Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Borders and Sandwiches {Quilt-as-You-Go Simple Sampler}

Hello! If you haven't heard already, I'm posting a series of tutorials for traditional quilt blocks and instructions for borders and Quilt-as-You-Go.  I'm calling it the Quilt-as-You-Go Simpler Sample! (I even made a button!)

This isn't a sew along, just a collections of tutorials.  But if you want to sew along, please feel free! New blocks will be posted each Monday and I'm planning for 9 of them.  Below you'll find the index list as well as instructions for bordering your blocks and making your QAYG sandwich.


I am adding scrappy borders to my center blocks to bring them up to 16.5" total. This means only 9 blocks will make an almost-50" square quilt.  To do this, for each block you'll need:

(3) 1.5"xWOF strips of background fabric
(24) 2.5" square scraps

Subcut your background strips to (2) 8.5" long, (2) 10.5" long, (2) 14.5" long, and (2) 16.5" long.  Sew the 8.5" strips to opposite sides of the center block, and the 10.5" strips to the other two sides.  Press the seam allowance to the outside.

Chain piece the 2.5" squares of scraps into (2) strings of 5 squares and (2) strings of 7 squares.  I recommend you DON'T press these until after they are attached.

Sew the 5-block strips of scraps to the sides of the block where you attached the 10.5" border strips.  Sew the 7-block strips of scraps to the opposite sides, nest seams so that the seam allowance of the scrappy squares will be able to press toward the center.

Press the block. I recommend pressing the allowances of the 2.5" squares  toward the center.  Finally attach the 14.5" background strips followed by the 16.5" strips to the block and press the seam allowance toward the outside, finishing off the block. The final block should measure 16.5" finished.


Quilt-as-You-Go is a great technique for those of us with small home machines. It allows you to practice your FMQ without fighting the bulk to a whole quilt.  I am treating this quilt as not just a piecing sampler, but also a FMQ sampler, and practicing a different FMQ fill on each square.

Making your FMQ sandwich is easy, just cut backing and batting pieces the same size as your block and layer like you normally would. Pin sparsely and quilt!  One thing I discovered with these little sandwiches is that straight line quilting really doesn't work very well (for me). There's just too much distortion, even with a walking foot.  However, FMQ works perfectly!

You need to stay away from at least the outside 1/4" of the block so that you'll be able to assemble your sandwiches into a whole quilt later.  I decided to end my quilting at the scrappy square border  just to be safe.

Once we get closer to the end I'll make a post explaining how to join the quilted sandwiches together.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


  1. Looks like it's going to be a lovely quilt, I think I'm going to join in! I've always fancied giving QAYG a try, and I have so much fabric in my scraps bin I can't close the lid anymore... what a great way to use them up.
    Popping over from WIP Wednesday, btw

  2. Fun quilt project best of luck to you!

  3. I really do need to learn FMQ and cut down on my scraps. I am coming into this late but better late than never.

  4. I really would love to learn more about QAYG!