I get many requests for quilt as you go ideas so I thought that I would show you my method of using quilt as you go for rows of blocks. I’ve used a fairly simple quilt block so that we can concentrate on the quilt as you go aspect. I’ve made sixteen blocks to go in four rows of four blocks each. The quilt measures 48″ square and uses 2.1/2 yards of light fabric and 2 yards of dark. For the backing fabric and wadding you will need four rectangles 16″ by 52″ of each. This is generous, but I always feel it’s better to be safe than sorry. I have used two different fabrics for the backing to give a stripey effect (and to make the instructions more clear).
Before you ask, the dark fabric is a 1977 Laura Ashley fabric that I picked up at a vintage fair – I love it!
For each quilt block you will need: eight 2.7/8″ squares of both dark and light fabric
four 2.1/2″ squares of both dark and light fabric
four light rectangles 4.1/22 by 2.1/2″
Making the quilt blocks
The quilt block is made using 2.1/2″ squares with 2.7/8″ squares for the half square triangle units. Place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangles.
There is a four patch unit in each corner of the quilt block and I have made these by sewing together 2.1/22 strips of dark and light fabric along the length. Cut these at 2.1/2″ intervals to make one half of the four patch. The other half is made using a light rectangle 4.1/2″ by 2.1/2″. I know that this is only three patches, but it’s still technically a four patch unit!
Lay the squares out as shown in the photo with a four patch unit in each corner, a 4.1/2″ dark square in the middle and four half square triangles in each of the remaining gaps. The way to check that the half square triangles are facing the right way is that the top two make a larger dark triangle and the bottom two make a larger light triangle.
Sew the squares together in fours, sew three of these four patch units together across the rows (making three rows) and then sew the rows together to complete the block. Make sixteen blocks and sew them together in four rows of four blocks. Don’t sew the rows together.
Join the rows with quilt as you go
Lay one strip of backing fabric down with right side down against the table. Lay a strip of wadding on top and smooth gently. Lay one of the rows of patchwork on top with right side facing up towards you. Baste the three layers together. I have used stitch in the ditch quilting, which means sewing along the seam lines on the quilt top to secure the three layers. don’t quilt to the edge. You need the three layers to be ale to be separated as each layer is sewn together individually. I have left 2″ unquilted on the edges and while this may be generous, it does make it more easy to sew the rows together. Do this with all four rows of quilt blocks.
Lay two of the rows with right sides together so that the patchwork layers are facing each other. Fold back the wadding and backing fabric and sew the two patchwork rows together using a 1/4″ seam.
Lay the two layers down with the patchwork facing the table so that you can work on the wadding and backing. Leave the backing fabric folded back out of the way and trim the wadding so that the two edges just butt up to each other. Sew these in place with a large zigzag stitch (by hand). Make sure that your needle catches a good 1/4″ of the wadding or it will just pull free.
Unfold the backing fabric from one side across the wadding and trim so that the edge is about 1/2″ past the seam where you joined the two edges of wadding. Unfold the other edge of backing fabric and trim so that there is about 1″ overlap across the first piece of backing.
Turn under a small hem and slipstitch in place. Join the rows in pairs in this way and then join the pairs of rows together. There may be more handsewing to this method than when just making the quilt in the usual way, but the quilting is definitely much quicker and easier with quilt as you go.
When all four rows have been sewn together using quilt as you go, trim the excess wadding and backing and bind the quilt in the usual way. You can see the back of the quilt in the photo on the right.
Here’s the video: