When parents gather their children’s T-shirts in preparation to have a high school graduation T-shirt quilt made, we get many questions about what to put in and what to leave out. One of the most frequent questions I am asked is: Should a piece of the child’s baby blanket be included in the quilt?
When I first was asked this question I was like, “are you kidding me?” I had replaced my daughter’s baby blanket with a T-shirt quilt before she went to elementary school.
I soon learned that I had a minority view on baby blankets. My daughter told me that there were kids in the dorm that had their baby blankets under their pillows. Ok, so that surprised me. A lot!
Should you put a piece of the baby blanket in their high school graduation quilt?
So, should you put a piece of the baby blanket in their high school graduation quilt? That’s up to you. But here are some things to consider:
If the blanket is still being used, I would be careful of taking it away now!
Is the quilt for someone identifying as male or female?
If the T-shirt quilt is for a girl, I would be more apt to use a piece of the blanket than if the quilt is for a guy. But it’s your child; consider how they react to having the blanket in the quilt. Remember, once it’s in the quilt, it's in there to stay.
Is the quilt going to college?
Whether a T-shirt quilt will go to college with your child is an entire discussion. You can read about taking a T-shirt to college here. But if you think the quilt will be going to college, then you might consider not using the blanket because of the potential for embarrassment.
If a piece of their blanket is in their quilt, will they refuse to use it?
We have had experiences with children refusing to use their T-shirt quilt because it had one T-shirt in it that they didn’t like. A piece of baby blanket might garner this same result.
Basically, ask yourself if using a piece of their baby blanket is right for your child.
To learn more about the different types, styles and qualities of T-shirts, download our T-shirt Quilt Buyer’s Guide. It’s a great place to begin your journey to finding a quilt maker.
How to Use a Baby Blanket in a T-shirt Quilt
We don’t use the entire blanket. Rather, we use a piece to represent the blanket. A baby blanket is generally made up of a piece of material surrounded by a satin border or fringe around the outside. On a well-loved baby blanket, the satin is tattered and in shreds. We have two ways to use the blanket in the quilt.
A Piece From the Center Of the Blanket
Using just a piece of the blanket is what we do with the majority of baby blankets. We will cut a small piece of the blanket out of the center of the blanket. This piece will just be a colored block. You would need to be familiar with baby blankets to realize that this is from a baby blanket.
If you are unsure how a piece of their baby blanket in their T-shirt quilt will be received, this is a great solution. We can use a very small piece or a larger piece from the center of their blanket, depending on how much emphasis you want on the blanket.
The Center Plus the Binding
This solution is much more rare. We will cut the corner of the blanket off and mount it on another piece of T-shirt material and sew it down so the satiny binding is free of the quilt. This way you can still finger the binding.
We are happy to consult with you about various items you may be considering using in your son or daughter’s T-shirt quilt. But ultimately, you know your son or daughter best and have to make the final decision based on their personality and how the quilt will be used.
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.