You may have noticed that the above block is already quilted. Oh yes it is! I have seen many methods of "quilting as you go" but have never tried it myself. The whole having to hand-sew the backing on the blocks together made it a no-go for me. But then Maureen Cracknell Handmade posted this awesome (and awesomely simple!) tutorial last week. I may now actually finish the quilts that I start! Hooray!
Basically, her method has you quilt each block to its own square of batting, sew all of the quilted squares together, and then attach the backing with a minimum amount of quilting. I think it's going to be awesome. Did I already say that? Well, fabulous, then. I tried it out this weekend on my completed blocks, and it works really well for projects such as this where all the blocks are different. You can really make the quilting complement each block individually. The only downside of this method, for me anyway, is that the quilting patterns on each block don't translate to the backing fabric. The backside of the quilting is hidden inside the quilt. BUT, if I have to choose between paying someone a ton of money to longarm quilt for me, try to quilt myself the traditional way where I need to set up 3 extra tables to hold the bulk of my quilt, or not have the backing show the quilting stitches on the front, then I choose option 3 hands down. Hiring out a longarm quilter makes the quilt feel like it's not completely my creation. For that reason, I still haven't completed this quilt for my daughter from August. I just can't bring myself to try to fit it through my machine, although I know I could do it. I'm thinking about dismantling it a bit and using the quilt as you go method, and then sewing it back together. For the first time since I began quilting nearly 10 years ago, the quilting part is actually fun!
Here's a little peek at my quilting so far:
|Pins and more pins|
|This block was a little tricky, because my needle kept getting stuck in the Heat n Bond that was used in its construction. I ended up quilting just the little background squares that peek through the stripes.|
|Back of Block 3|
|Block 3: I loved quilting this one!|
|Back of Block 3|
|Back of Block 4|
|Ooh, I can't wait to finish this!|