Using Samples to Quilt As You Go

So, you’ve embraced creating samples to practice your machine quilting. Or, maybe, followed my lazy habits and quilted a little bit extra all around the outside of your quilt to avoid burying threads when you start and stop.

What can you do with those bonus pieces of machine quilting?

There are, of course, countless crafty type projects you can create. Think small zipper pouches, tote bags, cell phone cases, even fabric bookmarks or luggage tags.

If you’ve got more, or larger, samples, how about trying a quilt as you go technique?

Photo 6 Blocks to be Joined with Wide Strip
Blocks to be Joined in a Quilt As You Go technique, ©Marianne Haak

In our March/April 2013 and May/June 2013 issues (both available as digital downloads) Marianne Haak gave easy to follow yet detailed instructions on how she accomplishes this technique. Here are some of my favorite “bonuses” that Marianne mentions in her article that result from quilting as you go:

  • The whole process takes up less space.
  • Everything fits under the machine easily.
  • Free motion quilting can be accomplished in small sections.
  • You have much more control, because the piece is more easily turned during quilting. This is true whether using a walking foot or free motion quilting.
  • There is very little basting required for QAYG quilts.
  • There are fewer threads to bury as a result of starting or stopping at the edge ofeach block or section.
  •  A large quilt back is not necessary.
Photo 13 Pinning the Narrow Strip
Example of part of the Quilt As You Go process, ©Marianne Haak

Marianne has raised Quilt As You Go to an art form, as you can see from the following two pieces.

Colour Shot ©Marianne Haak
Marianne Haak’s gorgeous Colour Shot 65 x 49 inches
©Marianne Haak Quilt As You Go Log Cabin Style

Nonetheless, the techniques she uses are suitable for any style of quilt, so grab your samples, download those back issues, and give it a go! You’ll have a finished quilt in no time.


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