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Thread: QAYG No hand sewing!

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    k3n
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    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-36049-1.htm

    Here’s how I made my ‘Heart of Glass’ wall hanging that I posted recently. I’ve been playing with Quilt As You Go and wanted to come up with a method where you didn’t have to hand sew the strips down on the back. This method has sashing between the blocks on the front – I’m planning to try a way with no sashing at some stage but for now, here goes with the sashed version! There are lots of pictures so I hope you’ll bear with me while I post. This is my first tute so I hope it’s clear enough ! Feel free to ask questions at the end, otherwise.

    Tools and materials :

    Backing fabric and batting – enough to cut background squares for your project. This can be done from big enough scraps !
    Fabric – I used scraps and FQs from my stash, a rough estimate is about a yard and a half for a hanging this size (33 inches x 26 inches approx.) - and some fabric for the sashing (I used black).
    Steam a seam or similar ¾ inch wide.
    Sewing machine with a walking foot.
    Square template in the size of your unfinished block – I used 6 ½ inches.
    Rotary cutter and mat, scissors, pins.
    Iron and board.



    1. Decide on your block size (mine are 6 ½ inches unfinished) and cut squares of batting and backing fabric a good inch bigger all round. You don’t have to be that accurate as you’ll be trimming the blocks later. Cut enough squares for your project – mine is 5 x 4 so 20 blocks.
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    2. I used fusible batting as I happened to have some leftovers so I pressed the backing square to the batting (putting down a cloth so it didn’t leave a sticky mess on the ironing board !) You could use regular batting and put a pin across each corner to hold the squares together until you’ve sewn on the first few strips.
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    3. Here’s my stack of prepared block foundations – you can see that I didn’t cut them very accurately ! Doesn’t matter.
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    4. I’m doing string blocks so I cut some 1 1/2" inch wide strips of fabric. These are cut from scraps and FQ. Obviously, yours will depend on your planned layout. It’s kind of make it up as you go so I cut a few and later on cut a few more in the fabrics I wanted.
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    5. Pin your first strip to the foundation square. Notice I put the pins over to one side, away from where I’ll be sewing. This block will have vertical strips but you could go diagonal or what ever direction takes you fancy!
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    6. Lay the second strip on top of the first, right sides together. It doesn’t matter if the strips are too long as we’ll be trimming later but they must at least reach the edge of the block.
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    7. Sew the two strips together with a ¼ inch seam. I used my walking foot as we’re sewing through three layers of fabric plus batting.
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    8. Finger press the seam open.
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    9. Keep adding strips until you get to one edge then turn the block round (you can take the pins out at this stage) and add strips until you get up to the other edge.
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    10. Here’s the block covered in strips. Put your square template over the block and line up the centre of the block with the centre of the strip. By eye is fine – here the centre is on the 3 ¼ inch line as my block is 6 ½ inches unfinished. Then trim all around the edge. You can rip off the larger excess strips for using in other blocks.
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    11. Here’s the finished block, all trimmed. Make the rest of your blocks in the same way.
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    12. Here’s the back of the block – when you were piecing the block, you were quilting it at the same time !
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    13. Here’s all my blocks laid out on the design wall – some are vertical, some horizontal and some diagonal to make the design. Just play around and have fun !
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    14. Now you need to cut sashing strips to join the blocks together – you need a strip to go between each block to join them in rows – later, you’ll cut sashing strips to join the rows together. The strips need to be an inch wide and the length of the unfinished side of your block. Mine are 1 inch x 6 ½ inches. I need 4 strips per row and I have 4 rows so I cut 16 in total.
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    15. Now you take a sashing strip and sew it right sides together to the edge of the first block, using a scant ¼ inch seam.
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    16. Finger press the sashing strip open. You can see that it extends 3/4 inch past the block.
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    17. This picture shows the front of the block with the sashing strip sewn on.
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    17a. OK, hope this doesn’t confuse you ! You’ll notice that we changed blocks. That’s because I forgot to take pics of this stage so had to go and mock up these crazy blocks to show you the next bit ! Sorry about that ! So I made two crazy blocks (using the same technique as the string blocks we just made !).
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    17b. I’ve sewn the sashing strip to the first block and finger pressed it open. Now I’ve laid the first block right side down on top of the right side of the second block, so that the raw edge of the sashing strip matches the raw edge of the block.
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    17c. Then I sew the sashing strip to the second block using a scant ¼ inch seam. I’m still using my walking foot BTW.
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    18. OK back to the original blocks ! So here are two blocks joined together with a sashing strip. Join all your blocks in rows in the same way.
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    19. This shows the back of two blocks joined together. See how the two seam allowances nest nicely together ? You may want to press them gently into place with the point of your iron so they lay nice and flat.
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    20. Here you’ll see I’m measuring between the two stitching lines to show that they are ½ inch apart.
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    21. We want to cover these stitching lines completely, so we take some ¾ inch wide steam a seam. This will extend to an 1/8th of an inch either side of the stitching lines.
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    22. But first we have to make our backing strips. These need to be twice the width of the steam a seam, so 1 ½ inches wide. I don’t worry about length – I just cut a couple across the width of the fabric then trimmed them as I went – to lazy to do the maths ! But if you prefer to calculate how many you need in advance, go for it ! You need a backing strip for every joint between the blocks and then long strips to cover the joints in the rows later on. My strips are in the same fabric as my backing. It’s a fairly soft, thin unbleached cotton. Try and use something soft and fine or it will get really stiff.
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