q Tip Tuesday - Quilt as You Go Applique | Tourmaline & Thyme Quilts

Have you ever been in a hurry to make a quilt and wished there was a way to go even faster?

I have been there. I needed to get a quilt done quickly for Market and had lots of other projects on my plate. This particular quilt was small and fusible applique. Which meant it would go pretty quickly. But I wondered if there was a way to cut even that time in half.

That is when I decided to try something new – well at least new to me. I knew that I had to stitch around each applique after fusing to secure it. I don’t like leaving my quilt’s fate to fusible alone. I also knew I had to quilt it. In which case, I normally echo the applique and maybe do a little free motion in between.

That is when I go the brainy idea to skip the step of securing and jump right to quilting. But I would use the buttonhole stitch to do the quilting!

I can’t say this is totally novel. I believe that Jane Sassaman has a similar technique, though I haven’t ever tried it.

At any rate, here is the method I used.

  1. Make the quilt sandwich. Ensure the top is a little larger than needed as it will shrink a little with quilting.
  2. Trace a section of motifs onto the quilt top. (Transdoodle worked really well for this).
  3. Place the pieces in the right places.
  4. Fuse applique to the quilt top. (Note – do not use poly batting as it will melt)
  5. Use buttonhole or other decorative stitch around perimeter of the applique to secure them.
  6. Trace the next section of motifs.
  7. And repeat the process until all the pieces are added.
  8. Perform additional quilting if you would like. I stopped with just the perimeter quilting.
  9. Trim quilt and add binding.

The quilt was done in about half the time using this method, because I was doing half the stitching! Because the motifs were close together, I didn’t need to do any additional quilting. It had a nice loft to it. So, I really liked the texture.

Bespectacled (quilt shown) is 36-inch square. Its small size made it perfect for this experiment. I am definitely going to use this technique for other smaller projects to speed them up.

Maybe this will reduce the UFO backlog in my studio??

What do you think? Would you like to see a class on how to do this?

Happy Quilting!

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