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Quilt as You Go Technique

by Kath
(NSW Australia)

I am very new to quilting, I have heard of a method called 'quilt as you go' which is to do with quilting each individual block as you do them and then somehow joining them all together to finish the quilt ready for sashing and binding.

Do you have any instructions on this way of quilting?

I have bad shoulders and I am told that this is an easier way, seems everyone here in Australia is doing quilting this new way.


Hi Kath!

At this time, I don't have instructions for 'quilt as you go' on the website, however, this technique is scheduled for this fall, just as soon as I finish with the Wisconsin Quilt Expo here in the States.

Our current pattern line is all machine quilting patterns. The largest quilt will be constructed using this technique so that domestic machine quilters can practice her/his machine quilting and not 'wrestling' with a large quilt under the needle...just like your friends have told you.

There are two ways to go about 'quilt as you go'.

The first is that the block is constructed. Then it is layered with batting and a backing and then quilted, trimmed to size and then joined with sashing strips.

The second is that the fabric patches are stitched directly to a quilt sandwich made up of a layer of batting and backing.

Crazy quilts, rail fence, log cabins are perfect for this technique. In fact any block that can be paper pieced without joining units within the block would be a great choice for 'quilt as you go'. The piecing lines are the quilting lines, so that as soon as the block is pieced, the quilting is done, too.

Regardless of the method you use, once the blocks are quilted, there are several ways to join them depending on how much, if any, hand stitching you want or would like to do. Some have sashing strips showing on both the front and back side, others on just the back. Some can be done all by machine, some include handwork.

When I've got the pages up on the site, I will post links to them here so that you'll be able to find them quickly.

Thank you for your question!

Readers, if you have any questions about this quilt-as-you-go technique, please add them here using the 'comments' link below and I will make sure they get answered in the pages as I write them!


Julie Baird

Comments for Quilt as You Go Technique

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by: Stephanie

I just completed a king size QAYG quilt and loved the method.... This one wi sashing. I got to practice lots of wuilting designs, both pre programmed through my embroidery module as well as freehand quilting, and my back survived not having to manipulate the huge quilt trough the machine. Now I am ready to embark on a quilt without sashing, and looking forward to learning some new techniques.

Quilt as You Go
by: Noreen

The best reference book for this technique is Sharon Pederson's book, Reversible Quilts: Two at a Time.

I rotary cut all the strips 2" in width to make it go faster. It uses all my scraps too, even the batting since I piece that with zigzag stitches. I usually choose a colour scheme for each side and kind of have a plan for one side, trusting that the other side will be just as pretty and appealing even if I haven't previewed it.

I've made ones with all strips, half triangles, the back of squares. Loads of variety so I'm never bored. I look for cotton fabric at thrift stores too to augment my leftovers.

Have fun!

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