Three Things to Consider Before Buying a T-shirt Quilt
Are 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.
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.
Characteristics 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.