If you haven’t tried quilt as you go (QAYG), you’re going to love today’s tutorial.
You only need a few things to do this easy, improvisational technique:
- Fabric scraps
- Batting cut in the block size you wish (I used 9½” square)
- Iron or seam roller
- Janome MC9450 (or another wonderful Janome model)
I set up my Janome MC9450 with the regular needle plate and the F foot. It was important to have this needle plate on the Janome MC9450 as I wanted to add decorative stitches to my project.
I wanted the decorative stitches to stand out, so I chose a 12-weight thread for the decorative stitches. Typically, you would use a thinner thread (50 or 60 weight) for the piecing of this block, but as I didn’t want to have to keep changing out my thread, I used the 12-weight for the piecing too – and the Janome MC9450 worked perfectly! You don’t have to use a heavier weight thread on your project, but it did make the decorative stitches pop.
You’ll be using the batting square as your background and will build your design with your fabric scraps on it. Choose a scrap to use as the first, central piece (it can be any size or shape you’d like, but the edges should be straight) and place it face up on the batting. Choose another fabric scrap and line it up with the right edge of the first piece, right sides together (the wrong side of this fabric will be facing you). Stitch these two pieces together with a ¼”-ish seam. I used the Q2 stitch on the Janome MC9450 for this ¼” stitching.
I usually use the HP2 foot and needle plate for my ¼” seam, but I didn’t want to have to change out my foot and needle plate, so I stayed with my current machine set-up. This is a great project to practice getting an accurate ¼” seam, but if your stitching isn’t perfect, it won’t affect the look of the project.
Once you’ve stitched down these first two pieces, you’ll want to press the seam open or use a seam roller, as I did. Next, you’ll want to add some additional quilting to each piece.
Most quilters would use a straight stitch to add additional quilting to these two pieces, but with the hundreds of stitches available on the Janome MC9450, I thought that I could do better than just a straight stitch.
There are numerous decorative stitches on the Janome MC9450 and I’ve used many of them in other projects, but for this one, I kept it old school and used utility stitches – you know, those stitches that every sewing machine has to handle sewing with knits, overlocking seams, etc. I don’t use these stitches very often as I’m a quilter so I thought I’d experiment with them and, as you’ll see, these worked very well to provide texture and interest to my block. Sometimes keeping it simple is the best choice!
When adding your own quilting stitches, whether you use decorative ones or utility stitches, be sure to stitch them parallel to the seam allowance. If you always follow this “rule” as you go along, your piece will look cohesive when it is finished.
After adding extra lines of quilting stitches to these first two pieces, you’ll want to continue adding additional fabric pieces in a log cabin type of way. Be sure that each additional piece of fabric extends past the edges of the previous piece and that you place it right side down and piece it with a ¼” seam. Press it out, add quilting stitches, and continue along in this fashion until you have covered the entire batting block.
You’ll probably have some fabric extending out past the block edges, so trim up your block and you’ll be ready to use it in a project.
For more details and tips on being successful creating this QAYG block on your Janome MC9450, click on the image below.