When is the Best Time to Have Your Kid's T-shirts Made Into a Quilt?
Our kids have a lot of T-shirts!
Many kids pick up their first T-shirt on the way out of the hospital after having just been born. After that they start getting T-shirts from their parent’s alma mater, from friends and families favorite sports teams, from grandparents and aunts and uncles. Then there are the shirts from Disney characters, cartoon characters, trucks and cars and fairy princesses. And that is all in just the first year of a kid’s life!
T-shirts not only tell the world who we are, they also remind us of time spent with someone. T-shirts have meaning and memory. It is sad just to sell them at a garage sale or donate them to Good Will. A T-shirt quilt is the perfect way to transform all those T-shirts into a new and usable quilt.
The question is, “When do you have a T-shirt quilt made for your child?” The answer depends on how much those T-shirts are worth to you, how many T-shirts you have and how much money you have to invest into quilts.
The Ultimate Solution…
This is the solution if your finances permit and you have a lot of clothes that are important to the story of your child’s life. This is not just imagined solution. We have had many customers over the years employ this solution.
Quilt 1 – A baby clothes quilt made from the baby clothes from the first year of life. This quilt is typically for the mother of the child. But, we have made small quilts for the child to use and enjoy. Here's an article we wrote about baby clothes quilts you might enjoy.
Quilt 2 – Made before the child heads to kindergarten. This quilt will have all the T-shirts and important shirts and other clothing from toddler through young childhood. This is a great quilt to be made into a twin size quilt for their bed. If there is not enough items for a twin size, then a large lap quilt will let your child enjoy their clothing while watching TV or snuggling up to read.
Quilt 3 – Elementary school. Save all the T-shirts from elementary school. This will include shirts from school, sports teams, family reunions, trips and those that are fun and represent your child. Again, this is great if it can be a bed size quilt and be used while your child is in middle school.
Quilt 4 – Middle school – 6th to 8th grade. Depending on your child and their activities, three years might be enough to make a bed size quilt. For other kids, three years is more than enough to make a bed size quilt. If you don’t have enough for a bed, then a multi use size is great for your child to use for whatever occasion arises.
Quilt 5 – High School graduation. Typically 4 years of high school will garner enough T-shirts to make at least a twin-size quilt. Many times, we make a king size quilt with T-shirts just from high school. How large of quilt will depend on your child’s activities and school. If this is a child’s 5th quilt, they typically have become a T-shirt collector. But, do put your foot down, if they say they need one T-shirt for their quilt and one to wear!
Many parents will let their child take the quilt to college with them. Other parents, no. Read more about what we know about letting your child take their quilt to college.
I gave my daughter Milie her 6th quilt one year for Christmas when she was 10 or 11. She had a fit! “Not another T-shirt quilt! I wanted a computer!” That was the last quilt I made for Milie. From then on, she had to make her own quilts. Poor Baby! But I think she has made herself at least 6 more over the years. So don’t feel sorry for her.
The photo here is of Milie unhappy with her T-shirt quilt.
If five quilts are too much to swing, here are some other ideas.
Baby clothes quilt
These quilts are so cute and wonderful. Consider asking your child’s grandparents to help out with this quilt. Read more about baby clothes quilts here.
An Age Division Quilt or a Bat or Bar Mitzvah Quilt
A T-shirt quilt made from a child’s first 12 or 13 years of life is a great dividing point. This quilt would include T-shirts from the young part of the child’s life. Many times children don’t want to have “baby” items in their high school quilt. Thus, having at least one division between young childhood and the teenage years is good.
You would be ok putting a piece of the child’s baby blankie in this quilt. Whereas putting it in a high school quilt might not be such a great idea. Here's are some additional thoughts on adding a baby blanket to a T-shirt quilt.
High School Graduation T-shirt Quilts
We make 100’s of graduation T-shirt quilts every year. These quilts can be broken up a number of ways.
- Include everything that you have saved from day 1.
- You can use all the important T-shirts just from school.
- Include everything only from high school.
- Divide up the T-shirts based on your child’s life and the events they participated in. For example, you might have an all swimming T-shirt quilt and a just high school T-shirt quilt.
We don’t just make graduation T-shirt quilts in the spring of the year a child graduates from High school. There are a number of factors that will dictate when you should have that quilt made. Factors range from when you have all the T-shirts to when your child will let go of all their T-shirts.
What: All the T-shirts are collected and ready to go.
When: Spring of their senior year.
What: Spring athlete.
When: Have the quilt made in the summer to be ready for college.
What: They want to wear their T-shirts in college.
When: Have the quilt made in the fall for a holiday gift. Kids quickly learn that they aren’t going to wear their high school T-shirt in college.
What: Your child won’t let go of their T-shirts.
When: Have the quilt made when they will let go of them.
What: It’s 20-some-years later.
When: Have the quilt made for a holiday or birthday gift.
Other Dividing Points
There other dividing points in life that might be a good time for a T-shirt quilt.
- After college
- Major birthday
- After you die
- Just for the heck of it
At some point in our lives a T-shirt quilt is an important. Even if you are not ready for a T-shirt quilt now, keep saving your T-shirts. There will become a point when you are ready to have a T-shirt quilt made.
Learn more about T-shirt quilts by downloading our free T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide.
The guide dives deeper into the differences in style, type and quality differences between T-shirt quilts.
Learn all you can about T-shirt quilts so that you can have the quilt of your dreams.