right? That means you'll have a "lump" at the seam allowance. Also, you need to make sure your batting is "iron friendly" - when you iron quilting fabric on its own, since it's cotton, you can go for a high setting and get a crisp finish. When you iron fabric with batting you probably need to use a lower setting so as not to "squish" or burn your batting.
    3. Truthfully I don't like the way the back of the quilt looks. It's rather floppy and set apart from the quilt.

    I too have dreamed of making a bedspread for ages now. You know what other technique could be cool? Quilting in pieces like in rag quilting, and then covering up the "ugly" overlaps using decorative tape such as satin. I've seen that in a Bernina tutorial - maybe I can find it...

  3. I found the tutorial I was thinking about - they use a walking foot but you can use a regular foot. Basically you quilt per-square and then cover up the seams using some tape.

    What do you think of this?


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