Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on February 6th, 2017

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10 Tips About T-shirt Quilts

T-shirt quiltT-shirt quilts come in many different styles and levels of quality.

  • Do you know what style of quilt you want?
  • What about the quality of your quilt?

Before you have a T-shirt quilt made with your T-shirts, here are some tips that can help you weed out quilters who may not be offering you exactly what you want. 

1. There are 5 typical styles of T-shirt quilts.

Do you know what style you are looking for? This is the first questions you need to ask yourself. "What style quilt do I want?" If you don't know what the different types of T-shirts quilts are or look like, you can read more about quilt styles here

2. You can use more than just T-shirts in a T-shirt quilt.

You can use just about any machine washable fabric in a quilt. We have used sweatshirts, jerseys, jeans, bags, dance outfits, stuffed animals, gymnastic Leo's, jackets, socks, baby shoes, swim suits, and much, much more. If you think that something helps tell the story you are telling with your quilt, use it! Here is more about what can be used in a T-shirt quilt. 

3. There are two busy times of the year for quilt makers.

Starting in October and going through December, quilters are busy making quilts for Christmas and other holiday gifts. This means that if you want a quilt made for Christmas, waiting until December 1 to begin the process may mean you are out of luck.  The other busy time of the year is between March and June because of the graduation quilt rush. If you are looking for a quilt for graduation, try to get started on that project in January. 

4. You can use the front and the back of same T-shirt in your quilt.

If you are told that you can’t use the front and the back of a T-shirt, find a different quilter. There is no reason that you can’t use both sides.  You can also use sleeves, and the legs and butts of sweat pants. Read more about some of the things you can use in a T-shirt quilt here. 

A T-shirt blanket is not a T-shirt quilt!5. Not all T-shirt quilts are actually quilts!

Some companies tell you that you are getting a quilt when you are actually getting a blanket. A quilt has three layers that are held together by quilting. A blanket only has two layers. Project Repat’s “quilts” are actually blankets.   The difference is big, don't get tricked.

6. You should be able to wash your quilt.

Unless you put a dry-clean only item in your quilt, your quilt should be machine washable. If a company tells you to dry-clean your quilt it means that they did not pre-wash and set the color of the backing fabric. Avoid any maker telling you to dry-clean your quilt. Here's how to care for a Too Cool T-shirt Quilt.

7. T-shirts do not need to be stabilized with interfacing of any type.

Many quilters believe that you have to stabilize T-shirt material with an iron on backing otherwise it can’t be sewn or has a shorter shelf life or for some other reason. This is not true. Rather, it’s the quilting industry trying to sell stabilizer to quilters. It might make sewing easier for a quilter, but it will make your quilt stiff. Iron on backing is not good for your quilt. Read more about interfacing here. 

8. The graphics on T-shirts come in all different sizes.

A T-shirt quilt made from just one block size is not a good solution to making T-shirt quilts. A one-size block solution will crop off some of your graphics and leave others floating in too much empty space. Look for a quilt that is made up of many different sizes and shapes of blocks.

9. It takes 4 to 6 weeks to make a quilt.

Sewing a T-shirt QuiltUpon receipt of your approval, the typical time frame to make a T-shirt quilt is 4 to 6 weeks. This will vary depending on the quilter and the time of year. Before you have a quilt made, know approximately how long it will take for your quilt to be completed. If it takes over six weeks, ask why and then determine if that is the right quilt company to make your quilt. 

10. The quality of a T-shirt quilt can range from rotten to awesome.

I know it is difficult to tell the quality of a quilt from a photograph. Here is an article that can help you know exactly what to look for in a photograph of a quilt.

I hope these tips about T-shirt quilts can help you in your research to find the right T-shirt quilt maker for your needs. We have also written a guide to having a T-shirt quilt made. You can download that here.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

An awesome T-shirt quilt


About Andrea Funk

Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes. The modern method of making T-shirt quilts. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts. Her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since. 


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