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Planning a T-shirt Quilt

What You Need to Know to Plan a Concert T-shirt Quilt

September 3rd, 2018

By Andrea Funk

rock band concert header

Rock concert T-shirt quilt. This quilt includes T-shirts from the Maroon 5 and the Rolling Stones.Your concert T-shirts are important. They represent the bands you love and the concerts you have enjoyed. And those T-shirts took time and money to collect. So, the quilt you have them made into should rock!

If you are reading this, chances are good that you have concert T-shirts you are considering to have made into a T-shirt quilt.

In this article, we will look at what makes a concert T-shirt quilt amazing and what can make one awful. Then we will examine what makes concert T-shirts different than other types of T-shirts. Finally, we will touch on the cost of an amazing concert T-shirt quilt.

What makes a concert T-shirt quilt amazing?

  • This concert T-shirt quilt hangs on the wall of a professional concert organizer.The entire design/graphic is used.
    Concert T-shirts typically have large graphics and designs. Awesome concert T-shirt quilts will include the entire graphic from each side of the T-shirts. No graphic should be cropped off!
  • Blocks are different sizes.
    To use the entire design from T-shirts with different size designs requires a quilt will different size blocks. This means the quilt will need to be made in the puzzle or Too Cool style. This style of quilt is dynamic and interactive. When you see the front of one block, you look around for the back to that same block. While you are search, you see other blocks. This keeps you involved with the quilt for a long time.  Read more about different styles of T-shirt quilts here.
  • Balanced Colors
    The different colors blocks should look balanced throughout the quilt. This is part of the artistry of a quilt. If the colors are unbalanced, the quilt will just not look right.
  • The Quilting
    A T-shirt quilt should be quilted. Otherwise it will be a blanket. There are many levels of quilting – from tying to unique quilting. The best concert T-shirt quilts have every block quilted in a different pattern. Some of the designs and graphics will also be traced. This lets you see some of the designs from the T-shirts on the back of the quilt. Very cool. Read more about the quilting on T-shirt quilts.

What makes a concert T-shirt quilt awful?

  • Blocks Cropped Off
    This is an example of a T-shirt design that has been cropped off to fit a traditional style one block fits all quilt. Expect, this block had to be cropped off to fit. Traditional style T-shirt quilts use a single size block for every T-shirt. If a design on one of your T-shirts is larger than that block size, the design will be cropped off. This is sad. If a design is way smaller than the standard block size, it will be left with too much blank margin around it. This just looks stupid.  The block here shows how parts of a design can get cropped off so it can fit into a traditional style one size-fits-all quilt. Except it didn't fit and had to be cut off. 
  • Rows and Columns
    Traditional style T-shirt quilts are laid out in rows and columns. Like a checker board. The result is a very static and uninteresting quilt. You eye figures out the pattern very quickly and then moves onto other things. Read more about traditional style T-shirt quilts here.
  • Unbalanced Colors
    Quilts where the colors are not balanced will look off. Your eye will look at one area and will have a hard time moving on to look at other areas of the quilt.
  • Poor or No Quilting
    A quilt without quilting is not a quilt. It is a blanket. A blanket is a low-quality entry level item. A blanket is not as cool as a quilt.

    A quilt is cool. But there are different levels of quilting quality. A poorly quilted quilt will make your T-shirts look awful.  Read more about quilting done on T-shirt quilts here.

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

What makes a concert T-shirt quilt different from other T-shirt quilts?

Design Sizes

A concert T-shirt quilt where the green and white shirts are balanced with the black T-shirts.

The design sizes on concert T-shirts are huge compared with typical T-shirts. The sizes are 25 to 50% larger.

What does this mean for you? When you are planning your quilt, you will need fewer T-shirts than our pricing page indicates.

If you are not sure, cut the number of T-shirts you plan for your quilt in half.  So, if the quilt size calls for 20 T-shirts – send just 10. If you have other T-shirts that you would like to put into the quilt if there is room, put those T-shirts in a separate bag. Label that bag “extras – use if needed”.

We will cut the first set of T-shirts and then calculate the quilt size. If we need additional T-shirts to make your quilt the size you want, we will work from the second bag until we get to that size. Read more about how many T-shirts are needed here.

Amount of Design  

Concert T-shirts usually have a front and back design. And generally, they are both large designs. One side of the T-shirt probably has a list of tour stops and dates.

What does this mean for you? Think carefully if you want both the front and back of the T-shirt included in your quilt. You can include more T-shirts if you eliminate the tour lists. There may be some T-shirts that you just want the front and others that you would like the front and the back. Read how to mark what you want to exclude in your T-shirts here.


An all black band concert T-shirt quilt featuring many different bands. Most concert T-shirts are black.

What does this mean for you? Look at the stack of your T-shirts. Is there a mix of blacks, grays, whites and colored shirts?  If so, great! Is there a balance of blacks and grays – great! But if all your T-shi

rts are black, except one or two of them, you need to consider if you want to use them.  If there are only one or two spots of white or gray or color in your quilt, they will stick out.  Your eye will be drawn to the white blocks and the black ones will become the background.

If you are unsure if you have enough non-black T-shirts to balance the black, let us know when you send your T-shirts.  We can take a look at the T-shirts before we begin cutting them and determine if you have enough to balance out the black T-shirts. We will work with you to make sure that your quilt will look awesome! Read more about all black T-shirt quilts here.


90% of concert T-shirts I have seen have a list of tour dates and locations.  What does this mean of you? You need to decide if those lists are important. If they are, then include them. If the lists are not important, exclude them. This will free up a lot of space for additional T-shirts.

A T-shirt quilt made from The nationals concert T-shirts.

One vs Many Artists

We see concert quilts one of two ways. One, there are many different artist in the same quilt. We have also made quilts that just include one artist. Easy enough.

The problem is when 90% of the T-shirts are from one artist and there are a few stray artists. This, we don’t like. A concert quilt will have more value for your heirs if it’s either all one artist or a good mix of artist.

It’s that old Sesame Street adage - “which one of these things doesn't belong?”

The quilt here is all about one band, The Nationals

Read more about how to choose what to use in your quilt here.

Why will an awesome concert T-shirt quilt cost more? 

An awesome T-shirt cost more than an awful quilt for a number of reasons.


A puzzle style T-shirt quilt cost more than a traditional style quilt because of the extra work involved. This extra work includes using many different size blocks, having to puzzle the blocks together, the tricky layout and a much more difficult quilt to sew.

An example of quilting on the back of a T-shirt quilt.Quilting

The coolest T-shirt quilts have a unique design on each block. They will also have some of the designs traced so you can see them on the back of the quilt. This takes a skilled artist. It also takes time. Both of these add to the cost of your quilt. Read more about how much a quilt cost here.


Your concert T-shirts are important. You need to find the best quilt style and quilt maker for you and your T-shirts. Don’t just take someone’s word that a quilt company is an expert. Do your research and find a quilt maker who can make your T-shirts rock!

Here’s more about how to find a great quilt maker.

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

 A band concert T-shirt quilt. This quilt has T-shirts from Led-Zeppelin, Alice Cooper and Kiss.

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.