Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to Make a T-Shirt Quilt: Part 3

Got your graph paper and pencil?  Let's get started!

It doesn't matter what size/scale graph paper you use.  The kind I happen to have has four squares per inch.  I always make one square equal two inches.  This works well since all our measurements are even numbers.

Using the list of t-shirts and measurements, draw the first t-shirt block on the graph paper.  Add a two inch border (one square) around the block.  Write the number of the t-shirt on the drawing and underline it.  Underlining the number will help us to remember how to orient this block later.  Since we always wrote the horizontal measurement first, it's easy to tell how to draw this in the correct orientation.

In this example, the Number 1 block is 16 by 6.  As you can see, I drew it 8 squares across by 3 down, since each square equals 2 inches.  Then I added the 2 inch (or one square border around it.

Continue to draw all the t-shirt blocks in the same manner.  These will be cut out, so you don't have to leave any space between them.
Now cut out all the blocks.  
Now we need more graph paper.  This particular quilt is going to have 20 blocks, some of them fairly large.  In other words, it's going to be a big quilt!  So I taped two pieces of graph paper together to plan the layout.  For a lap sized quilt, one piece of graph paper is usually enough.

At this point we need to decide how big we want the quilt to be.  Do you want to make a twin, full, queen?  Or do you even care?  Maybe you just want to make sure all the blocks are included and don't need to fit it to a bed size.

If you do have a particular size in mind, draw an outline on the graph paper to indicate the finished size, counting out one square for every two inches.  I haven't done this in this example since I don't care to make this quilt a particular size - I just need to fit all the blocks.

Begin positioning the cut out blocks on the graph paper, leaving one square's width border between the blocks.
Take your time.  This will involve lots of rearranging and starting over.  The goal here is to place all the blocks with a one block border between them, and end up with straight outside edges.  Sometimes you will need to have a larger space between blocks to make it fit.  I orient most of the block right side up, though I never hesitate to turn a block sideways to fit in a particular spot.  Having some of the blocks turn different ways give the finished quilt a bit of whimsy and fun.
Here is my finished plan.  Note that the perimeter of the quilt is straight, except for the upper right block which indents a bit.  For the most part, the space between the blocks is one square wide, though in a few spots I had to have a larger space (see lower right).  At this point, I secure each block with a small piece of rolled tape.  You could also use a glue stick.  Remember you can click on these pictures to enlarge them.

The next step will be to adjust some block sizes to make sure the spacing between the blocks is equal throughout.  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Lisa A said...

I am really enjoying this tutorial. Maybe it will spur me to make one finally.