I have made two quilt-as-you-go quilts. That is, I did the quilting in sections, before all the blocks were joined together into one top. The first time I did it, I looked up ideas on the web and found something that seemed to work. This is how I did that one (which I sent away and could no longer examine to remember how)... and so I had to scratch my head and try to remember how when it came time to do this recent one. This one is 48" x 72" which is a little big to quilt on my regular domestic machine. I chose to quilt it in three sections, which means I had two joints to make.
(1) After the three sections were quilted, I joined them together as usual, pushing back the batting and backing so I could pin and sew the seam. This shows me pinning one of the seams. Note: one can't quilt all the way to the edge, because you need to make room for this seam. Also the backing and batting are needed for creating the back joint.
(2) This is the actual sewing of the seam, showing the batting and backing pulled back for room to sew.
(3) The sections are all sewn together, so now I have to work on the back joint seam. I'm not a precise, OCD, it-must-be-perfect quilter, so keep that in mind, please. I pulled back the backing fabric and then just trimmed the batting with a scissor. It sort of meets except where it sort of overlaps. Whatever. I used a glue stick under it to help keep it in place as I worked.
(4) With the batting trimmed and glued into place, I folded the backing fabric into place so it meets. Oh, look! Someone else must have done the quilting in that spot, because it's not perfectly straight! (That's called organic.)
(5) Now I sewed a zig-zag stitch over the folded seam. Do you see that the joint seam is not perfectly centered? That was sort of an accident/on purpose thing.
(6) I liked that it wasn't perfectly centered, because I didn't want to be sewing it right on top of the seam I had just made when I sewed the quilted pieces together. This way, my zig zag landed to the side of the regular seam, so from the front I zig-zagged again on the other side, symmetrically placed, and this helped secure all the batting and folds that were underneath. At least that's my theory, and I hope it's true. [Confession - when I did this joint the second time, I also stitched-in-the-ditch in that regular seam, to add even more strength, but I chose not to do that on this first joint. Who knows why.]
(7) Here's the joined sections from the front. You can't even tell! Isn't it kind of nice? I was pleased. My husband looked at it, front and back, and said "You can't even see it." That was music to my ears.
(8) Here is the completed quilt with a little of the back showing. If you click on the picture it'll get a little bigger so you can examine it. Go ahead. It's not perfect by any means, but I invite you to take a look anyway. This method worked for me, and I'm satisfied with it. I'm so glad I have learned not to worry about perfection. I have a lot more fun just enjoying the quilting process without being strict with myself.
Here's the completed quilt. Yay! I took some time to admire it and be pleased with myself. (Oh, this quilt turned out a little darker than I intended it to.. oh, well. It still looks good.) And now I'm on to another project.