Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on April 9th, 2018

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How to Search Google for an Awesome T-shirt Quilt

Comparing T-shirt Quilts

google custom T-shirt quilts

Are you searching for a custom T-shirt quilt?  Are you looking for a quilt that is uniquely yours? What customization are you seeking?

A custom product is just something that’s “made-to-order.” If you order a T-shirt quilt from anyone, it will be custom.  It’s custom because it’s made from your unique collection of T-shirts. Searching for a “custom T-shirt quilt” isn’t the right search term to use.  You need a different approach to find a T-shirt quilt that’s you.

What you should search for?

Too Cool v Project RepatTry beginning your search with a Google Image Search of “T-shirt Quilts.”  Why? Because your first decision is: “what style of T-shirt quilt do you want?”

If you don’t know what style you want, do some research. You may see over 5 different styles of T-shirt quilts on the Internet. Did you know that there are that many different styles?

Do a Google image search on “T-shirt quilts.” Spend some time looking at photographs of T-shirt quilts. At first, all the images of quilts might all seem the same to you.

Too Cool T-shirt Quilts at a running expoWhen we display our quilts at various events, some people say, “they look like mine.” They tell me, “the XYZ company made my quilt.” Well I know what style quilts most companies make. I know my quilts are totally different. The visitor sees a generic T-shirt quilt. And that’s all. But they aren’t truly looking.

We ask our visitor a few questions prompting them to see the quilts for what they are. Encouraging them to take a closer look. They see that our quilts are different from the one they have.

But you and I aren’t in the same room looking at T-shirt quilts together.  I can’t physically point out the differences you should look at. If I were there with you, here are some of the comparisons I would have you make.  

Block Size

Are all the blocks the same size or are they different sizes? Most designs on T-shirts differ in size. A one-size block fits all quilt may not be the best solution for your T-shirt. Especially if the designs on your T-shirts vary in size.

The photograph below is of a Google image search of “T-shirt quilts.” Highlighted in yellow are all the quilts made from one size blocks.

google results T-shirt quilts with one block size

Think about your T-shirts. Will all the designs fit within a 12” block? Perhaps a 14” block? What about the designs that are larger than the block size? Do you want the graphics on you blocks cropped off?

Conversely, think about your T-shirts with very small designs. How will a crest or small logo on the left breast look on a 14” block? A little silly? There will be a lot of wasted space on your quilt.

To learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, download our free T-shirt Quilt Buyer's Guide. 
It's a great place to learn about the different styles and quality of T-shirt quilt.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

Rows and Column

In a lot quilts, it is easy to see its rows and columns.  A quilt laid out in rows and columns is easy for your brain to figure out. Your brain says, “Oh rows and columns. Easy.” Then your brain is on to something else. And you forget the quilt.

On the other hand, a puzzle style quilt is more complex. Your brain isn’t as quick to recognize the quilt’s pattern. You have to spend time looking at the quilt. The quilt is dynamic.

The photograph below is of a Google image search of “T-shirt quilts.” Highlighted in orange are all the quilts set-up with rows and columns.

google T-shirt quilts results rows or columns

Think about your T-shirts now. How will your T-shirts look in a checkerboard pattern? Can you see it in your mind? If not, physically lay out your T-shirts on your bed in rows and columns. Are you excited about the layout? Or is it ho-hum?

If you want something more interesting, you need to consider a puzzle style T-shirt quilt.

Sashing vs. No Sashing

Sashing is cotton quilting fabric sewn between the columns and rows of a traditional style T-shirt quilt. Not all T-shirt quilts laid out in columns and rows have sashing. Sashing is a style choice.

There is an issue with T-shirt quilts made with sashing you need to take into consideration. Many quilt makers using cotton sashing will stiffen the T-shirt material with iron-on backing. This makes it easier to work with cotton and T-shirt fabric. T-shirt material is stiffened with iron on interfacing.  The result, a stiff quilt.

The photograph below is of a Google image search of “T-shirt quilts.”  Highlighted in purple are all the quilts with sashing.

google results T-shirt quilts with sashing

Do you want sashing? If so, you will most likely need to choose a traditional style T-shirt quilt design. You will also need to be comfortable with a stiffer quilt.

Quilting vs. No Quilting

compare the back of a blanket and quiltQuilting is stitching that holds the front, back and batting of a quilt together. Quilting can be fancy or utilitarian. A T-shirt quilt without quilting is not actually a quilt. It is a T-shirt blanket. Some of the many disadvantages to a blanket include drooping, tearing and a much shorter lifespan. It will look sloppy.  Read more about the differences between a blanket and a quilt.

Can you tell the difference between a quilt and a blanket by looking at a Google Image search? Sometimes.

Here’s what you look for:

  • With no quilting, the T-shirts will look smooth.  
  • The blanket is folded over, the backing fabric will look smooth.
  • The top of a blanket will droop when it's held up between two people.
  • A quilted quilt will have texture.
  • A quilted quilt will not droop when it is held up.

compare a poorly quilted T-shirt quilt with an awesomely quilted quiltYou might have to click on the photo to see a closer image of the quilt.  Please note that there are different levels of quilting done on a T-shirt quilt. Some quilter as little quilting as they can get by with.  The red quilt on the left has 5 rows of spread out quilting. This is hardly enough to hold a quilt together.  The black quilt on the right has a lot of awesome quilting. Which one do you like?

Do you see a quilt you like? If you are unsure if it is quilted, click on the photo. When you visit that website, it should tell you if they make quilts or blankets. Beware, some companies call their blankets "quilts." But they aren’t. FYI: Any quilt made by Project Repat or American Quilt Co are blankets and thus are not quilted.

The photograph below is of a Google image search of “T-shirt quilts.”  Highlighted in green are all the blankets. Remember, blankets are not quilted.

google results for T-shirt blankets - no quilting

Think about your T-shirts now. Do they have low sentimental value? Do you care what happens to them? If not, perhaps a blanket is right for you.

Do you love your T-shirts? Are they important? If so, a quilt is the product you need.

Begin your quilt search by studying photographs. Look at a lot of different styles of T-shirt quilts. Imagine your T-shirts made into each style of quilt. What one do you love to look at the most? This is the starting point for your search.

To learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, download our free T-shirt Quilt Buyer's Guide. 
It's a great place to learn about the different styles and quality of T-shirt quilt.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

A T-shirt quilt with an awesome T-shirt quilt

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.