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.


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.

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.



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. 


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.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide


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.