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Planning a T-shirt Quilt

What Happens When You Send Us Too Many T-shirts for Your Quilt?

Updated: July 15th, 2024 | Published: June 7th, 2024

5 min. read

By Andrea Funk

What Happens When You Send Us Too Many T-shirts for Your Quilt?

10 Options If You Have Too Many T-shirts for the Quilt Size You Want

1. Make a Larger Quilt
2. Make 2 Quilts
3. Make a Quilt and a Pillow
4. Make a Double-sided Quilt
5. Eliminate or Choose a Smaller Border

6. Remove Duplicate or Similar T-shirts
7. Remove Duplicate Numbers
8. Remove List of Names
9. Choose the Front or the Back of a T-shirt
10. Remove T-shirts

T-shirt quilt by Too Cool T-shirt QuiltWe have been making T-shirt quilts since the early 1990’s. Over the years, we have just about seen it all.

One of the things that we see over and over is customers sending in too many items for the size quilt they want.

We know it’s difficult to know how many T-shirts to send in. We know it’s difficult to know how far any one T-shirt will go.

Here’s an article about figuring out how many T-shirts you might include.

Options When You Have Sent Too Many T-shirts

But right now, you are at the point where you have sent in too many T-shirts. What are your options? Below are 10 options to consider. The first four options will increase your cost. Options 5 – 9 will help keep your cost down. Option 10 is one we want to avoid if at all possible.

1. Make a Larger Quilt

Quilt_sizesBy far, the easiest option is just to make a larger quilt. After we cut your T-shirts, we will let you know what size quilt that group of T-shirts will make. Then you can tell us that you are okay with the size. If not, look through your other options here.  

This option might not work if you have a fixed budget. And we understand this! If this is the case, you can skip to option #4.

2. Make 2 Quilts

T-shirt quilt by Too Cool T-shirt QuiltIf you have more T-shirts than you need for a king size quilt, you might need to consider having two quilts made. This will be an expensive option because you are having a second quilt made.

The benefit of two quilts is that you get to have our amazing quilting on the back of each quilt. Read more about that here. 

This is also a good option if a king size quilt is too big for your situation. If you don’t have a king size bed, a king size quilt can be way too big to use.

2 Too Cool T-shirt Quilts with 2 different borders

3. Make a Quilt and a Pillow

2 memorial quilts and  3 pillows A Too Cool T-shirt Quilt

If you have more than you need for the quilt size you want, having a pillow made from your excess T-shirts is a great solution. 

Read more about having a pillow made from your T-shirts here. 




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

4. Make a Double-sided Quilt

double sided hard rock Too Cool T-shirt Quilt

A double-sided T-shirt quilt will have T-shirts on both sides. Read more about double-sided T-shirt quilts here.

A double-sided quilt is great for keeping the size of your quilt down. And it is less expensive than having two quilts of the same size made.

But there are considers you might have to contend with for a double-sided quilt.

  1. T-shirts that are not perfectly flat can only be used on the front side. For example, pocket, necklines and collars cannot be used on the back of a double-sided quilt. We can’t see these items while we are quilting a double-sided quilt. It will make for broken needles and a poor looking back side of the quilt.

  2. You will need to determine how you want to split the T-shirts – which ones go on the front and which ones go on the back. The easiest way to do this is just to divide them randomly between the front and the back.

    If we need to go through the blocks and spend time dividing them based on a theme or time frame, we will need to charge our hourly fee. Dividing the T-shirts like this is time consuming and not built into the cost of the quilts.

  3. You don’t get to see the cool quilting on the back of your quilt. It’s there, but you don’t see it. Here’s more about double-sided T-shirt quilts.

5. Eliminate or Choose a Smaller Border

A border takes up space that you could use for T-shirts. You need to decide what is more important, a border or your T-shirts.

Many times, it might be less expensive to have a larger quilt made without a border than a smaller quilt with a border. Read more about adding a border here.

And here is an article about how to decide if you want a border on your T-shirt two borders on a A Too Cool T-shirt Quilt

6. Remove Duplicate or Similar T-shirts

Sometimes you might have duplicate or very similar T-shirts. These are great T-shirts to remove without losing the story of the quilt.

If you have not sent in your T-shirts yet, this is a great place to pull out T-shirts ahead of time.

7. Remove Duplicate Numbers

T-shirt quilt by Too Cool T-shirt QuiltWe know that you are number 79. But how many number 79’s do you need to include?

Many times, one or two might be enough. If you have a quilt larger than you want, eliminating duplicate numbers is a perfect way to make your quilt smaller.

In the quilt here, size was not an issue and 79 was important. Thus we used a lot of 79's!

8. Remove List of Names

A lot of T-shirts have long list of names on them. From list of participants to list of concert locations, these lists can take up a lot of real estate. Removing list is a great way to make your quilt smaller.

9. Choose Either the Front or the Back of a T-shirt

If a T-shirt has a similar image or graphic on the front and back of a T-shirt, choose to eliminate the larger of the two graphics. You are not eliminating the entire T-shirt and not missing that part of the story.

10. Remove T-shirts

In that worse case scenarios, you might have to remove T-shirts from your quilt.

If removing duplicate T-shirts, duplicate numbers, list of names or one side of a number of T-shirts is not enough, you might have to remove other T-shirts.

If you don’t have a list of T-shirts or don’t know which T-shirts to eliminate, we can take a photo of all the blocks and email it to you. Since this very time consuming for us, we would charge you our hourly rate.

Once you have the photo of the blocks, you would need to X out the blocks you want us to remove and email it back to us. We will then pull out your X’d out blocks and recalculate the size of the quilt.

  Too many blocks  lined up for eliminationToo many blocks Xed out

How to Avoid Sending in Too Many T-shirts

If you are able to plan ahead, here are some ideas to keep you from sending in too many T-shirts.

  1. How many T-shirts for a Too cool T-shirt quiltStart with our how many T-shirts chart. These are estimates!
    We have found that 1/3 of our customers send too many T-shirts, 1/3 too few and 1/3 are right on with how many the send. We have done our best to estimate how many T-shirts to send. Here’s why we can’t tell you exactly how many T-shirts to send.

  2. If you are including a border, you will need fewer T-shirts for the size you want. The wider the border, the fewer T-shirts you will need. Read more about borders here.

  3. Hockey jersey quilt by Too Cool T-shirt QuiltsIf you have T-shirts with large graphics on the front and back, use the low end of the estimates.

    Remember that hockey jersey and concert T-shirts have huge designs. You will need fewer of these items than our lowest estimate for the size you are looking for.

  4. Send a "second-string" bag of T-shirts.
    If you have more T-shirts you would like to include than our estimates call for, you can still send those, but segregated.  Put those T-shirts in plastic bag. Mark it, “Use if room.” If there is space, we will work from the top of your pile down until we have enough to make a quilt the size you would like.

If you have questions about your T-shirts, please feel free to reach out to us at


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

Chicago Bears 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.