Hi Creative Mamas! I am super excited to share with you a great quilting technique called quilt as you go which I love and the one that I use the most within my quilting practice.
I love how easy it is, I love that I don’t need to worry about the batting at the end of the piecing process and it feels great in my hands while I am working on my quilt 🙂 So, lets get started and let me show you how to make a quilt as you go log cabin quilt 🙂
Using Tea dyed fabric for the log cabin quilt block
For this quilt as you go log cabin quilt block I used a variety of tea dyed fabric scraps. Dyeing fabric with tea is a great way to make the fabric look antique and also create a uniform tone. Check out how to give fabric a vintage look with tea dyeing tutorial here.
What is quilt as you go?
Quilt as you go is a technique that allows you to sew the blocks and do the quilting at the same time. The good thing about this method is that you are working with the top fabric and the batting together so there is no need for basting or spraying at the end of a big quilt because the batting is already attached to each block.
All you need to do after the blocks are completed is sew them to one another, add the sashing, attach the under fabric and bind it.
What is a log cabin quilt?
A log cabin quilt is a quilt that is made of one big log cabin block or many little log cabin blocks. It works really well in combination with quilt as you go.
Each block is made out of fabric stripes that go around a center fabric piece. this block design is called log cabin because it resembles a wooden cabin made out of logs with the center piece referencing the fireplace.
The log cabin quilts blocks can be seamed through a base fabric block as they are seamed to each other. They can also be seamed to each other without any base fabric and they can even be seamed directly to the batting and quilted as you sew the log cabin log block.
This method is called quilt as you go and this tutorial will show you how to make a wonderful quilt as you go log cabin quilt. It’s a great base to use in combination with other sewing crafts projects.
How to make a quilt as you go log cabin quilt Tutorial
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First of all lets gather all the materials we need and download the Log Cabin Quilt Block and print it out. This will make the sewing part so much easier and you can guide yourself by following the sewing sequence diagram.
Materials and equipment
Cut a square 11 inches by 11 inches of the 100 % Cotton Batting. Cut strips of fabric (in a variety of colors and textures) 3 inches wide and 10 inches long aprox. the length will vary and you will be trimming these strips as you quilt along. You can but with fabric scissors or with the rotary cutter. i prefer the rotary cutter. It’s super quick 🙂
Cut a 2 inches by 3 inches piece of fabric. This will be the starting point of your log cabin block.
Place the piece of fabric on the batting on a diagonal. Cut another piece of fabric the same size (2 inches by 3 inches) and place it on top right sides together. Sew the two pieces of fabric together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I recommend using a walking foot for your machine. This will allow for the thickness of the fabric to move through your machine without any problems.
Turn the top piece to the right side and press the seam. Since you are using 100 % cotton batting you can press freely without worrying about the batting sticking to the iron.
Once the seam is nicely pressed you will do your first quilt as you go. Quilt a line of stitching in the middle of both pieces. Be sure to finish the quilting stitch beyond the pieces of fabric so that it will be covered with the following log of fabric.
From now on you will repeat this process moving clockwise or anti clockwise (you need to decide at the beginning) around the first piece of fabric (in this case the blue log). Add the third piece of fabric (the same width as the first pieces and as long as the other two pieces stitched together), stitch, press and quilt as you go (always in the middle of the log).
Keep moving around the initial log in a clockwise or anti clockwise motion. Each strip of fabric can be one piece or a strip made out of several pieces if you want to add extra visual texture. Once you have sewn five pieces you can start cutting your strips a bit narrower for extra variety, otherwise keep to the 3 inches width.
When you reach the edges of your batting square (it will be in a diagonal format) you can start to think about the framing. In this case I framed my log cabin block with navy blue silk. Repeat the process of sewing, pressing and quilting as you go with the four blue stripes.
In this tutorial I kept the blue strips 3 inches wide so I needed more logs to cover my square completely. This is optional. You can make your blue strips extra wide so your quilt is finished with the blue framing.
Turn your quilt block upside down and cut around the square removing all excess fabric. You can cut with your fabric scissors or with your rotary cutter.
Your quilt as you go log cabin quilt block is done! You have done all the hard work of piecing and quilting already so all left to do is determine what size quilt you will make and sew the quilt as you go blocks together.
You can apply this same log cabin pattern process to many fabric combinations. I love playing around with my natural dyed fabric scraps. Check out this log cabin quilt which is a combination of machine quilt, hand quilt all made up in naturally dyes silk and cotton.
How to join quilt as you go blocks
The great thing about quilting as you go is that when it comes to finishing the quilt you are almost done. You have done all the quilting and the piecing together so now its a matter of sewing the blocks to each other. You may want to add a sashing in between the blocks or above the blocks, this step is entirely optional.
PRO HACK: Set your machine with a 1/4 inch foot to make it easier to have a consistent 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Lay out your blocks, make sure they are all the same size. Fold one block over the other. Line up the edges and sew them in place. If you have several blocks you can do chain piecing.
Press the seams open using steam and a very hot setting in your iron. That’s it! The next step is to quilt to a backing fabric and my favorite method is a stitch in the ditch.
Quilt as you go blocks
Here are some blocks that are ready to be turned into a little quilt or into individual pillows. I havent decided yet!
I love them so much and I keep adding details to them. I think I will embroider face and clothing details by hand using my favorite hand embroidery stitches such as backstitch, chain stitch and french knots.
Machine quilt and applique blocks
The quilt as you go blocks above have been made first by laying a square of fabric on top of the cotton batting. Then I quilted on top by sewing parallel rows of stitches.
Once I had the square quilted block I then started creating the applique through an iron on method.
Quilt as you go fabric books
The same method was used to create these quilt as you go fabric book and book covers.
The book on the left was a fabric book as a baby gift. Check out the tutorial on how to make a fabric book using upcycled baby clothes. Super FUN!
The book on the right is a fabric book cover that I made as gifts for friends. I used hand dyed tie dyed fabric, quilt as you go and fabric collage applique. Check out this fabric book cover tutorial. Super EASY!
As you can see the quilt as you go method can be used in combination with the log cabin block as we ll as in combination with applique, embroidery, the sky is the limit.
Download you Free Quilt Pattern and sewing sequence plus get access to my Resource Library
Want to turn your quilt as you go log cabin block into a quilted pillow?
Check out this super easy step by step tutorial. I will walk you through a super easy process to make a beautiful and elegant pillow in no time!
Making a quilt as you go silk pillow tutorial
Sewing and quilting with silk is a really nice thing. I hand dye all my silk fabric so for me quilting with silk is a little bit of a treat.
Last month I was tidying up my sewing room and I came across as big box full of hand dyed silk scraps that I had completely forgotten about. I decided to make a pillow from all the scarps and I used the quilt as you go log cabin method as well.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and that you are ready to get started with quilt as you go! Please reach out should you have any questions!
More machine quilting tutorials at La Creative Mama
- How to make a baby pillow cover tutorial
- How to sew a quilted pillow cover for girls
- How to make an easy quilted pillow cover