Sunday, January 15, 2012

String QAYG

I've been using a quilt-as-you-go method to do a yellow string quilt and was so pleased with the results that I decided this could be a fun Quilts of Valor group project.  Several of The Quilt Block Ladies (a local quilt group that has let me join the fold)  have decided to join with me.

This tutorial is for them.  Cheers!
(I've added more info with each step if you're making this project with your own fabrics)

Start by placing the red strip face down, diagonally on a flat surface.  Line up the corners of the batting square so they are centered on the strip.

(The red becomes a diamond shape sashing throughout the finished quilt.  If you use this approach later, pick out something that contrasts from the strips.  I cut mine 2"wide, and the batting 10.5" for a 10" finished block. )

Place the backing fabric (also 10.5") over the batting, right side up.  Pin the 3 layers together and flip the sandwich over.

Pick any of the long blue strips and place it face down, lined up on the right edge of the red strip.  Pin strips in place so that red strip stays centered.   Remove the pins from the back that were holding everything together.

Prepare all 4 squares this way.  You'll do the same steps on each square at the same time - like chain piecing.   I find it most time effective to work on 4-8 blocks at the same time which is why I included 4 squares in each kit.
Stitch 1/4" seam, using your walking foot and any shade of blue thread.

 If you don't have a walking foot, you should be fine, but just be sure not to pull or stretch the block as you feed it through the machine since you are sewing on the bias of the backing fabric.

Finger-press this seam open by running your finger or finger-nail along that seam line while it sits on a flat surface.

Continue to add strips toward one corner.  It's helpful to trim those tails off so they don't get in the way.  I sort those tails into Long, Medium, Short piles so I don't end up at the end of the project with a zillion short pieces when I need some long ones.

I pre-cut the strips in variable widths between 1"-2".   If you add your own fabrics to the ones provided, please keep them in the same widths.

In my experimental piece, I had some 2.5" strips, but they seemed too big for a 10" square.  Other string quilters use wonky shapes instead of strips.  You can play with size and shapes when you try this approach with your own scraps. 

   Continue these steps to the opposite corner.
That's it.  The Quilt Block Ladies will turn their blocks in to me at the February meeting looking just like this.  

Please don't trim them to size.... or I'll have to have Becky kick your butt.

When I get them, I'll trim them to size this way.  Notice that I've lined up the 1" to the bottom right, and the diagonal line runs evenly up the center red diagonal.  Before I trim, I make sure that I'm lined up so that I'm trimming a tiny bit (1/4" or less) of the backing and batting (remember I made them 1/2" larger than my goal size.) and I'm sure that there's still 10" worth of block left.

Then spin the block around and line up the edges on the 10" lines and trim the other 2 raggedy edges.  

This is the link to the Welsh Quilter blog that shows the technique for joining the finished blocks.


Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

thanks for sharing...I've never done a QAYG..I will watch to see how you put the blocks together later

Ethne said...

What a great and speedy idea - can't wait to see it finished

Lynne said...

A very fast and easy way to make a block but I found joining them a little tricky to get right! Probably because I'm still a novice! Looking forward to seeing your finished quilt.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Great blocks!

Rosa said...

Beautiful blocks.I don`t use batting to sew mine but my next block will be sewn with it.Thanks for the tutorial.

Monica said...

interesting techinque... can I ask a question? when you join them, don't the seam get really bulky with the wadding too?