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Styles & Types of T-shirt Quilts

What Can You Use In a Graduation T-shirt Quilt?

December 20th, 2021

By Andrea Funk


Here are a few items to include in your graduation T-shirt quilt:

  • graduation_robe1-764078-editedClothing
  • Stuffed Animals and Plush Toys
  • PJs 
  • Bags and Coats
  • Towels
  • Socks
  • Baby Blankets
  • Graduation Tassels
  • Graduation Robe
  • Varsity Letters

Kaylas Graduation Tshirt QuiltAre you planning on having a high school or college graduation T-shirt quilt for your graduating son, daughter or grandchild? If so, you can consider using more than just T-shirts. Here are some of the more unique items that can be included in a Too Cool T-shirt quilt. Note, some items come with warnings.


You can use more than just T-shirts in a T-shirt quilt. You can also use sweatshirts, blue jeans and other clothing that was a favorite of your graduate. It is best if the clothing you choose is machine washable. Explore more about incorporating different types of clothing into your T-shirt quilt by clicking here.

Stuffed Animals and Plush Toys


We can use these. Just make sure your graduate would like these in their quilt. 

We can either permanently attach the plush to the quilt. To do this we will destuff parts of the toy to make it less bulky and easier to sew onto the quilt. 

The other method is to make it removable. We add a snap to the toy and the quilt. Then the stuffy can snap on and off at will. 


PJ quiltWe can add a block of fabric from your child's pajamas to their quilt. We have even made quilts from all PJs. 

The consideration with PJ's is how worn they are. We will do magic to make sure they don't fall apart. But. if they are thread bear now, eventually you might see more of the backer block than the original block. We will look for the least worn part of the item to include. 


Yes, we can use a block from a bathrobe. The main consideration with a bathrobe is how thick it is. If we use a pocket from a terrycloth robe, those two layers of fabric will be thicker than the surrounding material and will be noticeable. 

If you want to send a in a bathrobe, you don't have to send the entire robe. You can just send us a large chunk. This will save you a lot of box space.

Bags and Coats

jacket_in_a_baseball_t-shirt_quiltIn some sports, participants are given a team bag and or a coat.

Don’t disregard them because we can include them in your quilt.

If the bag or coat is machine washable, you can use it.


Team towels or towels given out as awards can be used in your quilt too! Be sure that they have been washed at least once before you put them in your quilt. Otherwise you will get a ton of fuzzies when you wash the quilt for the first time. 

Below is a Steeler's quilt. Do you see the yellow terrible towel down towards the bottom right. That's an example of a towel in a quilt. 



hocky_sockSoccer players many times have team socks that have a knit-in logo on the top of the socks. We can also use those in a quilt. We try to avoid using the foot part!

Baby Blankets

About 1 out of 20 quilts we make for high school graduation include a piece of the graduate’s baby blanket.

Do consider this carefully. Will your graduate be ok with the blanket, or will they feel embarrassed enough not to want to use the quilt? You know your child best, so use your judgment on this.  If in doubt, leave it out.

Graduation Tassels

Yes, graduation tassels can be used in a quilt. We do not actually attach the tassel to the quilt. Rather, we will make the tassel detachable from the quilt.  This way when the quilt needs to be washed, the tassel can be removed.

After the quilt is clean, it can be reattached. As an added Too Cool T-shirt quilt bonus, we can quilt in a representation of the tassel on the quilt right where the tassel attaches. It’s a little like a shadow and will be there to stand in for the tassel if it is removed or lost.

Graduation Robe

graduation_robe1Yes, we can use a piece of the robe in your quilt, but you may not want to.

The issue is what material the graduation robe is made from. Some robes are made from a material called acetate. Acetate cannot be washed and must be dry-cleaned. Read the washing directions on the rode to see what type of care your rode requires. If there are no directions, don't include it! 

You and your child may remember to dry clean the quilt, but will someone in three generations remember and know to dry-clean the quilt? Your graduation quilt, if cared for, should last generation.

Planning a T-shirt quilt?
Here are step-by-step directions for ordering your Too Cool T-shirt quilt.

Varsity Letters

Varsity letters can be used in a T-shirt quilt. But there are several issues with varsity letters.

  • Varsity_LetterFirst, they are stiff. This means they won't fold. If there is a varsity letter in the middle of the quilt, and you try to fold the quilt, the varsity letter will not fold.  In the short term this means that the quilt, when folded will have a lump.  

    In the long term, the stiff edges of the varsity letter may cut the quilt batting and backing. Initially, we centered varsity letters. We quickly realized the folding issues. Now we put them closer to the corners of a quilt. This is the solution to the bending issue. Remember, varsity letters are still stiff and not feel very comfortable.
  • Another concern about varsity letters is their washability. Can the letter survive repeated washings without falling apart? I don’t know.
  • Lastly, when a varsity letter is washed, will the color of the varsity letter bleed onto the surrounding blocks? I don’t know.  Unless you have a varsity letter to test wash, this might be an unknown until the quilt is washed.  Bleeding colors is not the end of the world but can be scary. There is a solution called color catchers. Click here to read more! 


There are so many items that are not T-shirts, that can go into a T-shirt quilt. If you have something special you would like to consider putting in your quilt, give us a call and we can help determine if it can be used or not.


Want to learn more about T-shirt quilts? Visit our Learning Center.
We have over 200 articles about all aspects of T-shirt quilts.

graduation 2017


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.