Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on July 30th, 2018

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How to Most Effectually Use Jersey Numbers in a T-shirt Quilt

Athletic Quilts  |  Planning a T-shirt Quilt

players numbers on a hockey jersey quiltEvery T-shirt quilt tells a story. An athlete who participated in team sports has a unique element to their story. You know, all those numbers on their jerseys! How many numbers should you include in the quilt?

There is a not one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Knowing how many numbers you have will help you plan your quilt.

This article will go over a number of number situations and their solution. Understanding these solutions now, you enable you to make decisions a head of time on how many numbers you want to include. 

Here are some things to consider. We have included photos that will help in our explanation.

Most the Numbers Are the Same

number 22 all over a T-shirt quilt for an athlete.Many athletes have the same number year after year and from sport to sport.  Do you need every one of those numbers or would three or four of those identical numbers be enough? Or is this number very important? Will having it in the quilt many time help better tell the athlete’s story?

Part of this comes down to size. If you are looking for a smaller quilt, then you should use fewer of the same number.

If you choose to use a handful of the same numbers, consider using the numbers on colored jerseys first. Then consider using colorful numbers on white jerseys. Reserve a black number on a white jersey or vice-versa, for last.

Also consider typeface and size of the numbers. Mixing in some small numbers with larger numbers will make your quilt look more dynamic. Numbers also come in different typefaces. Choosing numbers in different typefaces will also make your quilt more remarkable. 

Mixing up the size, color and typeface of the numbers you choose to include will make your quilt more interesting and less repetitive. It will keep the numbers from all looking the same.

Most of Your Numbers Are Different

so many different numbers on a T-shirt quilt.Was your athlete a different number each year and for each sport he participated in? You many have 20 different numbers you might want to include in the quilt. Perhaps each of those numbers needs to be in the quilt to tell the story. Conversely, since there are so many different numbers, they may not tell an important part of the story. 

As you are going through your T-shirts and jerseys, make a list of all the numbers. Do you want all these numbers?  Choosing to include one of each number might be all you need.

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.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

Name and numbers on a T-shirt quilt.Numbers With Names

Many times, the athlete’s name is printed above the number on the back of the T-shirt or jersey. Decide what is the important part of this side of the T-shirt. Is it the number, the name, or the number/name combination? We can put in the just the number, just the name or the combination into your quilt. You just need to decide what is important to you.

Using Numbers to increase or decrease your quilt’s size.

The first thing we do when we receive your T-shirts is to cut them. From there we can calculate the size of your quilt. Read more about why we can’t tell you exactly how many T-shirts you will need. 

Your quilt is too large.

A young boy with a T-shirt quilt full of his player's numbersAfter we cut your T-shirts, we figure the size of your quilt. If the size quilt we calculate is too large, removing duplicate numbers is a perfect place to begin to make your quilt smaller. 

Your quilt is too small.

If you don’t think that you will have enough t-shirts to make a quilt the size you would like, including the numbers on the back of your T-shirts will help make the quilt larger.

So how do you know how many numbers to include?

First look at our How Many T-shirts page. This will give you an estimated number of T-shirts for various size quilts. We count one T-shirts/jersey (front and back) as one T-shirt. If you have a lot of T-shirts with large designs on the fronts and backs, you will need fewer. If you have smaller logos on a lot of your shirts, you will need more. It’s a very imprecise science!

Not enough?

If you feel like you might not have enough T-shirts to make a quilt the size you want, have us cut all the numbers. We can always remove duplicate numbers to make your quilt smaller. 

Too many?

Numbers and names on a T-shirt quilt.If you think you will have way too many T-shirts/jerseys for the size quilt you want, then you will X out the number’s you don’t want with blue painter’s tape. Read more here about marking your T-shirts. 


If you are just not sure, just let us cut the numbers out. Again, we can remove them later if necessary.

As you are sorting your T-shirts, consider how many number T-shirts/jerseys you have. Decide if you need none of them, some of them or all of them. Also look at the photos in this article to give you an idea of what a quilt looks like with a lot of number blocks.

You are always welcome to call or e-mail us to discuss your particular situation. We want to work with you to make your T-shirt quilt too cool!

Back to: Athletic T-shirt Quilts

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.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

 A baseball player's quilt with his numbers.

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. 


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