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How Many T-shirts?

Determining the Number of T-shirts You Need for Your Quilt

We can't give you an exact number because all T-shirts are different. 

The number of T-shirts you will need depends on graphic size, number of graphics per shirt, and the type of graphics. It will also depend on what size quilt you want made. 

Don't stress! We've been doing this since 1992, and we're here help you figure it all out.

Way too many T-shirts at Too Cool T-shirt Quilts

Why Can't You Tell Me Exactly How Many T-shirts I Need?

Not all T-shirts are created equal!

T-shirts have different sizes and numbers of designs on them. Some T-shirts have huge designs on the front and back of the T-shirt while others just have a small breast logo.

We won't know how far your T-shirts will go until we have them.

What we can give you is a general ballpark.

Not same size graphics at Too Cool T-shirt Quilts
The general Ballpark

Here's a Starting Place

We do have some guidelines that can give you a place to start.

When you look at the estimated number of T-shirts in the chart here, you need to consider your T-shirts. Don’t count the fronts and backs of your T-shirts, but look at them as a whole.

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Aim Towards the Low End of the Estimates

Do you have mostly T-shirts with large designs on the fronts and backs? If this is the case you will need fewer T-shirt. Look towards the low end of our estimates.

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Aim Towards the High End of the Estimates

If you have mostly one-sided T-shirts with small breast logos, you will need more T-shirts. Look towards the high end of our estimates.

How many T-shirts are needed for a Too Cool T-shirt Quilt?

How It works

When we receive your T-shirts, we first cut them. Through some wizardly math, we figure out what size quilt your T-shirts can make. It's something to do with square inches.

We then let you know the size. If you are happy with the size, we can get started on your quilt. We will never start your quilt until you approve the final size.

Note: We can make your quilt whatever size your T-shirts will allow. This might mean that your quilt is between standard sizes. Square inches are magical.

Cutting T-shirts at Too Cool T-shirt Quilts
this is important!

How Not to Send in Too Many T-shirts

If you don't care how large your quilt will be, just send the T-shirts that belong in your quilt. 

BUT... if the final size or cost of your quilt is important, then you need to read this. 

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How Many T-shirts Chart

Starting here, this chart has estimates about how many T-shirts you will need for a particular size quilt without a border. 

Understand that if you send the number of T-shirts on the high end of the chart, your quilt may be larger than anticipated. For example, if you want a multi use size quilt and send us 30 T-shirts, you may end up with a twin size quilt!

What is on your T-shirts will effect the size of your quilt. 

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A Border Decreases the Number of T-shirts Needed

A border will make the inside part of the quilt smaller. The larger the border, the smaller the inside. 

So if you plan to add a border, anticipate needing fewer T-shirts. You can go down to the next smaller size quilt for estimates. 

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Send an “if needed” Bag of T-shirts

This is a very good solution if you are unsure how far your T-shirts will go.

In the main bag, put the low end of the estimated number of T-shirts. Then create a second bag of "use as needed" T-shirts. You can number in order of use if you would like. 

We will cut the main bag first and see what size quilt those T-shirts will make. After we cut your first bag, if your quilt is smaller than your desired size, we will cut from the "if needed" bag until we get to your desired size. 

How many T-shirts for a Too Cool T-shirt Quilt

What Happens If You Send In Too Many
T-shirts for the Size Quilt You want?

We have a number of solutions. 

  1. You can accept the larger size quilt your T-shirts will make. 

  2. If you wanted a border, but your quilt is larger and more expensive than you anticipated, eliminate the border. Your T-shirt are more important than a border. 

  3. If you need to eliminate T-shirts, it will take time and effort not built into the cost of the quilt. We charge an hourly rate with a minimum 1 hour charge.
    • If you know which T-shirts you want removed, this will help make the process faster. 
    • If we need to layout the blocks and email you a photograph, this will take much longer.

Planning ahead will help you from sending in too many T-shirts. If you have any concerns, please feel free to reach out to your quilt maker with questions. 

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How Many

Specific Types of Quilts

If you are planning a quilt that is not a typical T-shirt quilt, there is more to know.

Here's more information about specific types of quilts. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I am worried I don't have enough T-shirts for my quilt. What do I do?

How do I keep from sending in too many T-shirts?

What if all the T-shirts I send must be in my quilt?

I think I am going to have too many T-shirts. What can I do?

What our customers are saying

After 15 years of travel ball, little league, high-school baseball and signing to play baseball for the US Coast Guard Academy, my son loves seeing all his jerseys in his quilt we gave him when he graduated in May.

Too Cool T-shirt Quilts is wonderful to work with. The quilt is such a wonderful representation of so many great memories.

Graduation T-shirt quilt son and parents

After probably 35 years of thinking I had the time and skill to do this, I discovered your shop.

My daughters were thrilled to at last receive these quilts of memories of their younger years!

Thank you to you and your quilters for your beautiful work!

Julia's Christmas quilt

He is a travlen man with a travlen band! Haha.

We love that you were able to accommodate the bass clef quilting motifs we requested for Bobs quilt.

Guitar guy with a Too Cool T-shirt Quilt