Friday, September 11, 2009

How to Make a T-Shirt Quilt: Part 5

For this particular quilt, I ended up with three t-shirt blocks that didn't have enough fabric surrounding the emblem to cut them any larger than I'd already planned.  I marked each of these on my graph paper pattern with a nice big X.  Then I drew around each one to make it the size I really want.

The next step is to build out this block with fabric.  First, use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim the t-shirt block.  The example above is listed as 6 by 6; we need to add seam allowances before trimming, so we'll cut it at 6.5 by 6.5 inches.  By looking at our graph paper plan, you can see that we have different widths of fabric needed on the sides of the block.  On the right side of the block, there is a width of 3 graph paper squares (or 6 inches) to fill.  On the top and left sides there are two squares of width (or 4 inches) to fill, and on the bottom we only need 2 inches.

Now we (finally!) get to work with fabric.  Remember we are using two different fabrics for this project.  Select one of the fabrics to frame the blocks.  The widest width I'll need for this block is 6 1/2 inches (6 inches on the right side of the block plus seam allowances).  I cut one strip at this width.  Then I cut a 13 inch piece from this strip and put it aside for the right side.

I cut the remainder of this strip down to 4 1/2 inches (for the top and left side of the block).  Then I cut one more strip from the fabric at 2 1/2 inches wide.  I sew part of this strip to the bottom of the block.

I sew 4 1/2 inch strips to the left side and top side.
And lastly, I sew the 6 1/2 inch strip to the right side of the block.
I know what you're thinking- "But the t-shirt emblem isn't centered in the block!"  My answer is, "So what?"  I think the imbalance add some interest, the same way turning some blocks sideways adds interest.  Of course, if it would make you feel better, you can cut your strips of fabric so that the emblem is centered.  It's your quilt, after all!

Repeat this technique with any other blocks as needed.

Now, one more thing to do for this step.  Trim the rest of your t-shirt blocks according to the measurements recorded on the list, always adding 1/2 inch to each measurement for seam allowances.  We're getting close to the end!

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