Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on March 20th, 2017

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Your Guide to Buying a T-shirt Quilt

Finding a T-shirt Quilt Maker

I think you will agree with me:

If you are starting the process to find someone to make your T-shirt quilt, start by asking yourself the followning 6 questions. These questions will help you focus your search and can make eliminating quilters that don’t meet your requirements will be much easier.  

I have also provided you the information to help you answer questions. 

A ton of T-shirts1. How many T-shirts do you have?

Knowing how many T-shirts you have is important for a number of reasons.

  1. Some T-shirt quilt styles limit how many T-shirts you can have. For example, if you have a traditional style T-shirt quilt made, you will be limited in the number of T-shirts you can use. A quilt that is 5 blocks wide by 7 blocks down can use 35 graphics. So if you have 20 T-shirts with graphics on both sides, you would be limited to choosing just 35 of the 40 graphics on those T-shirts.

    A puzzle style T-shirt quilt styleswill let you use any number of T-shirts graphics. The more graphics and designs you have would just increase the size of the quilt.

  2. The number of T-shirts you have will in part determine the size of your quilt. So if you want a small quilt and have a lot of T-shirts, you will have to either increase the size quilt you want or eliminate shirts so you can have a smaller quilt.

2. What size quilt do you want?

The size quilt you want will dictate the number of T-shirts you can use. The more T-shirts you have, the larger your quilt will need to be. If you are finding you have too many T-shirts for the size quilt you want, you will need to sort through your T-shirts to figure out which ones to use to tell the story you want to tell.

The make up of a T-shirt quilt3. Do you want a quilt or a blanket?

A quilt and a blanket are not the same thing! A quilt has three layers held together with stitching holding the layers together, whereas a blanket has just two layers and nothing holding the two layers together. Read more about the difference here.

A quilt will cost 4 to 6 times more than a blanket because there is so much more to a quilt. A quilt will take more time to make, there are more materials and equipment required and will require a skilled quilt maker.

But beware – some companies who make blankets, will call them quilts. But they are not quilts! So how do you know? If you can’t tell from photos on their website, you will need to ask the company questions.

  • Are your T-shirt quilts actually quilted? The correct answer for a quilt is “yes.”
  • How many layers are your quilts? The correct answer for a quilt is “3.”
  • What type of batting do you use? Any type of batting means it is a quilt.
  • Are your quilts machine quilted? The correct answer for a quilt is “yes.”

The answers to these questions will tell you if that company makes a quilt or a blanket.


Learn more about having a T-shirt quilt made with our complete T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide.
It will help you learn more about having your T-shirts transformed into a quilt. 

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide


5. Are all your graphics on your T-shirts the same size?

If all your graphics are the same size and will fit in a 12 or 14 inch square, you might want to have a traditional style T-shirt quilt made. But if the graphics on your T-shirts are all different sizes, you will want a puzzle style quilt that uses different block sizes. Read more about the different styles of T-shirt quilts here.

Graphic cropped of a T-shirt for a traditional style quiltIf your graphics are all different sizes and you choose to have a traditional T-shirt quilt made, you need to be prepared to expect two things:

  1. The graphics larger than the one standard block size will be cropped to fit that block size. Are you okay with that? Will it break your heart to have a block cropped off?

  2. Small graphics will be left with too much space around them. Many times the small graphics are in the upper right hand corner of the blocks. It will look silly and be a waste of space that would have been used for graphics from other T-shirts.

5. Do you want heirloom quality or just good enough for now?

Knowing what quality level of a quilt you would like will help you when you set a budget. If you want a well-made high quality quilt, you need to expect to pay for this. If you are willing to settle for a good enough, then you will spend a lot less.

Click here to read about how much does a T-shirt quilt cost.

6. What is your budget?

Awesome T-shirt quiltThere are a number of considerations that will impact your budget…

  1. Quilt size – the larger the quilt, the more it will cost.

  2. The style of quilt – the more complex the quilt, the more it will cost.

  3. If you are having a quilt or a blanket made. A blanket will cost less than a quilt.

  4. The quality of materials use – the higher the quality, the more expensive the quilt will be.

  5. The skill of the quilt maker – the more experienced a quilt maker, the more expensive your quilt will be. 

It comes down to, “you get what you pay for.”

$100 will get you a small disappointing blanket and $1000 will get you a kick-ass quilt. You need to decide what you want for your T-shirts. If you can’t afford what you want, save up until you can.

There are a lot of consideration that go into having a T-shirt quilt made. Do your research so you get the quilt you want. To learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, you can download our T-shirt quilt buying guide.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide 

Memory quilt from T-shirts

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.