I would like an opinion from others about quilting the squares first and then sewing them together versus piecing the whole top and then trying to center blocks and quilting them in the hope. I'd like to know which is produces better results and why. I'd like to try a crib quilt but am unsure which approach to use. I have only done one other one in the hoop and it was a wall hanging which I quilted after the top was together. I had trouble getting things centered. Can anyone recommend a good book on the subject?
Sorry I can't offer you any book recommendations, but I can tell you that I've done a number of Hoopsisters projects where the piecing and quilting are both done in the hoop and then the completed blocks are put together. Quilting the blocks first has the advantage of being easier to manipulate within the limited space of the machine. That being said, you also need to consider the method you will use to actually join the blocks together once they've been quilted. There is a free .pdf file about joining on the Hoopsisters web site if you'd like to check it out. Despite having used the method, I'll admit to not being a very big fan of the finished look on the back. I'm currently doing some research and experimentation with other methods to see if I can find something I like better.
Meanwhile I've got a fully pieced top ready to quilt and I plan to do it with my embroidery machine. This will be the first complete top that I've done this way so I'm not sure how difficult it's going to be or what sort of result I'll get. I'm optimistic though and hopefully sometime within the next couple of weeks I'll have found enough time to complete it, at which time I can share it with the group.
I have done a quilt as you go where I hooped each block and then put the blocks together. I just finished a top and will be hoop embroidery quilting it in the next day or so and will let you know how it goes. Wish me luck. The quilt is 40 X 50. If it is good I will post pic.