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Simple Secrets To Exciting Quilts

  • Briefly: Learn and Practice Design Basics with an easy and fun project. Design your own patchwork quilt adding sparkle and jazz along the way to create an exciting and eyecatching quilt. Read more
  • Type: Workshop
  • Location: online at
  • Tutor: Elizabeth Barton
  • Videos: 14
  • Skill Level: all levels
  • Number of Lessons: 3
  • Techniques: patchwork
  • Tags: Design a quilt, design secrets, Elizabeth Barton, leftover fabric, online workshop, quilt, quilt block

  • Regular price $32.00 USD
    Regular price Sale price $32.00 USD
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    • Description
    • Requirements

    Fed up with politics, pandemics and pollution? Here’s a way to have fun, make something useful…with no need for shopping!

    Plus – learn the secrets of good design.

    Making an exciting quilt should not be complicated, it should be fun. The fabric needed should be affordable for anyone. Quilting does not have to be expensive, laborious or difficult!

    Quilts made from fabric leftovers or old clothes do not have to be dreary and boring….if you keep in mind a few basic design principles. Nor do they have to be complicated.

    In this class we begin with a very simple idea…but gradually using design principles make it a lot more interesting…

    Elizabeth shows you how to design and cut out a really simple quilt. You can choose any size: wall, lap, bed. It’s easy enough for someone who has never made a quilt before.

    And the only supplies you need: a pile of old clothes or left over fabric scraps!

    The steps shown in the class can be applied to many different simple block designs…the simpler the better! Why not get your 5 year old (yes, the one that some people think can make abstract art better than the abstract expressionists!) to draw some simple ideas for you. Tell them to draw 3 or 4 straight lines within a square! Doodle several yourself! Then working step by step, apply the tenets of good design.

    Be willing to experiment, and be sure to play! We need to play and laugh in these dire times.

    Read/watch through the entire class especially including the addendum before you begin.

    Good luck! I’ll be thinking about you. Elizabeth

    Note: Once purchased, you can access the class data any time, 24 hours a day and you get immediate access if this workshop is available on this website. (if you don't have an account we suggest you sign up for one prior to purchase. Workshops held at require signing in there and take a little more time to activate)

    Time Duration applies only to teacher access for your question and answer duration.


    Lesson one:

    • Cutting Out
    • Laying Out Shapes
    • Arranging Shapes
    • Adding Spice
    • Four Properties of Color
    • Sort and Cut by Value

    Lesson two:

    • Sewing
    • Assessing Impact
    • Using Line in Design
    • Diagonal Cut
    • Half Square Couples
    • Arranging the Blocks
    • Key Tips For a Strong Arrangement

    Lesson three:

    • Adding a Border
    • How to Tie the Quilt
    • Applying the Simple Secret to Other Standard Quilt Blocks
    • Design Tip Checklist

    Supplies Required for Workshop

    1. A pile of old clothes or leftover fabric scraps! All cotton of similar weight is easier but you could also use all linen, or all very fine (washable) wool – as long as it’s all the same fiber and weight.  Wash the clothes, cut off complicated bits (cuffs, collars, fancy necklines, armholes, pockets, etc); also trim off all the seams. Then iron your “haul”! Discard any pieces that are smaller than 6" square (15cm).

    2. You also need a very small amount (e.g. 1/4 yd or less) of both plain black cotton and plain white cotton. Good quality.
    3. Basic cutting and sewing tools including a rotary cutter.
    4. Cutting guides: 6” square, 12” square, and 6” x 12” or similar – as you have available.


    Using cutting guides of a similar size to those indicated, the blocks will be about 16” square.

    Mattress sizes are as follows, allow about 10” (25cm) extra on the sides and the bottom for overlap. 


    Size in inches

    Size in cm

    Number blocks



    39 x 75

    96.5 x 190.5


    4 x 6

    Twin XL

    39 x 80

    96.5 x 203.5


    4 x 7


    54 x 75

    134.5 x 190.5


    5 x 6


    60 x 80

    152.5 x 203.5


    5 x 7


    76 x 80

    193 x 203.5


    6 x 7

    Cal King

    72 x 84

    183 x 213.5


    6 x 7

     If you make smaller or large blocks, recalculate!