Yesterday I finished binding the QAYG quilt and it turned out really great! I'm very exciting about the quilt and loved doing it Quilt As You Go.
Here is a snippet of the back:
I didn't really care what the back looked like and just wanted to use up some of my broadcloth stash. As you can see, there are a lots of places where two blocks of the same color ended up right next to each other. If I had tried to move the blocks around to make the back more aesthetically pleasing, I think I would have driven myself mad!
See more pictures of the front here and below is a recap of this entire project.
I decided to use a very traditional block--Log Cabin. This block originated in the 1800s and is easy to sew using strip piecing techniques and there are many, many variations of this block, which is probably another reason it's so enduring.
The log cabin block is also quite symbolic--the center symbolizes the hearth of the home, and then the top and bottom are a contrast between light and dark. The light part symbolizes happiness and all those other light-hearted "good" feelings, while the dark part represents sadness and all the heavy stuff we all get to deal with in life--there's no escaping it!
My quilt doesn't have a strong contrast between the light and dark parts, but I did make an attempt to use light scraps on the lower right part, and dark scraps on the upper left part. Sometimes it was a toss up whether the scrap was light or dark, so I relied on the background color of the print to decide.
Quilt As You Go (QAYG) Method
As far as I can tell the QAYG method was either invented, or at least became a popular quilting method, in the mid 1800s during the time when many people were migrating West in covered wagons. Back in those days most quilting would have been done by hand with the quilt stretched on a giant frame. Setting up a quilting frame in a covered wagon wasn't an option, but one small square at a time could be quilted by hand in their laps as they slowly made their way out West.
The basic idea is to make a bunch of quilt blocks, quilt the individual block and then attach the quilted blocks together using sashing (like mine). There are some other methods, but I don't know enough about them to explain. You can see how I attached mine here.
What I Liked about QAYG
No Special Tools Needed: I did NOT use a walking foot, and did all the quilting using the standard presser foot. There might be a pucker or two, but nothing like what would have happened if I tried to quilt the entire top without a walking foot.
No Sewing Machine Wrestling Match: It was a huge relief to know I wasn't going to have to shove the whole thing through my machine. This quilt was much easier to work on than either of the two baby sized quilts I made before. When it came time to attach the blocks together, all the sewing was done with the quilt to the left resting on the table. At no time did I have to roll it up and fit it through the space between the arm and motor.
Doing It Myself: Since I could quilt the entire thing myself, it saved me a lot of stress and money. I have not had a quilt quilted by a professional with a long arm machine, but I'm pretty sure it costs several hundred dollars for the quilting labor.
Relaxing: Overall, it was a lot of hand stitching. But I also watched several movies, so it was a relaxing and pleasant task.