Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on December 11th, 2017

Print/Save as PDF

6 Must Have Features of a Harley-Davidson T-shirt Quilt

Harley-Davidson T-shirt Quilts  |  theme quilts

Like motorcycles, there are many different styles of T-shirt quilts. And like bikes, some are plain and boring while others are awesome.

harley davidson T-shirt quilt failsIf you have done a Google image search for Harley Davidson T-shirt quilts, you will see that most of the quilts look like checkerboards. This style of quilt is plain, uninteresting and definitely not cool.

If you are riding a Harley and have been collecting Harley T-shirts, you are cool and interesting. So why should your quilt be boring and just like anyone else’s quilt?

Awesome quilts all have these 6 features, and will stand out.  If you are planning a Harley-Davidson T-shirt quilt, your quilt should have all of these features. If not, you will be selling yourself short.

Here’s the list of musts:

You can click on which one you would like to read or read the article from top to bottom.

  1. All the graphics are cut to the right size.
  2. The entire graphic on your T-shirt is included.
  3. Each graphic is centered on its block.
  4. The quilt is made from many different size and shaped blocks.
  5. The T-shirt blocks are puzzled together to create a visually dynamic design.
  6. Each block is individually quilted.

1. All the graphics are cut to the right size.

Wasted space on a T-shirt quiltWhen you are looking at a T-shirt quilt, check to see if each block fits the design from the T-shirt. If a small design is floating around on a block that is way too large or if a part of the graphic is cropped off, then the blocks don’t fit the designs. This mismatch is a detail that makes a quilt look poor. 

In the photo here, you can see that there is way too much space below the logo. 

You will generally find this issue on quilts made with just one block size.  Not all graphics on T-shirts are the same size – some are large, some are small and some run down the length of the arm of the shirt. The block size chosen for a particular T-shirt needs to fit the design, which means you will need to look for a quilt with many different block sizes.

Are you sure that the quilter you choose will make you a quilt and not a blanket? There is a big difference!

Quilts vs Blankets Which is right for you?

2. The entire graphic on your T-shirt is included.

There are very few reasons that any part of the graphic on your T-shirt should be cut off. You bought the T-shirts because you liked the designs on them. The entire design should make it onto your quilt. This is one of those details that will stand out. If a graphic has been cropped off, it can make a quilt look awful. And it can be a huge disappointment!

In the series of photos here, the first shows the T-shirt. The second shows it cropped off in a T-shirt blanket and the third is how it is used in a Too Cool T-shirt Quilt. Which one would you want? 

The shirt before it's cut for a T-shirt quilt  How a blanket makter cropps of image  How an image shold be used in a T-shirt quilt   

Don’t accept an explanation of many T-shirt quilt makers and companies: “If the design on your T-shirt does not fit into a standard block size, it will be cropped off.”

You know that some Harley T-shirts have very large designs. Why would you knowingly choose a quilt maker that would crop off a design to fit a predetermined block size?

3. Each graphic is centered on its block.

This goes into the skill and experience of a quilt maker. For example, if there is 3” of space on one side of the design and 1” on the other side, the design has been cut off-center. On the surface, this may seem like an insignificant point, but it’s little details like this that can make one quilt look better than another. This happens most frequently with beginner quilt makers. 

Consider this small detail when you are choosing a T-shirt quilt maker.  Look at a number of photographs of quilts made by the quilter you are considering. If you see this frequently in her quilts, it probably would happen on your quilt.

4. The quilt is made from many different size and shaped blocks.

Awesome Harley T-shirt QuiltSince designs on T-shirts come in all sizes and shapes, a T-shirt quilt must have blocks of all shapes and sizes. This is a detail that is easily picked out. A T-shirt quilt made from one size square blocks won’t accommodate T-shirts with different size graphics.

5. The T-shirt blocks are puzzled together to create a visually dynamic design.

A T-shirt quilt made with the T-shirt blocks lined up in rows and columns is boring. This is because your brain is smart and can easily discern the pattern. As a result, you do not have to re-examine the quilt. You don’t spend much time looking at the quilt.

A quilt should be dynamic and interesting. Your quilt should be able to attract someone’s attention and hold it.  Rows and columns just don’t do that. 

Just because a T-shirt quilt has different size blocks does not necessarily mean that it does not have rows or columns. Some quilts are made with unequal columns of different height blocks. But these are still columns. If you have not seen thousands of T-shirt quilts, you may need to study a number of photos to see how to pick out rows and/or columns. Read more about more styles of T-shirt quilts here.

6. Each block is individually quilted.

The back of a harley T-shirt quiltMany quilters will just turn on their computerized long arm sewing machine and walk away and let their computer quilt your quilt for them. These quilts are quilted in a repeating overall pattern. By doing this, the quilt maker has made the quilting on the quilt boring and very easy for your mind to figure out and then you are on to something else. 

Look for a quilt maker that quilts each block with a unique pattern. This way when you flip your quilt over, there will be lot to look at and study.

When we are quilting, we will trace some of the designs on the T-shirts so you can see the design on the back of the quilt too. This is so cool. If you are like most people seeing the quilting on the back of a Too Cool T-shirt Quilt, it will knock your socks off.

Wrapping It Up

Your quilt will look awesome to you no matter how it’s made, because they are your T-shirts.

The real test of a T-shirt quilt’s true appeal is if a stranger decides it’s so outstanding that they say to you, “I’ll take it if you don’t want it.” 

To learn more about having a Harley-Davidson quilt made from your T-shirts,
consider downloading our free Harley-Davidson T-shirt Quilt Buyer’s Guide.
This guide has information specific to special considerations of having a Harley-Davidson quilt made. 

Harley Davidson Quilt Buying Guide

Don’t just trust your T-shirts to anyone with a pair of scissors and a sewing machine. It takes experience, the right tools and skill to make an awesome T-shirt quilt. 

Think about it this way – when your bike needs engine work, where do you take it? The cheapest place you can find? No, you most likely will take it to a shop that has the right tools and experience fixing Harley’s.  And for your Harley Davidson T-shirts, Too Cool T-shirt Quilts is that right place.

Are you a biker chick?

Don’t feel left out of the conversation. You probably have a drawer full of your own Harley Davidson shirts. We can make a quilt like the one below for you!

Harley Chick T-shirt quilt

More About: Theme T-shirt Quilts

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. 


Couldn't find what you were looking for?

Try searching by keyword or topic to find all sorts of helpful resources.