I Dislike Quilt-As-You-Go

Quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) has been around at least since the 1970s, and I have tried it in several forms.  Back when I wanted to use high loft batting, I made this quilt in sections and joined them using Georgia Bonesteel’s method.  The backing seams were sewn by hand.  It worked out fine, but that was a lot of hand stitching.

Queen size quilt made by qultl-as-you-go method

Jewel Box, queen size, made in 2003

More recently I read about using thin batting so pieces can be joined with batting in the seam.  Unfortunately, this method suggests quilting the front pieces WITHOUT backing, then tacking on a back after assembling the front.  That means most of the quilting is hidden from the back; the only thing that shows is the stitching used to attach the back over the actual quilting!

I’ve also seen QAYG done by using batting rather than batiste as a base for string piecing.  This means no quilting shows on the front!

The more I read about QAYG methods, the more I didn’t care for any of the options.  I decided to re-visit it anyway because students had asked for a QAYG class.  I chose the string piecing on batting option, but made the blocks with the backing included so the quilting would show on the back.

Back of quilt, showing quilting lines

The quilting is meant to show on the back, though white thread on white fabric doesn’t show much!

I kind of liked the triangles arranged like this on the design wall, but decided to save this option for when I can make the whole thing look 3-D by careful placement of color.

Here is the front of the finished quilt:

After joining the triangles with seams that included front, batting, and back, I covered the seams in back with fabric strips.

The result was awfully bulky.  Next time I may just settle for the “new” method that doesn’t show much quilting on the back.

Well, another lesson 😀  The next attempt will be closer to perfection!

12 thoughts on “I Dislike Quilt-As-You-Go

  1. I have viewed many tutorial on QAYG, but I have never tried it. I would want to try it one day, but I think I would need a class. The videos alone are not enough for me to feel like this is something I can do. Your quilt turned out beautifully. Lucky students.

  2. Me, too! (In response to your titled post)
    I’ve tried to do these in different ways also, but always end up with either an uber time consuming back to piece consisting of all the quilt-as-you-go blocks’ resultant seam allowances or weirdly ‘bulky’ (as you say) when using the bias tape binding on each and every quilt-as-you-go blocks’ back seam allowances. And if the quilted backs of each quilt-as-you-go block is all covered up – I mean what’s the point? So that was never an option for me.
    I guess the real question for us is: “Why do we keep coming back to a technique that truely doesn’t work for us?”

  3. QAYG doesn’t appeal to me because I often don’t decide on my quilting design until I see the finished top. Like you, however, I have gone back and tried and tried a technique that wasn’t working (applique) until I realized it just wasn’t for me. Of course, I didn’t have students to please, either.

      • Sometimes… But applique never worked for me! I kept having amnesia about it, and trying again, having forgotten I didn’t really like it. And it was always on blocks for the guild’s raffle quilt! Silly that it took me so long to figure it out!

  4. I’ve tried two methods. The log cabin block where quilting doesn’t show on top and final seams are handswen on back. One good thing. I used up scraps of batting the size of the blocks. Bad thing, as you said–hand stitching took a long time. Plus the added time of cutting the back into squares and the batting. Second try was with tape on top and bottom and butting blocks instead of seaming the batting. Looked okay, but as Marthathequiter said, the joining is tedious. I decided if I were going to wrestle with the bulk of the quilt, I may as well wrestle at the quilting stage.

  5. Pingback: Teaching Quilt As You Go | Zippy Quilts

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