Festival of Quilts: Quilt as you go talk

The second talk I attended at the festival of quilts was about quilting your quilt in sections by Marti Michell. I decided to attend this talk because although I’ve heard of some of the methods and even read about some of them. I was still a little confused about how exactly it works and the different ways to do it. So, I thought attending a talk and seeing examples in person would hopefully make it all a bit clearer. Thankfully that was the case, and I learnt about a number of different methods to quilt in sections.

The first method was a “7 layer seam” method, where you join the quilted sections together adding in an additional ‘joining strip’, which is kind of like a binding that covers the join on the back of the quilt.

The second method was a “5 layer seam”, which you can use if one of the edges you’re joining has no quilting past the 1/4 inch seam allowance. This kind of join leaves you with a single seam line on the back (rather than a strip like in the previous method) which could just look like a pieced back.

The third method we learnt about was one you could use if you quilt has a large centre panel and then borders around the edge. Basically you make the centre panel and quilt it, and then she showed us a method to attach the borders and the batting for the Borders at the same time in a way so you can hardly tell that it wasn’t all done as one big quilt. She called this method “border control”

The last method we learnt about was a “low fat” method, which you can use to quilt a quilt where you’ve already assembled the entire quilt top but don’t want to have to try and fit the whole thing under the throat of the machine. Basically in this method you lay out the whole quilt to baste it but you only baste a strip down the middle (she used the middle third as an example but I guess you could do more strips than that depending on the size of your quilt). After basting the middle you cut off the batting from the un-basted sections and quilt the middle. This means you’re only having to fit the top and back fabric in the machine throat and not the batting as well, which should make it more manageable. She then told us some ways of re-joining the batting so you can quilt the outside sections.

If you want to learn more about these methods Marti talked about, they’re all detailed in her book.

MMQG members: I’m planning on having a go at little versions of these techniques before I forget what she told us so if there’s interest I can try and show you at a future sit and sew day.


  1. Kirsty

    I would definitely be interested to find out more about them.

  2. Bek

    Rach you should definitely do a thingy at one of the SASDs (not August – cause i wont be there hehe). I would be interested :)


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