Please Don’t Ask for a T-shirt Quilt

13 Spools

Previously I have spilled some of my quilting secrets. One secret that I shared, t-shirt quilts really irk me, is shared by many of my fellow quilters. This post is not meant to call anyone out, but rather encourage taking a different spin on this topic. So to my non quilting friends, please don’t ask me for a t-shirt quilt the minute I say, “I quilt.” There is so much more to what I do than just t-shirts.

Amy with 13 Spools started this omitted series and I wanted to address the topic. At a recent quilt guild meeting my sentiment was shared by a number of other quilters. Someone mentioned you either like t-shirt quilts or you don’t.

When did t-shirt quilts become the most iconic part of quilting? Probably 8 out of 10 people that I say I quilt, ask if I make t-shirt quilts. My answer anymore is, here is a card to someone I know that does an amazing job with them. Seriously, she does great work, here is her info. Take it a step further, here is a class from my sewing friend Diane that teaches you to make your own. I will gladly help you create your own masterpiece.

My husband and I have a number of discussions on these quilts. He reminds me that a number of people are willing to pay to have them made. But are they really? I will send the shirts, so that cuts down on fabric costs, and it should only take a couple of days, right? $50-$60 bucks should do for the 45 shirts I have to have in this quilt. Sure that will just cover my beer costs to choke through this. I struggle to bring myself to really charge you what I should for my time. *These are fictional numbers I’m making up*

Speaking of time, there is more work in these quilts than I want to admit. Some people have a dream layout or want something exactly. These are large quilts that have more steps than most quilts.

I quilt as a creative outlet and a way to make some extra money. I do not want to make 42 t-shirt quilts. Glad you have held on to your shirts for so long, but I’m probably not the best person to ask. If you want to make your self by all means, you could even get more t-shirts from GBLabels. With those lovely T-shirts you could print your own brand on them. Check out if you want to better understand how to print your own T-shirts.

Case in point…the two t-shirt quilts I recently finished. I have had them for over a year. I was at a creative roadblock with them and can’t get past it. Everything was ready to go but me. They just wrapped up this week. My personal deadline was November 1st because I need the space back in my sewing room and I’m ready for them to stop being on the to-do list. I really contemplated taking these two quilts on and honestly I should have said no.

The business side of brain screams, DO THEM!!! However the more realist part of my brain says, maybe the money isn’t worth it right now.

To those that don’t quilt, please don’t immediately ask me if I make t-shirt quilts. Ask me instead any of the other questions I’m used to. “How did you get started?” “You what?” “Do you hem pants?”

As a quilter, what are your thoughts on t-shirt quilts?