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Can a Quilt Made from All Black T-shirts Look Good?

December 3rd, 2018

By Andrea Funk

An all black Harley T-shirt quilt

all black band concert by Too Cool T-shirt QuiltsA customer had contacted me because she was concerned that all her T-shirts were black. She felt that without adding colorful blocks or colorful sashing around each block that her quilt would be dark and not appealing. I assured her that a quilt made from all black T-shirts is awesome and much more colorful than she might expect. 

How Is a Quilt Made From All Black T-shirts Colorful?

If all the T-shirts in a quilt are black, the black becomes the background. The black becomes silent because there is nothing breaking up the black background palette.  This background becomes a backdrop for the designs on the T-shirt. It is analogous to white paper with black writing on it. The paper is the background and the black text is all you see.

When all the T-shirts are black, the images, text and graphics standout. And if they are colorful, then what you will see are all the colorful designs. The more colorful the graphics on the T-shirts, the more colorful the quilt will be.

Where Do You Get So Many Black T-shirts?

all black Harley Davidson T-shirt Quilt by Too Cool T-shirt QuiltsWe mostly see all black T-shirts from Harley-Davidson enthusiasts. We also make all black T-shirt quilts from concert shirts. There are also guys who will only wear black shirts.  Typically, we only make about 10 all black quilts a year.

What If I Have One or Two Colored T-shirts I Want to Include?

This is where you can run into issues. An all-black T-shirt quilt works because the black becomes invisible and the logos and graphics are what you see. But if you add in one or two colored T-shirts you lose that black background. All you will see are those one or two colored T-shirts.

Should you use those one or two colored T-shirts in an otherwise all black T-shirt quilt? Unless they are very, very important, I would suggest you keep those one or two T-shirts out. If they have to be in the quilt, we have the experience to help you figure out how to include them so they don’t overpower the rest of the quilt.

In the quilt below, you can see there was one white and two blue T-shirt in an other wise all black T-shirt quilt. We balanced the colors as much as we could. The pieced border work to help too.

all black band concert T-shirt quilt with a few colored blocks, by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts


Planning a T-shirt quilt?
Here are step-by-step directions for ordering your Too Cool T-shirt quilt.

Should I Put a Border on an All-Black Quilt?

all black Harley T-shirt Quilt by Too Cool T-shirt QuiltsIf you want just a black border, I would say no.  It will cost more but the return on investment. It's just not worth it in our opinion.

You could consider adding a colored border to your all black quilt. The first time I did this I was very skeptical. But per our customer’s request we added a border. I don’t think it distracted from the black T-shirts at all. It just gave it a nice frame.



What Color Backing Should I Use on an All-Black Quilt?

Instinctively you might think that you have to use a black backing color on an all-black quilt. And many times, this might be the right choice, particularly if the quilt is for someone who is into black.

But we can use other colors. Some Harley-Davidson quilts have orange on the back. Here is a photo of a close up of the back of a Harley quilt. We traced the Harley-Davidson logo from the front of the quilt and it showed up on the back of the quilt like this.

back to harley front

What Color Binding is Good For a All-Black Quilt?

Most of the time, it will be black, specifically if the backing is black. That said, we have used other bindings on all-black quilts. On many of the Harley-Davidson quilts we make that are all black, we use a printed flame fabric. It’s a lot of fun.

In the photo below, it's the same quilt, but bound with a flame binding on the left and a solid binding on the right. Which one do you like?

Same quilt different binding - by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts

Will You Quilt an All-Black Quilt With Black Thread?

Thread color on a Harley Davidon T-shirt Quilt by Too Cool T-shirt QuiltsNo. If you had a black quilt with a black backing, you would not see the quilting if we used black thread.  Here at Too Cool T-shirt Quilts we want to show off the quilting and not hide it.

We will use a darker colored thread, but not black. Many times, with our Harley-Davidson quilts we use a dark orange or red colored thread. It looks awesome! 


A quilt made with all black T-shirts will look awesome! If you choose Too Cool T-shirt Quilts as your quilter, we will work with you to make your quilt a unique piece of art! Below you can find more photographs of all black T-shirt quilts.


Want to learn more about T-shirt quilts? Visit our Learning Center.
We have over 200 articles about all aspects of T-shirt quilts.

 all black band concert by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts

all black Harley Davidson T-shirt Quilt by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts

all black Harley Davidson T-shirt Quilt by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts

all black band concert by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts

An all black rock concert T-shirt quilt

all black Harley Davidson T-shirt Quilt by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts


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.