How to make “Quilt As You Go” on bags, purses and home decor…

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I’ve had a couple of requests recently for a tutorial on how to “Quilt As You Go” so I thought I’d share how for this weeks “Share it Saturday” post…

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It’s no secret that I **LOVE** Quilt As You Go!!

It’s been a while since I’ve done it but I’ve definitely made my fair share of projects using the technique –
See here, here, here , here, here and here
That’s just a few of the many!

I struggled with what to call this tutorial so that it wouldn’t be confused with my
“How to make a ‘Quilt As You Go’ Quilt” tutorial from a few years back, which I must admit has been THE most viewed post I have ever made… Hence the most long winded title ever to be written in my attempt to avoid confusion. So that tutorial was regarding how to assemble an entire quilt using the technique and

This tutorial is how to make a small item such as a pouch, purse, cushion etc…

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What you will need:

**  A sewing machine
**  A small project in mind – e.g. a purse/bag/pouch/cushion etc. See me examples above for ideas.
**  Scraps of wadding
**  A permanent marker or fabric pen. A pencil or biro also works just fine.
**  Lots of fabric scraps
**  Scissors close by

Here goes…

Step 1: Decide on your project & make your template:

First you need to decide on your small project.
For this project I am choosing to make a framed purse using my framed purse tutorial. Your method will be the same no matter what you are making – just change the pattern piece you draw around to suit…

Take your pattern piece and a piece of your wadding/batting.
Draw around your pattern piece using your permanent marker like this…

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Remove your pattern piece.
That then forms your guide for your quilt as you go.

You want to make sure that you have at least an inch of wadding spare the entire way around your pattern piece because the wadding can sometimes distort and it helps to have a bit of room to play with.

The aim of the game is to cover that line completely with fabric.

Step 2: Get quilting…

Now you need to head to your machine with a big pile of fabric scraps. I find it useful to iron my scraps first so I would recommend you do that at this point.

Take your template and find a nice feature scrap for the centrepiece. (And by centrepiece I don’t necessarily mean the centre).

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As you can see I quite like to place mine “on point” or off centre. I find it adds a bit more interest to the overall finish.

Place it under your machine and sew a line along one edge over 1/4 inch from the edge (because otherwise it will later get lost in the seam allowance). It doesn’t matter whether you go horizontally or vertically. But we will go the opposite with the next piece you place so just keep that in mind…

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When you get to the end of the line, don’t cut off your thread.
Instead lift up your presser foot, gently swivel your fabric 180 degrees and line up your fabric to sew a line down in the opposite direction…

I usually use the edge of my presser foot along the line I’ve just sewn as a guide.

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Keep repeating that process until you have just over 1/4 of an inch left to go. Again it’s important to leave the gap because that will be eaten up in the seam allowance when we add on the next bit.

Note: I feel that it’s important to add that I don’t bother making my lines evenly spaced apart. In face they can get quite crooked and “organic” looking!
I usually keep my needle at the 1/4 inch mark and that means my lines are all unevenly spaced. You can keep your needle in the centre of your foot if it you’d like your lines to be all even, it just means you will have bigger seam allowances when you are adding pieces and you will need to be aware of how much you will lose in your seam allowance if you “fussy cut” any pieces like I have my birdy.

Adding the next piece…

To add another piece, find another scrap which has an edge the same length as one of the sides of your sewn on scrap. You can trim up with scissors to make it the approximate length – it doesn’t have to be super exact.
At this point you can choose to add pieces in a straight line (like I have in this tutorial) or in a log cabin “round” style like in this tutorial here. You can make the lines or log cabin rounds as straight or wonky as you like, it really doesn’t matter!

Once you’ve chosen your scrap place it upside down, right sides together and with the edge you are about to sew lined up.

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Sew it on using a 1/4 inch seam…

Once you have sewn it on, finger press it over and quilt it like we did with the first piece then keep adding bits in the same fashion…

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As you can see sometimes I sew scraps together first and then add them as one piece, rather than just adding one piece at a time. It really doesn’t matter what way you choose to add them.

If adding them in “straight lines” I often find it easier to use up angled pieces by sewing them together into a somewhat “straight” line first before adding them… It doesn’t matter so much if you are sewing them on log cabin style.

Every so often I sometimes add a selvedge, ribbon, lace or a “raw edge” applique for some extra interest. When doing this you don’t need to place them right sides together and sew a seam allowance, you simply line up the selvedge or fabric on top of where you want it (make sure you overlap the pieces a little) and sew down 1/8th inch from the edge such as this…

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Just keep adding pieces until you have completely covered your guide line…

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This is what the back looks like…

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Which is a prudent time to tell you to be careful that scraps from your pile of scraps don’t accidentally get caught up on the back… 😉

No I didn’t unpick it. (Poor little elephant!)

Now we can use our original template to trim it down to size…

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If you have any other pieces to make/cut out then go ahead and make those now…

This is my other side…

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Then assemble your project according to your pattern instructions…

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Yay a completed Quilt as you Go project!!!!

It is a slow process but hopefully you will find it a rewarding one and enjoy it as much as I do.

Here are some other favourites…

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If you would also like to make projects such as these then:

Free Framed purse tutorial found here…
Scrappy pouch tutorial found here…
Free Log cabin tutorial found here…
Cushion pattern found here…
Zipper Pouch tutorial (in pencil case size) found here…

My advice is to not be afraid of taking risks! You would be surprised just how much “anything goes” when using Quilt As You Go.

It does take practice to get confident at putting all kinds of colourful combinations and patterns together but just like anything you will get faster as you go along.

Enjoy

Blog ending

 

 

13 COMMENTS

  1. Glad you mentioned the shrinkage/distortion bit, I didn’t know that the first time I tried, and there were very naughty words involved!

  2. I just want to move into your sewing room. I love your fabrics, the colors you choose and your taste in combining a project with a skill with your scrappyness. Love it all. I see a massive QAYG tote in my near future. Love it.

  3. Excellent idea. I want it to make patch work for a long time to add a more interesting look to my purses and pouches. Thank you for your kindness of posting this amazing tutorial.
    I recently discover your work via IG and thank you for recommend me your tutorials.
    Best
    Noemi

  4. Great tut but I haven’t e one question. How do you finish the inside seams? I’ve used bias tape but I really dont like to do it that way. Thanks.

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