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How to Connect Large Quilted Blocks - Quilt-As-You-Go Tutorial

How to Connect Large Quilted Blocks - Quilt-As-You-Go Tutorial

I like big blocks and I cannot lie! Big quilt blocks that is! You can quickly create a large quilt by piecing and quilting supersized quilt blocks. When you connected quilted blocks together, that's called Quilt-As-You-Go. Learn how to master this technique in this new quilting tutorial:

You can find the quilt pattern for the Hugs and Kisses quilt in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day

quilt as you go hugs and kisses quilt

Quilt-As-You-Go Works for Any Kind of Quilting

Yes, all of the blocks you saw in this video were quilted with walking foot quilting! Isn't that cool? You can do amazing things with your walking foot and best of all, it's a very easy form of quilting to master because the foot and your sewing machine do most of the work for you.

I love the Hugs and Kisses quilt because the extra large quilt blocks were easy to quilt on my home machine, but when combined together, they created a super sized throw quilt to enjoy on the couch.

This is also the method we're using to connect the quilted blocks for the Marvelous Mosaic Quilt together:

quilt as you go walking foot sampler quilt

It can be tough to quilt large quilts when your machine doesn't have a very big harp space - that's the space between the needle and the motor on the machine. Yes, I have taught a class on quilting a king on your home machine, but even I have to admit quilting a massive quilt in one big piece isn't for everyone.

So I hope you'll give this quilt-as-you-go technique a try! No matter what sized blocks you're connecting together, you'll need a strip of 1-inch wide binding for the back and 1 1/2-inch folded binding for the front of the quilt.

If you match the color of your binding to the background color of your quilt top and backing, it will blend in completely and you won't be able to tell the blocks were quilted separately.

You'll also need an accurate 1/4-inch patchwork foot. This is essential because otherwise it's going to be a real chore to put your blocks together with an accurate 1/4-inch seam allowance.

How to quilt as you go

Frequently Asked Questions about Quilt-As-You-Go

I want to make my strips wider to make it look like sashing between the blocks. How do I do that?

Honestly, I'm still working out a good method for that. The benefit of the method I've taught here in the video is the edges of the quilt are butting up against one another inside the binding. This means there is no space on the quilt that doesn't have batting (the fluffy stuff in the middle of the quilt).

If you make the strips wider, you'll increase the distance between the blocks, and create a gap where there is no batting between the two layers of fabric. That's a problem because those areas will not feel the same, nor will they wear the same over time.

So let's just say that quilt-as-you-go method is still in the works!

If you want really wide sashing (like 4 inches or wider) simply cut and quilt rectangles, then connect them together using the method I've outlined in the tutorial above. I shared this technique for the Flower Festival Sampler Quilt so quilters could make the quilt bigger without making extra blocks.

How to I connect the blocks together with NO sashing?

The easiest method is to but the edges together and zigzag stitch over them. Jenedel Wilcox shared a 3 Step Quilt-As-You-Go technique with me in a podcast episode that used a 3-step zigzag to stitch the blocks together.

how to quilt as you go

How well will that zigzag method wear? Test it and see! I haven't used that method personally so I can't speak for how well it will wear over time.

Another method is to stitch the quilt blocks right sides together, but then you end up with an issue of seam allowance. What do you do with the bulky seams on the back of the quilt? Clip it and let it go raggedy? Cover it with sashing? Do a pillowcase bind and cover it up?

As you can see, there are a lot of options here and so far, I haven't been much of a fan of any of them. With all techniques you just have to test, try new things, and see what works best for you!

Do you have questions about Quilt-As-You-Go? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Find the quilt pattern for the Hugs and Kisses Quilt in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day, available in the following formats: 

Follow along and make your own Hugs and Kisses Quilt! If you make this quilt, please contact us and send in a picture so we can add it here to this page.

Check out the other quilts included in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day. All of these quilts were specifically designed to machine quilt on a home machine with a walking foot: 

walking foot quilt marvelous mosaic

Marvelous Mosaic Quilt

walking foot quilt hugs and kisses

Hugs and Kisses Quilt

walking foot baby quilt jelly town

Jelly Town
Baby Quilt

walking foot quilt rainbow log cabin

Rainbow Log Cabin Quilt

walking foot baby quilt prism path

Prism Path
Baby Quilt

walking foot quilt infinity knot

Infinity Knot Quilt

wholecloth quilt walking foot

Love the Light
Wholecloth Quilt

wholecloth quilt walking foot

Love the Light
Wholecloth Quilt

We pieced and quilted Marvelous Mosaic, Prism Path, and the Rainbow Log Cabin quilt during the 2018 Walking Foot Quilt Along. Click Here to check out all the quilting tutorials to see how all three quilts were made.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


Loved watching your tutorial! Will have to try it one of these days!

Mary Dickens,

I’ve successfully made a king size using your method (yeah!). This next one I am using super sized blocks for a lap size and left extra batting on the edge pieces and put on a beautiful border and quilted that too. Now I need to square up and victory lap. I wonder if using a serger would be a good /bad idea for those steps?

Mary Hammett,

Thank you Leah. That was a great tutorial and I can have a go at joining QAYG blocks. Liz x

Liz Casey,

Wonderful video tutorial! Thank you for sharing! I do have a question. You did not mention how to finish off the edges of the quilt. After joining the rows together, the outside edges of the blocks won’t have any binding on them. Would I just do binding in the normal fashion for the outside edges of the quilt?
Thank you for your help!


This is THE best QAYG method I’ve ever seen, and I’ve probably watched them all in my quest to quilt my own large quilts on a domestic machine. Thank you for simplifying and demystifying the process!

Suzanne Christensen,

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