Cutting and Sewing Your Backing Piece


T-Shirt Quilting: Warm Up With Your Life Story


Lesson Info

Cutting and Sewing Your Backing Piece

Okay, so then coming back to just quickly finishing this squaring the two edges of the fabric are not matching anymore I'll just cut them so they d'oh and that is just a z zia's cutting along a line on my cutting that this is a great time to show what to do when the fabric you're working with us longer than your ruler because we're working with this eighteen and truly are here so the way I do it is I get in alignment point with the line on the mat at the bottom here at the top what you can do is simply peel the fabric away and give it a tug so that the corner of the ruler sticks out a little bit I know that's pretty hard to see in the overhead camera I don't know if we can get a close up of it but I can actually see a tiny point here where the poor corner of the rulers sticking out and then I can see if that's aligning with the line on the cutting matt and if it's not I just shift the ruler a tiny bit and then pull the fabric again to make sure it's lining up did you like that one then...

I could make the first part of my cut and I don't generally cut too far past where my hand is because appears much less stable because there's nothing holding it so I'll stop about halfway up there and then I can just slide the ruler up and align with the same line at the top and the cut edge I've already started on, then finished the head and then have a nice straight edge to work with so that's how you and you would do that to both ends of the fabric, and then we'll come back to our single scene backing that we were in the middle of an will fold this fabric crosswise instead of lengthwise way want to match up the to cut ends and say this is a good illustration of just the fact that working with big pieces of fabric is somewhat fumble e it's it's a lot there, they're heavy and they're awkward and that's not said to denigrate you fabric, but just to point out that you know, these parts of the quilting process is there a bit more athletic than the stuff we were working on yesterday? So I'll give that a little shake I'm not going to bother pinning this, although if you are a pinar, you can certainly do that w's grinning at me. This is something to sew. A long scene from the's cut ends down along the salvage to the fold and it's very important to start at the cut ends and work your way to the fold here so that you get it nice and straight we're going to sew a pretty wide scene because salvages on fabric are actually a little bit thicker than the rest of the fabric, and we don't want to add sort of a bar of thickness down the center of this batting backing rather so what I'll do is cut away the salvages once have sown the scene, so I want a wide enough seem allowance that I contribute to be a quarter inch seam and get rid of the salvage is at the same time they're good. What is that little sound that happens when you flip the burning on debbie it's? Actually, just the needle engaging into the center position. Okay, here's the home like I did a bad job introducing her yesterday as well. So big apologies, but we have a wonderful read from the media. Theo apologize. Debbie debbie, catcher money is joining us from bolena and she's, helping the students with or any technical issues that they run into and it's really wonderful that bernie no have been a sponsor of this particular course and provided all the machines. So what I'm going to so here is a one inch seam and I have a stitch plate on my machine, and we talked yesterday about how there's a marker on it for a quarter interest, seem. And as you may notice, there are markers for lots of other seem allowances on here, including a one inch seam allow it so I'll just align the edge of my fabric with that and then bring my press her foot down, and then I'm just going to crank up the speed on my machine and so all the way down here try to do that as quickly as possible. If anyone has anything to share from the internet channels, this is a great time to do that. First time way did cover all of this estate, but phenomenon is asking on a few people who also asked the same question is, can you just go over again? Why we need to consider the grain of the fabric on the interfacing thiss particularly is relatively new to sewing, and this just doesn't make sense to them. Okay, now, it's a great question, and I'm happy to answer it, so I'm hoping that you can hear me ok over the sound of rapid sewing, very good, as refers to the grain of interfacing itself, the interfacing that we use does have a little bit of a grain to it. It means that the fibers of the interfacing are running in a particular direction along the fabric, and if you were to stretch that interfacing along with the grain it has no stretch at all but if you were to stretch across the grain that stuff actually does have a little bit of give as we discovered yesterday with the's bernini machines they're they're so precision engineered that this crane is she was not much of an issue at all but on an older machine or less less precise machine what can happen is when you so across the grain it causes the fabric to stretch a little bit and so what you have are two pieces of fabric and the one on top ends up a little bit longer than the one on the bottom this is often not a problem with short seems at all but when you're selling long scenes as in the seams that you liked so the strips of a quilt together what happens is you end it was a lot more stretch because it's a long time for that fabric to be stretching along the length of the same and that can end up giving you a quote top that's one length on one end and several inches longer on the other end and so that's why we did the little trick yesterday of cutting a strip of interfacing that follows its grain and just using that to the edge we're going to so and that corrects the stretch I hope I've explained that okay if not feel free to post a follow up question and all try again in terms of woven fabric grain is really always a consideration just because woven fabric behaves fest when you are handling it cut on grain so I hope I got there joining us again online welcome to tara tara is actually an instructor with us on created like a few months venture is a very good friend of diane and she's been on joints on twitter and she's saying that she's been measuring and piling new wash t shirts all day ready to get ready for day two creative welcome back to your tower it's great to have you some nice to have friends watching on the internet it's the coolest thing in the world it's really nice to have tara on susan and very unique and several other people I know in the chat rooms yesterday all right, I'm going to just slide this to the side so now I have sown my very long scene right? I've got a folded edge up here and I've got roger's down here all I have to do now is trim away some of that seem allowance going to show you a little bit different method of cutting that you might want to use in some cases and that is to work from the edge of your fabric and come in so if I cut about a half a nin inch off of this edge I get something close to a quarter inch seam allowance and that's easier toe lineup than trying to line up with cutting that lines sometimes if you just need to cut a strip off the edge of something so this doesn't have to be pristinely perfect it just has to be in the neighborhood of a quarter inch and obviously it needs to not cut the semen has its that all right have little connecting thread right there next thing I want to do is slice this foldaway but before I do that I want to make it a little more precise than it is right now so I will press it hello crease in it so that I can get it flatter and cut it more accurately this is what you call rapid fire pressing because you are on camera and everything's happening in real time jennifer is joining us unless you just want to very quickly verify which edges you are you selling again it is the salvage as I was sewing along the cell the judge yes can you use your seam line as the guide putting your ruler on the part you're keeping and do it that way rather than the you can absolutely use your seam line is a guide to that's a great question yeah and that's probably even a more accurate line again this mostly just needs to be pretty close to a quarter inch so we compress it open as a seam allowance but you can do either one for sure cannon bobby was also a practicing and doing different things and then angela is saying she's hoping to use some polo shirts as well in amongst the t shirt which you're slightly heavy and fabric now is that something you've used or would recommend you could absolutely do thatcause holly had a sample quote yesterday that she's is everything and the sample quote how'd piece of sweatshirt in it and it was it was an among a lot of fish in the sea switch like fuzzy big fuzzy stuff on the back of it yeah the really sickness and it worked fine and then there was a shirt with buttons and I think a patch like from a really heavy quilted jacket and I had the jacket in there so anything goes just stabilize it if it stretches and I e that's right in your quote you did not use stabilising did you use a surgery for that or something special c e o under my walking foot I just like the way you can cause a structure like you said is very forgiving so it was just like I'm going to make that we're getting it was mine I love that I love that attitudes like yeah let's just try it half of my crafting life is like yeah let's just try that out late already kind of nothing it with somebody else's and it's like they were gonna want it e I'm just going to slice away this fold and I'm going to use the exact same technique I have littles of fabric here we've we've rounded up the length of the fabric with a little bit and I know I'm going to come up with something much wider so I don't need to worry about losing this half inch right we're using my whole measuring mantra make it much bigger than you need and then trim away the excess so all we need to do is turn away this folded edge and I'm just going to use the half inch line on my ruler to do that because it's an easy alignment okay so I have just converted this long long length of fabric into a great big wide piece of fabric with the single seam in it now I got to do is press the seam allowance open and it's a quilt backing just like that so this is a terrific method when you want a single color backing you just by twice the length that would be needed to get your quilt covered with two inches on either end of it and then you can do this kind of thing now this quill backing will end up being quite a bit wider than your quilt top and you will end up with some extra fabric but like since one was extra fabric the problem has never in my lifetime than a problem for any reason any new questions or comments from online? Jake abel, ceo antony's calls one of our team up in seattle on course we were designing his quilt for him yesterday from his t shirts he's saying he really loves the idea of adding iron patches, maybe pyramid stubbs studs or other style elements as well about how you did that on one of yours, not stars, but you actually did some really interesting stitching team to create a quilt pat on the back, I think that cross stitch is that what it's called? I don't know like I had like feather stitching up, so yeah, and he never having starts getting on any in any embellishments I think were really good and you had application yours as well on you. If you stab the case, what were some of your t shirts? Absolutely fact, if, if answer, he wants to send me some patches, I'll put him on a quilt just go right out and say it for a sheep that's the batting in the quilting part is recommended. Yes, definitely because once once you batted backing and batting than your sewing through three layers to put anything on the quilt and that stitching is going to show up on the back like you just see out like you pointed out already, I've had to do it the other way, but and I was right, because you're so the whole extra t shirt on top of a different t shirt on quote you made for your husband. He like this other one much better. No mind changing once the silliest. So, does anyone have questions or comments on the style of making a large scale quote, backing? Are we okay on this subject? Okay, so now we're gonna shrink back down to working in miniature again. And you all have some sample quote backings here. So let's, make sure that these are the appropriate size in relation to your quilt top for us to put this stuff together. This out of the way. So I've made a little kind of a wall hanging sais quote, top for us to use for this exercise and I've got a piece of sheet here that I'm using is backing great thing about sheets to is a lot of times you can just find these excellent, solid colors, and they they worked beautifully is backing for t shirt quilts, and they really are inexpensive. As I mentioned yesterday, we even have ah, good, well outlet in my city where everything's a dollar fifty a pound, so sometimes I can go there and score sheets exceedingly cheaply, so obviously these these pieces have not. Had a lot of squaring or things done to them. So why don't we do a little bit of that? So you guys can get some practice squaring diesel square like anything else. If there are any prominent creases in your backings like where I had folded them, why don't you take a second and press those out? Because that will make it easier to see. And then, as you recall, just fold the peace in half crosswise there's no salvages on this but it's going to work the same way, so just folded in half across the shorter for the longer dimension like this. And then you can simply slide the two layers back and forth against each other until you see the fold in your piece. Get nice and smooth and straight and you can give it a little shake and then give it a pressing when you when you find that nice new crease. Yeah, that's looking nice, very nice. So you can just take it to the ironing board. And what I do is, I just kind of floor shit down, and then I let it lay flat and then just give that create the new crease, a quick little press so that you have a nice straight edge to work with a front from the back when the fabric does it matter? There are a lot of fabrics that have the same exact appearance on the front and back and when that is one is one that is the case, I really don't worry about it yeah, the subtleties of the heaven, the subtleties of that difference or so small that I don't know if you want to keep a magnifying glass with youto stare at them throughout your project he totally can so then now that I have a nice straight line and I've pressed decrease here a line that up with this cutting matt line and this will be my new authoritative edge and then also cut one end of my fabric the closest and I'll cut that straightened perpendicular to that fold and then you can actually flip the fabric over and do the same thing on the it was suicide metra now I think it is I was saying earlier about they were using a sheet if you are using the sheet for the backing, do you have any recommendation for a thread count on how do you find the grain on the feet both excellent questions? I would say the higher the thread count very often the more challenging it might be too so because a tighter we've resists a needle more, but I do think that that's kind of a small distinction generally speaking, the stuff you're going to find and thrift stores is is going to be a wide variety of thread counts and a lot of times you're not even going to find a label that tells you what it is so I would say find a sheet that you like the look of and the feel of if it seems very tightly woven in the fabric is kind of stiff might want to find a different sheep that kind of has more looseness and great but beyond that they're going to be very similar in character and then depending on how well your sheets or manufactured they might be very much on grain or very much off grain a good way to test this where's my pressing cloth my press and cloth is also a sheep so let me show you a good way to test how the grain is on the sheet you just bought what I usually do is let's assume this is like a miniature twin size sheet with hems all around the edges like you come from the store and there's a ham on ones and what I do is to take my scissors and I make a little clip right near that him just a little clip into the end of the fabric and then I start tearing when you rip the fabric it's always ripping on grain the clip that you've made has cut some of the horizontal threads and the terror will continue right along that grain okay and this shape of the peace that comes off will tell you how on grain that ch'tis if you get something that looks kind of like this, the sheets not very much on grain if you end up tearing off a strip that's the same wit from top to bottom than your shades on grain. But the great thing about sheets is there usually way larger than you even need for a quote backing. So when you square a sheet, you're still going to have plenty of fabric to do it with. I would use this exact same process that we're doing here, it's just significantly larger. I would get a friend to help you with the folding and the sliding of this the layers and making sure the fold looks correct on dh then once you've cut one straight edge, then you have that to line up with, just like I've done here, I cut one straight edge, then I flipped the whole thing over, I cut the other straight edge and then I can use those to cut edges as a guide to cut the other two because these that I've just freshly cut are now straight, and so all I have to dio is lined them up, give it a little shake, make sure the fold looks nice and then do the same thing on the other side. So I'll just be cutting thes to shortages now towards you. When you're cutting her away from you, I put the full towards me, you can have it away from you as well, as long as the fold is lined up with a cutting that line, it could be any other location that you like. I just want to make absolutely sure they're understanding correctly, which is a great thing to do. Love fish. Thank you for your question they're saying so. You fold crosswise to match the salvages, and then you so along the salvage site, and then along the folded edge, you you match so yes to the crosswind crosswise fold and yes, to selling along the salvage. And then you cut along the folder ditch. Comfortable? Yes, thank you for clarifying that's. Great! I appreciate the question anything that seems unclear. Please let me know I'd love tio love to clarify now. Janey bees, clearly grew up in a dressmaking household, said her mother was a expert seam stress who worked the vote paris originals. She says she never cut any pattern out without first establishing the grain by pulling a thread away across the material, and then using that as the cutting guide in a way, I suppose, that's exactly what you're saying with well, that is essentially the way you would do it with a finer fabrics. And we're working with here and that's how my mother taught me to do it when she was teaching me a dressmaking hundreds of years ago. A swell and it's it's. A wonderful technique. It works wonderfully for quilting. Cotton's as well. You can absolutely do it with them. With these gigantic pieces and particularly with sheets which have kind of already been washed and abused all hot. I find that the tearing methodist is just fine a swell. So when you get to a point where you swear it all the four edges, look how nice that piece looks tryingto get the edges zooming overhead camera there. So now I know this is on grain and this is all very straight, and I can compare it to the size of my quilt top, and I can make sure I have my two inches on either side. So let me just add a note for those of you who might not enjoy precision sewing as much, but you still want to make a quilt as we've talked about throughout this class, perfection and precision are not a necessity for this craft by any stretch, if you wanted to, you could absolutely lay your sheet or your fabric out on the floor. Plop your quilt top down on top of it, take a pair of scissors and just cut two inches all around. Your backing will be a little off grain, and you'll probably end up with a perfectly fine quilt. Well, it fight with you a little bit during quoting it might, but we can also choose quilting methods where that's not going to be an issue. So I would say if all of this has begun to seem a little daunting and mathy, you can do it the easy way as well and it's not going to hurt anything. Just I always want to let you off the hook of anything that seems technical and fussy, so I've got a pretty good margin here. Some places it's a little more than two inches, but I'm not going to bother to trim it. The two inches is not vastly important, as long as you're backing is bigger than your quilt top by a margin of roughly two inches than everything is fine. How are you all doing with your squaring there good and then feel free to trim my made the backing pieces deliberately a little bigger, so feel free to trim, um, so that she get the same kind of margin when I did my draping thing, I have like that much it's on the what happened? A bit of difference on the draping. Is that all right? I mean, at this distance, I'm having trouble. What it's like for the law. I have, like a good inch, right? Yeah, it was quite a bit off that's, right? Yeah. I'm not surprised since it's a she and I pretty much cut it for you by ripping it up. But that's fine. You know, I thought fabrics at big box stores where I've literally lost up to a quarter yard because it was cut so crooked, you know, that's not always the case. I love my big box craft stores. It's it's just occasionally that'll happen. Oh, actually, joan, you're doing some awesome. Can we get a shot of? Yeah, it's. Okay, you're doing something about some I want to show you. Ok, so what you're doing is great. You've decided to fold your backing in half and use that to measure the backing against the quilt top to get teo right, which is definitely a great shortcut to take because now you can just cut the folded edge. Very, very good. We're square already. It's square already? Yeah. That's a safe bet to make.

Class Description

Are the t-shirts you saved for their sentimental value starting to pile up? Making them into a t-shirt quilt is an incredible way to preserve memories of the marathons you’ve run, family reunions you’ve attended, theater productions you’ve appeared in and more. Join Diane Gilleland and learn about the coziest way to share your life story.

This course will cover everything you need to know to create a t-shirt quilt from start to finish. You'll learn three methods of simple quilting: tie quilting by hand, machine ties, and simple straight line quilting. You'll learn two methods of finishing the quilt: a sewn edge and a binding. You’ll explore the tools professional quilters use, but also learn how to incorporate the sewing materials you already have into your quilting. You’ll make accurate cuts using a ruler and a rotary cutter and construct a simple patchwork. You’ll also learn best practices for sewing straight seams and working with knits.

No matter how many t-shirts you have saved up or how much sewing experience you have you’ll leave this course with the skills you need to create a lifelong keepsake.