Make a Pixel Quilt with Rob!


After a fantastic day of break dancing and
a little bit of Donkey Kong on the old Atari 2600 I got inspired to create a fantastic
new quilt for all of you. It’s a Pixel quilt and I’m ready to get
started. That’s right music fans. You know me and you know how much I love my
music. And funny enough these pixel quilts or watercolor
quilts or color wash quilts it’s all the same style, all the same method. But I love how we’re going back to some
of the 80’s style artwork to make these really fun and kind of modern quilts, right? So now this quilt here is my double cassette
boombox. And what I’m going to teach you is going
to show you exactly how to make this. But this one is a little bit bigger to be
working on quickly on the set today. I have a portable version I’d like to share
with you. That’s right everyone, the old cassette
player. I believe it was called the Walkman. At any rate we’re going to give you this
fun printable right here. We’ve got a pattern for the boombox. But we also have printed out nice and small
for you if you want to count out the squares you can. And that’s all it is. It’s just a counting of the squares and
laying out your stuff. However there’s a really easy trick. No we’re not going to sew all of those two
inch squares together. We’re going to fuse them first just like
this. Now my dear friends over at Quiltsmart have
this fantastic interfacing. And it is, it’s a super lightweight interfacing. And I’m hoping you can tell there are grid
marks on it. And they come in different sizes. We’re using the two inch squares here. But the cool thing about a pixel quilt is
you can do any different graphic design just by changing it. And another place that I saw a lot of cool
inspiration was kind of looking for perler bead designs is another great place to get
inspired for making your own pixel quilt designs. However let’s talk about this real quick. The packaging comes in panel sizes. And the panels may be spliced together one
of two ways. It’s such a lightweight interfacing that
if I need to make a larger, because this is over the back of everything. I guess I forgot to tell you that, this is
the back of everything. I need a larger piece. I can do one of two. I can overlap one entire set of grids and
then build out my design this way. Or even better what I like to do is I will
build my entire design on the two individual pieces. Because later on after everything is fused
down we’re going to fold along these seam lines and stitch. So basically what I’m saying is we can build
a half a quilt and another half of a quilt. And then we would lay them with their right
sides together, make that quarter of an inch seam and it would join the two half quilts
after they’ve been fused. Maybe you’re not quite following along yet. Maybe I should show you what we’re going
to do and how we’re going to fuse it. So I’m going to bring this over a little
bit closer here. And I’m using the Robert Kaufman solids. I just love this bundle of fabric. I picked it up so I could do a bunch of different
quilts with it. And you’re probably seeing that in some
of the tutorials that have been coming out lately. And what I’ve done now is I’ve taken my
printable and I’ve counted out my squares. And you can see that I’ve drawn onto the
fused side. And the fused side there’s a little bit
of a bumpy texture. The other side is really nice and soft. It actually feels almost like Kleenex. So this rough side is the side that I want
up. And because it’s up I’m going to be able
to go ahead and just count out my designs and start to sharpie marker onto the grid
line. Now I want to make a big point out of that
because some of our fabrics like the ones I used in the background are white fabrics. And every now with like a white or a pink
or a pale yellow you might get some bleed through. Now we’re going to be folding along these
grid lines. So that will be in the seam allowance. It will never be seen in the front of the
quilt. But I don’t want you to take the time to
write on here any of your color names because if you write your color names that wording
may show through later on. So just take the grid out like that. And then you’re just going to go ahead and
follow the pixel diagram to go ahead and start laying your pieces where they go around the
quilt. So I’m going to start in the center where
the cassette is. And I wanted to point out, now this is a legitimate
project, right? Because the cassette here that you have will
certainly fit in one of the two dub sides on our boombox. So you can make yourself your own dance and
party mix for your quilting studio, right? At any rate I’ve got my pre cut squares
because it makes it so fast and easy to go with my dark fabrics. And so I’m just kind of like to go through
and pick out the ones I need and I’m just going to place them. Now with our placement we don’t have to
be super particular yet. But I am going to take a little time and fuss
once all of the pieces are in place. And if you ever find that something is being
a little precarious you certainly could use like your clover mini iron and just touch
the centers to hold a piece in place for some reason if it was moving around but I sure
found that everything bonded very nicely to my quiltsmart. So I’m going to go around and put all of
my squares down first because I’m going to need to press it all at once and I want
to show you how to do that before we can go over to the sewing machine. So I tell you what, let me finish this up
and I’ll be right back. Welcome back, I’ve got my design all laid
out. And I didn’t quite point out but I left
kind of my half squares up here just loose. So I’ve finished all the way to the edge. But there is glue up here so as I get ready
to iron and glue down here hanging off the edge of the board. So as I get ready to iron what I really want
to do is I want to go through and adjust any squares. And I’m using my little metal stiletto or
a purple thang or a heck a toothpick would probably work. But I just want to make sure that there’s
not big areas of glue showing through. If there’s a little bit of overlap in a
spot it won’t be a big deal. But I’m just making sure that it looks as
tidy as possible. Then I’m going to come back into the center. And I’m going to go ahead and like press,
press. And I’m going to start bonding down all
of these layers here of my little two inch squares or whatever size you’re using for
your grid. And once I get it fairly pressed down I am
going to glide the iron over it one more time. We want these pressed down pretty darn securely
because we’re going to be folding along each one of those printed grid lines that
was there. And running these through the sewing machine
so that we don’t have to sew each little two inch edge together. That’s how it was originally done. Now I’m going to give a little bit of steam
in my iron to get it good and hot because now you can see I’m kind of gliding over
here just to make sure that everything is secured. And we’re almost ready for the sewing machine. It doesn’t matter what kind of thread but
I’m going to use cotton. It doesn’t matter which color. And what I like to think about if I want to
find the long seams first. This little unit I believe was an 11 by 12. So basically I’d be folding the 12’s instead
of the 11’s. On the boombox I made all of the long seams
first as I was going across because it secures two sides of our squares so if pieces want
to start to fall off because of just the size that we have then we can kind of capture them. Once we get all the verticals done we have
those last rows and everything is secured. Ok I’m ready for that machine. I bet you are too. Now I’ve got a quarter of an inch edge guide
on the machine. I’m going to fold this so it’s right sides
together here and I like to do a little finger crease. And I can see already that that first square
slipped away from me. You probably caught me there. No problem because I’m going to the machine
right now. If other ones are falling off we’re going
to want to secure those. And that’s simply because I rushed through
the ironing but you would not be doing that. I’m going to look at that gridline. I’m going to lock in my stitches us here,
capturing that one little loose square. We’re going to sew all the way through the
end. Might as well use your thread cutter if you
have one. Now I’m just going to keep working from
the machine. I’m not going to start pressing these seams
back open. Oh my goodness. I guess I better take a minute and hit this
one more time with the heater because what I’m going to show you is the next fold over. And I was just going a bit too quick. Now my steam is kicking in. That’s going to be good. That steam really helps on this interfacing. I had the steam turned off on the iron in
the first time. So if you’re wondering what the heck is
that guy doing today. Simply just going a little too quickly. One of my mantras recently has become thinking
about the journey not just the destination. So getting all of this set down properly is
that journey not just the finished product us all. Now we’re going to come back and we’re
going to fold what would be the 2nd and 3rd seam lines together. And this one is going to go pretty good. But the next maybe two seam allowances I need
to be careful that this first square doesn’t start to curl underneath and start to tuck
underneath. I won’t explain how I found that one out. And it wasn’t on this but it was years ago
I did. Oh no, now you know how I found it out anyway. So another quarter inch seam. We’re going to blow through this pretty
quick. And now you can see how great my squares are
holding once I got that steam nice and hot in there. And as I said I’m literally just going to
go through and I’m going to sew all of these rows one after the next after the next after
the next so that when it is all done it comes back out of the magic of television. And it’s getting a little shorter in one
direction. But what you can see here now I have all of
these folds done. Now there’s a couple of different ways to
address this. I’m going to teach you the proper way, industry
standard, which is going to go ahead and create a snip at each fold like yay so I can fan
them backwards. So I have one layer to still do. And what I found was that if I could get an
ironing surface that I could then just kind of put over the edge, then you could see how
that folds. Or I used the edge of my table at home. And then I could just go through and I could
just snip, snip, snip. And you can use scissors or snipers. You want to make sure you get all the way
through. And here’s the cool thing. You could actually cut through those threads
that you did already. Not too far but we’re going to go ahead
and sew this direction. So even if you hit the threads it’s actually
be better than being short. So I’ve got to get all of these cut through. And of course I’m using a pretty small pair
of scissors. But all of the rest I did at home for us. So now we’re ready to go back on over to
the sewing machine and we’re going to sew the other direction. So now here I”m going back to what would
be right sides together, correct? And what I really want to point out is I’m
going to take the time to make sure each seam is folded or fanned in opposite directions. So as I approach the machine right now I have
my little stiletto handy because that’s also going to help. And I’m pushing the upper seam up and the
bottom seam down. It makes it easy to see. But the next row that’s going to be opposite
because that seam is already going to be set in the down position. So let me see if I can do this a little slow
so you can understand. Ok. This seam is coming down, this seam is going
up. And I like to have my little stiletto handy
so I can just lift under and keep it real flat. And what that’s doing for us is it’s keeping
the bulk management in our favor so when we machine quilt we don’t have to avoid those
corners. That’s basically the reason. So you can see this pace is much more precise. And that’s why the quilt on the back wall
behind me looks so terrific because all the squares are kind of stitched this way instead
of individually. Ok, almost done for us. Go all the way to the end please. Now with that being said let’s point out
what I was trying to say here, now these seam allowances here have started to criss cross
or fan open. When I go to do the next row I’m going to
pinch it and fold it. But this part here has already been pressed
up. So then it’s still going to press up so
then the next one is going to press down. So I’m going to come back over here and
I’m just making sure that I get off to a good start on the first one because I let
my eye look up to the seam I just created to make sure that the next one is going correctly. So that’s now going up. That’s going down. And that’s all you’re going to have to
do to get your pixel quilt all stitched together onto the interfacing. So let’s finish this out and I’ll talk
you through the rest of it. And you can probably see how much better the
seams start to go once the other side had been created. It started to fold over for you. So as a reminder you’re going to do now
all of the rest of the other direction. And you’re going to leave the interfacing
in. There’s absolutely no way to remove it let
alone reason to. It adds a little bit of a body to our quilt. And then if you will follow me back over here
to the quilt sample itself, right? And like I said I did do stitch in the ditch. But I didn’t do every single row. And I used some white thread hoping it would
pretty much hide. And for the most part it really did. So basically I counted across from the center
over and basically did every other row down and then every other row across it. Then stitching here, not here, then here again. And that holds it together but it doesn’t
make it too compact. So it still has some nice loft to it. But of course this would be a fantastic place
to go back in and free motion machine quilt. I think I probably better do some play and
some pause buttons which I know you all use so that you can stop, watch what we’ve done
and follow along in your own home studios so that you can enjoy all these great projects
right here at Man Sewing. Thanks for being a Man Sewing fan. It’s great to have you out there encouraging
me to create fantastic new content. If you’ve missed any of the videos we’ve
got links for you here and here. And when you’re checking those out make
sure you’re subscribed. We don’t want you to miss any of the action.

47 Replies to “Make a Pixel Quilt with Rob!”

  1. This is perfect for my oldest son that had a boom box because he was born in 1974. I’m sorry but I still don’t know how you got the small squares of fabric.

  2. I adore your stitchy, rockin’, geeky, fun, playful, modern, nostalgic, joyful, useful, arty farty freakin awesome projects and teaching! Rock on, the quilting world is a better place because of you! 🤘

  3. Great quilt Rob! But would have loved to see a close up of the last sewing part. It was a little too fast. I have one of those big boom boxes in my wood shop 🙂 still works great! Lol

  4. Rob you should check out Patch Andi. She does pixel quilts of famous people. She has done Audrey Hepburn, Freda Karloh etc.

  5. great tutorial thank you. i have done this technique before it is great fun i do my own grid as i didnt have grid interfacing . i cheated when i did areas of the same colours and i cut strips and didnt bother sub cutting into tiny squares. so for example i needed 5 white next to each other ~~~~~ i say they were 2 in i added 5 x2 equals 10 and just cut a 10 in strip . then sew as above.

  6. I love pixel quilts! A while back I made a pixel Princess Leia for a Star Wars fan and now I am doing a Minecraft quilt for a sweet young guy that loves to play. Another great source for patterns is Cross Stitch, since they are designed the same way.

  7. I've been stalling on making a Mario Bros. quilt because I haven't wanted to mark out all of those grids on the interfacing. Now you tell me I can buy it pre-gridded? I guess that's the kick in the butt that I needed to get started!

  8. I have been wanting to make a couple of pixel quilts n this is perfect. Makes this project so easy. I love your retro stuff, such as the Walkman n boom box….

  9. Love, love love your tutorials. You're such a good instructor and fun to watch. Lots of detail and tips without a huge time investment. Thx!

  10. . thank u for sharing it was cute and easy to follow.. But I loved the other one that was hanging behind u

  11. I love this. It's hard to believe that the boom box is now an "antique". You could use this to make anything look pixelated. You've given my imagination a lot to think about. Thanks for this technique and another great video, Rob. I saw a video of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and saw you there. I'd love to go someday!

  12. I LOVE pixel quilts. Just completing a 8 bit Link from Legend of Zelda Pixel quilt for my son. Next is Mario!

  13. Hey no fair that is cheating. You are supposed to sew each square to the next.!!! Wish you had told me this before I sewed 600 2.5" squares together!!!

  14. Love love love this. I had several boom boxes over the years…also cassette players. Lol great quilts!! Given me plenty of ideas to make some pixelated Mario characters for my kids…lol.

  15. Wish I had seen this earlier I have just completed Minecraft quilt with 27 blocks with 64 1” squares in each block it was a nightmare. As I stitched every piece.

  16. I love it. I want you to make a zipper bedding for a twin size bed. It's blankets that zips on the side with minky matteral inside.

  17. Would be great for a Minecraft Quilt. I love that fusible with the grid. Makes this project super simple and much easier! Love your tutorials, Rob!

  18. Rob, here’s an idea for teens. How about designing the face of an IPhone with regular and fun apps on it.

  19. Being “old school” myself, I LOVE your patterns!!!!! I have to make one for myself!!!! Keep up the awesome work Rob!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  20. My mom and I did this recently! We made Sans from Undertale for my middle daughter for Christmas, but didn't know about that 2" grid interfacing, so we made our own…. Next project is a Minecraft quilt for my son. 🙂

  21. Rob I have been trying to finish a tetris quilt for my son in law for 4 years!!! My original idea was to make it as a "rag quilt" but really thought that was a bad idea. So I stopped working on it and you has inspired me to get it done using some of your methods. All of the blocks are 10" x 10" cut and machine cross stitched as a rag quilt is done. Although I won't change what I have completed thus far, your video has given me many ideas on how I can complete my tetris quilt. I am determined to get this quilt done for Christmas 2019. Better late than never! And I am looking forward to using the method you demo in this video.

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