Sizing and Layout of Your Quilt


T-Shirt Quilting: Warm Up With Your Life Story


Lesson Info

Sizing and Layout of Your Quilt

I want to get into the idea of adding length and width now. All right, so here's, where we need to measure a little bit and I'm going to try to make this quote mathis simple is humanly possible because this we've abundantly established I'm not a fan of math, and so we're going to create some arbitrary straight lines on this piece. I do this when I like quilts out on the floor at home, I will put a big old line of this blue low tax painter's tape on the floor because then I can at least use that as a straight edge and lay in my quote, blocks out against it, and it works really well. So actually, can I get a second set of hands for the spit? All right, the first thing we're going to do is establish just right against the top of the board, and it doesn't have to be perfect, but just run it and then tear the tape, and if the shirts come down, we'll just live with that right now. Yeah, thank you, that's. Exactly what I'm after. Everybody likes that. Okay, you can. You could like I said, I'v...

e spent days and days all right, so we know this represents the top edge of the quilt. When I do this at home a lot of times I'll just take a measuring tape and I'll measure distance from a nearby wall and then I could make sure the lines pretty straight then I can lay on my quit blocks out against that line it's going to be a little tough to do on this design while the way it's behaving so in your minds I want you to picture that these air all lined up very precisely to the top edge into each other the tape is the size of the top edge of the quilt that that represents the top edge and then of course we need a bottom image for this quilt we have one block that's longer than the others and that's going to establish the length of our bottom edge and let's see I'm have a retractable tape measure areas so if like me rarely have a helper who can help you with this what I would dio just measure from the top of the tape to the bottom of the shirt that's sixty three inches I can stick a marker piece of tape here at the bottom of this block I know that sixty three inches and I come over here and measure me up the sixty three inches and then I have something to stretch her long piece of tape across that's perfect my exact arm span look at that almost like I planned it that way or something. Okay. And then actually I would love a second set of hands to stretch this tape thanks to clarify but doesn't correct somebody the audience was asking a ll the blocks are saying with sufficient length that's not the case is because you can see they're different that's it that's it that's a good question and that's correct they're actually different wits and different lengths so you don't have to be uniformed no that's a time honored way to make t shirt quilt many many t shirt quilts are made that way it's just that I have never come across a set of shirts that would accommodate that kind of perfect same size block configuration even in this set how would how in the world would you make the same size block out of that graphic and that graphic for example it just doesn't sum sum collections of shirts would accommodate that but most in my experience don't all right so now we know where the bottom of the quilt needs to be if we start moving blocks down to match that within these columns then we can start figuring out where we want to add space too lengthen this quilt I'm just being arbitrary right now you could spread these out equally or you might want to do something fancier it's completely up to you because this ad edition of space begins to add even a new visual element to the quilt doesn't it? We start given these blocks a little bit of breathing room and suddenly they start looking a little different together so this is a big part of the process I'm pretty eager to put this tan one down near the bottom simply because for me this is currently the biggest outlier it just doesn't it just doesn't have the pop that the others have, so getting it down there lets it take a place of slightly less their importance in the quilt and then everything can hang together better pin this one really quick because it's not behaving as I would like and then this column is the right length not that we couldn't add pieces to it there are no laws here we could always make our whole quilt a little bit longer if we wanted to so we could insert a piece or two into that column okay, so through anthony stores to find a couple more shirts, more shirts but a question from anne birthday virtually all the t shirts you're using I think our cotton although some of the catherine is maybe vinyl plastic, whatever but any best saying she wants to use her son soccer shirts, but they're mainly made a polyester or drive for maturity to advise avoiding that choice for a solution to that oh you you could absolutely use those I think it would be a very, uh warm quilt I think you would find it to be not a very breeze herbal quilt I'm curious as to whether it's the style of athletic mesh that actually has all the little holes in it that was to be no soccer is typically polyester it's more like solid you know, I'm glad that we had a soccer expert in the room tio so it would be it would be a heavyweight quilt it would be I don't know, I feel like it would not be a very breathable quote, but it's a picnic blanket or something to drape over a counter hang on the wall, it would function great, I would just say probably not a great idea to put a hot iron against that fabric I would use the pressing cloth very prodigiously through the process and then and then you would be fine, thank you certainly all right, so we could spend easily the next ten hours debating where to put the extra fabrics and I don't want to really do that because I feel like there's no one solution here it's a very personal thing. I do want to show you a little bit about how to measure and cut the solid pieces that go between these blocks, so if we're all okay with it, I'm going to sort of abandoned the design process for a moment here and focus on that bit okay I have here a fabulous collection of all the back panels of anthony's t shirts that I have saved none of this has been stabilized yet these air just pieces I set aside way back and step one when I cut the panels why don't we focus our attention on this column right here for the moment in case we have two opportunities we can take the screen block and widen it a little bit so it matches the rest of the column and then we can also cut a piece to fit in between two existing blocks so beginning with the green block right here I'll take I'll take a vote from you guys if I were to add a vertical stripped to the screen block so that it could take on a little bit of extra wit like so what color from the available t shirt colors would you vote for you to go back yes the top corner whatever the yeah yes yes I'm nice dark heather gray and it would look at I want to know something that goes with that dark green and if we're leaving the light blue there how they both go together that's really good right? So you're wanting to look at the relationship between these those two I want something that goes good between this that's true because it is going to but right up against that block so that's so that's a great thought maybe your tie guy in the lighter color palette. I don't know this one here. I mean here's where I can start test driving, which is my other favorite part of the process. I have all these extra pieces, right? If I wantto get a sense of how this might look as an extra bit, it can simply fold it to roughly the size that I need and then just set this up and again, if I'm on the floor, I'm just laying it down and walking away from it, but then I can start to see what that's going to look like personally, I'm looking at this area and I'm seeing a lot of dark tide you meant this one? Yeah, the bright one we can do that too. I have a bigger piece here, so all we're doing is given our eyes a little visual on how this is going to go and we like that they're they're similarly bright. What is nice and the starbursts together look kind of cool. So it also adds a nice dose of bright color to this zone of the quilt that's getting a little pastel and it's been one thing topping on its balance. Yeah, when we needed to balance this because this is definitely an hour sure, why don't we go with this, okay? I'm going to pull one of these blocks just so I can get the accurate with off of it so this block measures fifteen inches wide and this block measures twelve inches wide so we need three inches of extra except that we don't we need a little bit more than that because when we so any two pieces of fabric together there's something called the seam allowance which I'm going to talk more about in our fourth segment but any time you said those pieces together you lose a quarter inch from the edge of each piece so actually need to cut this piece a little bit wider to compensate for that loss so that I can still have my measurement here does that make sense so just quelle mouth but it's gonna be okay? I promise so a way thatyou conversion allies that and I use this all the time because like I said I'm so bad at quote math if I just lay this on my cutting that and I use my zero point so right here at the top of my cutting that is zero point heading to the eighteen inches and I know that I need to get to fifteen inches I can just lay my ruler here and I can orient it so that that quarter inches right there against the edge so I'm using the vertical quarter inch line on my ruler and nestle there's my seem allowance margin and then I can go out to my fifteen inch line, and then I can see that that is a three and a quarter inch wide strip I'm just adding that extra seem allowance to it, my mantra being cut bigger than you need and trim away the excess. I'm not even going to trust that I'm going to cut that sucker for inches wider, and then I'm just going to trim it off and that way I know one hundred percent of the time that I'm going to get an accurate fit to me. I have ruined more quote pieces by being a quarter inch off because I did the math wrong, and I just vowed to myself at one point that I was done with that, so just make everything bigger than you think you need it and you're never going to have a problem let's get some fuse herbal interfacing, then I'm going to cut a four inch strip out of this shirt and it's going to be this hot has tallest the quote block and I know that I would need this interfacing as we did with the quill blocks to be able to go off all of the edges even for that strip, right? So if I'm gonna cut a four inch wide strip of interfacing, get my zero point up here on my cutting map so that it's comfortable for me and I'll just cut a five inch wide strip, go ahead google and take the two little pieces and yes, and I'm so glad you had a guy you save I would highly recommend that you save any little piece of your fuse herbal interfacing you have left over because you could absolutely piece them together. You can use that to back a quote lock you can use that to back any of these extra pieces and in fact, how conveniently this piece right here I actually interfaced and I used to pieces and you just overlap them by about a quarter inch or a little more you can see these aren't even cut in any way straight, it doesn't matter it's all hidden from the front, so you absolutely can do that. I keep a very big box of just leftover interfacing around that I use for stuff, so let me get myself a strip cut here and since this is a tied, I should I would normally put a little bit of energy into where I placed that on the back because of course every part of this is a little different, but for the purposes of this demo, I'm just going to make use of this end here, so I'm just going toe do like we've been doing spread this out my quote block is let's see help the white is mental block quick looks a little over eleven inches tall, so about twelve inches of this will work just fine. I might as well go ahead and trim that out now. There's no point in ironing a whole bunch of extra interfacing that I don't need toe waste onto the shirt, so I'll just make it a little bigger than I need it pressing cloth there, iss if you use that it's normal, go here. What happens if the irons to hot will that hurt the interfacing in any way? If you have a pressing cloth, no, if you happen, does you noticed in the last segment where I was kind of quickly ironing out the wrinkles? If your arms too hot there, you'll notice it in the end, facing so I don't really have to worry about anything being particularly straight. I just wanted to kind of liberate this piece of fabric, so I contribute more precisely so this is one of the points in rotary cutting where you really don't have to use a lot of good technique get these pieces liberated. There we go now I'll get a little more careful, so I just have to establish one authoritative edge and ill about base the rest of the cutting on that it's usually easier to be accurate if you cut a long edge first. So that's what I'll do here and I'm not there's nothing tow line up with I'm not trying to put the stram I'm at my ruler has nothing to line up with so you know, just pick an edge and cut it in this case now we have a straight edge to work with now I can take this I can orient my cutting that once again so that I have that zero point where I need it and I can line this new pristine straight edge up with that zero line and here comes my five inches easy peasy I'm actually just a tiny bit short here of the top and that'll happen sometimes, but since I'm within that quarter inch margin we talked about earlier it'll just hide in the same allowance and it'll never show and then we decided we needed about a twelve inch but since that is a little bit longer then my quote block that's fine, I'll be able to sew those together and then just trimmed the top and bottom edges to match the block. So for our purposes this is all we need right now and I can place this back into the layout like so and I'll just took the excess behind it for right now and that's going to look nice I think that's a good that was a good choice, why don't we work on a horizontal peace now and since we're in this zone right here, I can kind of set these, so they butt up, and that gives me a very clear idea of how that's going to look together, those air nice. So why don't we insert a piece right here? If you guys wanted to vote for what the color that is, you're welcome to our all those pick one, I really want red, red, well, that's the thing we don't actually have a red shirt in this whole batch, doing so your choice might be to go purchase some every now and again, I'll work with the quilt that really needs a particular color, but it's not present in the shirts, and then I'll just go buy some solid jersey and insert that into the quilt can dhoni gets anthony has to weigh in on that question, why don't? If I were working on this, then I think what I would do is I feel like this other bit, a tide, I might need a bit of balancing and that that might be a nice zone to place it. So why don't we? Why don't we use that? And I just happened to have there it is a nice back panel of that, so since we have taken some care, let's, make the assumption that we're going to put an extra little strip here and these air lined up right where we want him the first thing you do is very simple you just measure the space right? So this is six and a half inches between these two blocks and this column is we've already established is fifteen so that's going to be theoretically a six and a half by fifteen piece? What do we what do we need to adhere to cover seem allowances though quarter on each side, right? So six and a half becomes seven so you're always adding if if there's only a seam on one side of the block it's adding one quarter inch? But if there's a seam on both sides, you're adding a half inch. This is where our discussion of grain that we were having earlier about the grain of the center facing starts to come into play that how nice and that is that we want the grain of the interfacing running horizontally and all these blocks it's just going to make our process of sewing them together much smoother. But when you start cutting these little pieces it's easy to get tempted to cut different dimensions or turn your interfacing different ways it's not that you can't do that it's just that it's going to affect your sewing accuracy, which is something I'm going to touch on later right now just know that when you're measuring the interfacing for any peace whether it's a quote block or one of thes interesting shal pieces you're always measuring the interfacing based on the width of the peace that your kind so we have a fifteen inch wide column and that's a recipe for seventeen inch wide interfacing okay, so once again I'm going to spend my mat and they have just artfully tauron this at exactly the right place to screw up the seventeen inch cut so let me do a couple of cuts here I'm sure at least one of you just formed a thought of like I'm going to go get that big piece of interfacing out of the trash like taking you totally can I have no problem with it j k are there questions coming in from internet lands? It's interesting what people sharing what people are asking way just got a came in literally just as you are asking is a recommendation for person making this quilt out of a ll plain colored shirts with no letters or graphics do you think that would work to suspected oh sure, my pet quote I made that way with just solids a solid quote would be beautiful and it gives you this cool blank canvas to do stuff like get one of those bleach pens that they have at the supermarket and you can draw on your t shirt pieces and make bleached out designs you can also get a freezer paper which is another grocery store item that you can cut stencils from and you iron the freezer paper to the fabric and then you can paint a design on the blocks instead of having a screen printed design you could application on them I mean yeah, you couldn't do a lot of cool things I think that would be a great way to approach a quote you know I have gotten here behind me actually this really beautiful that was as he was saying you make completely with plain t shirt materials it's really and I buy some turquoise yardage to go between the blocks yeah it works just as well yeah it works becomes as she was saying some of the are older viewers perhaps don't have quite the same logos and t shirts perhaps how definitely anyway it's quite see the way another users are viewer I'm saying sorry is watching saying too do you lose half an inch per scene allowance because you are taking away from both pieces when you saw them together? Yes, yes okay, yes that actually is a really good opportunity to throw just like one extra factoid into this mix that I don't want to have confusion while we're in the midpoint of this cutting of an extra peace but it is kind of useful but the way that I do this quilting I try not to make it very useful but if you look at the number of shirts that we have laid out here and you consider that at each point where you're going to put a seam of two blocks meeting, you're gonna lose half a nin inch can you see that there are not the same number of seems in each of these columns, which means that these columns are going to shrink up a little bit unevenly when we saw all the pieces together? Does that make sense? You're going to lose a different amount of height from each column because you're having your losing a half inch of every scene point that's exactly the kind of thing that can send you straight to the insane asylum. Frank, give your may so I purposefully designed my quilts so that they have some, you know, let the evil spirits escape space in them that's why I make heavy use of things like big borders on the tops and bottoms like this hudson quilt here, you know, I put a big, wide border on the top and bottom, and then it didn't necessarily matter. I could cut the pieces straight across the bottom once that sun them together and then it was all fine, so I'm not going to put a lot of energy into teaching how to compensate for that because I just feel like it's one of those points of quilt math that can just be so much effort and I want this to remain a very forgiving kind of process we are to some extent working in a fairly loosey goosey unit universe here in terms of math and measurements, I would not be all surprised if there are some very experienced quilters who are just blanching, but to me this element of quilt math and adding very precision seem allowances and all of that that is one point that sort of takes the joy of quilting away from a lot of people, and so in designing this class, I really sought to remove as much of that as I can. You can get a great looking quilt without worrying so much about seem allowances and matching and things based on the way we've designed this there's plenty of room in each of these blocks for a quarter inch seam allowance, plenty of room now that we're adding these pieces, we have an opportunity to add a little margin just to kind of help make up for what we're losing as we so the pieces together let's do that, okay, we know we need nine inches of height for interstitial piece I'll just go ahead and cut it a little bigger to ten so I've got a little trim off hopefully my iron is still hot and we confuse this in much better form than I did the last one the great thing about these extra pieces and the great thing about mitt fabric in general is that you really don't have to use a lot of care with how you position the interfacing on the fabric because there's nothing to line up to here, we're just cutting a piece of solid or we're just cutting a piece of tie dye and the randomness doesn't bother us, so I don't have to do my little pin trick I just literally slapping a facing down and then start pressing do you ever worry that I would worry because I'm not that creative but that the interstitial pieces are creating more business for the eye? No, mostly because you're going to mess with those before you start sewing anything I'll gather and if you're worried about like you're feeling like you're quilt in general, your collection of blocks is really usually textured and busy then just cut all those interstitial lt's out of a black or a gray or white or something that will just create breathing room and then you're fine, you got will tell you yes and you're very creative, everybody's created oh man came on camera fusing leaves much to be desired. Teo, I apologize for that picture in your mind's a perfectly fused piece of interfacing I'm just gonna kind of cut the rest of the block awakes I don't really need to be wrangling this and I think I'll go ahead and just get rid of all this excess I'm really just trimming away against the edge of the interfacing for no other reason than to make my precision cuts a bit shorter a lot and then just like before, all I need to do is establish one nice straight line and then I can cut the other three dimensions from that so there's nothing to line up with here because there's nothing to line up with I'm just going to place the ruler get get it near an edge and then I'm going to cut that edge and added just going to be my authoritative edge now we need nine inches of height for this piece so now I can put this up against my zero point and again I just need to flip my matt for that that nine inches including the little extra bit thatyou correct because we have you know what you should check me on that we had eight and a half inches of space and then I added a half inch to get us tonight that's good double checking never heard anybody absolutely never. Debbie did you live on a t shirt? Quote values flannel is my fashion and mickey is the back oh yeah tell us tell us what means is for those making a is a is a soft fuzzy mostly used for children's blankets and quilts but this was for my son who graduated from high school and went off to college and so they were his high school in one college t shirt and so he wanted it mormon fuzzy so I put mickey on the back of the backing its a little more tedious to work with cause it's stretching but but yeah you khun definitely add other kinds of fabrics in your t shirt quote it does change the texture and the weight but you just gotta work with that it's great yeah I love that makes the idea I'm going to show an alternate finishing method that you may have used on that mink equal did you seem by and around the edges or did you install a binding I put a binding ok so I'm going to show an alternate method that works really well with those kind of fleecy fabrics tomorrow in fact all right so coming back to where we were when I screwed up I'm going to establish a straight edge now and I'm just going to cut one edge not being my street I know I need nine inches of height lo and behold I have it now and then here I don't have to worry about centering on anything this is just an interstitial piece so if I just line up the edge that I've just cut against a nice straight line on my cutting that then it's very easy to find my vertical cut and we know this to be a fifteen inch wide block, so cutting gets very easy with these unprintable pieces and there we go and then we've got the new peace inserted and so you would do your process by cut these I would cut absolutely everything all the extra pieces that I wanted in the next segment, I'm actually going to deal with sash ings and I'm going to show you howto work with yardage of this jersey fabric and actually, you know, cut some fairly big pieces so that'll that'll be coming up, but I would get a quilt with all the pieces done, and then that point we'd be ready to so so the fourth step that we didn't quite really talk about that, I'll just touch on really fastest doing one last balance check, so once you've cut all those pieces of extra stuff out that's when you sort of assess hated any of those create visual problems that I need to deal with are is every color partnered with something similar on the quilt are my most focused pulling graphics in a nice central location, and so you can then make any little adjustments at the last phase that you want to and I'm a big fan if you have the space, if you can manage it on the big fan of letting a design get cold that's a phrase that one of my old graphic design teachers and college used to use. So if you've been looking at something for hours and hours on end, um, there's there's, you know your eyes start playing tricks on you or you just get tired. If you can leave it, lay it out on the floor, let a cat guard it. You know, walk away a few hours or overnight, even if you can, when you come back and look at it fresh it's. Amazing what your eyes will pick up on. So actually just going to ask you that if you let it set, because I know when I edit photographs there it's so different when I go back and look at them, so always like tio, step away and then come back to it. Yeah, absolutely. It's it's, just incredible. Like I mean, the I, I guess it's like any muscle, you has fatigue points, definitely. So those are the four stages that liars, the breathing room, the length and width editions and then a final balance check. And then you have a quilt design.

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.