Thursday, 19 February 2015

Through the Woods--piecing as you quilt

I made these 3 table runners for Christmas gifts, from a single jelly roll, plus backing.  The jelly roll was Moda's Through the Woods, which I found to be nicely seasonal, without being overly Christmas-y, so the runners could be used until spring if the owners so desire.

I held out 9 strips for binding, used 21 strips to make the runners on the left and the right, and used another 11 strips to make the runner in the center.  I had originally thought I'd have to make the center one a little shorter, but there was one extra strip in my jelly roll!  So I have 1/2 strips left from that whole jelly roll.  No waste!

Some of my friends have been making "quilt as you go" projects, where the seams form the quilting as well, and the project is done very easily and quickly.  I liked the idea, but, of course, it was really just a vehicle for the decorative quilting that I love to do, so I renamed it "piece as you quilt".    Terri Watson has a really good tutorial for what she calls "One Fell Swoop" and that was where I first got the idea that you could piece on the longarm...of course, it has taken me a couple of years to follow through on that.

I did have someone ask how I did it, and I took lots of photos, so because Andrea asked, you all get to see how I did it.  What I did differently than I think others might do on their longarm, is that I started at the bottom, rather than the top, it just seemed that it would be easier to me.

you cannot see it in the photo below, but I stitched down the loose edge on the bottom piece before quilting it, so it was secured and couldn't shift

  I took photos as I worked my way up the quilt to the middle, so I'd have visual guides of what to quilt as I moved away from the middle again.  I had sorted my fabrics by color and print, and wanted to unify them by using the same quilting in the same positions.

 These two runners are identical except for the binding... I pieced this as one jelly roll across, and then cut them apart to the width I wanted before binding.  Each fabric is different, 21 different fabrics.
 And this is the 3rd one.  For this top I cut each jelly roll strip in 1/2 before I started, so this one has the same fabrics radiating out from the center, 11 different fabrics.
 On the back you can see all the 'seam lines' where I stitched the pieces together, and then the fun texture lines too.

This was a fun way to stitch up some Christmas presents. 


  1. Sew very interesting...and cute.

  2. Wow, how cool is that! I have often thought about doing a QAYG on the longarm, but haven't tried it yet. Love your ideas!

  3. Your take on piecing on the longarm is very interesting. Starting at the bottom, and making a large piece and cutting it - moments of genius! Why ruler and not channel locks? I think both would work, just curious...

  4. Really, REALLY neat idea, Michelle! I can't wait to try it! Thanks for telling me about it. :-)

  5. I came back to ask if there are any contraindications to using a small iron to press the top strip over once it is sewn. ??? Do I have to worry about smooshing the batting? Steam shrinking my leaders? Anything else you can think of? Appreciate your help, MM...maybe I'll just have you come down here & teach it to the guild for me! LOL


  6. This is so great!! Thank you. Have been looking for a "piece on the frame" tut, but, so happy am I, you went even further.... "Quilt as you go". I do so love this. Will soon be putting scraps together to make the quilt. Thanks baskets full.