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Quilting Fundamentals: Quilt-As-You-Go Basics

The quilt-as-you-go method is a quilting technique that is exactly what it sounds like — you quilt as you go along. So, as you are piecing your fabric together, you are also quilting the quilt. It is a great technique to use on table runners, pot holders and other small projects that you would like to make quickly. It works best with piecing that is done by adding one strip to the next.

Let’s go over the quilt-as-you-go basics, so you can use this fun technique on your next project!

Quilt As You Go Basics

To create your quilt as you go block, you will need:

  • Batting: For a beginner, cut to about 10-12″ square. Use 100% cotton or an 80-20 blend.
  • Backing fabric: But the same size as the batting, or a little larger
  • Fabric strips: these can be the same size or different sizes for variety
  • Scissors, rotary cutter, ruler, and sewing machine with a walking foot
  • Iron and ironing board

This technique is great for beginning quilters, because progress is made quickly. And experienced quilters love how fast you can turn a pile of strips into a project that is both pieced and quilted at the same time.

Step 1:

supplies for quilt as you go basics

Begin by making your quilt sandwich. Lay your backing fabric wrong side up, then the batting, then the first strip, right side up. The first strip will be the only strip that is placed right side up. Every other strip will be placed right side down.

Step 2:

create the quilt sandwich

Place the second strip on top of the first. If your strips are different sizes, make sure that the sides where your seam will be line up. Stitch down using a walking foot. You can learn more about a walking foot in this Craftsy post on the basics of machine quilting.

Step 3:

sew down strips

Once you have stitched the length of the strip, take the block to the ironing board, and press the top strip back.

Step 4:

press back strip

Repeat this process, stitching down additional strips, then pressing them back.

Step 5:

keep adding strips

When your quilt as you go block is large enough, you can trim it down.

Step 6:

trim up the block

Quilt as you go blocks make wonderfully quilted pillow fronts. Add the pillow back, and insert a pillow form for fun and fast quilted decor. It is also a fantastic technique to use for making purses and bags.

Step 7:

trimmed up quilt as you go block

If your strips are smaller than the quilting distance suggested on the batting you used, you won’t need to add any more quilting to your piece. You can add extra quilting if you like, but as you can see from the back of the block, the strips have been pieced, and the block has been quilted, all at the same time.

Step 8:

back of quilt as you go block

Have you ever tried quilt as you go? What kind of project did you make?

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Darlene Miller

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Darlene Miller

How do I bookmark a blog posting?

Darlene Miller

How do I bookmark a blog posting?

Terry S

You click on the bookmark this page icon…in Google chrome it is on the right side upper corner…customize and control Google chrome…. then click on bookmark this page…you may need to note where you are bookmarking it to.

Pappy Williams

How do I connect multiple already quilted blocks together and still make an attractive finished quilt?


try searching “quilt as you go” on youtube – there are several methods for putting the blocks together. Good luck


I am so new to quilting and I have questions about this technique. What kind of batting is use for this and does it need to be prewashed ? Also, I want to add a Polyester Minky backing to my sew as you go quilt so will I be able to pre wash the quilt first with the batting attached ?


I’ve made several quilt as you go items using Sharon Pederson’s techniques in her book “Reversible Quilts”. I especially like her easy method to use sashing to join pre-quilted blocks.

Yvonne Finne

Is there a page of photos of this technique? That would help a lot. Thanks!!

Barbara MacKnight

I was expecting the basics to include how to connect the quilted as you go pieces. The first eight steps are pretty simple and intuitive. Where do I go to find out the best way to join my pieces?

janice schaub

how do you join the blocks together please


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