Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on January 9th, 2017

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Which T-shirt Should I Use In My Quilt?

Styles & Types of T-shirt Quilts


Field Hockey T-shirt quiltChoosing which T-shirts to put into your T-shirt quilt will impact what your quilt will look like. So it's important to think about which shirts you choose for a number of reasons:

  1. Once a T-shirt is in your quilt, it’s not coming out! 

  2. Some T-shirts might not belong with the rest of the T-shirts.

  3. If you are making a quilt for someone else, there may be a T-shirt in the group of T-shirts she may hate. 

Here are a number of items to think about when choosing T-shirts for your T-shirts:


Color of T-shirts

There are two instances when the color of your T-shirts needs to be thought about.           

  • When all the T-shirts but one or two are the same color.  For instance we worked on a quilt last week where all the T-shirts were navy except one. It was black.  Despite all the T-shirts begin dark, the black shirt stuck out. It was so bad that I asked the customer if we could remove it.

  • If you were making a Monochromatic quilt and you have one T-shirt that is not in the color scheme.  This will also stick out.


Every quilt has a topic, even if it is just “my life.” Other quilts have a very specific topic and any T-shirt which is not that topic, should be removed. 

Harley Davidson Tee shirt quiltFor example if you are making a Harley Davidson T-shirt Quilt and have one Hard Rock Café T-shirt, you need to think carefully about that one T-shirt. Mostly it will lower the value of the Harley Davidson quilt for future owners.


T-shirt quilts tell a story. Look at your T-shirts and make sure that they all are part of that story. If a T-shirt is not part of the story, you should consider removing it from the pile of T-shirts for your quilt. 

For example, if you have T-shirts from your child’s life and in that stack of T-shirts is a shirt that belongs to someone else in the family, this shirt should be removed. Always double check that the T-shirts you plan to have a quilt made to see if all the T-shirts belong to the story and the character of the story.

Types of Event

Rock band T-shirt quiltIf you are a runner and want a T-shirt quilt made from your running T-shirts, make sure that all the T-shirts are from running events. If you have 30 T-shirts from 5ks and one from a baseball team, the T-shirt from the baseball team just doesn’t belong and should be removed from that grouping of T-shirts.

T-shirt Age 

If all of your T-shirts are from 80 rock and roll bands except for one T-shirt that is from a 2005 folk fest, you might want to pull out that folk fest T-shirt because it just does not belong.

Note: we can use very old T-shirts - so don't let the actual age of a T-shirts keep you from using it in your quilt.

Non T-shirt Items 

Not all your T-shirts need to be T-shirts. Things that can be used in a T-shirt quilt are anything that can be washed in a washing machine. For examples, sweatshirts, jerserys and nylon coats. Again, any item you choose should further the story the quilt tells!

If you have any questions about the T-shirts you have slated for your quilt, please give us a call. We have made 1000’s T-shirts quilts and have experience to help you make good choices.  517-541-8225 or e-mail

Are you ready to have Too Cool T-shirt Quilts make a quilt for you? Here's how:

How to order


This article was origianlly posted November 12, 2012. It was updated in January 2017.


About 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. 


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