On occasion, I see a technique that I want to try but don’t want to put into a full quilt.   Let me rephrase that: that I don’t have the time or resources to make into a full quilt. There’s no lack of quilting desire here!

This week, I made two experimental projects, both that I learned from Craftsy classes. The first was an experiment in trying step down piecing.  Step down piecing is a way of using partial seams to add blocks or pieces down the quilt rather than working in traditional rows or columns. Sarah Fielke gives a step by step guide to this process in her Big Techniques from Small Scraps Craftsy class.

I pulled out my scraps from my Arcadia quilt, and subcut my leftover 1.5″ and 2.5″ strips into squares and got to work!

Step Down Piecing Experiment

I really like the way it turned out, even if its a bit wonky.  I think those little 1″ finished squares were too small for this technique as I had a hard time getting my foot back into those tiny areas to close them up.  Next time, I’ll try with larger blocks which I think will help things come out a bit straighter.

I continued with my Craftsy-inspired experimentation to try quilting as you go which I learned from Tara Rebman’s Quilt-As-You-Go: Patchwork Bags class. She shows how to use the quilt-as-you-go technique to make both hot pads and a really cute tinker tote bag. I wasn’t really sure I was ready to tackle the large tote right away, but I wanted to try it on a smaller scale. Instead I made a clutch from a free tutorial Tara has on her blog.  You can see it here.

Quilt As You Go Purse


As this was a bit of a spur-of-the-moment project, I didn’t have any of the hardware needed such as a snap to close the clutch and a zipper to make a pocket. I also accidentally curved into inside edges in addition to the outside…oops! I think I’m ready to try this again with all the embellishments!

Quilt As You Go Purse


Do you like to do quilty experiments?

p.s. Craftsy is having a huge sale on Fabric and kits! Just 48 hours to enjoy up to 70% off fabric, yarn & kits before they sell out. Click quick to save! Hurry, offer expires August 22nd at 11:59pm MT. Shop Craftsy‘s Whale of a Flash Sale! (affiliate link)

  • It’s always so fun to try out a new technique. I really want to attempt a QAYG duffle, but it keeps getting pushed to the end of the list…especially as we approach holidays in the nearish future. AAAAHHH!!!

  • Good for you trying some new techniques, Rachel. Each of your projects looks fabulous! I love that stepped down design. Those are both great skills building experiences!

  • I also love trying experiments and new stuff. I think that is why I am drawn to slightly challenging projects.
    I can see how 1-inch squares would be a bit tricky for partial seams!

  • Krista Foley

    Wow those look great! I love the bag. It’s fun to experiment and see a new and good result created!

  • Yes I love your projects. I am enjoying looking at all those wonderful classes at Craftsy. Hope to get around to making one of those thinker tote bags.

  • I have watched Sara Fielke’s Craftsy class but not yet tackled the step down piecing, I think you did a great job!

    Thanks for linking up to New to Me too.

  • Love this one!! I might do one during the weekend! Thanks for pointing the tutorial.

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