I have been quilting since 1998 and still leave a quilt top hanging about for ages before finally giving myself a strict talking to and getting down to actually quilting. Tales of throwing a rolled up quilt, secured by bicycle clips, over your shoulder before embarking upon a quilting session has left an indelible mark on my brain.
I struggled terribly with my first quilt - I had no walking foot, then in 2002 made a largeish quilt and followed the magazine instructions to quilt as you go. This invlolved the strip method which I found really laborious although I was very happy with the added sashing element this method provides.
In 2004 I started teaching classes locally and devised my quilting in chunks method. It is virtually the same method as decribed by Leanne and Marci in the post before this one, although the wadding is joined by hand (doesn't take too long and I don't do hand stitiching too often!!). However, I wanted to avoid quilting and joining individual blocks. Most of the ladies who attend my classes don't want to heave big quilts through their machines, most had completed the beginners' quilt that I start them off with, it measures about 48" square and they all cope with quilting something of this size.
So I reckoned if , e.g., you made four this size it pretty much adds up to a double quilt size etc, etc..........
I have a handout available here for you to download that outlines the whole technique.
Basically you choose how many sections you wish to quilt. This picture is of a quilt I made using this method - it is a super - king sized quilt and in daily use on our bed, has been thro' the wash a few times now and is none the worse for being put together in this way. I divided the top into three, one 1/4, 1/2 and 1/4 and each part full length - I found thes long chunks ok to handle thro my machine.
Hope my contribution to the debate has been helpful.