Friday 31 May 2013

Quilt As You Go - Adapting Leah Day's Method

When it comes to joining quilted blocks, I use the method described by Leah Day on her excellent video, which you can find here if the video doesn't show up on this post:-

Leah describes the method really well, and when I first saw this video I knew I had found the method I wanted to use.  There is just one snag - Leah recommends either a line of zigzagging or hand stitching for the last line of stitching.  I had to adapt the method so all the stitching could be done on straight stitch machines.  I also slightly changed the measurements.  Here is the method I came up with:-

I use strips measuring one and a half inches wide for the top binding, and two and five eighths of an inch for the back binding.  The seam guide is set to give a seam allowance of three eighths of an inch.  For the first line of stitching, I put the folded strip on the underneath and the top binding on the top of the quilted panel.  The machine I have been using is the 1949 Singer 15K hand machine, with the hinged regular foot attached.

Then I do the second line of stitching with the same foot and with the seam guide still in place.

Once these two lines of stitching have been done, I lay out the panels with the two edges together. With this project I usually find that there is a bit too much bulk for the edges to lie flat against each other.  This is because I have been using brushed cotton for the backing and polyester wadding - when I made the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Quilt I used cotton wadding and  standard weight quilting fabrics, so the edges lay flat first time.

Rather than trying to adjust the measurements, it is easier just to shave off a fraction from the seam allowance...

... and then it will lie flat.

Then the back binding can be folded down and pinned into place.  The pins need to go through the quilted panel, but not the binding on the right side.

When the work is turned over you will see the pins, and a new line of pins needs to be put in on the right side.  Once they are in place, the first line of pins has to come out.

Now the last line of stitching can go in.  For this the hinged cording foot is ideal because you can stitch right alongside the top binding.  This means that on the right side, the stitching will be barely noticeable...

... and on the back it holds down the binding just a fraction away from the folded edge.

I love this method.  It makes home quilting possible when you haven't got acres of space in the house.

Linking up again with Leah Day's blog for Free Motion Friday - visit her blog so you can see what other bloggers are making!


  1. Nice! I love the technique. I'll have to book mark this one for the future. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I hadn't seen her do this technique and definitely want to save it for when I'm ready to connect all my FMQ practice pieces!

  3. Are you on Facebook?

    1. Well I have a Facebook page, but I never put anything on it, so the answer is yes, but to all intents and purposes, no.

  4. Didn't understand the written instructions at all until after I watched Leah's video, then I re-read them, and suddenly it all made sense. Love the look of it too.

  5. Thanks Joyce! I swear by this method. There's no way I could manhandle a large quilt, the weight is too much, so QAYG is the only way I am ever going to make bed quilts.



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