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Styles & Types of T-shirt Quilts

What you need to know to plan a Travel T-shirt Quilt

October 3rd, 2022

By Andrea Funk


Planning a Travel T-shirt Quilt: Simplified

1. Travel
2. Collect T-shirts
3. Have a T-shirt quilt made.

We are traveling again! 

traveling again

Do you have a trip planned? If so, don’t forget to get T-shirts from where you travel. A travel T-shirt quilt can be a daily reminder of the great vacations and adventures of your life. 

Each place you visit is an opportunity to acquire another T-shirt.  Look around – you will see T-shirts everywhere!

David and I travel in our big red camper van that I like to call The Monster. We built out the inside to be one of the coolest camper vans out there. (In my opinion). I even built in a special storage spot for all the T-shirt I buy while we are out and about.

Where to find T-shirt while traveling:

Travel T-shirt quilt - colorful with T-shirts from around the country

I have found T-shirts in so many different places. David has found that if I don't want to go somewhere that he just has to say, "They might have a gift shop." I am a sucker for T-shirts. I guess I am in the right business!

The T-shirt quilt here is one of my personal quilts. The T-shirts came from many different trips. I love this quilt so much that I have it hanging in the shop. 




Are you on a budget? 

T-shirt at resale shop

Here are some places to look for T-shirts that are not aimed at tourists. This means you will not have to pay tourist prices!

  • Walmart – New T-shirts that are not usually as expensive as in tourist locations.

  • Goodwill – Used T-shirts with generally a good selection in one spot within the store.

  • Thrift shops – Used T-shirts. Depending on the store, they may be more or less expensive than Goodwill. The T-shirts might not be in one spot in the store, so it takes more time to find them among regular clothing.

  • Garage Sales – If you can find them, these will be the least expensive place to find used T-shirts. Although you might have to go to a few sales to find what you want.  But if you see a sale that is easy to get to, you might consider checking it out.

  • You can also purchase a child's size T-shirt. Many times, these will cost less than an adult T-shirt. They will also take up less space in your luggage. Sadly, the disadvantage of a child size T-shirt is that you won't get to wear the T-shirt before you have a quilt made. 

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

Which T-shirts to Choose?

Stained-glass style travel T-shirt quilt, all black T-shirts by Too Cool T-shirt quilts

So, you are on your trip and looking at T-shirts. Which one do you choose?

Most of my customers just choose the T-shirt they love. They end up with a mix of colored, black, white, and gray T-shirts. This makes for an awesome quilt.

But they are other ways you might think about your choices of T-shirt. For example, on one trip I took, I only purchased black T-shirts. 

It was more difficult to find that perfect T-shirt because I had limited myself to just black T-shirts. But I had a plan, so I stuck to purchasing only black T-shirts. 

My plan was to make a stained-glass style T-shirt quilt from just black T-shirts.

I love how this quilt turned out. I used teal fabric for the thin leading between the blocks. The inspiration for the teal came from the T-shirt in the bottom right corner. 

I am thinking that my next travel quilt might be from T-shirts from one color family. Such as blues or reds. This would limit my choice of T-shirts, but it might make a cool T-shirt quilt. 

Where to Use your T-shirt Quilt

Travel 2018Where or how you choose to use your quilt will determine how many T-shirts you need to collect. Basically, the larger the quilt, the more T-shirt quilt will need. Read more about how many T-shirts you will need here. 

If you want a large quilt, you should look for T-shirts with large graphics. When cut, these T-shirts will make larger blocks.  You will need fewer T-shirts if the graphics are large.

If you want a larger quilt and are short on T-shirts, you have a few options. One, take another trip. I would vote for this option!  Two, add a border to make the quilt larger. Or three, add blank blocks to increase the size of your quilt. 


1. Travel

2. Collect T-shirts

3. Have a T-shirt quilt made.
If you are ready to have a quilt made from your T-shirts, here's how. 

Below are travel T-shirt quilts being used.

If you use your quilt on your bed, you can sleep under your memories. And it just looks good too. 

travel T-shirt quilt by too cool T-shirt quilts

Here are quilts being used in a camper with a slide-out and a camper van. 

travel T-shirt quilt by too cool T-shirt quilts

travel 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.