Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quilt as you go - direct join technique

Do you love the idea of quilt-as-you-go
but don't want to add strips between each block.
Then this direct joining technique is for you!

There are 3 key points to remember to make this easy to achieve
1 Several blocks can be joined into a strip of manageable size before quilting

2.  Cut the backing & wadding at least 1" larger than the piece you are quilting
       i.e. 9 1/2" square block requires minimum of 10 1/2" squares of backing & wadding

3.  When quilting you leave at least a 1" margin unquilted around the edges of the piece
 I quilted this project as 3 long strips of 4 joined blocks
When the quilting is finished it is time to trim up

First trim the wadding back to to the edge of the block

If you have cut the backing 1" larger than the block you will not need to trim it.

In this photo I had been more generous and needed to trim the backing back to 1/2" along the edge that I would be joining to the next strip

Join the fronts right sides together with a 1/4"seam. 
Ensure the wadding & backing are flipped out of the way.
NB: Remember Key point 3 - 
If you have quilted to the edges of the block it is not
possible to join the fronts in this way!

View from the back while making 1/4" seam

View from the back after pressing seam.

With the edges of the backing still folded out of the way, smooth the wadding into place with one layer on top of the other. Carefully cut away excess wadding with scissors so that the edges of the wadding meet exactly.

Finish the backing by smoothing one side flat over the wadding.
Then with the edge folded under, position the other backing on top so that the folded edge is on top of the seam underneath. Use a ruler if you need.
Pin fold in place and handstitch closed with invisible stitches.
Note: Don't stitch through the wadding if you need to add another piece to this edge.

This quilt and its borders were assembled using the direct joining technique.

Back view of quilt showing machine quilting & handstitched joins.
Please try this technique and vary it to suit your project and your skill level. I often go back and add some lines of quilting across the joins. Any edge that won't be joined to another can be quilted closer to the edge for example the binding edge of the borders in my photo.

This quilt was a UFO for a long time because I chose a brushed cotton backing fabric that frayed badly and was very difficult to work with. On the other hand it is a lovely soft and snuggly finish so I am glad that I perservered.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Linda, this looks a great idea to finish a quilt easily and I like your crazy stitch pattern! I am busy Digital Designing at the moment but want to one day get back to finishing off my Patchwork Quilt that I started years ago. Thanks for the tips and I'll be back at a later stage.