It all depends upon where you begin the discussion. Are you starting with a set quilt size or with a set number of T-shirts that have to be in your quilt? Where you begin dictates the answer.
Below we will look at how each starting spot answers the question about what adding a border does to the size of a quilt.
Adding a Border to a Set Number of T-shirts
If you are beginning with a set number of T-shirts, you first have to figure out how large of quilt those T-shirts will make. After we cut your T-shirts, we provide this information to you.
Your border will then be added to the size quilt your T-shirts can make.
For example, let’s say those T-shirts will make a quilt without a border that is 60 x 72. (This is our multi-use size quilt.)
Here’s what happens if you add a border of different sizes:
A 2” solid border will increase the quilt size to 64 x 76. This is because we added 2” to all four sides of the quilt. The inside of the quilt with your T-shirts is still 60 x 72. But the border will make the quilt larger.
The larger border you add, the larger the quilt will be. A 2” solid + 4” pieced + 2” solid border will increase the quilt size to 76 x 88. This is between a twin and a full size. With this border, we added 8” to all four sides of the quilt. The inside portion of the quilt remains the same.
Including a Border on a Set Quilt Size
If you are planning a quilt and you know what size quilt you want and what style border you want, you can then determine how many T-shirts you will need.
Adding a border to a set size quilt means that the inside of your quilt will be smaller.You will need fewer T-shirts to get to the size quilt you want with a border.
If you want a quilt with a final size of 60 x 72 including a border, this will mean that the inside of your quilt has to be smaller. Here are two examples.
A 2” solid border will decrease the inside of the quilt to 56 x 68. We subtracted 2” from all four sides of the quilt.
A 2” solid + 4” pieced + 2” solid border will decrease the size to 44 x 56. This is because we subtracted 8” from all 4 sides of the quilt.
Planning a T-shirt quilt? Here are step-by-step directions for ordering your Too Cool T-shirt quilt.
Where Issues Arise
The issues we run into is when a customer wants a border, but they send in way too many T-shirts for a quilt the size they want with the T-shirts they want.
They then have to choose between T-shirts and a border or end up with a larger and more expensive quilt than they wanted.
We always think that the T-shirts are way more important than the border. We suggest forgoing a border over T-shirts.
We hope this article helps you understand how a border effects the size of a T-shirt quilt.
Remember, a border will change the size of your quilt if you begin with a set number of T-shirts.
When you start with a set size quilt, adding a border will not increase the size of the quilt, rather it will shrink the T-shirt portion of your quilt.
Want to learn more about T-shirt quilts? Visit our Learning Center. We have over 200 articles about all aspects of T-shirt quilts.
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.