Quilt as You Go – Quilting Between Blocks

Quilting between blocks

Quilting between blocks

When using the quilt as you go method, quilting between blocks and between rows is something that I’ve always left till the end and then quilted those small sections on the huge, bulky quilt.  What an idiot I am!  I’ve just worked out something that you probably worked out a long time ago.

What is quilt as you go?

I have made a quilt from 20″ blocks using quilt as you go.  Using this technique, you add the wadding and backing fabric to each block and quilt one block at a time.  You have to leave 1″ or 2″ not quilted all round the edge of each block so that you can sew the seams joining the blocks.  You can find out more about this technique here.

Quilting between blocks

As I would with any other quilt, I sew the blocks together across each row first and then sew the rows to each other.  The difference this time is that after I had sewn the blocks together across each row I realised that I could then set about quilting between blocks at this stage rather than waiting till I had completed the quilt.  You still need to leave 1″ or 2″ unquilted at the top and bottom of the seam – this is so that you can sew the seams to join the rows.  However you can quilt over most of that seam, giving you both unformity of quilting design as well as strengthening the seam line – and you’re only working with one row rather than a big quilt.

Quilt between the 1st 2 rows before adding another row

Quilt between the 1st 2 rows before adding another row

Quilting between rows

You can now employ the same method when joining the rows:  join two rows and then quilt along the length of the seam line joining the rows before you add another row.

You need to leave the first and last couple of inches of the rows unquilted if you are planning on adding a border.

You may feel that I am making something out of nothing, but I feel ridiculously pleased with myself for having worked out an easier way of completing the quilting between blocks in a quilt as you go project.  I hope it will help you.

Completed quilt

Completed quilt

This is the completed quilt – a wedding gift for my niece. Her wedding celebrations are the weekend after next.  In case you’re wondering, I’ve used the chain and knot quilt pattern.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.


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  1. Rosemary this is an utterly beautiful quilt – love the pattern and the gorgeous fabrics that you have chosen for it. Such a fantastic, original wedding present made with love for your lucky niece – it will become a family heirloom, passed down the generations, I’m sure.

  2. Trish Tarbuck says:

    Love both of this weeks quilts Rose but particularly the wedding quilt.Am seriously thinking of buying a Minnie, what are your thoughts.Does it take long to learn to use a Minnie, etc.Would appreciate any advice.Trish

    • Hi Trish. The wedding quilt wasn’t quilted using Minnie. With quilt as you go the areas to be quilted are so small that it’s easiest to do it on my domestic machine. It did take me a long time to become comfortable using Minnie. There are drawbacks. You can only quilt a small length at a time although you can quilt over the whole width. I wish I could let you have a play on her to help you decide.

  3. Karen white says:

    Hi Rose,
    I love this beautiful quilt. Thank you for the tip on quilt as you go. Enjoy your wedding.

  4. Carol Tambourine says:

    Eureka! I was a very unhappy girl last time I did a QAYG quilt. The bulk was a killer. Will use your new method. Thank you.

    • Oh good. I’m so relieved that it wasn’t only me – I thought that everyone else had probably been doing it like that already.

  5. Susanne Constantino says:

    ~ GENIUS!
    But then again, I wouldn’t expect anything less. ~

  6. Rose – Some of us don’t intuitively see some things. If you didn’t there are probably quite a few who didn’t either. So, thank-you, for showing us what you discovered.

    There is another quilt-as-you-go method that I really like. I found it several years ago by Marguerita McManus over at Crazy ShortCut Quilts. Basically you quilt to the very edges of your blocks, then you join the blocks with sashing strips front and back. The back sashing is a one inch strip and the front sashing is a 1 3/4 strip folded in half and top-stitched down. The biggest reason I like this method is because I avoid hand sewing because my hands go numb hold the needle.

    • Thanks, Judy. I’ll take a look at the method you suggested, but surely you’d still have to leave the edges unquilted so that you could attach the sashing? I do have a quilt as you go method with machine sewing only that might interest you: https://ludlowquiltandsew.co.uk/articles-newsletters/quilt-as-you-go-machine-sewn/

      • No, you quilt to the edges and the beauty of it is, the batting is enclosed in the sashing. The sashings top and bottom are only a half-inch wide normally but I have made the bottom sashing a half-inch and the top sashing 1-inch with cornerstones.

        I looked at yours again and it would be perfect for the quilts that the blocks are set together without sashings. Next time I make a big quilt I will give it a try.

  7. HI Rose, this is a beautiful quilt. Your niece is very lucky. Has she seen the quilt yet?
    The chain quilt has always been one of my favorites, so many variations on the block. It always comes out looking like it was so much work, but relatively easy to make. Great job.

    • Thanks, Linda. No, she hasn’t seen the quilt yet – that’s why I buried the photo of the full quilt at the bottom of the page where she won’t see it! I agree about chain quilts – it’s so easy to form different designs.