Many of my customers have so many t-shirts that they have a hard time narrowing them down to a reasonable number to put in a quilt. Some of them show up for appointments with bags and bags and want me to help choose. Although I can help you choose, I really don’t know what is most important to you or the person for whom you are having the quilt made.  Here are a few ideas to help you narrow your choices.

  1. If you have several t-shirts with the same or similar motif, choose your favorite color or the motif that will fill up the square. If you have a small motif on the front of your t-shirt and a big one on the back, use the back side of the t-shirt. If the motif on the front is different and you would like it added to the back square, I can do that, but it’s not necessary if it has all the same information that is already on the back of the shirt.
  2. Separate your shirts into piles according to activity. For example, a customer brought me 90 t-shirts that belonged to her recently deceased husband and wanted me to divide them into three quilts. So I sorted them into piles for travel, sports, motorcycles, beer drinking and miscellaneous. (He must have been a fun guy to be around.) Even though I used all the t-shirts, you can narrow your selection by choosing a favorite from each stack and then repeating the process until you have the number of t-shirts you want to use in your quilt.
  3. A lot of team t-shirts have a list of names on the back, or concert t-shirts have lists of all the cities on the tour. Unless the list is really important to you, don’t use it in the quilt. It really doesn’t make a very interesting looking square in your t-shirt quilt.
  4. Many t-shirts have the person’s name on them. If you have several, just choose a favorite one. The quilt recipient knows her name and doesn’t have to have it all over her quilt.
  5. If you are having a t-shirt quilt made for your teenager to take to college, he may not be real attached to his t-shirts from elementary and junior high, so focus more on his t-shirts from high school. And if you’re thinking of including some of your daughter’s baby clothes, reconsider and maybe save those and those cute little elementary school t-shirts and have a quilt made for yourself.