Quilting as I go ……

Before bringing you progress on my quilt-as-you-go project…. I have been watching the news updates this afternoon as images of the terrible damage being inflicted by Hurricane Sandy across the eastern coast of the USA are brought to us here in England.  These images of devastation and destruction are heart-breaking and will remain with me for a very long time to come.  My thoughts are with everyone affected by this terrible natural disaster. 

On a happier note, I’d like to thank everybody who left such lovely comments on my last post, whether about my e-zine quilts or that extremely naughty canine I happen to live with!  Unfortunately Ben now smells even worse – and doesn’t care a bit!  I left him with his Auntie Gillian in kennels this weekend while I visited Rosie in Bath, and upon collecting him discovered that he had been able to enhance his odour during a lovely walk around her farm on Saturday afternoon.  Thank goodness his grooming appointment is tomorrow as at nearly 12 stone (160 lbs) he is far too large to bath at home!  

quilt as go 001

 Staying upstairs in the workroom, keeping well away from the smelly one – I have made good progress on my quilt-as-you-go project for our bed, having quilted and joined the first two strips of six blocks.  Before quilting each strip I marked the boundary for the quilting along the top – so that I would have enough seam allowance to join the strips (picture above).  Then I stippled the blocks and stitched parallel straight lines, 1/2″ apart, along the sashing…. 

quilt as go 005

 I carefully joined the sashing of one strip to the blocks of the other – on the top only.  Before I joined them I trimmed to 1/2″ and then folded back the batting and backing.  Then I joined the tops with a 1/4″ seam, after which I pressed down the batting, trimming it right back so that it lay flat with the edges butted together.  I didn’t fuse the batting at all as there wasn’t much room – only about 1/2″ and now I am wondering if I will regret this?  Any advice gratefully received please! 

quilt as go 006

I trimmed one side of the batting, and folded the other side over to cover the join and tacked in place.  Then I flipped the joined strips over and completed the quilting of the joining strip.  All that now remains is to slip stitch along the folded edge to keep it in place – the two lines of machine stitching will take any stress or strain.  I am using strips cut from an old duvet cover to back my quilt in homage to my lovely neighbour Julie, who enjoys quilting, but never purchases any new fabric for patchwork.  Julie feels that patchwork and quilting are the best possible ways of reusing and recycling fabric and sees no need to buy new.  I am afraid that I am all too easily seduced by the wonderful fabrics available and whilst I admire her single-minded approach I cannot completely follow her example.   

quilt as go 004

Here are the first two strips quilted and joined with another strip ready to be quilted thrown over the bannister rail next to them.  Please ignore any wonkiness – I am not an experienced quilter and this is the most ambitious project I have attempted so far. 

I am enjoying quilting as I go and have discovered that it is ideally suited to my way of working because

(1) I don’t have to complete one stage before moving onto the next, so boredom is avoided

(2) I don’t have a large space to lay out big quilts so working on small sections is great

(3) I am not wrestling a huge quilt through and around my sewing machine, and

(4) any problems with inaccurate cutting/seam allowances can be resolved much more easily as I go along rather than discovering a major problem at the end.

Hmmmm… I think that maybe points (1) and (4)  reveal quite a lot about my make-it-up-as-you-go-along-and-if-it-doesn’t-fit-then-tweak-it working methods – my cover is blown!


Sommer Aweidah

Thanks for your kind words – Here in Boston we’re doing ok. not too much damage or flooding – certainly less than was expected. New York & New Jersey are a different story though.


Thank you for your kind thoughts and concerns about us here on the Eastern Seaboard in the US. Where I live in Cumberland, Rhode Island, we are about 30 minutes away from the nearest shoreline and on higher ground so have been safe from extensive damage and long power outages. However many of our coastal towns were devastated. Fortunately the residents were on mandatory evacuation so not too many fatalities, mostly houses and personal belongings destroyed. And it continues to rain and add more damage. New York and New Jersey got hit the worst. Soooo sad. Heartbreaking indeed.


Hi Helen, I also find the quilt-as-you-go way of quilting easier to to
especially if you do not have a big sewing space! you can comlete a quilt
so much faster without getting bored.
I cannot wait to see the completed project
have a gr8t day


Thank you for your kind thoughts, Helen. We were so fortunate here in Maine as we received only the fringe of the storm…and that was enough. In size and temperament it was monstrous, and recovery seems hopeless for those affected in these early days. Simply heart wrenching!
Your ‘quilt-as-you-go’ is lovely. The colors are stunning, and I’m so anxious to see the finished treasure! Hmmm…has Rosie seen it…..???!!!
X Linda


Hi Linda, so pleased you escaped the worst – such a dreadful event – I can hardly imagine how terrifying it must have been for those caught in its path.

Thank you for your kind comments about my quilt – it is safe from Rosie as she much prefers florals and shades of pink! Ben has now been to the grooming parlour – Donna, his groomer, told me that she shampooed him twice – once with apple and avocado and once with rosemary and mint, then rubbed him down with lavender fur-shine. But we could both still detect a faint tang of seaweed in his fur!! Hopefully it will soon begin to fade.

Helen xx

Ruby Lynn Schmer

A dear friend of mine sent me over to your blog as she knew I would LOVE your new Around The Year Quilt. If I don’t win, I MUST buy the pattern. lol

I don’t make anything larger than 52″ square – we live in a 1 bedroom, 640 sq. ft. condo! That is as much foot print I have after moving the coffee table to the side in the living room area to spread out to spray baste my quilts.

I’m sooooo going to have to check out your Method of QAYG – Especially your Points Reasoning 1 & 4!!! 🙂

Will be back regularly now that I found you.

Mahalo, Ruby


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