Thursday, June 4, 2015

Quilt as You Go on the Long Arm

Have you ever done Quilt As You Go (QAYG) to make a quilt? I tried a couple years ago on a quilt that I made with my Flickr quilt bee. Everyone made me appliqué blocks in the Baltimore Album style. They were so beautiful I knew they needed special treatment. So I got to work right before I bought my first long arm. It was all going well...each beautifully appliquéd block was being quilted by hand and it was looking like a masterpiece....but then, to my despair I noticed that all the blocks were different sizes. There was no way they were all going to fit together because like a total fool I didn't measure first or maybe in my ignorance I didn't think it would be a big deal! Agony! I became so frustrated at this point that I just began to machine quilt the blocks on my Bernina. I ended up hacking off parts of blocks and tried to make other blocks larger. Oh, it was a mess. I became the most frustrated when I began the process of putting all the blocks together with that dumb black sashing and the craziness you have to do to the back too. It has been folded over a quilt ladder in my dining room ever since waiting for the final borders to be added.

Well, with the addition of 2 Gammill long arms to my quilting stable I have found a much easier and faster method of QAYG. Using the long arm to QAYG is the most fun! 

I saw a couple pictures on Instagram of a friend messing around with it and immediately I had to try! I dumped out a handful of scraps and went to town! Needless to say my first couple tries were really messy, but I cut them up and made them into the coolest boxy zipper bags. They are just the coolest things.

Each toss of scraps resulted in such fun creations. 

I started to add in some little orphan blocks and I LOVED the results.

Triangles are a bit tricky, but they are neat too.

 **If you are taking the class with me on the 18th, think about how you like to make quilts. Do you like pretty wild piecing like the above or do you prefer more order like the log cabin below. I sent out supply lists for both type. Also add some Orphan blocks to your bag. They want to play too.

I decided to try my hand at making a log cabin. The first quilt I ever made was a long cabin, so when I am doing something new it is easy to go back to the familiar. This entire quilt was made on my Old Gammill Supreme. It was so fun...almost hypnotic to work on. I cut strips from my enormous collection of Cotton and Steel (which you can buy for yourself from my shop)  and went to town piecing. As I got down to the bottom I asked myself...what would happen if I added some orphan blocks? So I did. Those strip pieced triangles were orphans from a project that never worked out for me.

The trick is the sashing or background. After I sorted that out I was on the move!

This was so fun. And it was fairly quick all things considered. 

I do love Aqua. 

I am excited to say that I will be teaching this method at KC Quilt Festival this month and a version on the domestic machines Saturday (6 JUNE) at Show Me Quilting in Raytown, MO. Both classes will be really fun. At the Quilt festival you will leave with instructions to turn your piece into some zipper bags (or you can make them into a pillow...or add them into a larger quilt). At Show Me Quilting you will leave with a finished bag. I have been doing heaps of teaching lately and I really enjoy it.

*The top 3 bags were made with the QAYG method.



  1. Tia, how do you handle the back of the quilt-with all the starts and stops that QAYG brings? Can you post a photo of the back?

    1. The back fabric print is too busy to see the quilting. I clipped or buried the threads same as any other quilt. It is not my most beautiful back by any means not at all worth looking at.


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