Friday, September 14, 2012

Quilting in Sections

I have been following Melody as she does QAYG and she has been featuring QAYG stories from other quilters. I have been quilting in sections for 10 -12 years or more. I don't call it Quilt As you Go because I usually finish up the whole top, in sections before I start layering and quilting and then I put it all together.  However, it really is the same thing.
My first  quilt in sections was a King size quilt for my bed with my new 14 inch mattress. I wanted to quilt it myself and I wanted to do it on the machine and I knew that I was not going to be able to do that all in one piece.

 I made my sections 16 blocks square which turned out to be 28 inches. I made the log cabin blocks with all floral fabrics and I decided that since the back was going to be in sections I would use all florals on the back as well. I pieced the sections in 4 patches with 7 inch squares or 2 patches and a rectangles or 2 rectangles or one 28 inch square. This photo of the front corner shows one 16 block section (plus a part of the next section on the right) with the borders, which I think I added at the end but I may have added them to the outside edges before quilting, it is hard to tell. It may look like I have added joining strips around the sections but that is just the outside rows on the log cabin blocks. When I am ready to join the sections I fold the backing out of the way and trim the batting and the front even, then I fold the front down and trim the batting 2 x my seam allowance which on my machine with my walking foot turns out to be 3/8  x 2 =3/4. then I sew the edges of the fronts together and hand stitch the back edges.

This photo is the same corner on the back of the quilt. I had not left extra fabric on the back sections to allow for the take up in the quilting so after I joined the first 2 sections I added narrow strips on the backfor the rest of the quilt. For all of the quilts after the first one I have allowed extra for turning under the edge on the back.  Narrow strips were not part of the design on the front so, Yes, I hand stitched the back and that is usually what I do.
This quilt is very large and I can't lay the whole thing out on the floor to photograph and it is very heavy so I  don't have any photos of it being held up and it would not fit on my design wall.

Front with 1 border

This is what I am working on right now. I had quilted the body of the quilt in one piece.

the first photo is the piano key border being quilted in the ditch along all of the seams; on the right  the border has been added to one side of the quilt top.  The photo below is the back of the quilt showing the edge I had finished with  hand stitching.

Back with border

After I finish adding one section and do the hand stitching on the back I finish any quilting from the front to complete the design. It needs to be finished before adding another section in order to minimize the  bulk under the arm of the machine. 

The last photo shows the machine quilting that was added after joining the sections on the king size log cabin quilt.

I quilt anything larger than a crib quilt or a throw this way. I don't always divide the quilt in the same way as that depends on the design.

I have a quilt in 3 long sections hanging behind my sewing room door; it has been there for several years. It is all half square triangles and I have been hesitant to match all those points after quilting. I think it is time to "get over it" and get it done. Maybe that will be my next project.

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