Sunday, November 7, 2010

Quilt-As-You-Go is the way to go!

I started out a couple of decades ago doing everything the hard way. You know....hand-piecing, hand-quilting. As if there was some merit in....oh, I don't know....suffering!!? :) Well, like a lot of people, I found I had more ideas than I had time to complete them so I started cutting corners.

I really like the idea of machine quilting for speed but I never really got a nice product. I like the look of smooth stitching...no puckers. I have a very old Singer sewing machine. I bought it in 1976 after I graduated from university. It was my graduation present to myself. I just love that machine. It still works well. But, even with a walking foot, the layers of fabric shift and the more I stitch across a large expanse, the worse it gets. And, did I mention I'm a bit of a perfectionist?

Somewhere along the way, I discovered quilt-as-you-go and I've never looked back. QAYG allows you to piece/appliqué, layer and quilt each block and then assemble all the blocks at the end. And the final quilt looks good, too!

Birds of Hope
This is a quilt that my online quilt guild (The Maple Leaf Quilt Guild) made for the last charity quilt auction that TheQuilt.com offered in 2009. Twenty-four quilters made blocks for this quilt. Each block was completed right  down to the quilting and sent back to me to assemble.

Close up of an individual block
If anyone wants to attempt this as a group project, the only suggestion I would make is to choose a block which can be trimmed when it comes time to join them. This one has a simple outer border. It's easy to trim this border so each block is exactly the same size and your eye won't notice if one block's border is a tiny bit smaller than the next.

One other feature of QAYG is the ability to make a statement on the back by varying the backing fabric.

The back is pretty, too!
Next week.....I'll have the Spring Has Sprung appliqué design as a free pattern.

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