Living in a home with small rooms, I have found quilting to be a challenge. The only room available to do the quilting in does not have any space for a quilt frame. There is no available wall space where I can place a small frame. A hoop is out of the questions when I have 2 little ones who would be all over the quilt where it lays on the floor. It has been quite frustrating as I have been wanting to hand quilt while I am still able to. I have been doing searches online trying to find an answer. I finally came across what will work and wanted to share the idea for others who may be in a similar situation.
I started looking into the old ways of quilting and in a quilt history I read about how the pioneer women made quilts while still traveling in covered wagons. Intrigued, I read as it talked about how they would quilt each block separately, then would use a sash to join the blocks together after they were done. Today, this method is known as "Quilt As You Go" and is becoming popular again.
Quilting as you go along is very easy to do. Some online quilting sites sell patterns designed specifically for this method. I am using the method using large 12 inch blocks. You can find a large listing of free quilt block patterns at Quilters Cache. Once you make your quilt block, you layer the block, batting, and backing together. Next, you pin or baste the layers together. Mark your quilt stitching lines with chalk and start hand or machine quilting the block together. Repeat with each block needed for your quilt.
You next cut your sashing strips for the top and back of your quilt. The strips are added to teh edges and used to connect one block to the next. After your rows are completed, you repeat the sashing process to connect one row to another.
I don't have a digital camera yet to take pictures of each step, so I will instead give you the best website tutorial that I have found that demonstrates the process. Welsh Quilter: Quilt as You Go has wonderful detailed pictures. I found the instructions to be very thorough. One idea that I am going to do is to use the same fabric on the back sashing as my backing to allow them to blend in.
I am so excited to have found this method of quilting. It has opened up new doors for me. I can now cut out my fabrics, then work on the blocks as time permits. Whether you quilt by hand or machine, this method has it's benefits. For those who want to quilt by hand, these blocks are very portable and can be worked on anywhere.
As soon as I have some pictures of my quilt project available, I will post them.