T-shirt Quilt Bindings and Borders

Posted by Andrea Funk on April 29, 2013 9:28:00 AM EDT

tee shirt quilt

In January 2013 Too Cool T-shirt Quilts introduced the possibility of adding a border to our T-shirt quilts. We have been periodically adding borders to our quilts over the past 15 years when a customer wanted a larger quilt but did not have enough T-shirts, but we had not advertised this option.

In 2012 we had a special project where we made a T-shirt quilt for each child in K-2 grade classroom at a small private elementary school. To be fair to all the children, we made all the quilts the same size, but many of the children did not have enough T-shirts to make their quilt that large. So we started experimenting with various types of borders so we could make each quilt the same size. The borders were a hit with the children, their parents and us.  

Throughout the rest of 2012, we experimented with borders on customer quilts when they needed their quilt to be larger. We figured out what worked, what didn't work and how to make them well.  

tee shirt quilt binding

So the most frequently asked question we now get is, what is the difference between a border and the binding. Here are some specifics about each:  


  • A border is an optional feature
  • A border is on the face of a quilt and you cannot see the border from the back of the quilt
  • A border can be various widths – from 2" to 12"
  • A border can be pieced or solid
  • A border is generally made from T-shirt material
  • A border frames the quilt  


  • All quilts have a binding
  • The binding can been seen from the face, side and back of a quilt
  • All bindings are the same size – you see about 1/2" on the front and back
  • Bindings are generally made from 100% cotton material
  • A binding is a mechanical part of the quilt. It holds the top, middle and backing together  

Should You Add a Border to Your Quilt?

tshirt blanketYes:

  • If you need the quilt larger than the number of T-shirts you have
  • If you would like a border to set off your quilt
  • If you like the look of a border
  • If cost is not an issue – adding a border raises the cost of a quilt


  • If the quilt is the size you would like
  • If cost is an issue
  • If you don’t like the look of a border  

A T-shirt quilt looks great with or without a border. Adding a border is your choice. On the other hand, a binding is not optional because it is an integral part of any quilt. 

More About Borders

To learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, download our free T-shirt Quilt Buyer's Guide. It's a great place to learn about the different styles and quality of T-shirt quilt.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

Topics: Types of T-shirt Quilts, T-shirt Quilts

Andrea_Funk_Head_shotWritten by Andrea T. Funk

Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes, no sashing and no iron on backing. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts and her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since.