Use the discount code SILLY to get your first month of the Funny Faces Quilt Block of the Month Club for free!


Video – Quilt As You Go #3 – Finishing Your Quilt

QAYG How to Assemble and Finish Your Quilt - video

I HAD to use the post-washing version of this quilt for the video image. Look at all the crinkle! I would never have done quilting that dense without using the Quilt As You Go method. There would have been too much swearing and back pain. 😛

But with Quilt As You Go, look what I was able to do! The machine quilting on the final version of this quilt – the part where I was quilting the whole quilt, not individual blocks – took exactly 30 minutes. I can do anything for 30 minutes! And quilting the individual blocks was so much fun!

Enough gushing about the general technique. Here’s the video showing how to attach the backing to your quilt. It’s pretty much exactly like layering and basting a regular quilt, only you don’t have to worry about the batting. I tried to answer in this video a lot of questions people had after watching the first QAYG video. Really – it is so, SO easy and fun!

Questions I know you’re going to have. . .

1. The Cat Quilt pattern is available here.

2. The cuddle fleece I used on the back is exactly what I carry in my shop. It’s no longer available, but there’s info here about a good substitute I found. I include yardage info for different sizes in the pattern, and also in this post about choosing fabric for the quilt. You could use other soft and cuddly fabrics too – but I know for sure that this wears really well. I wouldn’t use polar fleece. Even the no-pill stuff will pill eventually and you don’t want the back of a quilt you worked so hard on (and that is sure to be well-loved) to look yucky in a few months or even a year.

Here are my posts about trimming quilt blocks.

And here are my posts about how to assemble Quilt As You Go Blocks

Finished with this topic?

Return to the Let’s Make a Quilt main Table of Contents.

Move on to the lessons about basting and final quilting.

Happy quilting!


  1. Anonymous SAYS...

    Will you show us what the quilting looks like Asher you wash it? Thanks!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      The picture at the very top of this post is after washing. See how crinkly it is? That’s from the close quilting – and I love it! 🙂

      • Anonymous SAYS...

        Thanks for the tutorials!

  2. michelle SAYS...

    how do you do your side or your border

  3. Cherie SAYS...

    When you finish your quilt, what color of thread do you use? Thank you for sharing this technique. Awesome!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      I used medium grey thread in the top (to kind of blend in with all those different colors) and turquoise in the bobbin – to match the fleece on the back. 🙂

  4. Dawn SAYS...

    I love all your series. It really inspires me. Now if only I would just get started…..
    Just wondering if you show in any video how you do your eyes and noses on the sewing machine.

    Thanks again!

  5. Angie SAYS...

    When quilting the blocks and then adding the backing, does the backing stay snug against the batting, since it is not quilted as much? I really like this method, hoping to use it but wanted to check on the backing!!

    • wendigratz SAYS...

      It does! Though I wouldn’t leave HUGE gaps in the quilting. I backed my cats quilt with cuddle fleece. If anything was going to bag on the back I thought that would be it, since it has some stretch to it. No bagging at all. The blocks are 10″ square and I quilted around each block after adding the back.

  6. Tay SAYS...

    Did you quilt around each block, one at a time, or in long lines from top to bottom and side to side?

  7. Mary Ann Ann Potts SAYS...

    I’m making your Woodland Critters quilt (having so much fun!) and am just getting ready to sew the blocks together. I plan to iron the seams open as you suggest, but I’m wondering about the final quilting step – attaching the backing. Should I avoid stitching in the ditch? I’m worried that the stitches will only grab the threads that attach the blocks together – not the fabric and batting. I might decide to quilt either side of each seam anyway, but I wondered if you had encountered any problems with pressing seams open and stitch-in-the-ditch. Thanks.

    • I had the same worries as you so when I stitch in the ditch I usually use a very open and very narrow zigzag – so that it just barely catches a little bit of fabric on either side of the seam. Sometimes I use a more decorative wider stitch – like one that looked like tire trucks on the Beep Beep quilt and one that looked like bubbles on the fish quilt. There’s a post here with more info about using those decorative stitches.

  8. Mary Krejci SAYS...

    I just finished making the critter quilt and am now beginning to work on the chirp quilt for my twin grandchildren expected in June. On the critter quilt the directions said to cut each square 11″ square and then true up the squares to 10 1/2″ square. I noticed on the chirp directions the squares are cut 10 1/2″ square and you don’t true them up. Does it work okay to cut the chirp squares 11″ and then true up to 10 1/2″ before stitching the squares together?

    • Chirp is an older pattern – I’ve refined my technique since then and really like the perfection of the blocks that are cut 11 and then squared up to 10 1/2 inches. You can do it either way. 🙂

  9. Joyce SAYS...

    Hi Wendi,

    Do you have a video that shows how to put the backing fabric onto the QAYG block, rather than backing the quilt with large yardage later. It kind of defeats the purpose of QAYG if you still have to jam the entire quilt through the sewing machine to back it with yardage and then quilt the backing to attach it. I really want to learn QAYG. It appeals to me. Thank you.

    • No, that’s not the method I use. The methods where you put the backing on each block usually involve adding strips of fabric to the back to cover up all the seams between the blocks – and I find that work tedious and fussy. For me this method works great. I get to do lots of close quilting with wavy lines and direction changes while I’m just working with a single block, then the final bit of “jamming the entire quilt through the sewing machine” is kept to a minimum and all straight lines. It’s all a matter of what parts of the process YOU find annoying. 🙂 You can Google and find several other QAYG methods – I’m sure one of them will work for you.

  10. Shelia SAYS...


    You don’t find that the top and back shrink differently and the back puckers or is more “puffy” compared to the top? I’m going to use a cotton backing.

    • Nope! But I do pre-wash all my cotton fabrics (not the cuddle fleece I use for the back) and I press my batting squares with steam before I quilt the background blocks to them – so that might get all the shrink out of the way in advance.

  11. Susie SAYS...

    Wendi, QAYG is awesome! Please give me some clues with finish quilting the back with offset blocks. I’m finishing the woodland critters and there are a few seams that go edge to edge but other places where they are offset. I’ll start with the center seam that goes all the way across, but what next? Do I do others that go across before seams that are around the blocks that are closer to the middle or some other order? Thanks for your help. I’m a longtime quilter but the eyes and hands are not as sharp as they used to be and this technique is just right!

  12. Susie SAYS...

    Wendi, as a visual for my question about finish quilting with offset blocks, my layout is very close to Karin’s version you have posted of the Woodland Critters quilt. Thanks.