Quilt As You Go video #1 - what it is and how (and why) to do itQuilt As You Go (QAYG) is a technique that’s been around for a long time – but I’ve never tried it until now. There are a few different techniques floating around the internet – including a really common one that uses bias tape and is VERY fussy and irritating, in my opinion. I’ve been playing around with the method for a couple of months now and this is the way I like to do it. :-)

The video has more detail, but here it is in a nutshell. . .

The hardest part of machine quilting is any time you change direction. That’s pretty limiting. There are plenty of times when a grid or a series of parallel lines is just perfect for a quilt I’m making, but sometimes I want the background quilting to be a little more fun. This is especially the case with my applique quilts, where what I really want to do is quilt around each face and then do something fun to add texture to the background.

That’s when QAYG is perfect.

You layer a piece of batting with each block and then quilt just that block in the machine. It’s small and easy to spin around in all kinds of fun patterns. Whee!

You join all the blocks together after they’re quilted, and then just do some easy grid quilting in the final big quilt.

So here’s the first video in the series. . .

See how easy that is? There’s still some machine quilting, but it’s the easiest kind. And the rest of it opens up a whole new world of easy peasy zigzags and triangles and wobbly waves.

I know some of you already do all that stuff with free-motion quilting. I tried that once and it was a disaster. I’m giving it another try, but at this point it’s still frustrating and Not Fun.

I tried free motion quilting at Quilt Market on a Bernina 750 QE and it was sooooo easy. But that’s my dream machine – not my real machine – and it’s out of my price range. So for now I’m struggling with how to do it on a machine that does not have that magical Bernina Stitch Regulator.

So think of this as giving you the look of free-motion quilting without having to learn that tricky technique.

There’ll be a new video every week for the next several weeks showing how to do some of the different quilting designs I used in the background blocks of the kitty quilt. And that pattern will be ready at the end of the month.

Happy quilting!