Quilt As You Go (QAYG) Strip Quilt! free sewing tutorial with videos
Make a strip quilt and quilt it as you go (QAYG) so by the time the quilt top is done, the back and quilting are done too, and you are ready for binding!
Please note, this QAYG technique and tutorial are in video format. If you must have something to print, just hit CTRL+P on your computer to print this post.
This is another version of the same strip quilt that I sewed with solid strips on the front and print strips on the back.
I love how fast and easy this quilt is to make – it’s perfect for beginners or experienced quilters who want a super quick quilt project.
And it’s reversible! The back of the quilt is the same design.
You can play with 2 different color ways like I did above, or solids and prints, or brights and pastels – your options are endless.
My finished quilts are approximately 45’’ x 50’’. It would be easy to make this quilt pattern longer by using more strips in the center. You could also make it bigger overall by adding more borders around the edges.
How to Sew a QAYG Strip Quilt (free tutorial with videos)
You will need:
24 strips of fabric for the front of the quilt (center) – 2 1/2’’ x 42’’
24 strips of fabric for the back of the quilt (center) – 2 1/2’’ x 42’’
5 strips of fabric for the front of the quilt (border) – 2 1/2’’ x 42’’
5 strips of fabric for the back of the quilt (border) – 2 1/2’’ x 42’’
5 strips of fabric for the quilt binding – 2 1/2’’ x 42’’
You will also need:
1 pkg of 2 1/4’’ wide pre-cut batting on a roll (you will have some leftover) OR
about 1 1/2 yards of 60’’ wide batting (you will also have some leftover, but buying 1 1/2 yards means that you can cut strips that are 42-45’’ long, instead of only 36’’ long strips) OR
Trim a lot of batting scraps into 2 1/4’’ wide strips (we all have leftover batting strips!)
Note: If you want to use jelly roll bundles of pre-cut 2 1/2’’ wide strips, you will need 2 jelly roll bundles. Instead of buying pre-cut fabric strips for this project, I bought a 1/2 yard bundle and used my Accuquilt Go fabric cutter and 2 1/2’’ strip cutting die to cut the exact number of strips that I needed.
Make Strip 1 – (see video above)
Sandwich a 42-44’’ long strip of batting in between one front-side-strip and one back-side-strip, with the wrong sides of the strip against the batting.
Using a walking foot on your sewing machine (highly recommended), sew one or more lines of quilting along this strip. I just sewed one wavy line, but if you want to mix it up with straight lines, angled lines, or free motion quilting, go ahead! The purpose is to quilt these pieces together.
Sewing Strip 2 – (see video above)
Place a back-side-strip against the back of your quilted piece (right sides together) and a front-side strip against the front of the quilted piece (right sides together. Line up the edges on the right side. Center a 42’’-44’’ strip of batting on the wrong side of the front-side-strip.
Pin all 6 layers together.
Sew with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
Quilting Strip 2 – (see video above)
Open up the front side strips and press (or finger press the seam on the front.
Flip the piece over and press (or finger press) the seam on the back. Pin the new strips together with the batting sandwiched in between.
From the back side of the quilt, sew one or more lines of quilting along the new strip.
Sew and Quilt Strip 3 – (see video above)
Add 2 more fabric strips and one batting strip to the most recently sewn strips as before. Pin and stitch with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
Open the strips, press (or finger press), pin together, and quilt as before.
Continue the steps for sewing and quilting Strip 3 until you have 24 strips on the front and 24 strips on the back.
Trim the Side Edges of the Quilt
It is easier to trim the sides if you fold the quilt in half horizontally as seen above.
Use a long ruler and rotary cutter to trim away the selvages (if they were left on) and even up the side edges of the quilt.
You may need to trim more or less than I did depending on how evenly sewn the strips were.
Add the Border Strips
Measure the height of the quilt in the center. It may vary a lot depending on your seam allowances and quilting. You can always add more strips at this point if you wish.
Measured in the center, my quilt was 45’’ tall so far.
Piece together 2 strips for the front border and 2 strips for the back border the same length as the center of the quilt that you just measured. Cut batting strips this length also.
Tip: Sew together all 5 of your strips for the front border and then all 5 strips for the back border. You will now be able to cut all 4 of your front and back border pieces from these long strips (with a bit leftover).
Pin the side borders to your quilt using the same sandwich method that you used to sew the center strips together (Place the back border strip against the edge on the back and the front border strip against the edge on the front, right sides together. Center the batting strip on the wrong side of the front border strip.)
Repeat for the border on the other side of the quilt.
Sew the vertical borders with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
Open the border strips, press (or finger press), pin together, and quilt.
Now measure the quilt horizontally across the center.
Mine was 45 1/4’’ wide. Yours might vary.
Cut (or piece together) 2 strips for the front and 2 strips for the back the same length as the horizontal center of the quilt that you just measured. Cut batting strips this length also.
Sew the horizontal borders with a 1/4’’ seam allowance.
Open the border strips, press (or finger press), pin together, and quilt.
Sew the Quilt Binding
Sew the 5 binding strips together and bind your quilt!
Here is my favorite all-machine binding method. In that tutorial I show you on a mini quilt, but I used the exact same method on the throw sized quilt above.
So what do you think of my QAYG strip quilting techniques? Would you like more quilt patterns that are a variation on this technique? Tell me in the comments!
See all my free quilt patterns here.
Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂
Thank you!! I have been waiting to see how you made this quilt. I’m pretty sure I’ll stitch one. Your videos are really well done.
I do a QAYG quilt that is so much faster and easier! Using the sew and flip method, I sew either 2 1/2" or varying widths for more interest, to a piece of fleece! No need for batting and the back fleece can even be pieced from remnants (which I get 1/2 price of course lol) I start in the middle of the quilt, draw a horizontal line for a starting point, and just spray baste my first piece on the line. From here, I add to both top and bottom of the starting strip until I have enough. Since the fleece is 60" wide, if you center the strips, there will be lots on each side to add borders in the same sew and flip method. Finished quilt will be from 42" to 58" wide depending on borders, and as long as your backing piece allows. You can zip one of these cuties off in a few hours if you have precuts.
I love this simple strip quilt tutorial. Thank you! Is there any reason (barring visual design) that I couldn’t make the quilt wider by flipping it and adding QAYG strips along the width as well? The center strips would then be horizontal and the outer left/right strips (necessarily pieced, as longer than 45”) would be vertical.
Your quilt is beautiful.I really like how when you’re done, you’re done except the binding. No trying to roll a quilt sandwich up to fit the sewing machine. More variations on QAYG would be great.
I can’t see the link or arrow to click to see the video
Your QAYG TUTORIAL is perfect timing! I am making several lap quilts and this could not have come at a better time. THANK YOU!!! And bless you for providing this great tutorial.
OMG this is brilliant. I love to do baby quilts and this would allow me to skip the waiting time for the long arm quilter. I can’t wait to try!!!!
Did anyone find the tutorial? I have looked so many times, there is nowhere to click for it~really would like to make one, just cannot seem to see how the first 2 pieces are done.
The whole tutorial is in the blog post above. Is your browser blocking the videos and/or photos? There is either a video or a photo above every step. Please try a different browser.
Where is you QAYG strip quild video? I couldn’t find where I click to view it.
The video is above the words, “Make Strip 1 – (see video above)“. Just click the play symbol over the image. If you can’t see it, it might help to try a different browser.
Thanks so much for a wonderful tutorial, the videos and also having the printable PDF available to print off. I am a new quilter and this will be perfect to add to my arsenal to start with. My sister is having a baby in June and I am sure I can get a couple of these made for her. Your tutorial is so clear and precise and easy to understand, especially with the videos; and thank you for adding where to purchase the precut batting on a roll. That will save a lot of time. Hugs and Blessing from this new new quilter in SC.
I was skeptical until I watched the video. Great idea.. I am going to try this on a baby quilt I want to make. Thank you!
Oh joy! I need some nice small Quilts for the kitties! This is perfect! Thanks for all your patterns and tutorials!! Your pics make your site miles above all other sewing blogs!! And I appreciate all your daily efforts!
Hello from Scotland!
Ive just completed the hearts crib quilt and Im really pleased with it. Many thanks for the VERY clear instructions.
Im keen to try the strip quilt but please could you confirm if the batting should be 2 1/2" or 2 1/4"?
Many thanks, Julie
Hi Julie, I tried both widths of batting and found that the best result came when I used 2 1/4” wide batting strips and centered them in between my 2 1/2” wide fabric strips. Have fun!
Thank you so much for sharing your pattern and providing videos. I am absolutely thrilled to have found this technique. I’m not a good finger presser so I used my seam roller, still no ironing, and it turned out great.
I love your QAYG quilt. Only problem i had was mine turned out almost diagonal. What did I do wrong?
Were you using a walking foot (even feed foot)? It will help keep the layers together so that the top layers don’t ‘get ahead’ of the layers underneath.
You can also try sewing in alternating directions. This will mean sewing one set of strips on from one side of the quilt, and then the next set from the other side of the quilt.
I’m working on a quilt-as-you-go strip quilt that I plan to send to my Navy great-nephew who’s stationed in Anchorage, AK. The quilt is in flannel – reds, whites, and grays, with one of the strips being a print of bears, wolves, and moose. My nephew was fascinated by my mother’s quilting when he was a little kid – so much that he started doing some quilt piecing when he was in his teens – so I know this quilt will be a special treat for him.
Could you serge the seams?
I can’t see why not. Let us know how it goes!
NO VIDEO, clicked at least 50 spots
Perhaps your browser is blocking the videos. Could you try a different one?
Thank you for the beautiful pattern! I love quilt as you go since I’m a straight line quilter. I can’t wait to try this! I’d also enjoy more quilts based on this concept.