Quilt as you go is a fun technique that allows you to get the whole project finished at one time--the piecing and quilting are done together so that when you've completed the top, all you have left to do is bind the project. This is a fun and fast way to sew and quilt an easy tote bag, place mats, or a book cover. Generally it is completed using strips of fabric sewn onto a foundation, but you can experiment to see what other ideas you can come up with! Layer the backing fabric on your work surface with the right side down. Place a piece of quilt batting approximately the same size on top. If desired, use quilt-basting spray to secure the layers together. Cut a strip of fabric any width you choose. It can be a leftover strip if you wish. With the right side up, place the strip of fabric across the middle of the layered pieces--the end should extend just beyond the top edge. Trim the excess fabric strip just beyond the bottom edge of the layered pieces. With the right side down, place a second fabric strip atop the first strip; trim the excess strip as before. They don't need to be the same width. Sew together through all layers. Finger-press the top strip open. Continue adding assorted fabric strips in both directions until the layered pieces are covered; press. If you're making a table runner or place mats, trim to the size you want and bind with a complementary fabric.
Practice the Quilt-As-You-Go Technique
Seasonal projects are always fun for beginners to practice a new skill. They're easy to make, can be completed quickly, and often are a last-minute idea to try. Plus, when inspiration strikes, the fabrics you need are usually being showcased at your local quilt shop. This seasonal table runner, "flip & sew carrot ,"uses strips from a variety of orange prints. You'll finish it quickly because it's pieced and quilted at the same time! Quilt designer: Shelley Robson Quilt name: Carrot Sticks, Quilts and More, Spring 2006