A monochromatic T-shirt quilt is made from one color of T-shirts augmented with white, gray and/or black T-shirts.
A monochromatic T-shirt quilt is made from one color of T-shirts augmented with white, gray and/or black T-shirts. Your T-shirts might fall into this category. Typically these types of quilts are made from high school or college T-shirts or a quilt from a single sports team.
I looked through all the T-shirt quilts we made in one year. I found that about 4% were monochromatic. So this doesn't effect a lot of our customers. But if you are in that 4%, you need to know 3 things:
Stick to the color scheme
Watch out for the color in the images.
Make sure you choose an experienced quilt maker.
Here's an explanation of each and examples.
Rule #1: Stick to the color scheme!
If you are planning a quilt that is monochromatic, don't add stray T-shirts that fall outside the color scheme. If you plan a quilt with red, black, white and gray T-shirts, don't add in one lime green T-shirt.
If you have one or two stray T-shirts that are not in the color scheme, you have to make a decision: is that shirt so important that you should break the color scheme to include it in your quilt?
You need to think carefully about this because that one lime green shirt will stick out! Your eye will be drawn to that one block over all the other blocks in the quilt. If the T-shirt is that important, perhaps that is okay. There is no right or wrong answer, it's your quilt. However, you need to be able to live with the results.
We try to catch those off-colored T-shirts before we cut them. We then let you know our concerns so you can make a decision. You might even be reading this because we directed you here after you had given us a stray T-shirt!
Rule #2: Watch out for the color in the images.
This is a sneaky one. The color of the graphic printed on one of your T-shirts might stick out if it is the wrong color. In these quilts here, can you pick out the blocks that just stand out because the printing is a different color from all the rest?
In the first quilt, it's the yellow/gold bear on the bottom right of this quilt. My eye is drawn to this block first, and it just keeps going back there.
In the Duke quilt, the block is the '16 on the top right side of the quilt. It's a different color than all the other blocks.
If these are your T-shirts and that one T-shirt printed in a different color is important, then you might want to use it. As did the customers of these quilts.
But if the T-shirt is not that important, you may consider not including it in your quilt.
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.
Rule #3: Make sure you choose an experienced quilt maker.
Designing a quilt with just one color of shirt mixed with white, black, and gray is difficult. The quilter must balance the color shirts throughout the quilt. This will take patiences and experience. This is not a quilt for a beginning quilt maker!
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.