Friday, January 7, 2011

QAYG Blocks Tutorial

Once again I'm asking for Quilt As You Go (QAYG) blocks to be made and donated for the people affected by the devastating floods in Queensland (Australia). These blocks are very easy to make using scraps of batting and string pieces of fabric. By making them this way it means that I can make a lot of quilts quickly without needing to buy a lot of batting. However if any international blog readers wish to send blocks without the batting to cut down on postage costs then that would be fine too. I can just join the blocks sent and make more if needed to make the quilts in sets of 5x7 or 6x8.
The blocks are made to 10.5" finished and I start with an 11"square and then trim to 10.5" when the strips have been added.
So start with any fabric for the backing- all different colours won't matter and you can even piece the backing square.
Then I lay batting scraps across the backing, on the wrong side, enough to cover the square and without overlapping the batting. I also cut the batting away from the corners to make it easier to join the squares without extra bulk. Then I pin a string piece of fabric diagonally across the square.

Then start sewing strips of fabric across the square and covering the seam allowance of the previous strip. I use any width up to 2.5" across the squares and just make sure the strip is long enough to cover the backing. I use whatever comes out of the scrap pile as long as it fits across the square and as long as it hasn't already been used in that block. I also join smaller pieces to make a long strip and that is then sewn down across the square.
Keep sewing until the entire square is covered. I use larger triangle pieces for the corners so that there is less bulk in the joining seams. I press as I go and then press the block before trimming.
Then I turn the block to the reverse side and measure it to 10.5" square and trim the sides. I turn to the reverse side to make sure that I don't trim the backing too short on one side.

I also sew down across the triangle corners to make sure they lay flat. I keep making them until I have enough for a set.
If making these blocks without the batting, I use thin fabric such as old sheets and sew the strips down in the same way using the thin fabric as a foundation. Then trim as before.
It's an effective way to make up quilts fairly quickly. I join the blocks using strips of binding cut to 2.5" wide and I use 21 strips cut the width of the fabric for one quilt set 5x7.
Any questions please ask me and I'll try to explain more clearly.
Bye for now, Jan Mac


kaiteM said...

good tute Jan, easy to understand. now i'll write up mine as well, cheerio, kaite

Ulla said...

How wide is the fabric for the 21 strips of 2.5" if I want to cut you strips for one quilt? Is the binding included in that measure?

Nancy said...

Is any kind of batting ok? Does it need to be Cotton or poly?

Jan Mac said...

Yes any kind of batting is fine and you can even use polar fleece as it will all be enclosed. If the batting is a bit thicker I trim a triangle of batting off each corner so I don't have so much bulk where I join the seams.
Cheers, Jan Mac

Unknown said...

Hi, I live in Queensland in one of the flood affected areas. I would be happy to help with the distribution through my local craft group. I will take this article to my group next Tuesday and I'm sure a lot of the ladies will make some of these blocks. I will definitely make some for you. Our town has been under water for the last two weeks and at this stge it looks like it will be another week or two before people can get back to their homes.
Keep up the good work.

Wendy said...

Hi Jan,
I belong to a quilting group in Sydney. We are meeting next week and will begin some blocks then.
Cheers, Wendy

Jan Mac said...

Hi Lorraine, Where do you live in Qld? Are you able to email me at as I can't reply to your email address via the blog.
Thanks for stopping by.
Jan Mac

Tess Howe said...

Hi Jan....Tess Howe from England, I've found 18 - 12" blocks in my stash. I can put wadding and backing fabric on them if you would like them for your quilts. I also have 35 squares almost done with warm and natural wadding, so they'll be coming in the future. Take care...Tess Howe

Jan Mac said...

Hi Tess, Thank you so much that would be wonderful I can use any blocks you care to donate. Also you can use any batting as it will all work together when the blocks are joined.
Many thanks Jan Mac

Janel said...

Good idea with the batting there-- thank you!