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Styles & Types of T-shirt Quilts

What do I do with all my old cheerleading outfits?

October 28th, 2019

By Andrea Funk

Cheer outfits used in a T-shirt quilt

What can you use in a cheerleading T-shirt quilt?

  • T-shirts
  • Sweatshirts 
  • Jackets & Warm-Up Pants
  • Uniform tops
  • Skirts 
  • Hair Bows
  • Socks
  • Photographs
Cheer outfits used in a T-shirt quilt

Whether you began cheerleading at age five or fifteen, by the time you retire, you will have acquired a number of T-shirts, jackets, and uniforms. They are too important and have too many memories to just give away.  What do you do with them when you are no longer a cheerleader?

Have a quilt made from your cheerleading paraphernalia!

What Can Be Used in a Cheerleading Quilt?

You can use just about everything! The items you choose to use should be machine washable. That way your quilt can also be washed. Items that are not washable can be used, but they need to be made removable so you can wash your quilt without them.

  • T-shirts – they can be of any type of fabric, including “technical” type fabrics.

  • Sweatshirts – these can also be made from traditional sweatshirt material or any other type of heavy fabric. Sweatshirts can also be used if they are zip-up or pullover style.

  • Jackets & Warm-Up Pants – either nylon or polyester. Jackets can be zip, snap or button-up style.

  • Cheer outfits close up used in a T-shirt quiltUniform tops – these might be the most important piece of your collection and they can be used. Typically, uniform tops are thick because they are made of many layers of fabric. Because of this, a uniform top will be a thick spot on the quilt, but not so much that it’s overly stiff.

  • Skirts – these can be used in one of two ways depending on the style of the skirt. First, we can just use a block of fabric from the skirt. For example, if there is a stripe or some other type of embellishment, we can make a block from that spot. The other way we can use the skirts is to mount it loose. This is best done with pleated skirts.

  • how to use hair bows in a T-shirt quiltHair Bows – bows can add a nice 3-D feel to the quilt. But they can’t be washed. As a result, bows need to be made so they can be removable. A simple snap attachment works great.

  • Socks - socks can be used whole or we can just use the design or logo from them. Read more about using socks in your quilt here. 

  • Photographs - The first quilt in this article illustrates how photos can be used in your quilt. Choose photos of you in your cheerleading outfits. These can be action shots or portraits.

    You would have the photos transferred onto T-shirt material. This is not something that Too Cool T-shirt Quilts or most other quilt makers will do. To have it done well, you need to have a professional do the transfers for you. Here's an article about using photographs in T-shirt quilts. It has more information about the style and qualities of different transfer methods. It's a great resource. 

Why the Quilt Style Matters


There are many different styles of T-shirt quilts being made.  The style quilt you choose will have a huge effect on the way your quilt looks. It is important to know which style will help your items look the best. Read more about T-shirt quilt styles here. 

Choose a quilt with different sizes and shapes of blocks so you can use very small to very large items in your quilt.

For example, if you have a jacket with a very small logo on the front and a very large design on the back, it would look silly to have both designs cut with the same size. The small logo should get a small block and a large logo should be a large block. 

This concept can apply to all your items. Some are big and some are small and a one-size block method will not do your items justice.

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

Planning a Cheerleading Quilt: Step-by-Step

  1. planning which T-shirts to use in your T-shirt quiltChoose outfits, T-shirts or other items you want for your quilt. Here is a link to the How Many T-shirts page on the website.

    Put everything into a pile and look for items that just don't belong. For example, if all your items are purple, black, white and gray, you don't want to include one bright green T-shirt. All you will see is that bright green T-shirt.

    Also look for items that are "off-topic." You want to make sure that you are telling a specific story. Any item in the quilt that is not related to your story will be wrong and confusing. 

    It is very important to take your time gathering up your items. Here's an in depth article about choosing what to put into your quilt. Remember, once an item is in your quilt, it can't be taken out. 

  2. A cheerleading T-shirt quilt with a colorful border by Too Cool T-shirt quiltsRead the directions for preparing your T-shirts and other cheerleading items for a quilt. If you have Too Cool T-shirt Quilts make your quilt, this will include directions for marking any parts you don’t want used.

    If you are planning on using another quilt maker, it's very important that you follow their directions. Every quilt maker has their own directions and process. It's important not to confuse one quilt maker with another. Here's an article about what to do when you have found the best quilt maker for you and your T-shirts. 

  3. Print out and complete an order form.

    This will give us information to contact you as well as any specific directions you may have. Filling out the order form will also help you think through the process. For example, what quilt size you want. 

  4. Box up your items to ship them to your quilter.  Read more about finding a box and shipping here.

  5. We will let you know when your box arrives at our shop. When it arrives, we will read your directions and cut your items and then work with you on the quilt size and backing and binding colors. Read about our process for making T-shirt quilts here. 


A quilt made from your cheerleading items will be a life long memory of that special time of your life. Remember the following:

  • You can use just about anything you want in your quilt. Make sure the quilt maker you choose is skilled and experience enough to include the items you want. 
  • The style of quilt you choose will impact how your quilt looks. Take the time to learn about the different styles so you get the quilt you want. 
  • Every quilt maker has different directions. Follow the directions of the quilt maker you choose. 

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.