Strip quilting with the Quilt As You Go method is pretty much the only way I can quilt these days. It’s such a quick and easy way to make a simple quilt, and be done with it in a matter of hours. I call it my 2-nap quilt, as I really can only quilt when my boys are napping, and a strip quilt takes about 2 nap times to get done start to finish. And lets be honest… I haven’t had much time to practice extensive quilting techniques, so this is pretty much as good as it gets for me right now.
Here’s a quick tutorial on my diagonal strip quilt, it’s a little bit more tricky than a standard strip quilt. First step is super easy – I cut 5″ strips out of all of my fabrics – You can do this with any size strip – a jelly roll would save you time on the cutting, but take more time on the sewing. I like the 5″ because I can cut all the left-over strips in half and use the 2.5″ for binding strips.
I laid them out in an order that I liked, and then moved onto the batting and backing. You want to cut your backing to your final quilt size (give or take for squaring up). For this quilt, I used the whole width of the fabric – so like 44″ and for the length I went about 64″ Then I cut the batting to match. I use a 100% cotton backing because it has a nice tack to it and sticks with the cotton fabric without any shifting. I iron the backing to the fabric with a hot iron to make the two pieces stick better to each other, and to remove any wrinkles. And I’m laughing as I look at this really wrinkly picture! I must have ironed it after this!
I wanted to make a diagonal strip quilt (never done this before), and thought it would be cool if I started at one corner, and then reversed the diagonal. So first step was to make a base-line to end my first set of strips.
I used my fussy cutter, to get a good straight edge from my fabric. I used my long ruler to follow that line and draw directly on the batting.
Okay so I don’t have a photo of the next step, but basically I laid out all my strips FACE-UP on the batting, starting on the baseline I just drew, and trimmed the ends about an inch longer than the end of the quilt.
Then all you do is start sewing. I rolled up the majority of the quilt so it would fit in my machine arm, laid down my first strip and sewed it down right-side-up. I just use a standard sewing foot and keep my feet in a normal position.
Flip the strip over – exposing the right-side. I recommend pressing this down to keep all your seams nice and flat. Then you take the next strip and again place it right-side to right-side – match up the seams, and sew.
This is what the quilt starts looking like as you sew and flip, press, and repeat.
And here is the whole set-up with my rolled-up batting and backing. I unroll it as I add more strips.
You can see the backing and batting is all being quilted together in one step.
I used my long ruler again to mark a diagonal line on the top of the fabric. You need to make sure that you’re not sewing on a weird angle from this point, and also to make sure that your selvage edge all gets covered by your next strip.
I laid out all my strips in the order I wanted to sew them on. For the longer ones, I had to sew extra to make the strips longer. I decided to sew a different fabric on the end, but using the same fabric would give a more seamless look for your strips.
Once I was happy with the layout, I pinned the first strip right-side to right-side along the line I just drew, rolled up the excess, and sewed down the seam.
Then I followed the same process as above and sewed all the rest of the strips down. Then I simply squared it up to prepare it for binding.
You can see the quilting lines on the back here:
For the binding, I cut any remaining strips in half long ways, and sewed a long line of scrap binding. Then I just machine bound it (because I have no patience for hand binding!) really quickly using this machine binding method.
You can see the scrap binding here – how it’s all the different patterns. I love how this binding looks!
So that’s pretty much it! If I missed any steps, or you have any questions, just leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to reply. This quilt took about 5 hours.
I almost forgot to show my pink/red colorway of Lost & Found 2. I made this quilt using a standard side-to-side strip quilt method. I cut varied thicknesses for my strips, and sewed several lines across each strip. This is a smaller baby-sized quilt – approx. 36×50, and took less than 2 hours to complete start to finish.