Quilt as you go... TOW

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Registered: 09-05-2003
Quilt as you go... TOW
Tue, 02-14-2006 - 10:02am

from the Quilt Connections with Sandra Hatch, 2/10/06 newsletter and other sources (as cited)

Back in the early 1980s Georgia Bonesteel perfected a method she called "Quilt As You Go." As host of her own quilting TV series, Geogia brought quilting into homes across America. She had a great influence on the increased popularity of quilting.

"Quilt as You Go" Requirements: http://www.secretsof.com/content/624

* A number of pieced blocks. The amount of blocks you will require will depend on the size of the quilt you intend making.

* Each block could be a different pattern, as in a true sampler. A different colour combination, as in a scrap quilt. Try machine embroidery. Maybe Spring flowers as a theme. You are only limited by your imagination.

* It is advisable to sew 2” sashing around your finished block, butting the corners. This will simplify your first attempt at “Quilt-as-you-go”.

* Cut the batting and backing fabric slightly bigger than the finished block. (Plus/minus 1.5” all round). This is to allow for the dovetailing of the batting and the seams of the backing.

TIP: It is recommended that the backing fabric be of a small print. The seams are easy to “hide” in a busy print. Another plus for printed backing fabric is when turned over you have another quilt.

* “Sandwich” each pieced block with batting and backing.

* Treat each “sandwich” as a complete quilt and quilt, as you desire. Quilt “in the ditch” around the “sashing”. This gives you a base to measure your seams when joining the backing.

Once you have quilted each block your are now ready to begin joining your blocks.


Begin by trimming each square to the exact same size. Then trim the batting 1/4" smaller than the backing and block front pieces.

Fold the batting and backing out of the way and pin to hold. Pin two blocks right sides together and stitch by machine using a 1/4" seam allowance; press seams to one side. Continue to add blocks to complete rows. When you have joined the blocks in rows, turn one row over with the backing side up. Press one block backing edge under 1/4" and overlap on the back of the adjacent block; hand-stitch in place. The batting pieces should butt up against adjacent batting pieces, not overlap to reduce bulk (that's the reason for trimming them 1/4" smaller). If you find 1/4" is too small a seam to work with, use 1/2", but remember to trim each piece of batting 1/2" smaller all around as well.

The border strips are treated in the same way. The advantage to this method is that you can quilt each block in a small hoop rather than the whole quilt in a large hoop or floor frame. It makes your quilting portable and easy to pick up and put down for short quilting sessions.

If you have enough blocks to complete a quilt, you will find putting it together well worth the effort. By the way, I typed "Quilt As You Go" into my Google search, and found quite a few nice sites that explain this process further. Good luck!

A photo tutorial for this method can be downloaded at http://www.acornhillquilts.com/asyougo.htm

Other useful links include:


Some sample projects can be found at:


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