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Planning a T-shirt Quilt

What You Need to Know About Including Pockets in your T-shirt Quilt

April 25th, 2022

By Andrea Funk

We love using pockets in quilts because they add a bit of whimsey to a T-shirt quilt. They are also very practical. 

pocket uscThe first time I included a pocket from a T-shirt in a quilt - well that was a big hit. Ever since I have encouraged using pockets in T-shirt quilts. 

When we show quilts at various events, a pocket in a display quilt is one of the most commented on items. We have heard all sorts of ideas as to what you could put in a pocket in a quilt on your bed; the remote, a cell phone, a condom, snacks, glasses and even your dentures.

People also like to see a pocket in a quilt because it affirms that yes, these are actual T-shirts.

What follows is what I have learned about using pockets in T-shirts quilts. 

Typical Types of Pockets

There are three typical types of pocket configurations we see.

  1. Pockets with logos on themFirst, we see pockets that have the logo printed right on the pocket. The best way to use this style is to include the entire pocket.

    If you choose not to use the pocket, but just want the logo, you will get an odd looking block. Part of the pocket will show and part will be cut off. We like to try to avoid this look because it’s silly.

  2. Next, we see pockets with the logo or graphic printed above the pocket. We have found the best way to use this style of logo/pocket combination is to include the pocket. 

    If you choose not to use the pocket, yet you want the logo, it will be tricky. We first have to cut around the logo. The logo is then mounted on another piece of fabric from that T-shirt. The logo is then stitched down. It never looks as good as just including the pocket.

  3. sweatshirt pocketThen there are pouch pockets on sweatshirts. Sometimes we choose to include them, other times we don't. It will depend on the size of the graphic above the pocket and our customer's desired.

    Let us know if you want to include or exclude a pouch pocket on a sweatshirt. 

  4. There are pocks from clothing. These include front and back pockets of blue jeans, pockets from sweatpants, and bicycle jersey pockets. We use any other pocket we come across because they add a fun element to a quilt.

    We have included pockets in each of these two pillows here. The next photograph is a close up of a bicycle jersey pocket in a quilt.  Click here to jump to the bottom of the page for a short video about bicycle jersey quilts.

pockets on pillowsBike pocket with finger in it

Where We See the Most Pockets

harley pocketThere are four typical groups of people who seem to have the most pockets on their T-shirts:

  1. Many Harley-Davidson T-shirts will have pockets on them.  On these T-shirts, there is a large design on the back and a small logo above or on the actual pocket on the front of the T-shirt. 

  2. Sorority T-shirts have more pockets than any other group of T-shirts we see. I have seen a group of sorority T-shirts in which 3 out of 4 T-shirts had pockets.

  3. plaid shirt pocketMemorial quilts made from dress shirts of flannel shirts will also have pockets. Here's a link to our memorial quilt resource page. 

  4. Quilts made from scrubs will also include a lot of pockets. You can read more about having a quilt made from your scrubs here.

Why Use a Pocket in Your Quilt?

  • You have a number of them within your stack of T-shirts.
  • To use some designs on or over a pocket without including the pocket will look silly.
  • Because they are just fun and add interest to your quilt.

Why Not Use a Pocket in Your Quilt?

  • You don’t like the look of a pocket.
  • You have too many T-shirts and need to cut each logo out without any extra margin.
  • The pocket is falling off the T-shirt and looks bad. 


We love using pockets in quilts. We feel they had a bit of play to the quilt. If you have pocket T-shirts, we hope you choose to include the pockets.

But if you won't want to, please X out the pocket with blue painters tape. You can read about how to make your T-shirts here. 

If you would like to learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, consider downloading our T-shirt Quilt Buyer’s Guide. It’s a great resource as you begin your search for a T-shirt quilt maker.
T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide

Bike Jersey Quilt

Pocket Quilt

A number of years ago we made a quilt with pockets. I had planned to use the quilt myself or to hang it in the shop. But, that never happened. Somehow the quilt was relegated for Edgar the dog to use in the car. It’s had a rough life, but Edgar likes it. 

Pocket quilt with small dog

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.