Whoa! Can you believe we're on week #7?! It's hard to believe we've spent so many weeks working on Stippling! Just in case you've missed a week or two, you can find all the Quilt Along posts right here.
I don't know about you, but my sewing room is filling up with small practice quilts and I think it's time we learned how to put these quilted pieces together to create bigger quilts.
This method is traditionally known as Quilt As You Go because you can literally quilt each piece as you create your quilt, then put the quilted pieces together at the end.
I love this method because it's SO much easier to quilt smaller pieces on a domestic sewing machine. While not every quilt pattern can accommodate a Quilt As You Go construction method, many can, and it's definitely worth considering, especially if you have a king sized quilt in your future.
So let's learn how to put our quilted pieces together using binding strips:
At the end of the video I mention Stitch it Up a Notch: How to Piece Perfect Quilts. This ebook and video series will teach you how to piece with a super accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance, which is absolutely necessary for the technique we're learning today. Learn more about this book right here.
Now just in case you can't watch the video, let's review how to connect quilted pieces together:
#1 - Trim and Square - Trim your quilted pieces so they're roughly the same size and square.
Let's call these pieces Piece A and Piece B.
Make sure to trim off any places where the fabric shifted to show the batting underneath. You need a solid piece with fabric+batting+fabric through the whole sandwich. Also make sure to trim INTO the quilting so you're not leaving weird lines you stitched to get to another row, etc.
#2 - Cut Binding - You will need 2 strips of binding for every seam you connect:
Top Binding: 1 inch wide
Back Binding 1 1/2 inches wide - fold this binding in half and press the snot out of it.
Make sure both binding strips are a bit longer than the pieces you're connecting together. It's always easier to trim the excess away, but not add more if it runs out half way through the seam!
#3 - Layer first seam - Lay the top binding on your table with the raw edges facing the RIGHT. Lay Piece A with the raw edges matching up with the raw edges of the top binding. Lay the TOP binding strip on top of this stack. Hold them together or pin as needed to get to your machine.
#4 - Stitch seam #1 - Stitch through all 3 layers: top binding, Piece A, back binding carefully with a SUPER accurate 1/4" seam allowance.
With all these layers it's sometimes easier to stitch this with a walking foot, but I prefer to use a piecing foot because it's much more accurate. Of course if you have a 1/4" walking foot, you've got the perfect foot for the job!
#5 - Finger press and prep for second seam - Lay Piece A on your table and finger press the TOP binding over to the RIGHT. If you need to hit this with your iron you can, but finger pressing firmly usually works fine.
Now layer Piece B right side UP, and put Piece A on top, right side down. Line up the TOP binding with the edge of Piece B.
Make sure the back binding stays firmly attached to the back of the quilt. and out of your way You do NOT want to stitch through it in the second seam.
#6 - Second seam - Match up the TOP binding strip with the edge of Piece B. This leaves a nice little groove for your foot to fit into as you stitch the seam.
By stitching this way, the back binding is on top so there's no chance of accidentally stitching through it!
#7 - Finish folded back binding - With the second seam stitched, take the connected quilted pieces and unfold them. Press both seam allowances into the groove created by the TOP binding.
Here you can see both seam allowances fitting snugly together in that 1/2 inch groove created by the top binding.
Flip the quilt over to the back and finger press the BACK binding over to the right. You want this top binding to stretch over both seam allowances and be secured along the second line of stitching.
Pinmoors are wonderful for capping the ends of these pins so you don't get stuck while closing the seam!
Here's what it looks like when you secure the back binding by hand:
Here's what it looks like when you secure the back binding by machine:
It's entirely up to you which way you secure the back binding! Securing by hand will give you a perfect, seamless, stitchless finish on both sides.
Securing by machine will be much faster and of course, you can use less visible thread that won't show up as much on either side.
Once you connect and finish the seam for 2 pieces, the next step is to connect 2 more pieces, then connect all 4 together to create a pretty quilt! All the seams can be connected using this same method, just make sure to cut longer and longer binding strips.
Now keep in mind that this is not the only Quilt As You Go technique or the only way to connect quilted pieces together!
There are many more methods and even whole books written on these Quilt As You Go techniques. I simply prefer this one because it creates a nice flat finish and it allows you to connect fully quilted pieces together. You don't have to worry about leaving space along the edges or anything crazy like that, and it also binds up all your thread ends so there's no mess!
Now what exactly should you practice this week?
Definitely try this method of connecting quilted pieces and also get on your machine to do a bit more Stippling. Make sure to ask any questions you have about this design before we start moving on to new designs this spring!
Now let's link up our progress from last week's Quilting in Sashing and Borders!
Instructions for Linking Up Your Blog:
1. Write your blog post. Publish it on your blog.
2. Copy the link of the specific blog post. This is not just the link to your blog itself (www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com), but the link to the specific post: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2012/01/quilt-along-2-quilting-in-rows.html
3. Click the blue link up button above and paste your link into the box.
Keep in mind that you're posting your progress from LAST week on THIS week's post. This way you have time to watch the lesson, play with the ideas, then post your progress to the next quilt along. I hope that makes sense!
As always, any questions you have, please post them in the comments below or on your blog and I'll answer 5 tomorrow on Question Thursday.
Time for me to shut up and quilt,