Thursday, September 28, 2017

Quilt-As-You-Go Chinese Coins

Chinese Coins
A Roman Stripe Variation
Also Reminiscent of Amish Bars

Moving right along with the theme of Roman stripe or Chinese coins, and adding a dash of scrappy goodness in both fabric and batting, I whipped up this delicious, little baby quilt! It took only a few days to complete, and not only did I have a top, but a completed quilt using the Quilt-As-You-Go Method. 

*In full disclosure, I am using the term loosely as I have never read the actual method, but seen a few You Tube videos using a  similar method. I blended everything I saw with my own ideas, and made it up as I went along. It was far easier to do than I had imagined so if you have time to experiment yourself, I highly recommend it. 

As you know, I've been working through scraps these past many weeks, and when I've come to the end of a fabric string or strip too short for anything else they result in these long pieced border strips. Instead of simply piecing the multicolored strips for this quilt, I also quilted as I sewed. 

So what does that really mean?

Looking at the quilt top as it is put together here, imagine each vertical row of sewed strips as a single unit. I started with a leftover piece of batting layered on top of a piece of fabric. Each time I sewed a scrap down, I used the batting and fabric below as a foundation. I worked one piece to the next until the row was finished. 

When I had 3 of these pieced rows complete, I added the 2 green sashing strips. They were also scrap batting pieces sandwiched between fabric for top and backing. I sewed from the back first keeping the batting out of the seam, and trimming excess batting and fabric bulk as they met. To cover the raw edge on the front, I added these oranges strips.

I won't get into a long conversation on how it was made as there are so many good videos and tutorials out there already. I will say I used both the strip method you see above, and also simply folded under my edge and top stitched at times. The top stitching will appear as regular straight line quilting on the back so it blends right in with no worries.

Determining Sizes

You can use the same scrap-based method to get rid of your own batting and fabric scraps. Just continue to build your center outward based on what you have as a leftover. My green side borders above were around 7", and the end borders were closer to 8". You can use seam tape to piece together batting, too, if you wish, as I did. If you think fabric scraps take up a lot of space, batting has it beat by twice or three times the volume!

Also, I ran out of basting spray while doing these borders. I recently saw a post by Kat at Kat & Cat Quilts on how she used glue sticks to baste. No glue sticks handy for me, I reached for a bottle of Washable Elmer's School Glue. I used the "Dot-dot-not-a-lot" method, and went over my batting scrap with simple dots of glue. The fabric went down on top, and I ironed it to 'dry it out' before straight line quilting. It worked just fine, thank you very much, and there were no project hold ups or emergency trips to the store. The glue washes out in the laundry.

A quick hang up on the design wall showed me the background pattern in this Amy Butler fabric really added subtle movement to this quilt.

Finished Size 38" x 50"

The orange binding on the sides only was part design and part fabric shortage. I had less than an inch to spare when I was done, and I liked how it kept the vertical lines going in this quilt. The green binding is leftover from cutting the borders, and you might be able to see the pattern accidentally continues right into the binding. That was fun!

My Opinion and Yours

I used to hate the look of the skinny sashing strips in these kind of quilts. That is just my opinion, but I think that is what kept me from ever making one. I also had never thought of using this method with borders until I found myself surrounded by all my batting scraps. I was delightfully surprised at how fast this went together, and what a great texture it has with less dense quilting. It actually feels closer to a looser, hand quilted quilt. Would I make one again? One is underway already. Yes, I have a long arm, but as there is a quilt on it presently I had to figure out another method. This was pieced and quilted entirely on an antique Singer Featherweight. As for a baby quilt size, it can be done easily!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the method and all its variations. Have you tried it, and how successful did you feel it was? Any other suggestions?

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~


Danice G said...

I have done a quilt as you go before on a small quilt, and it went well. Not much luck with spray basting, even the name-brand ones. Not much luck with safety pins or flat quilter's pins either. Glue/glue sticks sounds like something I will try. Thank you for the info. Your quilt looks beautiful.

Linda Swanekamp said...

I am not patient enough for Quilt as you go. Trying to hide seams and getting it straight and right is a lot of pressure. Yours looks scrumptious.
When I was a art teacher, I taught my students exactly "dot, dot, not a lot" and we would practice together as they have a tendency to create huge pools of glue. I love the washable Elmer's. I bought a whole gallon and use it for glue binding, holding things down temporarily, and making my fabric Scrap cards. The heat sets it real quick.

KaHolly said...

You never cease to amaze me! This is just adorable. QAYG certainly has its place! I have two in progress right now. One Is pieced 18" blocks that I'm handquilting, the other is a leader/ended scrappy project comprised of 16" pieced blocks that I'm quilting up with my walking foot. My method of choice is using the sashing strips, which don't have to be skinny if you plan it right. Your work is so encouraging, inspiring, and motivational! Yes, all three! Thank you for sharing.

Stitchin At Home said...

I have made a couple quilt as you go quilts. I like how you used your scraps, both fabric and batting in this one. And yes batting scraps need to be tamed sooner than fabric scraps.

Rebecca Grace said...

You are so right about batting scraps taking up lots of real estate! I just went through a whole carton of batting scraps, folding up what was usable for small quilts, what was a good size for checking tension, and what was just silly to save. Ended up putting a big bag of odd-sized scraps, like the post-quilting trimmings, downstairs with my cleaning supplies. They make great disposable "microfiber" dust cloths!

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