While avid quilters have an array of methods available for joining blocks, there’s one process to always keep in mind: quilt-as-you-go. Essentially, QAYG is a way to break down your quilting into more manageable pieces, making it a go-to for those who have smaller work spaces, are working on small-scale projects, or are managing joint pain. Bonus: it’s a great way to bust your stash! With that in mind, here are some fun QAYG joining techniques that help bring your blocks together in gorgeous fashion.
1. Single Finishing Strips
This method makes it easy to join individual blocks that you’ve quilted to the edge. The doubled fabric strips help you manage smaller pieces at the machine, and — bonus! — they’re only visible from the back of the quilt.
2. Twin Finishing Strips
These strips are the flattest way to join QAYG squares, so it’s a great option when you need to reduce bulk. Just keep in mind that they can be seen on the back and front of the quilt, so while they’ll blend right in on strip quilts, on other designs you’ll need to make ’em go incognito by disguising them as the sashing.
Pro Tip: If you want to avoid the thick seams created by some quilt-as-you-go techniques, yet twin finishing strips don’t totally mesh with your design, try stitching the batting pieces together by hand. Just trim the raw edges, fit ’em together and use a blanket stitch to join the blocks — no bulky seam in sight!
3. Finishing Without Joining Strips
If you have blocks that weren’t quilted all the way to the edge (such as courthouse steps), you can join them without any strips. Instead, work in a few sneaky seams to stitch the blocks together and fasten ’em to the batting.
4. Strip Quilting
When you don’t want to fuss with joining strips, you can always just sew panels together before adding a full backing, so your quilt doesn’t have any piecing on the reverse side. Easy peasy!
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