Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tutorial/QAYG # 1/Making the Blocks

I started this quilt last November and since It's still a work in progress. I will be using it, as one of the samples, in this series of  QAYG tutorials. This method of making the blocks is sometimes referred to as "Stitch and Flip"

This quilt is supposed to be random and wonky, so placement of strips is just that. Seam allowances don't have to be exact but a minimum of 1/4 inch is necessary so the quilt doesn't fall apart....wouldn't that just get to you??

I pulled a number of fabrics from my stash and went at it....yes, yes I know, who but an addict, can pull this many fabrics, without going to the store. In this type of quilt I don't plan to much....I do look for contrast when placing my strips.
My Supplies of Preference
  • Basting Spray
  • Cutting Mat
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Ruler
  • Batting...Warm and Natural is my preference
  • Iron
  • Walking Foot for your sewing machine

  • Determine your finished block size...the sample is 14" square.
  • Cut your batting and backing squares about an inch this case 15" square
I'm making wonky, log cabin type blocks, for this particular quilt. I am not going to attach the backing square to the batting square  until later because I don't want all the stitching starts and stops, to show on the back. If I was just doing straight strips, I would probably attach the backs, at this point, using the basting spray.
  • Cut a number or strips in varying widths....perfection is not necessary or even desirable, if you are wanting some wonkiness.
  • Place a starting shape...that has straight edges, right side up, on the batting square. Where you place it, on the batting, is totally up to you.
  • place the next strip...right side down, on the starting shape...lining up the edges.
  •  Sew all three layers together.
  • Set your stitch length the same as you would for regular piecing...I use I a shorter stitch length when I'm piecing, because I don't want things falling apart.
  • Stop sewing when you reach the edge of the bottom (red) strip.  
  •  Trim the strip (white), that you just sewed on.
  • Press

  • Press Open
  • Apply the next strip, right side down.

  •  Trim the strip you just applied.

  •  Press open.

  • Posted by PicasaKeep applying strips in this manner until you have covered the entire, batting square. You are basically using the batting square as a foundation square.

  • When the block is covered, turn it over, batting side up, and trim excess fabric.
  • Here you can see the starts and stops created from putting the block together.
  • This is what I am covering up by putting the back on later.
Coming Up:
  • Prepping and Quilting the Blocks


  1. Ok first off, I WISH I had your stash! The fabric you chose for this quilt is awesome!
    Picking out fabric is one of the hardest things for me to do! ( I wish someone could do it for me. ) Do you buy your fabric online? Do you have a favorite online fabric shop?
    Do you always go with 14 inch blocks? Do you go smaller or bigger? If so how small or big have you gone?
    You said that you would not add the backing fabric at this time because of all the starting and stopping. If you were doing spiral quilting would you add it at this time?

    Sorry for all the questions.. I'm still waiting for the books I ordered to come.
    Thanks for the tutorial!
    Hope you are enjoying your get away.

  2. Hi Deb...I hope the following helps.
    18 inches is the largest block I have made using this method.
    12 inches is probably the smallest I would go, because anything smaller means more blocks to join and that means more joining strips...which I personally don't care for.
    Regarding the backing the quilt is to be quilted is not really the issue. If you look at the last photo, where I show you the back of the block....those are the sewing lines from sewing the strips on, that I want to hide. I added a couple comments on that photo after reading your questions.

  3. Это работа ваша очень красивая.

  4. Hi Marianne
    Your QAYG method/blog was recommended to me as I am having difficulty deciding which QAYG method to use on Baltimore quilt blocks I have made. Your method looks far superior to other QAYG methods. My Baltimore blocks are all hand work, I will however used my machine for seams and hand quilt the sashing, I just wanted to ask do you think your method will be suitable for this?
    Best Wishes
    Pam in Scotland UK

  5. Hi Pam
    You are set at No Reply so I'll answer here.
    This method should work for you but without seeing a picture of your quilt, it's hard to say for sure. Email me a picture if you like.

  6. Hi Marianne,
    thank you for your reply, I didn't know that my blog was set at No Reply, I've edited a setting for replies but still not sure if it was the right one. I really must update the entry from 200?, the trouble is I get caught in the sewing universe and forget anything outside exists. I will take a picture of my Baltimore blocks and send it. The blocks are quilted with a simple diagonal with the quilting stopping half an inch from the edge of the blocks to join sashing, the blocks are marked at 15". As I love to work with applique this was a delightful portable project. I'm sure your QAYG method will work fine, your quilts are quite beautiful.
    Speak to you soon.
    Best Wishes
    Pam in Scotland

  7. Hi Marianne
    Just to let you know I used QAYG with narrow strips for my Baltimore and it works perefctly! It was wise to follow your directions and do a test sample, initially I used my usual seam allowance and realised I sew with a very scant quarter inch seam, changing to a full quarter inch produced perfect results.
    Thank you so much.
    Best Wishes Pam in Scotland

  8. Hi Pam
    I'm so glad that worked out for you.

  9. It looks like after each strip you remove the fabric out from under the foot take it to your ironing table, iron then return the fabric back to the sewing machine thus you are starting and stopping multiple times in every block. Is that correct?

  10. Hi LindieLee
    That's exactly what I do for that type of block. It's a fairly well known method often referred to as "Stitch and Flip". And yes there are multiple starts and stops.....that is why when I use this particular method I like to put my back on later.

    If I do a number of these blocks I set my ironing board right beside my machine at the same height as the machine.

  11. Thank you in advance. How then, do you attach the backing so that it is attached to the blocks? My vision , if I am reading your instructions correctly makes The back only attached at the binding?


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Thanks again for all your wonderful comments


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