Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on December 11th, 2014

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Three Things to Consider Before Buying a T-shirt Quilt

happy_with_T-shirt_quiltAre you getting ready to buy a quilt made with your T-shirts? If so, there is a lot you need to know about T-shirt quilts before you have your precious T-shirts transformed into a quilt. If you don’t have enough information you might not get the quilt you want.

Recently at a marathon expo at which I was exhibiting our Too Cool T-shirt Quilts, a young woman came up to me and told me that she had just had a quilt made from her shirts.  I asked her who made her quilt. She said it was ProjectRepat. I asked her if she liked her quilt. She said, “I did, until I saw your quilts. I should have done a little more research.”

Here are three important features of T-shirt quilts you need to consider before you have a quilt made.

Style

What style of quilt are you looking for? There are two major styles and three sub-styles of T-shirt quilts. Click here for an in-depth dive into all five styles. Here is an explanation of the two major styles.

Traditional Style

project_repat_crapCharacteristics of a traditional style T-shirt quilt are:

  • All the blocks are the same size.
  • The blocks are constructed in columns and rows.
  • Sashing may or may not separate the rows and columns.

Advantages of a traditional style T-shirt quilt are:

  • You know exactly how many blocks you will need.
  • Very simple style that doesn’t require a highly skilled seamstress to make.
  • Will cost much less than other quilts.

Disadvantages of a traditional style T-shirt quilt are:

  • All the blocks are the same size – but your graphics on your T-shirt are not all the same size. So of your graphics might be cropped off.
  • The columns and rows are visually uninteresting.

Too Cool Style – aka variable style

Characteristics of a Too Cool style T-shirt quilt are:

  • All the blocks are different sizes.
  • The blocks are puzzled together and there are no columns and rows.
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Advantages of a Too Cool style T-shirt quilt are:

  • All the blocks are different sizes because graphics on T-shirts are all different sizes.
  • The puzzling of the blocks makes the quilt look visually interesting.
  • There is no limit to the number of T-shirts you can include – more T-shirts will just make the quilt larger. 

Disadvantages of a Too Cool style T-shirt quilt are:

  • Since the blocks are all different sizes, you can’t readily determine how many T-shirts you need ahead of time.
  • They are much more difficult to make and even more difficult to make well. Therefore, you need a skilled seamstress.
  • The complexity means that this style will be more expensive.

Quality

As with anything in life, quilts can range the quality gamut from excellent to crap. Here are a number of components that go into the quality of a T-shirt quilt.

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Materials

There are two major materials to consider the quality of – the backing and the batting.

  • The backing should be 100% cotton high quality fabric.
  • The batting should be either 100% cotton or needle punched 80% cotton 20% polyester. Avoid 100% polyester battings – this is cheap and is not durable.

Sewing Skills

A skilled sewer makes a high quality quilt. Ask your sewer how any T-shirt quilts she has made. Anything under 100 is suspect. Ask to see your quilters work. Read more about skilled quilters here. 

Quilting

Is the quilt quilted? Is the quilt even a quilt? If it does not have 3 layers and quilting, it’s a blanket. Read more about the difference here.

Cost

How much should a T-shirt quilt cost? That will depend on the style of quilt, the quality of materials used, the care used to make the quilt and if it is a quilt or a blanket. For example, a traditional style quilt made with low quality materials by an unskilled quilter will cost a lot less than a quilt made with the Too Cool or variable style, with high quality materials and by skilled quilters. Read more about how much a T-shirt quilt should cost here.


We have more information about having a quilt made from your T-shirts.
Consider downloading our free T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide.
It’s a first step to learning more about T-shirt quilts so you have the information you need.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide


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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.