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Graduation T-shirt Quilts

Your Timeline for Planning a Graduation T-shirt Quilt

January 31st, 2022

By Andrea Funk

Typical Timeline Overview for Graduation T-shirt Quilts

Early January – Begin gathering T-shirts.
End of January – Line up your T-shirt quilt maker.
Early February – Decide which T-shirts will go into the quilt.
Very Early March – Have all your T-shirts sent to your quilt maker.

Too Cool T-shirt quilts graduation T-shirt quilt

Receiving a T-shirt quilt for a High School graduation gift is a traditional right-of-passage for American kids. Whether you have been saving your child’s T-shirts since they were born or just for the past few years, when your child is a senior, it is time to begin planning their quilt in earnest. 

Below is a timeline that begins in January of your child’s senior year. This can help guide you in the planning of your child’s graduation T-shirt quilt. Within this timeline are links to other resources on specific topics that might help your planning. 

Early January

Once your child returns to school from winter vacation, pull out their T-shirts and see what you have. Below are articles about what can be used.

What Can Be Used In a Graduation T-shirt Quilt?
T-shirt Quilts made with T-shirts with Numbers on Them
Using Photographs in Quilts
Preparing your T-shirts for a T-shirt Quilt
Using a baby blanket in a T-shirt Quilt

If you are missing anything, start looking around for those T-shirts now. You might find them under the bed or somewhere else a teenager might choose to keep their belongings.

Are missing a T-shirt and don’t want to give away the fact you are making them a T-shirt quilt? If so, you might say, “I haven’t seen you wearing your _______T-shirt recently.” This might lead into a discussion that it’s lost, it’s at someone’s house or that it’s just a lame T-shirt. 

Places to find missing T-shirts: school, coach, neighbor, younger sibling’s dresser drawers, Goodwill, or the school’s lost and found.

Should you tell your child about their quilt?

Too Cool T-shirt quilts graduation T-shirt quilt

One issue a lot of parents pounder is if they should tell their child about the quilt.  Experience says that it won’t hurt to clue them in. Most kids know what a T-shirt quilt is. Many actually are  expecting to get one for graduation.  Here is an article with an in depth discussion about "To Tell or Not to Tell."

How many quilts?

This is also a good time to consider if you might need more than one quilt. Below are a number of chronology options you might consider. This is especially helpful if you have saved everything since birth!

  • 1 quilt:  Birth – high school graduation
  • 2 quilts: Birth – 8th grade; high school
  • 5 quilts:  First year; ages 1 – 5; elementary school; middle school; and high school
  • Or something in between. Ask yourself who is going to use the quilt and how the quilt will be used. You might need two quilts – one for mom and one for the graduate.

End of January

Too Cool T-shirt quilts sewer

This is the time to have a T-shirt quilt maker lined up to make your quilt.

Finding a great  T-shirt quilt maker will take some research on your part. Don’t just settle for a friend or your neighbors’ friend without first doing your research! Here are five articles that address how to find the right T-shirt Quilt maker for your circumstance:

One Chance to Have a T-shirt Quilt Made Right
How to Find a T-shirt Quilt MakerLocal vs National T-shirt Quilt Makers
How Much Does a T-shirt Quilt Cost?
Custom T-shirt Quilts


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

How to Order a T-shirt Quilt


Early February

Too Cool T-shirt quilts graduation T-shirt quilt in a dorm roomDecide which T-shirts will go into the quilt. The decision will be based on a number of items:

  1. How many T-shirts you have.
  2. How large of quilt you want and want to afford.
    Too Cool T-shirt Quilts Pricing Page
  3. How the quilt will be used.
    Taking a T-shirt Quilt to College
    Extra Long Twin Size T-shirt Quilts?
  4. Your quilt maker and they style of quilt they plan to make.  6 Styles of T-shirt Quilts
  5. The sizes of images on the T-shirts and if the T-shirts are one or two-sided How many T-shirts are needed for a T-shirt Quilt?

Late February or Very Early March

Too Cool T-shirt quilts graduation T-shirt quilt

You need to plan to have all your T-shirts sent to your quilter at this time. The exact timing will depend on your quilter’s schedule and when your graduation or open house is.

Some graduations are in early May and others in late June. The earlier your graduation date or open house, the sooner you need to get your T-shirts to your quilter.

How to package your T-shirts to ship to Too Cool T-shirt Quilts
Shipping Your T-shirts - Where to Get a Box


Graduation Day or Open House

This is when your planning and diligence in finding a great T-shirt quilt maker will pay off. A T-shirt quilt will be a gathering place at your open house as people share memories of events they participated in together.  Choose an area to hang your quilt with room enough for people to gather. Make sure it is a good distance away from the food and drinks.

How to Hang a T-shirt Quilt

Oops! I missed all these dates.

No worries! These are optional dates for planning your graduation T-shirt quilt. If you are past these dates, contact your T-shirt quilt maker to see what their availability is. Most quilt makers work in some wiggle room to accommodate late quilts.  


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

Learning Center


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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.