"String Piecing Machine Quilting As You Go"

 Hello Kath, thank you for leaving me a comment regarding the QAYG method.

And to Sharon who long ago asked about joining crazy quilt blocks.

This little wee post on "String Piecing Machine Quilting As You Go" is one of my favorite ways to put any quilt together. Its so versatile.

First of all, have you begun to follow my Facebook page?

I'm posting more photos on Facebook these days as its so convenient and fast to post.

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Lets get to strip piecing machine quilting as you go girls and guys!!

You can start with any block you want, really!

Add same size batting and quilt in any way you want. You can get very creative!

Once you have made your block, quilted each block, trimmed each block, its time to start putting them together.

I've made dozens of quilts using this method, traditional blocks or crazy quilted blocks, its all the same to me. I had not really posted about it because I had thought it was not really acceptable to the quilting community. That was back when I didn't really know what a blog was all about?

Then when I discovered hundreds of examples of QAYG online, I simply forgot to post my methods entirely.

And  here you have one QAYG block ready to continue being added together in rows to make a whole quilt. I can make a simple rows quilt in a weekend!

In fact, I'll make up a post showing all the various steps to take.

I've fallen in love with string quilts and so many examples are out there, its amazing!

Above is a simple string quilt with the sashing in between. Each sashing strip starts out as a 2 in. strip or other sizes, depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

Sashing is where the joining of blocks, using QAYG method begins to grow your quilt. 

Once you start using this method its hard to go back to machine quilting a whole quilt top that is already a big top. You are fore warned!

On this simple 16 in. square blocks of a t-shirt quilt, the vertical blocks are already sewn together with 1 3/4 in. strips. Lay the sashing strips onto the top side and the bottom side of each quilted block.

Are you following me?

Here is one photo of the rows laid out ready for the final sashing to join the rows. I was teaching the method at one of our Quick WI gatherings and the ladies loved it. Do you see how the strips are pinned onto the whole edge of a series of blocks? 

I like to press over a 1/2 in. lip that is later sewn down to join the rows of completed blocks.

Above, I'm sewing down the long rows of this quilt. My friend is holding the long chunk for me and we're a team. This one day, we made a quilt of 30 blocks 12 in. blocks.

I'm writing this up using my own various examples of finished quilts from so long ago. Its amazing the beautiful quilts you can make using this method. Thank you Kath for leaving that comment for me asking this important question.

I've been slightly distracted by all the book writing and art making going on in the back ground, unfortunately my blog has become a bit neglected. I'm glad to be able to dust off the photos shelves and pick out the best to show how this method goes.

See this crazy quilt below?

See the navy blue sashing strips between the blocks, its how I've made dozens of quilts and this one is close up from "Silver Linings CQ" made by myself and it won 1st Prize at Ontario's IMP 2004.

Below is another cute baby crazy quilt using modern colors, but done with QAYG methods. White cotton sashing adds to the over all soft effect.

If you look closely, on this CQ Baby quilt, I used machine blanket stitch to sew down the blocks after inserting each new block into the flap created by sewing the strips on top and bottom of each block?

In the photo below, you'll see the four crazy blocks laying on the floor before the sashing to join the blocks together is complete.

And now, My Purple Crazy is complete with sashing!

You can even use this 'sashing & joining' method to add borders, See this example below.

See this lovely example of borders without stress?  I've got a post in the works demonstrating this technique.

Its so easy to do and is so much fun, it takes the stress right out of quilting when on a time budget for sure.

You can use this method to join blocks of all kinds together.

Traditional or modern, I've done all kinds.

Good Earth Quilting was born out of innovation. I started with using only recycled cloth back in 2007 and it was a tough go for many years before I began including new and recycled fabric together in my posts.

Don't you just love the versatility of building a quilt together this way!!

While this photo of my Dresden Plate stack and whack quilt was sewn together into one big top, then I hand quilted the whole thing, it could have been done using the QAYG method.

I love this fine example of reusing sweaters into this cozy baby quilt. Sashed together with simple 5 in. chunks of cotton sweaters. Recycling at its best.

Any other questions, feel free to ask, I love it when someone asks for a tutorial. I'm sorry this was not a made to order post and one that was put together from a history of quilt "Carli Style" photos. But I hope that Kath and Sharon would benefit from this innovative and simple, easy to do method. Please if you use this idea, please email me an example of your quilt and I'll profile your post if you are a blogger here.

All the best my Quilty friends!

Have a great week!


  1. Some beautiful quilts Caroline and thank you for sharing your QAYG techniques! Christine x

    1. Christine thank you for popping in and I'm so glad that you find this useful.all the best, Caroline

  2. Intriguing! I have plans for a quilt that I think I'd like to do QAYG, but the pattern has no sashing, have to do some thinking on this!

    1. No thinking involved. Simply cut batting 1/4 in.smaller and proceed enclosing the sashing, remember lots of pinning. Thanks for keeping in touch.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Great quilts, thanks for sharing. I have used that method on some of my art quilts. It is handy for putting units together and faster.

    1. Exactly, very useful in many ways. Units go together fast. Thanks for commenting!

  4. I've never had occasion to use this method of quilting (not being a sane quilter), but it might come in handy for a CQ one day. Thank you!

    1. Its a great way for many quilts. I first started using it decades ago, thinking that I'd get caught one day by a "real quilter" but then the internet arrived.....


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