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Boy Scout T-shirt Quilts

Posted by Andrea Funk on May 8, 2017 6:30:00 AM EDT

If you have a scout, be it Girl Scout, Boy Scout or any other type of scout, you will probably have accumulated all sorts of scouting related items that are just a little too important to donate or pass onto another scout.

If your son or daughter stayed with scouting until high school graduation, they probably will have accumulated even more items. So, what can you do with these items?

Here are three options to consider based on how many items you have saved.

Quilt

If your son or daughter has a great deal of items and felt that scouting was a great influence on their life, an all scouting quilt would be a great option. You can use T-shirts, uniforms, patches, scarves, pillowcases and whatever else you may have collected over the years.  You can use anything in this quilt that is machine washable.

For a quilt, you would typically need 15 or more items. The more items, the larger the quilt can be. We also have the ability of taking any number of items and making your quilt larger or smaller by the amount we use from each item. For example, if you have 40 items and want a small quilt, we would only use small pieces from each item.  But that same 40 items can be made into a much larger quilt by using large blocks from each item and/or more than one block from each item.

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Cheap T-shirt Blankets – Why Have One Made?

Posted by Milie Funk on May 4, 2017 6:30:00 AM EDT

Why would anyone want to have a cheap T-shirt quilt or blanket made? Being a high-end quilt maker, this is an especially baffling question. So, we sat down and brainstormed to see if we could answer this question. Here’s what we came up with…

1. You hate your T-shirts.

Your T-shirts are awful and you hate everything about them. If so, just skip the T-shirt quilt thing and donate your T-shirts to Goodwill. And stop accepting free T-shirts!

2. You are planning on losing your quilt shortly after you get it.

You think of a T-shirt quilt as if it were a pair of sunglasses: cheap and replaceable. But, can you even find enough T-shirts to make into a quilt? Here’s how many T-shirts you need for a quilt. 

3. The quilt is for an acquaintance or family member.

They aren’t your T-shirts! Why bother spending the money for a nice one? After all, it’s just for your little brother. Nice. Remember, what comes around, goes around… do onto others as you would have done to you… you get it.

4. You know your dog is going to just tear it up.

You have a dog who likes to rip things apart and plan for this to be its next chew toy. It happens all the time. If you just need a chew toy, just knot up a T-shirt and toss it to the dog. This can save a lot of time. Read more about dogs and T-shirt quilts here. 

5. You plan on using your quilt very roughly.

Need an oil rag and can’t find one? That's ok you’ve got your quilt!  Spill rotten milk on the floor, no mop? Quilt to the rescue. If you don’t care, then a cheap blanket should do you good.  A well-made T-shirt quilt should last for generations if cared for properly.

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T-shirt Quilt Makers for Hire - What to Expect

Posted by Andrea Funk on May 1, 2017 6:30:00 AM EDT

Every company and person who makes T-shirt quilts does it in his or her own unique way. Each maker’s process can differ from another maker’s process so much that you might run into some confusion while you are having your quilt made. 

Confusion can arise because you might not exactly remember what process your chosen quilter uses. If you confuse another company’s process with the one you are using, you may be expecting something that does not happen.

For example, we have had customers upset with us for failing to send them a photograph of their quilt before it’s sewn.  Except we never say that we will send a photograph of your quilt before it’s sewn. This would be something you might have remembered from another website. If you knew not to expect a photograph, then you wouldn’t have had a reason to get upset for failing to get one.

It’s differences like this that lead you and your quilter into situations that sometimes can’t be resolved.

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Topics: Finding a T-shirt Quilt Maker

The Secrets to an Awesome T-shirt Quilt

Posted by Andrea Funk on April 27, 2017 6:30:00 AM EDT

Do you have T-shirts you want made into a T-shirt quilt? Are you looking for a quilt that is more than a few steps above ho-hum? Below are five factors that go into making a T-shirt quilt that is so much better than ho-hum.

1. The T-shirts

It begins with awesome T-shirts. If the T-shirts are yours and tell your story, then you will love your quilt no matter what. But those T-shirt quilts that are the best of the best have a few things in common about their T-shirts:

Color 

Awesome quilts usually have one of the following color combinations…

  • A great mix of T-shirt: a few white, a few black and a lot of other colorful T-shirts.
  • Monochromatic grouping of T-shirts. For example a grouping of royal, gray, white and black T-shirts.
  • All one-color shirts – for example all black or all white T-shirts.

These types of combinations help to unify the look of the quilt.

Topic 

Some great quilts have a great topic that makes the quilt unique. For example, a quilt made from all Hard Rock Café T-shirts will have something special that will make it great.

This Disney Girl T-shirt Quilt is tripply awesome because the Disney theme, these items were worn by girl and it tells the story of family vacations to Disney World. 

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Topics: Finding a T-shirt Quilt Maker

Design Elements of a T-shirt Quilt

Posted by Andrea Funk on April 24, 2017 6:30:00 AM EDT

There are so many quilters making T-shirt Quilts, how do you find the right one to transform your T-shirts into an incredible quilt? One measure is how well the quilt is designed and laid out.

If you are not an artist, you might not know the difference between a well-designed T-shirt quilt and one that is not so well designed.  Here are three design elements to look for when judging the design of a T-shirt quilt:

No Rows or Columns

A T-shirt quilt needs to be interesting to keep you engaged and looking at it. If the quilt is boring, it’s only worth is just to keep you warm. If the T-shirt blocks are lined up in rows and/or columns, the quilt is uninteresting. You pick up on the predictable pattern and your brain says, “I know that pattern, what’s next?” 

The quilt on the right is laid out using a puzzled method. There are no rows and no columns. Your brain does not know the pattern and has to spend more time to figure it out. Read more about this here. 

The quilt on the left, is laid out in rows and columns. There is not much to keep your attention. 

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Topics: Finding a T-shirt Quilt Maker

4 Questions to Answer Before You Buy a T-shirt Quilt

Posted by Andrea Funk on April 20, 2017 6:30:00 AM EDT

1. What style of T-shirt quilt do you want made?

There are 5 basic types of T-shirt quilts. Know which style you want before you find your quilter.

Traditional Block Style With Sashing 

The T-shirts are cut into uniform size blocks. Interfacing, which is a fabric stabilizer, is applied to the back of the T-shirts so they are easy to work with. All the blocks are set into columns and rows separated by fabric. This style does not reflect that T-shirt logos differ in size.

Traditional Block Style Without Sashing

This style is similar to the traditional block style, but it skips the fabric in-between the rows and columns. This style also fails to consider that T-shirt graphics come in many different sizes.

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Topics: Finding a T-shirt Quilt Maker

T-shirt Quilt Terminology

Posted by Andrea Funk on April 17, 2017 6:30:00 AM EDT

If you are in the process of learning about having a T-shirt quilt made from your shirts, there are some terms that might be used in your discussion about your quilt. Knowing these will let you understand and follow the conversation or order form better. If the term you want to know about is not listed below,here's a link to our glossary. 

1. Quilt Top

This is the face of a quilt. In a T-shirt quilt, this will be made from either 100% of your T-shirts or a mix of your T-shirts and cotton sashing material. The quilt top is the front side of a quilt. Read more here about styles of T-shirt quilts.

2. Backing Material

The backing material is the fabric that is used on the backside of your quilt. There are many types of backing material and many different quality levels. Here is a article about types of backing materials that will give you a comprehensive understanding.

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Looking for an interesting fundraising project for your organization?

Posted by Andrea Funk on April 13, 2017 6:30:00 AM EDT

Think about using a T-shirt Quilt as part of your plans. Here are two great ways and one poor way to use a T-shirt quilt to help your organization to raise money. 

1. Make money from the solicitation of the T-shirts.

 The American Labor Museum in Haledon, NJ used T-shirt quilts made by Too Cool T-shirt Quilts to help in fundraising for the museum in a very clever fashion. 

The Museum sent a call out to different labor unions around the country. They asked that each union donate one T-shirt and $100. By asking a lot Unions for a small donation they were able to raise a lot of money. 

Each time 12 to 15 T-shirts had been collected, they hired Too Cool T-shirt Quilts to make a wall-hanging sized quilt. This project stretched out over about 6 months. As the quilts were completed, they were able to use photos of the completed quilts to entice other unions to take part in the fundraiser. 

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10 Place to Find More T-shirts for a Quilt

Posted by Andrea Funk on April 10, 2017 6:30:00 AM EDT

Since I began making T-shirts quilts in 1992, I have found that most people have more than enough T-shirts to make a quilt the size they want. But there are situations when you might need more T-shirts than you have.

Here are just a few situations in which you might need additional T-shirts:

  • When you are planning a T-shirt quilt for someone other than yourself.

  • If you are collecting T-shirts for a theme quilt. For example, a college or university themed quilt.

  • You might have all your T-shirts for your quilt, but you can’t find one special T-shirt.

If you are looking for additional T-shirts for your quilt, here are 10 places to look for them.

1. Garage Sales

Garage or yard sales are a great place to find local and regional T-shirts. For example, last year I shopped the Route 127 garage sales through northern Ohio. By the end of the day, I had enough to make an Ohio State T-shirt quilt.

2. Resale Shops

Resale shops are also great places to find local and regional T-shirts. Whenever we are traveling and want to pick up a T-shirt from that area, we head to the Goodwill store. When we traveled to Florida, we were able to find all the Florida Gator T-shirts we could ever want. 

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Choosing T-shirts for a Sorority Quilt

Posted by Andrea Funk on April 6, 2017 6:29:00 AM EDT

Post College

Your college days are behind you, yet you still have a huge pile of T-shirts from your sorority life. You can’t bear to part with them, yet you don’t wear them anymore. After all, a sorority T-shirt looks funny under a business suit! So, you are stuck with a huge pile of T-shirts. A T-shirt quilt will let you get rid of that pile of T-shirts, yet retain all the images that trigger memories.

Which T-shirts need to go into your quilt and which ones don’t?

Let’s start at what a T-shirt quilt really is; it’s a quilt that tells a story. The T-shirts in the quilt represent the activity that happened when you received or purchased the T-shirt. But the T-shirts were worn other times and thus also have additional memories attached to them.

A sorority T-shirt quilt tells a story of your life and experiences at your sorority and in college. Therefore, include only those T-shirts that help tell this story. You may want to include T-shirts and sweatshirts from sorority and fraternity events, as well as from other activities you participated in with your sorority. Don’t include T-shirts that fail to add to the story you are telling. For example, you wouldn’t want to include one T-shirt from high school – it just doesn’t belong.

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Topics: Styles & Types of T-shirt Quilts

Andrea_Funk_Head_shotWritten by Andrea T. Funk

Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes, no sashing and no iron on backing. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts and her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since.