Quilt As You Go (QAYG) is the Only Way to Go!

Maybe I should qualify that statement. QAYG is the best way to quilt for me.


You don’t have to break your back, putting a huge quilt together and trying to square it up and then quilt the top or send it out which is expensive.

You can work on small pieces and join them as you go.

The pieces are quilted as you make them.

You don’t have to struggle to bind the quilt.


The designs can be limited.

Why aren’t there many detailed tutorials on how to QAYG with self binding? I see tutorials on how to put strips between the squares but none that give you instructions on how to make the actual block with piecing sizes.

Years ago, I went to a QAYG class at a local fabric shop. The instructor showed us step by step how to make a QAYG quilt with diagonal strips. I lost the instructions and I cannot find the instructions anywhere online. I will make another one I am just going to make something else up for now. I call it Pink Explosion because I went a little overboard on the pink.

Let’s Start!

What you will need:

2 1/2 yards of the backing fabric

1/2 yard each of 4 different patterns

2 yards of batting (I used low loft 80/20)

Sewing machine


rotary cutter


This quilt used almost one full spool of thread with three full bobbins of thread.

To prewash or not to prewash fabric. It’s up to you. I don’t.


35 – 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ squares from backing fabric

35 – 7 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ squares from batting

35 – 7 1/2″ x 4″ pieces of another color or pattern

35 – 4″ x 4″ pieces of a light color or pattern (I used white with a barely there pattern)

18 – 4″ x 4″ pieces of another color or pattern

17 – 4″ x 4″ pieces of another color or pattern

cut out fabric and batting

I can never sew an exact 1/4″ seam so I always cut my pieces bigger than what other people cut them. I square it up after I sew it if any hangs off to the sides.

Start putting the blocks together

Sew the white or light colored 4″ x 4″ blocks to the other two patterned 4″ x 4″ blocks.

sew white pieces to the other patterned pieces

Iron them and press seam to the dark side. Does anyone else hear Darth Vader here?

Place the backing fabric right side down.

Place the batting in the center of the square of backing fabric

I purchased something called a “Batting Buddy” when I went to that class. It helps me center the batting in the square but you can just use a ruler to make sure it is centered. There should be one inch all the way around it.

Batting Buddy
Center Batting

Place 7 1/2″ x 4″ piece right side up on top of the batting on one edge. Let’s say the top.

Place first piece of fabric on top

Now, place the piece with the piece with the two 4″ x 4″ blocks that you sewed together right side down on top of the 7 1/2″ x 4″ piece. It is important to always place the light colored piece towards the bottom or else the design will be wonky. Center the seam. There will be an overhang but we will cut that off in a bit.

Place the sewn piece on top right side down

Start sewing the seam just a little into the batting. Don’t start at the edge because it will be too hard to square up the fabric in the next step. End your stitches a little before you get to the edge of the batting.

Start a little away from the batting

After you sew it, open it up and press it open. I don’t always do this but I should.

Turn the block over and pull back the backing. Make sure it is out of the way and use a ruler to cut off all the overhanging fabric from the edge of the batting on all four sides. Batting is notorious for being stretchy and difficult so be aware of that as you square it up.

Cut off extra fabric

Repeat for every block.

Arrange all the blocks into a design that looks nice, alternating the squares. There will be 7 blocks long and 5 blocks wide.

Sewing blocks together

Place two blocks together with the backing facing each other. Pin or use clips to hold it in place. and sew a seam an inch in which is along the top fabric edge and batting. I use painters tape on my sewing machine as a guide. I would have a crooked mess if I didn’t do this. Try not to run over the batting or top fabric but it is okay if you do. It is better to have a straight edge than a crooked edge.

Sew a row of blocks together. Do this for all the rows.

Sew blocks together

Press seam outwards on each block and then fold each one under. Iron it down and sew all the way down each side, staying close to the edge. Use a zipper floot or a foot that allows you to do this.

Fold seam under
Sew close to each edge

I numbered my rows to keep track of them and to keep the design in place.

Sew the rows together the same way and fold under the seams just like you did for each block.

Sew rows together

Er mi gosh, it’s starting to look like a quilt…a very pink quilt.

Bind the quilt

Binding a QAYG quilt is so easy compared to other quilts where you have to put the binding on separately. Fold the edges inward and iron them.

Before you fold it a second time, miter each corner. Some people cut the endges to do this. I don’t because I’m too afraid of cutting it wrong and ruining the quilt. I miter the corners by folding one edge down into a triange and then folding it over. It’s hard to explain. The picture explains better.

Miter corners
Fold other side over

Fold over the open side. Fold all the sides under.

Pin corner

Pin the corners to keep them from coming undone and sew all the way around. I used a zigzag stitch but you can do a straight stitch if you think it looks better.

Finished quilt

Not the best background to put the quilt on but I think you can see the edges of the actual quilt.

All I have to do is put the label on the back. I have decided to start adding a label to tell the recipient who made it.

Published by dragonlion64

I love to craft. I sew, crochet, do duct tape crafts and recently, I bought a Cricut and I'm using it quite a bit. I get an idea in my head and I have to try it.

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