Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hands2Help - Introducing Our 2nd Guest Blogger, Lisa!

Hi, all!

Sunday is here, and it's time for another guest blogger for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!  (It's also our first check-in date - you can read more about that at the end of the post.)  Today I'm so very happy to welcome Lisa (a/k/a/ Ellie Quilter) from Love to Color My World!  She's got a great post for us today, which solves a problem I bet many of us face! So without further ado, here's Lisa!


Hi! My name is Lisa and I blog under the name Ellie Q (for L(isa) E(rin) Quilter) over at Love to Color My World. I've been following Sarah's blog for a few years now and am constantly impressed with her turnout of quilts to give to others. When she asked for guest bloggers to post tutorials this year for the Hands2Help Challenge, I jumped at the chance.

I enjoy making charity quilts but I frequently encounter one stumbling block: the quilting. Picking a pattern and finding fabric in my stash? Yep! Stitching the quilt top? Sure! Then I get to the quilting part. I don't have a longarm (it's on my "someday" list), and I can use all the machine quilting practice I can get on my domestic machine. But I frequently am frustrated by the pulling and maneuvering of the quilt, not to mention the huge blank canvas that needs to be filled with stitching, so I'm less inclined to finish those charity quilts--it just seems like too big of a job.

A while back, I made a quilt for my guild's annual charity project using the quilt-as-you-go method. This made the quilting part less intimidating and easier to do. That's what I'm going to share with you today.

My tutorial will show you how to make the exact quilt you see here, but you can easily adapt this concept to your own needs or stash by using any width strips--just be sure to calculate the length of the quilt so that you start with enough backing and batting!

Row-by-Row Dino Quilt
You'll Need:
3/4 yard focal print
1/4 yard each 3 coordinating prints
1/4 yard each white solid, dark blue solid, light yellow solid and green solid
1/2 yard goldenrod solid
1/2 yard binding fabric
44" x 62" piece of batting
2 yards backing fabric

Focal print:
Three 8" x 42" strips

Coordinate #1 (stripe)
Two 3-1/2" x 42" strips

Coordinate #2 (squares)
Two 3" x 42" strips

Coordinate #3 (green plaid)
Two 4" x 42" strips

White solid:
Three 1-1/2" x 42" strips

Dark blue solid:
Two 2-1/2" x 42" strips

Light yellow solid:
Two 2-1/2" x 42" strips

Green solid:
Two 2-1/2" x 42" strips

Goldenrod solid:
Two 2-1/2" x 42" strips
Three 2" x 42" strips

Binding print:
(5) 2-1/2" x 42" strips

Let's get started!

1. First, we'll make the two pieced rows. Sew each 2-1/2" x 42" dark blue strip lengthwise to a 2-1/2" x 42" light yellow strip. From the two strip sets, cut twenty 2-1/2" wide segments.

2. Sew these segments into ten four-patches.

3. Join the four-patches together to make a checkerboard row measuring 40-1/2" wide.

4. Sew the two 2-1/2" x 42" green strips and two 2-1/2" x 42" goldenrod strips together as shown to make a strip set. Cut the strip set into five 4-1/2" wide segments.

 5.  Sew the segments together to make a striped row. Your two pieced rows should look like this and both measure 40-1/2" wide.

6. Lay out all of the cut strips in the order you desire on a design wall. You can see my layout here (and you'll notice it differs slightly from the finished quilt...oops!) But that also demonstrates the beauty of this technique--you can change the layout--accidentally or on purpose--mid assembly and everything works just fine! :)

7. Trim each strip to measure 40-1/2" wide, the same length as the pieced rows. Note: If you make this quilt without the pieced rows, you don't have to worry about trimming your strips; you can simply square up the quilt when you've finished piecing and quilting it. 

8. Lay out the backing and batting. I spray basted the layers together, which I think helps, but you don't have to. Don't worry too much about wrinkles right now--you'll smooth them out as you add rows.

9. Flip the backing/batting combo over so the batting side is face up. Find the center point, lengthwise, and use chalk or a marking pen to draw a line across the batting. 

10. Smooth out the backing/batting along this center line. Take the middle two strips off your design wall and match their raw edges on the drawn line, centering from left to right as well. Be sure the strips are layered right sides together. See how wrinkled my batting is? No problem! 

 11. Using your walking foot, stitch along the layered raw edges using a 1/4" seam allowance. You'll be sewing through the two rows, the backing and the batting...quilting as you go! Press the rows open so they look like mine below. You can also see how I have the excess batting and backing rolled up on both sides of where I'm working. This makes it easier to maneuver around your sewing machine.

12. Add on the next strip from the design wall in the same stitch and flip manner. Before adding each piece, be sure to smooth the backing and batting flat.

13. Below you see the third strip pressed open. You can see that I then quilted the middle strip. I find it easiest to quilt a row after it has been secured with another row on each side. You can quilt each row after it's secured, or you can stitch and flip all the rows onto the quilt and then go back and quilt each row--your choice! I did a little of each based on my mood--when I was in the mood to play around with machine quilting, I'd quilt a row after it was secured. The only drawback to that is that you're switching sewing machine feet (and potentially thread color) often. 

14. Add the checkerboard row. For efficiency, I like to work in both directions at once, pinning a row to the top edge and the bottom edge of my growing quilt top. 

15.  Two more rows added:  Don't forget to smooth out the backing and batting before each new seam!

16.  Here you can see I took a break from adding rows and did a little quilting. The rows are great for practicing some new motifs in a confined space!

17.  When all the rows have been added and quilted, trim the batting and backing even with the quilt top.

18. Use the five 2-1/2" x 42" strips to bind the quilt. 

A couple close-ups of the quilt front and back:

I always love looking at my machine quilting from a distance! :)

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial! You can also use this technique on larger quilts, or even add borders. I happen to prefer this approximate size of quilt for this technique because it's easy--each row can be made from a strip of fabric, selvedge to selvedge (without piecing), and you can just fit the quilt top onto a single width of backing without piecing. 

Thanks again, Sarah, for letting me guest post today! I can't wait to see all of the finished quilts made for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge!


Thank you, Lisa, for a great post!  I've always wanted to do a QAYG quilt, but hadn't found a tutorial until now!  So now I have no excuse... I must make my first QAYG quilt!!  


And now it's time for to check in!  There's a linky party below where you can link to a blog post on your blog or a photo on the Flickr page for the H2H Challenge.  If you don't have a blog and aren't on Flickr, feel free to email your picture to me at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll link them up for you.  (Please reduce the size of your pictures before emailing them - 200-400 kb is a great size.  It's big enough to see detail but not so large it takes forever to download!)  Your quilts don't have to be finished for this check-in date - you can just share your progress and be cheered on by everyone!  

I know that some of you have already completed quilts and sent them on to one or more of the charities - I love seeing that you are all so excited about the Challenge!  You guys keep me excited about it too!

I can't wait to see what you're working on!




  1. My quilts are on their way. Thank you Lisa for a great tutorial. Another wonderful way to make a quilt as well as get comfortable with quilting on your home machine.

  2. Thanks for the detailed, easy to follow directions. I'll be back this afternoon to link my H2H progress.

  3. Like Lisa, machine quilting is where I get bogged down on finishing a quilt. Her tutorial is wonderful, and I will definitely give her method a try soon.

  4. Lisa's quilt is so sweet, thanks for the tutorial.

  5. Lisa's quilt is so sweet, thanks for the tutorial.

  6. Thanks for the QAYG tutorial. Very cute quilt!

  7. It's very nice to meet Lisa and many thanks to her for the QAYG tutorial. I've never attempted the technique but with such an understandable tool, I'm willing to give it a try. Thank you Sarah for this post.

    I've linked my progress report. I'm so happy to be part of this worthy challenge.

  8. Gee, I wish I had thought of this earlier.... I could have had a V-8! It would have been easier. Thanks for the tut. I hope I remember for the next quilt.

  9. Wow ... so many energetic and creative people! I love the QAYG idea ... thanks Lisa. And it's fun seeing everyone's work in progress.

    When the sun comes up Monday I can take pics and post my own progress with scrappy blocks.

    Thanks Sarah!

  10. This is a great idea. Thank you for a most excellent tutorial.

  11. I've got a post up with my progress so far on the second top I'm planning to send to Layers of Hope. The first top is at the long arm quilt shop, waiting for its turn to be quilted. :- ) I also have two quilts in process for children in foster care locally. Woohoo!

  12. Eeep! I better get my butt in gear!
    Thank you for that lesson LIsa - it will definitely come in handy!

  13. Wonderful tutorial, Lisa, and a very pretty quilt. Thanks ... :) Pat


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