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Do you believe rules were meant to be broken? If so, this improvisational quilt-as-you-go technique is for you. Instead of dealing with precise paper patterns and cutting measurements, you’ll learn how to piece fabric onto small, manageable batting blocks. Let your creative juices flow as you quilt directly on the blocks (not the entire quilt!), whether in large abstract zigzags or small structured stitches. After the blocks have been joined, all you need to do is add backing fabric and binding, and―voilà―it’s finished!
From the Publisher
Jelly Roll Selection Tip
When choosing a jelly roll, think of the overall color scheme of your quilt. Softer colors blend really well right next to one another. With bolder colors, consider adding a border around each block or use joining strips when assembling the quilt to help break them up.
Depending on the design of your blocks, you can make 20 to 25 blocks 9.˝ . 9.˝ from a jelly roll that has 42 strips. Customize the size of your quilt by adding rows of blocks.
Binding Strip Calculation Tip
To calculate how many binding strips you need to cut and how much yardage you need, add 10˝ to the total perimeter of your quilt top. Divide that number by 40˝ (the width of fabric) to see how many strips you will have to cut. Then add 2.˝ for each strip to allow for the seam allowance when you join strips diagonally. Check to see if this changes the number of strips you’ll need to cut. Multiply the total number of strips by 2.˝ to calculate the yardage.
Traditional turned Quilt-As-You-Go
While many quilt-makers use the quilt as-you-go method to make improvisational quilts, you can make your blocks look as abstract or as structured as you want, or a little bit of both.
The traditional Ohio Star nine-patch quilt block is a good example since it is a structured block that typically requires premeasuring and perfect seam allowances to achieve perfect star points. In the following example, I pieced the same block four different ways, all using the quilt as-you-go technique.