Skirting the Issue with a QAYG Row by Row Tutorial

I’m honored to have been invited by Simple Simon to participate in their yearly series, Skirting The Issue! Skirting the Issue is a  month long event every July where you are invited to sew along with us to make skirts (and quilts)  to donate to local Foster Care centers for the girls to receive just in time for back to school.

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Of course, I was excited that quilts are now included in their series. As most of you know that I also participate in a quilting bee that used to donate our quilts to a foster child organization. We no longer do, which is another reason I was excited to make another quilt for foster kids. Can you imagine not having anything? Not even a blanket? That’s what so many of these foster kids move from house to house with. Nothing. I’m hoping I can change that for at least one kiddo! And hoping I’ll inspire others to also participate and help another kiddo!

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This quilt started as a office meeting doodle. I doodle so that I don’t day dream in meetings! I think some people think I’m not paying attention, but really the doodling helps me focus on the meeting…. So I doodled this and a co-worker asked if it was going to be another quilt design. No…. I mean YES! That would make a cool quilt! I had grand plans of piecing each block with strips of fabric… Then I came to my senses and realized, they make striped fabric! Hello!

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I wanted to make an easy quilt for new quilters to be able to make and share with the kids! This quilt uses blocks cut from striped fabric using a modified Quilt As You Go method. There are many QAYG tutorials out there. But my biggest thing with QAYG is the bulk at the seam allowance. I found a way to get around that and I’ll show you how I do it. So here’s how I do QAYG….

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First, I cut all the pieces. This fabric has 1″ stripes. And a shout out to It’s Just Sewing for the awesome fabric! I want 8″ blocks for this quilt to really show off the stripes. So cute your blocks to be 8 3/4″ blocks. Here’s my biggest QAYG secret…. I don’t use 1/4″ seam allowances. I use 3/8″ seam allowances! Why? I’ll tell you… It’s hard to iron flat 1/4″ seams when you have both the fabric and the batting to be ironing open. And if it’s not ironed flat, it’s hard to catch the seam allowance when you’re quilting….

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Next I quilt the batting to the fabric, but not a full QAYG style! I chain pieced each row with just one row of quilting. Just enough to hold the fabric to the batting. I’ll tell you why later!

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Combine the blocks into rows. Are you wondering why I have quilted yet??? Hold on… Keep with me!

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Then combine the first two rows….

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NOW QUILT the top row only! I know it’s hard to see in this picture, but the top row is actually quilted.

Now here’s the thing. You could combine all the rows and then quilt the whole thing. But… For me, with all the quilting in this quilt and all the moving around of the quilt, it is easier to me to quilt a row, then another row, etc…. I’m avoiding stuffing my whole quilt through the machine over and over and over each time I change directions.

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I’m doing this same technique with my SMQG BOM quilt. So this may look familiar to you… (Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the backside of this blue and green quilt once I started quilting it!) So this is what the back will look like.

As you are quilting the lines, you will be stitching in the ditch between each quilt line and then quilting over the seam allowance as you continue quilting the stripes.

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Now we continue on. Top row is quilted and combined with the second row. Then add another row. Quilt the second row. And on and on.

This quilt has 8 rows. So again to eliminate a lot of quilt being moved around and stuffed through my sewing machine, I did four rows. Then started again with the bottom row and worked my way up. Then I combined the two pieces and quilted down the middle.

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And you end up with this! Yea!

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Add your back and quilt in the ditch. and you don’t have the bulk of the seam allowances!

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Another way to do it would be to quilt all the lines on your blocks. Combine them all and then not quilt in the ditch, but do your quilting over the seam allowances. Easy Peasy…

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So why didn’t I do it this way? The plain and simple reason…. Aesthetics. I didn’t want the straight lines at the seam allowance to be quilted over the quilting of each stripe. Make sense?

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My son asked why I take pictures of the labels… Because I do! ha!

Recap:

So the two things I do a little different with quilt as you go.

1. 3/8 seam allowances.

2. I don’t ‘quilt as you go’ prior to combining blocks. I quilt as I go, row by row. (or as with the SMQG BOM, block by block.) I don’t do the quilting until at least a couple of the blocks are joined  so that I can quilt over the seam allowance.

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Where is this quilt going? I haven’t figured that out yet. There’s a great organization, My Very Own Blanket, in Ohio that organizing matching quilts with foster kids. I’m looking for a local group here in Seattle that does the same thing.

Here’s another secret… I got the fabric for this quilt Friday night. Then I marathon quilted all weekend to get it done by Sunday night. I thought I had until August 26th to share my project with the Skirting the Issue series…. So I’m a bit behind on finding the right home for this quilt….

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And this is also a finish on my Quarter 3 Finish Along!

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Quilt as You Go Tablet Cover Tutorial

Wow! It’s been a while! I’ve been super busy and excited about getting my etsy shop more organized and getting more parties to put in it! More to come on that soon… In the meantime, do you want to see another Christmas present I made and never showed off?

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I made this tablet cover from my Step Mom for Christmas! Some people are probably already making CHristmas presents for this year, but I’m just showing you a present I made for last year!

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I don’t actually have a tablet, but I do have a model (AKA a book) that fits in the cover quite nicely…. hehehe….

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I started with two pieces of this angel fabric I’ve had. One main piece for the front.

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And one main angel piece for the front.

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What do you think? Would you want to make one? Well, just in case I took pictures all along the way to show you how I did it….

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First cut the batting. So to get the right size… For the width, take the width of the tablet + the thickness of the tablet + 1″ for seam allowances + 1/4″ for a little extra. For the length, you want to take the length of the tablet + the thickness of the tablet + 4″. But wait! Don’t cut yet! I cut my batting about an inch wider and longer!

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Then quilt as you go the cover! I’m not going to do a full quilt as you tutorial today, but start with you accent block, then start quilting around it and around it until you’ve quilted the whole top.

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Trim the top piece to the right dimensions that you came up with earlier.

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Cut the shape of the flap. I used a couple of spools of thread to make the curves. The curve is 3.5 inches. Fold the top in half and cut. Do this for the lining and the top.

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Fold legthwise, right sides together. Bring the bottom up, but hold it off 4 inches from the top. Then sew along the edges. With the lining, leave a hole to pull through later.

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Pull the corners together with seams together. Sew along the triangle.

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Add velcro to the lining.

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Insert the lining into the top, right sides together. And sew along the top using a 1/2″ seam.

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After you pull the whole cover through the hole so right sides are out, topstitch along the top edge and flap.

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Sew the hole closed!

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Add the velcro to the top. And you’re ready to add that tablet!

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And then give it away of keep it for yourself! I broke it down into a bunch of steps, but it’s really quite a quick project. The quilt as you go part took the longest! The rest was quick, quick! And since I used a book to model the cover, you could use it for more than just a tablet… What would you use it for?