How to “Quilt As You Go” Any Block!

Learn a fun way to Quilt As You Go with Jenny!

Jenny teaches you a simple way to use a quilt as you go method when using antique blocks. BUT! You could do this method with just about ANY block!

Video Transcript (Downloadable PDF):

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a great project for you today. Let’s take a look at this little quilt right back here. A little wall hanging if you will that’s on my design board over here. They’re all old, antique embroidered blocks that I have picked up at an antique store or a yard sale or someplace like that. I just can’t bear to leave them. They have to come home with me. When they get to my house I put them in a big chest that I have that’s marked secret projects because I’m going to do something with them someday. Well today is the day. I just love these little embroidered blocks. But one of the things to remember with these is we don’t know much about them. So to make this project you’re going to need a little bit of batting. You’re going to need your embroidered blocks. And I’ve used ten inch squares. And this is Everything But the Kitchen Sink for RJR. And it’s just a great 30’s line. They’re just all mixed up in different little prints and I thought it would go really well with the type of blocks that I’m using on this.

 

So what we’re going to do on this is we’re going to take a look at this embroidery work. The little one that I’m doing right here is all little animals. They’re just adorable. But there’s something right here that you need to notice. And actually this is a good lesson, if you’re an embroiderer make sure you leave extra fabric on your edges because all of these blocks are just right, embroidered right to the edge. And I did not trim them or anything. They came this way. They’re actually all just a little bit different sizes so I had to work with them very carefully. And that’s why I cut my outer block one size to make sure that all the blocks came out the same.

 

So here’s how we’re going to do this we’re going to take whatever size block you are we’re going to cut a half an inch bigger piece of batting to put underneath. I then center it on my background square. And I just, I just kind of eyeball it. I don’t, I’m not really worried about it because what I’m going to do is stitch this down on the sewing machine. And then I’m going to cut my border about an inch all the way around. So let’s go over to the sewing machine and stitch this down. I’m going to stitch right close on the edge. No quarter of an inch for this because I want to save as much of the block as I can. So I’m just right on that edge. You can zig zag. I’m just using a straight stitch right now. I think my other ones have zig zag on them. But we started straight here so we’re just going to go with straight. Make sure it stays lined up. So this is a great way, this quilt as a go method that I’m going to show you today is a great way. You could use any block you have and put your quilt together like this. Just a real easy way to get your whole quilt done and finished on your home machine. Alright so we’re going to take our block here. We’ve stitched it down on the outside. And I know that I want my block to end up 7 ½ inches. So, so what I’m going to do is I’m going to center this up on here. And I’m going to lay my ruler and I’m going to come out about an inch on, on all four sides. And you’ll notice that wasn’t completely straight but it’s because I’m going along the stitch line to make my edge. And I’m actually going to lay one of these on here to make sure that I have a good enough of amount. I do. Let’s see here. Yep it’s just going to be just about an inch. Alright so I’m following my stitch line. And I’m coming out an inch right here. Now some of these blocks again were, it’s better actually to check each one than to get it too short. I got one block too small and he’s probably going to have to be a pot holder because I’m never going to get him the right size again. Alright so this one over here, it’s a little bit wider. And then this right here and again I’m just going to lay this one top to make sure I get the same little edge here. Alright an inch out. What I’m looking for is about an inch border on these right here. Now I’m going to put this on top of here and make sure these are the same.  It looks like this one is just a hair bigger. So I’m going to trim that down so it matches. See what we’ve got here. Alright it looks like just a teeny bit here on each side. And it’s better if they’re the same size. So we’re going to go ahead and just trim that a teeny bit. Off this side and that side. And it should be perfect now. Let’s check it again. And it’s perfect. Alright.

 

So now what you do once you get all your blocks done like that, what we’re going to do is we’re going to pin them together. And I’ve got these pinned right here but I can take this out and show you how I did this. And so you’re going to have all your embroidered blocks, aren’t these so cute? We’re going to have all your embroidered blocks in a little stack. And I’m going to kind of mix up my colors. It’s pretty easy to do with a pack like this because pretty much every piece is a different pattern, different color. So then what I’m going to do, you’ll notice that I laid this on here so that the right side of the fabric is to the outsides. So my, I laid this on the wrong side of my fabric. And so what I’m going to do now is I’m going to put these two together like this. And I’m going to check to make sure that my blocks are oriented the right direction because you don’t want to have your kitty laying sideways. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to line these up. And I’m going to come back and stitch right along my sew line that I sewed down. Sew just about an inch in and sew them together. And I should have looked onto the other side to make sure I wasn’t sewing into that block. That would have been a really smart thing to do but we’re going to see how I did right here. Oh we did good. Whew, I’m glad that worked out.

 

Alright so now we have these two pieces like this. And this is how the quilt as you go is going to work. We’re going to press these down open like this. Now when you have embroidery that comes right out to the edge you want to take as small a seam as you can. And so what I did with this was I folded this under as far as it could go like this. As far as it in and then lay it in over the top like that. I”m going to lose most of this little flower here which I’m sad about but I want a half an inch, I feel like it’s just about the smallest I can go. I suppose you could have, we could have bordered these squares with the same color muslin and made them a little bigger but the seam would have shown and so I just opted to do it this way and lose just a little bit of that. And so I’m folding this under as far as it can go. It gives me just probably a little less than half an inch on here. And I”m going to stitch this, topstitch this straight down the top. So let’s come over here to the sewing machine. And this you just want to go right along the edge. So not that quarter of an inch right along that edge. And topstitch it down. Make sure that it stays under, folded under really nicely like this. And I’m just going to come across here and sew down the other side.

 

So you’re going to do this to each block. You’re just going to put them together. Like this next one will go right here. We put them right sides together. And we’re going to sew right across here. And we’re going to open it up, press it out and fold it under just like we did this. You’re going to do that to your whole row. Now my row I have four up here. And that was determined by the number of blocks I had. I knew I had to have a few blocks to show you and I only had three extra. So I didn’t have enough for a whole other row so I just decided to make it a little four by four wall hanging. And again, you know, I mean like this one is going to be a little bigger because I have more, more squares here. But it depends on how many squares you have how big your project is going to be.

 

So now when you have all your rows together like this and you’re ready to add the next row to it you do exactly the same thing but it’s going to be a long row. So you’re going to lay these up here like this. You know this is all going be folded under and sewn under. I’ll put a pin, a little pin in here. So it looks like I’m all done, like this. And then when you’re ready to sew your rows together, you’re just going to do the same thing. You’re going to pull them together wrong sides together. You’re going to sew your seam. And then this whole row, you will then fold over and fold over and fold down. You do the same edge on your outside. So let’s look at this right here. See I just folded it over and sewed it down. So fold it in once and then fold it again and it just finishes off that whole outside edge there. And you’re whole quilt is done and you did it right on your own sewing machine.
So I love this method, I love how easy it went together. And I love that I finally did something with my embroidered blocks. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Any Block Quilt As You Go method by the MSQC.

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  • Brenda Houtz

    Jenny, First I want to tell you that you are such a treat to watch. I recently pulled my sewing machine out to do a quick Christmas present project (body pillow pillowcase) for my roommate. Then decided since it was out on the table I should take care of a few other sewing projects/fixes I’ve been putting off… well, now I’m obsessed. I have been binge watching your videos, running to the fabric store to buy material so I can practice on little projects, my dog is getting his own quilted mat and making a scrappy table runner, etc. It’s gotten to the point I’m considering a new machine and trying to pick out fabrics to make myself a quilt (There is too many possibilities!) Today I while doing more perusing on your site I discovered this video which really made me smile. My mother had started an embroidered blanket for me as a baby, but never finished it. I have had it in my possession, all it really needs is to have binding added. I figured while I have the machine out I really need to finish the project, esp since I will be turning 50 in a few weeks… guess it’s never too late to finish a project! But i LOVED your idea and going to throw around the idea of cutting my blanket into patches and making something else out of it. Thanks again Jenny for all your ideas and willingness so share your passion!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c2c90a7a895dc31801037f5c2b6c4c5f1a3549a528d9b9b34c3c0e5281b2fc8e.jpg