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Planning a T-shirt Quilt

Planning Your First T-shirt Quilt

September 26th, 2022

By Andrea Funk

Here's where to begin when you are planning your first T-shirt quilt:

1. Look at Many Different T-shirt Quilt Photos
2. Know the Different Components of a T-shirt Quilt
3. Set a Budget
4. Look at the Designs on Your T-shirts
5. Ask your network to see T-shirt quilts they have had made.

There are so many ways to make T-shirt quilts.  There are different ways to cut the blocks, different ways to layout the quilt top, different batting choices, different quilting styles, and different binding styles. With so many options, how do you figure out which style and quality of T-shirt quilt is right for you?

Here are your first steps.

what style of T-shirt quilt do you want?

1. Look at Many Different T-shirt Quilt Photos

T-shirt quilts on the internetFirst, spend time looking at photographs of T-shirt quilts on the Internet. There are thousands and thousands of photographs to look at.

When you see a quilt you like, ask yourself what you like about it. Do you like the colors, the layout or something else?

Then, look at other photographs that are like to the one you like.  Try to figure out what it is about the style of quilt you like. Read more about the 6 different styles of T-shirt quilts here. 

As you find photographs of quilts you like, click through to the websites they are on. Either save these websites in a favorite’s folder or jot down the web address. If you keep landing on the same site, this might be telling you that this is a company you should investigate further.

2.  Know the Different Components of a T-shirt Quilt

There are many different components that make up a T-shirt quilt. The more of these you know, the more likely you will find a quilt maker who will make you the quilt you want. 

Some of the main components are:

An awesome T-shirt quilt made by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts

Quilt Style

The style of T-shirt quilt is the way the T-shirt blocks are put together.  There are 6 major styles of T-shirt quilts. It is important to know how each one looks. You can read about each here. Read more about quilt style.

Quilt or Blanket?

Did you know that there are T-shirt quilts and T-shirt blankets? There are huge differences between a quilt and a blanket. These differences will influence the look, feel, and cost of your T-shirt quilt or blanket. Read more about the difference between a quilt or blanket here.

Type of Binding

There are 3 basic types of binding. A binding finishes the raw edges of a quilt or blanket. The type of binding used will influence the look, feel, and cost of your T-shirt quilt or blanket.  Read more about the types of bindings used on T-shirt quilts.

bolts of fabric quality materialsQuality of Materials

There are cheap materials and high-quality materials used to make T-shirt quilts. You need to understand what type of materials your quilt maker will choose. Read more about backing materials here. 

Style of Long-arm Quilting

There are several different styles of quilting used on T-shirt quilts. Which style is right for you? Read more about long-arm quilting here. 

back of a quilt blue by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts

To learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, download our T-shirt Quilt Buyer’s Guide. 
It’s a great place to begin learning more about having a T-shirt quilt made.

T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

3.  Set a Budget

How much do T-shirt quilts cost?Set a budget and then double it. A good rule of thumb is to put aside about $20 to $40 for every T-shirt you plan to put in a quilt. The larger your budget, the better quality of quilt you can have made.

If your budget is very small but your T-shirts are very important, right now might not be the right time for you to have a quilt made. A well-made, high quality and interesting T-shirt quilt generally is not free. You will get what you pay for.

Read more about how much T-shirts quilts cost here.

4. Look at the Designs on Your T-shirts

Before you have a T-shirt quilt made, study the images on your T-shirts.Spend some time looking at the designs on your T-shirts. Are they all the same size or are some large while others are small?

If all the graphics on your T-shirts are the same size, then a quilt made with a one-size block might be right for you. However, this is rare.

Most groupings of T-shirts will have a combination of very large and very small blocks. Some blocks will be square and others rectangular. If this is what your T-shirts look like, then you need to look for a T-shirt quilt maker who uses many different box sizes and shapes.

5. Ask Around

Everyone likes his T-shirt quilt.After you know what you are looking for in a T-shirt quilt, ask friends, family, and acquaintances about who made their quilt.

Ask to see their quilt. If their quilt does not look anything like what you want, don’t use their quilter. If their quilt is exactly what you want, then ask about their experience. 

If everything sounds good, go to the quilter’s website, and look at their photograph, the feedback, the pricing, the timing and the ordering process. If you are good with everything you see, this may be your quilter. If not, keep on looking.

Read more about finding a T-shirt quilt maker here.


Before you have a T-shirt quilt made from your T-shirts, know what you want your quilt to look and feel like. 

Looking for more information about T-shirt quilt?
Our resource page has links to articles about every aspect of T-shirt quilts you could imagine. 

Learning Center

Back to: Planning Your T-shirt Quilt

Wonderful 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.