Saturday, February 21, 2015

New to Me: QAYG

All month long I've been thinking over what to choose for my February Let's Book It project. Yesterday while contemplating why I'm continuing to work at piecing projects instead of sandwiching/quilting projects I had an AHA! moment.

I purchased this book last fall, paged through it, borrowed it to my Mom and kind of forgot about it until she returned to me last month. I've always been intrigued by the concept of Quilt-As-You-Go but the actual mechanics of it are a mystery to me.
The cost of batting (even on sale!) has given me cause to keep all of my leftover batting. Here are my larger pieces stuffed under my cutting table - there is 6 feet of that mess. I also have a large box full of smaller pieces plus 2 rolls of Warm & White - one 45" wide for my smaller projects and one 90" wide for everything else.
One of my goals this year is use my smaller pieces instead of always going the easy route and cutting a fresh length off my rolls. I even have some of this tape that I bought a few years ago to make it easy... yet here I am, still procrastinating.
So let's just say after reading through Jera's book I got pretty excited! I pulled this Riley Blake layer cake out of my stash this morning and got started using the easiest looking pattern in the book called Ballard Blocks.
Here's my 10" fabric on a 13.5" square of Warm & White - one of Jera's recommended needle-punched battings. I've been a Warm & White/Warm & Natural fan for years so I have plenty to work with.
I quickly quilted back and forth across the zig zag fabric using the lower peaks as my guide with straight lines on Mr. Juki and started adding my sashing strips of grey Moda Bella. I didn't find it necessary to attach my walking foot as both layers stayed perfectly flat.
Then I trimmed my block to 12.5". Since my quilting was minimal and didn't cause my batting to warp at all I'm going to cut the rest of my batting squares smaller. Jera has a helpful discussion about this in her book. Yes, these are leftover batting pieces but I still don't like to waste it!
Here's a picture of the back of the block.
I'd love to try some wavy lines and some random lines too. And, down the road, I'm thinking these types of blocks will be perfect for FMQ practice. I'm also looking at my shelf of kid's novelty fabrics and my stash of 6.5" charm squares in a whole new light. Because anything I can do to make my Project Linus donation quilts more fun to COMPLETE is a win.
But before I go off the deep end completely I will need to see how the joining of the blocks and finishing the quilt goes but the book sure makes it look easy. Next month I'll let you know if it really is. And, I after I cut 19 more squares of batting for this quilt I might be able to cut a fresh length off my roll guilt free for my UFOs that need to be sandwiched ASAP!

One more thing... I was lucky enough to be the winner of last month's link-up. Aren't these just the cutest? I'm planning to order a couple more charms to add to the sewing machine pin from as soon as I make up my mind. Thanks again, Sharon! I'll be linking up to Let's Book It@Vroomans Quilts later in the month.


  1. I haven't tried QAYG either, but I have a friend who does it quite often. She usually works in rows. Fear of failure - that is what keeps me from trying it.

  2. There are some great QAYG videos on line. There is one that I really like and plan on trying it myself. I think it would definitely make quilting easier especially if you didn't have a machine that was made for quilting.

  3. I have done quilt as you go (way back in the 1980s) and always include the backing in the quilting. Otherwise a lot of the puff goes out the back into space and doesn't enhance the look of the front. Have you investigated that method too?

  4. My foray into QAYG is limited to a couple of strip quilted baby quilts but it did include the backing as I went so at the end, I just bound it and was done. Love the zigzags!

  5. Looks like a great idea! I will be interested to see your progress. I zig zag my big pieces of batting together for donation quilts. My smaller pieces I spray baste together in muslin for free-motion quilting practice. It feels good to use up all the pieces.

  6. I have a UFO that is a quilt as you go quilt. I look forward to seeing how this author puts her blocks together. I am using Georgia Bonesteels technique.

  7. I too try to use up every little piece of batting. I have pieced several baby quilts in which I don't even use the iron-on tape to hold them in place. I put the strips in as I longarm them and piece the pieces together like a puzzle. I quilt it with something dense like Circle Lord Swirls giant board and I haven't had any problem with them shifting in the wash so far.

    Congrats on your win. That little sewing machine and the charm is sooo cute! Congrats.

  8. Hi Deb! Your Fabrics look so beautiful, here and in the drawer in the earlier post. I haven't tried yet this quilt as you go but I think it would be great. Your pink plus quilt is adorable! x Teje

  9. This looks like a fun project and you can try some of your other machine's fancy stitches for a little fun.


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