Hello, happy Monday!
Today I'd like to talk a little about quilt as you go (qayg) technique. Have you tried it before? I've done a few projects in the past (one quilt and one bag, I think) but for some reason I didn't really love the process.
And then one day last week, completely out of the blue, I made this qayg slab of patchwork which I turned it into a thread catcher (pattern by super talented Amanda Jean). Actually I'm using it to hold my Wonder Clips, not stray threads but you get the idea, right?
I was enjoying this qayg thing so much, I made a few more slabs and made them into pouches. I absolutely adore how all these projects turned out and I thought maybe some of you would like to give qayg a try as well.
Here's a quick tutorial.
Disclaimer before we start though: I'm in no way implying this is the only way to do qayg technique. I found this to be the easiest and most effective way for me. So if some step doesn't work for you or you prefer doing it differently, by all means do so.
I start with a pile of scraps. I prefer a "controlled chaos" when it comes to my scraps so I decide in advance which colors are in and which I'm staying away from. You can, however, go with a random assortment of any and every color you fancy for a super scrappy look. Oh, and I iron my scraps in advance as I find this gives me better, less wonky results.
Choose your batting next (I used Warm and Natural or any other thinner batting of choice would be fine, just stay away from polyester batting for this project). Decide what size of a slab you want to make (I usually make a bigger slab and sub-cut it into smaller pieces later). Your batting will need to be at least 1" or 2" bigger on each side than your planned slab as all that quilting you will be doing has a tendency to shrink the piece you're working on.
I usually start by stitching two smaller scraps together. Open the seam and place it right side up in the middle of your batting (just eyeball it, no precise measuring is needed). Hold your scraps steady so you have no puckers and quilt using straight lines as shown in the picture above.
Please note: use walking foot for your machine if you have one. If, however, you don't have one (or feel lazy like me to change your sewing machine feet) regular foot will work fine, just go slow and hold your fabric straight and smooth as you sew. You could also secure the piece you're quilting by using a few pins if preferred.
Trim all the thread ends after finishing your quilting on the first scrap piece. Make sure to trim threads after attaching every new scrap.
Place another scrap right side down on quilted patchwork (again, eyeball its size, it can be slightly bigger than what you need). Attach using 1/4" seam allowance.
Smooth the seam with your fingers and flip the scrap over the seam (it's right side up now). Quilt it using straight lines again. Make sure to hold the piece you're working as straight as possible to prevent any shifting or, as mentioned before, use a few pins to secure it to batting.
Turn the patchwork and place another scrap right side down. Attach using 1/4" seam allowance.
Again, smooth the seam with your fingers and flip the scrap right side up. Quilt it using straight lines.
Continue adding scraps all the way around your patchwork using this same technique.
As the patchwork sides get longer, I usually stitch two or three different scraps into one longer piece and add it as one scrap to give the finished slab a more scrappy look. I also don't necessarily go all the way around the attached patchwork all the time. Sometimes I decide to add scraps to sides only and then continue going around. (see picture below)
Keep adding scraps and quilting them until you have a big enough slab for your project. Use it as you would any piece of thicker fabric. You could turn them into baskets, pouches, bags, potholders, or even quilt blocks, possibilities are endless.
I turned this quilted slab into a large knitting pouch (finished size 8" tall x 11" wide).
Here's the other side of the pouch. See how I used a finished 9-patch block in the lower right corner? Yeah, orphan blocks can definitely be incorporated into this kind of patchwork. I think they add an extra dose of character to finished projects :).
What do you think? This qayg technique does seem pretty fun, doesn't it? Hope you'll give it a try.
I'll be back tomorrow with a new tutorial showing you how to turn these qayg slabs into fantastic pouches.
See you tomorrow. Svetlana