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Materials Used In T-shirt Quilts /
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Beyond the T-shirt

Unique Quilts - Showcasing Our Work Beyond the typical T-shirt Quilt

October 25th, 2021

By Andrea Funk

Each year we make a number of quilts using the Too Cool method that end up different. In most of them, you can see our underlying methodology. But the end result is different than a normal Too Cool T-shirt Quilt. We are sharing some of these quilts here.

One thing to note about each of these quilts is that our normal pricing structure did not apply. Each quilt involved hours of extra work and many unique challenges. If you like one of these quilts, please let us know and we can give you a price range.


Size: 44 x 40

Medals hanging on a quilt.If you are a runner or athletic in events that give out medals, you will recognize the problem this quilt solves. That problem is, “what do I do with all these medals?” This is our solution to that problem.

This quilt was designed to hang on a wall. We have added a hanging sleeve on the back. The video here has more about the special hanging sleeve. 

The metals are hung on hooks that are sewn into the seams of the blocks. Each block has one or two hooks. The medals are put on independently – they are not sewn on. This means that you can move medals around or remove them all for washing the quilt.

You can work with us to choose the colors to use in the quilt. 

We can also add these hooks to any regular T-shirt so you can hang your medals on the T-shirt you received from the race. 


Wool Sweaters

48 x 60

Wool Sweaters made into a quilt.What do you do with too many wool sweaters that you love, but aren’t wearing anymore? This is our solution to “too many old wool sweaters.

I began by learning how to felt wool. Why? Sweaters are knit, not woven. This means that they will unravel when they are cut. And we had to cut them. Felting wool binds the fibers to one another so they won’t unravel when cut. Felting also shrank the sweaters. This meant we did not have as much to work with as we initially thought. 

Sewing was interesting. The seams were very thick. I ironed them and then beat the seams with rubber mallet to flatten them out. That was noisy and weirdly therapeutic.

The quilting was difficult because the quilt top was heavy and thick.

As you might imagine, this quilt ended up very heavy. It probably weighted 3 times as much as a typical T-shirt quilt of this size. It is also a very warm quilt.

PJ Quilts

Size 60 x 72

PJs made into a quilt.We made seven quilts that were very similar to this one, from PJs. Every year at Christmas, this family wore matching pajamas. When they decided they had outgrown the matching PJs, they choose to have a quilt made for each of them from their PJs.

There were several challenges with this project. First, we had to use each person’s own PJs. Most were the same. But there were differences that we had to watch out for. For example, some were personalized with that person’s name.

Next, we had to lay them out so that none of the same PJs touched each other. It might not seem that difficult, but I assure you, it was!

The final difficulty was in sewing the material together. Some of the fabrics were easy to work with. Other pieces would slip and slide around. They required more pinning that I have ever done on any other quilt.

All seven quilts were similar, but different. Like the members of the family we made these for.

Dance Outfits

Size 92 x 100

Dance Outfits transformed into a quilt.This was an insane, but fun project for us. We received a box in the mail that was a 3-foot cube. It was packed full of dance outfits and costumes. The customer wanted to save the memories from these items, while cleaning out the closet. 

We picked the most interesting part of each costume to highlight. Watch the video here to take a closer look at what we used.

As you might imagine, this was a very complex project. There were many different types of materials used that created sewing challenges. It was also a lot of work to cut out and sew in the different necklines, skirts, and fringe.

The result is a quilt that tells this young woman’s story about her love of dance. And we were so happy when we reached the bottom of the box!



Patch Quilt

Patches transformed into a Quilt

Size 100 x 112

This quilt was made using patches, ball caps and dress shirts. And it is huge!

We received about 30 ball caps, hundreds of patches, and a big stack of dress shirts. Normally when we add patches to a quilt, we put them on T-shirt material. But in this case, we put the patches on the dress shirts since they were important. 

We cut multiple blocks from each shirt to use to back the patches. The patches then had to be sewn to the fabric. This was a day’s work!

We then had to deconstruct each hat and create a patch from the logo or logos.

When we laid this quilt out, we had to make sure that we did not have any shirt with a patch on it touching another piece of the same shirt. With 276 blocks, that was interesting. 

This is an interesting quilt that patches together a unique story. (Sorry for the pun, I just had to do it.)

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

Tiny Quilts

Size – 24 x 24 and 20 x 24

Tiny Quilt made from one T-shirtSmall quilt made from one T-shirtThese two quilts are each made from one T-shirt. Sometimes, it just takes one T-shirt to tell a story.

The scale of these quilts is small. In these photos, it might not seem like it. For example, on the colorful quilt, the blocks around the edge of the quilt are just 2” x 2”.

The difficulty on these quilts was the binding. Our normal binding is scaled to match the quilt size. On these quilts, I had to use a binding that was half of our normal size. All I can say is, tricky! Read more about small quilts here.

Here’s a video showing more.


T-shirt Quilt made to showcase the H of the Double H Ranch it was made for.Letter Quilts

Size 92 x 100

This quilt was made for a camp called Double H Ranch. The kids drew the designs on white shirts that make up the H in the center of the quilt.

We didn’t feel that just spacing the H blocks through the quilt would work. They would get lost. After looking at the blocks, we decided they could go in the quilt as a design element. Thus, they are in the shape of an H.

We added piping around the H to make it stand out even more from the rest of the quilt. Read more about piping here.

This second quilt here is an M quilt. 

In this quilt we used two different colored T-shirts. Yellow for the M and navy for the rest of the quilt. In this quilt, we had to play around with the yellow blocks. Some had to be cut off to make the angled area of the M. The customer and I agreed a head of time which T-shirts could be messed with and which we need to keep whole. 


Best of T-shirt quilt of 2020 - U of M Quilt Front M Quilt Back

Medallion Necktie Quilts

Black Quilt: Size 100 x 100
White Quilt: 80 x 80

These are such cool quilts. But don’t ask us to make a tie quilt like this for you. We will tell you NO. They are very cool, but very difficult to make.

The center of each quilt is made from the fat front part of the tie. The border is made from the back or narrow end of the tie.

The border of these quilts is not difficult to make. It’s the medallion that is difficult. First, neckties are very slippery and love to move around on you. Sewing them is difficult. The larger the center part becomes, the more weight you must support as you sew. And the more they like to move around.

Second, if you make a mistake and must remove stitches, it’s difficult. It can also put holes in the material.

Third, not all the ties are the same size. This makes putting them into a circle difficult. Some are wide and others are narrow. Then, there are those ties that don’t taper evenly from the front to the back. Those make you want to pull out your hair!

It was interesting having made two to have a comparison. They are similar, but different. 

Neck tie black Neck ties white 


Neck ties quilt made in the Too Cool Style.

Too Cool Style Necktie Quilt

Size: 56 x 64

This style of necktie quilt, we are happy to make for you! The center of this quilt is a tuxedo shirt with bowtie and cummerbund. It looks washed-out here in the photograph, but the pleated shirt and fancy buttons look great.

We selected 5 colors to make this quilt from. Any more would have been too many. Any fewer would not have been enough. We thought these colors that would work with all the different ties and the customers' requests.

This is a great example of our necktie 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


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.