Goal for Week 1: Have 5 quilted blocks completed by this Sunday, October 19.
Today is the beginning of Week 1 for my first Quilt As-You-Go Quilt Along! Please refer to my Introduction post for details on supplies and how this works. Also, if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment as I will be checking and answering as often as I can.
For those of you that are seeing this for the first time – Welcome! Feel free join or follow this quilt along at any time, on my blog, facebook and instagram. (Details in my intro post here).
Please Read! What I hope all of you will get out of this quilt along (other than a finished quilt!), is to show you that by using this QAYG technique, you can make a quilt without following a precise pattern. In fact, your quilt doesn’t have to look exactly like my ‘Red Square’ pattern (unless you want it to). You can make your quilt as abstract or traditional looking as you want –
there’s so much room to improvise and be creative using this simple
technique. This quilt will be ALL YOU, and if you decide to follow the ‘Red Square’ pattern, you’ll soon find that no 2 blocks are the same. This is a really creative, fun and forgiving technique, so enjoy yourself!
Before you start, please read my post for some tips and what to expect as you get started on your QAYG project.
|Fabrics from www.WhimsyQuiltsandFabrics.com|
Now, down to business 🙂 As mentioned in my book Quilt As-You-Go Made Modern, the Red Square’ pattern is “…similar to making a Log Cabin Style block (page 18 [for Kindle readers see “QAYG Techniques” chapter]), except you can add strips to any side of the patchwork and in no particular order.”
For this quilt along, I decided to make a more traditional style block as shown on page 18 of the paperback book (or in the techniques chapter). I will be starting with my first piece quilted in the center and adding additional pieces in a clockwise fashion. (Remember: you don’t have to make your quilt exactly like this. You can make yours closer to the ‘Red Square’ pattern, or another log cabin style block. Now that you’ve read the book and know the technique, you can implement it to make a log-cabin style block that you want, or that goes best with your fabrics. Isn’t it refreshing having a little bit of freedom with a pattern? 🙂
I also decided to divide my fabrics into lights and darks. Half of my block will be light and the other half dark. My fabric colors are so soft that the light/dark contrast is subtle. As I start making more blocks and eventually lay them out next to one another, I think you’ll start seeing the contrast, though subtle it may pop from afar.
For these blocks I cut my fabrics into 3″-3.5″ x WOF (width of fabric) strips. I like having varying sizes to make sure I cover up the batting. Then, I put all my strips into a basket and started quilting!
This is how my QAYG setup usually looks like: My basket full of strips, some fabric scissors at hand, and an iron nearby (I have a small table top ironing board). Depending on the size of your strips, you may find that you can just finger press the pieces instead if ironing them each time. You don’t need a lot of space to QAYG!
Always remember to use at least a 1/4″ seam allowance. You might be tempted to go less so that your fabric strip will cover the edge of a batting square (this will make more sense once you get started). Please refrain from doing that or else your patchwork will unravel after a wash.
After you’ve quilted your pieces onto the batting square, it will look something similar to this.Yes, it looks a little frumpy. But just wait until we square them up! My next post this weekend will have some squaring-up tips.
One last thing: Please remember to read the Quilting Techniques section (page 24 of the paperback book). There are so many more options to quilt your QAYG blocks other than my “individual quilting” that you see here.
If you are doing individual quilting, I did want to mention that it is OK to zig-zag your stitches where the seam allowance will be (or on the batting) so that you don’t have to cut the thread after each stitch (see image below). This may be helpful if you don’t have an automatic thread cutter on your sewing machine.
I hope these tips will help get you started on your projects. If you have any questions along the way, please leave a comment and I will do my best to respond as quickly as I can. 🙂
Again, the goal is to have 5 blocks quilted by this Sunday, October 19. I will be back with another wrap-up blog post for week 1, with some tips on squaring up your blocks as well. Week 2 will start on Monday the 20th.
Happy quilting as-you-go!
I have always been fascinated with learning this skill as I am not comfortable with machine quilting or free motion quilting on my domestic machine. This quilt-along looks like great fun Jera! Thanks for posting. ~Shari
I'm finishing up a couple of projects tonight so I can have a clean workspace for tomorrow. Lol. I'm excited to start this!! My first QAL and QAYG!! Yay
I cut most of my batting squares last night. Cut most of my fabrics, 2-5 inches wide. Working On A Bag But May Try To Get One Done. 🙂 forgive the caps. My phone does this sometimes and I have no idea why. Lol
This sounds like fun. I always want to learn qayg, I will download the kindle edition today. Yay!
Where is the best play to purchase your book? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would buy Kindle version if you own a tablet, smartphone IPhone or ipdad because reading it without carryING a book
Amazon is always the quickest, of not your local quilt shop. 🙂 It's available via paperback and a downloadable kindle version there. Links on my introduction post, or go directly here: http://www.amazon.com/Quilt-As-You-Go-Made-Modern-Techniques/dp/1607059010
I have the book and am keen to get started. I will sort out my fabrics today – should be a great stash buster. How much fabric do we need to cut?
Glad to hear you'll be joining us! 🙂 Please refer to my intro post for details on getting started and supplies. Scrap fabrics, or even a jelly roll, will work just fine too.
Intro post: http://quiltingintherain.blogspot.com/2014/10/quilt-as-you-go-quilt-along.html
what is best square up ruler
What did you mean by "it is OK to zig-zag your stitches where the seam allowance will be so that you don't have to cut the thread after each stitch"? I love your book. I have 30 blocks done for the first quilt I'm making from it.
Wondered that myself. Will check back for Jera's answer.
Hi Ladies – thanks for bringing this to my attention; i can see how that may sound confusing. Please look at the post again as i've updated it with a picture of what I meant to convey. Thanks!
Thanks for the clarification, Jera.
why do we have to is that last strip or everyone? I have a button that with lock and cuthe thread do I need to zig or stich ends because it doesn't look zig zagged just stich ed down. So why is this being asked? Sorry I have not started bUT planning on it. I just have a sketch I did over 1 year ago and I'm trying to see how it can be a QAYG..Jera could I email you my sketch and maybe you can tell me how? Who knows you might even like it..I don't want to share public yet. I love to make it easy and you may be just person to help
All set to begin working on my blocks. I've chosen Lecien Flower Sugar for a cheerful springish quilt. I've posted about the Quilt-Along on my blog here:
Thanks, Myra! =)
Hi, Jera! I ordered your book from Amazon and got it today and decided to hunt for you on Facebook. That's where I discovered your quilt along! So exciting!! I want to do it, but will have to get fabric together. Is Warm and Natural batting ok to use??? I know I won't get blocks all made by this weekend, but I will be following along. This is exactly what I've been looking for. Your book is wonderful! Jill H.
hello! yes, W&N is fine. Please make sure it's needle-punched and at least 80% cotton. thank you!
it's five blocks a month right? Do we choose a design or use red block one
China Ali – it is 5 blocks per week, for 4 weeks.
oh ok..So I have to start. I have hoped I be on my way but kids will do that. I can do five maybe one day
Do the strips have to be all one size or can they be various widths?
Hello! If you follow the red square pattern, then you can do varying widths. =)
Thanks, That's what I am doing.
I think it's mention in the blog intro
My book has not arrived yet. Will this quilt along stay on your blog so I can come back to it?
Absolutely! when it's all finished i'll even put a main post with links so you can quickly refer back to each week. 🙂
Oh my gosh, I started my blocks today – Jera, you never told us how addictive this is!! This is my first QAYG and first QAL. I'm not on Instagram, and am unsure how to show my progress.
I'm making a Christmas quilt using "Solstice" by Kate Spain for Moda. I was all ready to put my strips away and figure that I wouldn't get a Christmas quilt done this year, but, yippee, I think I may pull it off!!
Hi Sarah! so happy you're enjoying it! Feel free to post a pic on my facebook page! 🙂 Happy quilting as-you-go!
It's been awhile since I have been able to sit down & quilt, but after reading about your method, I want to join in on the fun! Hoping that this will be a project that I can at least get finished! I'll be about a week behind, but getting the stash of fabric out this weekend!
Question about batting on ig you stated u purchase by the roll do you cut as you go from that big roll or do you cut wall at once? And how do you store?
I do not cut it all at once from the roll because each project differs on batting quantity. I cut what I need. I just store the roll up against a wall behind my door. Nothing fancy 😉
I've managed to get all 5 of my blocks made, no I'm not super efficient, Mr B went to our holiday hideaway yesterday with two friends so I can stitch away to my hearts content. I was late in starting and managed 3 blocks yesterday and 2 today. Like Sarah says you didn't warn us how addictive it is 🙂 I'm using cotton batting and am finding an added bonus, after I've joined a strip I'm pressing it with a dry iron careful to avoid the batting. The bonus is that the fabric seems to 'snuggle' up to the batting and doesn't move when the quilting is being done. I've made a mistake or two but rectified them, it was a stupid thing to do or not do, on three pieces I went merrily on my way joining strips and forgetting to quilt them!!! No swearing, I don't, so the frog visited but all is now well.
I'm thoroughly enjoying this and I'll add a photo of my blocks to your fb page. Many thanks again for running this for us 🙂
Enjoy your weekend ladies
I still haven't started but wonder if I can do five in one day? Jera is that possible?
I don't see why not. This quilt along is just a general guide to how many blocks to attempt to have finished each week. It's okay if you do more or less.
I am following you Jera..Hope i am heading the right way
This really looks like fun! Thanks Jera for setting this up. Will be getting your book to get started. I can't wait!
Hello Jera, I am an 81-year-old man , just learning the QYAG method. I really like it compared to a whole big quilt that you r\ are trying to do on your home quilting machine.I bought a Juki tl 2100 last year that worked very we3ll for me. previously I had been using Singer 401aa and even older Singers but this one is very good and reliable.
i like you r posts on this site.