Quilt As You Go Table Runner

Island Batik Ambassadors Quilt As You GoThe August challenge for the Island Batik Ambassadors was to create a “Quilt As You Go” project. I have to admit as a longarm quilter this didn’t thrill me. But a challenge is a challenge. I was pleasantly surprised that the end results were very satisfying. Perseverance paid off!

Remembering a time BLA (before longarm), some 20+ years ago, when I discovered what was then called “All in One Piecing & Quilting,” I decided to do another “redo” and remake a quilt I made circa 1997. But I’m getting ahead of myself….

With all the wonderful stash builder bundles I received with my two fabric shipments this year from Island Batik I figured it was time to open those fabulous little rolls to see my treasures!

Beautiful Island Batik Stash Builders
So much fabric, sew little time
Colorful 5" x WOF Island Batik Stash Builder strips
A treasure trove of fabulous Island Batik fabrics, 5″ x WOF, a total of almost 10 yards!
A rainbow of fabric colors
Strips are sorted by color family

I asked my youngest son, the artist if he would sort my colors for me. Our conversation led to inquiries concerning my next project…one thing led to another and before I knew it, he was picking out “his colors” for this month’s creation.

I located my original star quilt and the book by Marti Michell, Weekend Star Quilts for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt. I was pleased to see that it is still available!

Quilt AS You Go Book and fabrics
Time to remake an old Quilt As You Go quilt with fresh new colors

Back in the day, the “all in one piecing and quilting” method was designed to combine the block construction with the quilting, or as we now call it “quilt as you go,” by piecing the block while joining the backing and batting. This pattern had a few block units that needed to be constructed prior to the all-in-one assembly.

Pre-assembly of units for this Quilt As You Go Block
This Quilt As You Go Block required the prior piecing of 5 units per block

As per the instructions in the book, the blocks were joined by stitching through all layers – block, batting, and backing. It was quick work.

Quilt As You Go technique requires careful piecing just as traditional quilting.
Center the middle unit on the layer of batting and backing, then join the side unit as in normal block construction with a good quarter inch seam, back tacking at the beginning and end of the units.
Quilt As You Go method is quick assembly
Continue building the block by piecing the units through all layers of the quilt. Finger press seams.
Adding setting triangles to the Quilt As You Go block
The final units, setting triangles, are added. Repeat for two more blocks! Almost done!

This process was amazingly fast! Just like assembling a normal block. The bonus was there would be no additional quilting needed after the blocks were joined together!  My original quilt was a lap size, but this time I was making a three block table runner.

All In One Piecing and Quilting method
Original quilt joined blocks together with a hand sewn method – which left “ridges” on the back.

I will mention that at this point I did decide on a design change. Marti’s method had you joining the blocks where they were seamless on the front, with a method of joining on the back that required hand sewing. I can remember this wasn’t something I enjoyed! Fast forward to life with YouTube and I found a quicker method…thank you, Jenny of Missouri Star Quilt Company, for your explanation of joining blocks.

This newer method was much faster – anytime you can do things by machine and not by hand is naturally quicker.

Step 1 of Joining Blocks with Quilt As You Go Method
Trim away the excess batting from the block, being careful not to cut into the backing
Step Two Quilt As You Go Joining Blocks
Trim the backing to one inch larger than the block
Step 3 joining Quilt as you Go blocks
Place two blocks together back to back right sides together and sew a one-inch seam to join
Step 4 Quilt As You Go Joining Blocks
Open the sewn blocks revealing the seam allowance on top, finger press open then fold under to form a faux binding
Stitching from the top, stitch down the seam to complete the joining of the blocks. Repeat to join all blocks
Quilt As You Go Binding
Once blocks are joined together, fold over outer edges as a self-binding to complete your project.

Before long my Sunday afternoon sewing resulted in a nice fall table runner. Again, as a longarm quilter, I’m not used to leaving so many areas unquilted but have to admit that the thrill is having something made so easily that is both beautiful and functional – not to mention FINISHED and finished is good!

I’m actually thinking of making this again in a different color way…who knows!

Using a 20+ year old pattern The Quilt Rambler has made a fresh modern table runner. using the quilt as you go method
Using a 20+-year-old pattern The Quilt Rambler has made a fresh modern table runner.
Quilt As you go table runner and quilt
My new table runner next to my original lap quilt using the Quilt As You Go method

I hope you will check out Marti Michell’s method of  “All in One Piecing and Quilting. She published several books in her series “Quilting for People Who Don’t Have Time to Quilt“.  Proving once again, what is old is new again!

This is Karen Overton, The Quilt Rambler, proving that a longarm quilter can have an enjoyable experience with a Quilt As You Go method on the domestic sewing machine (grin).

Have you tried Quilt As You Go? Check out the other Island Batik Ambassadors this month for more ideas and inspiration.

Quilt As You Go Table Runner tutorial
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