Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you make T-shirt (tee shirt) quilts?
Yes!! Yes, I do! And I love making them! I think they are fun to design and construct. They can be time-consuming to process but oh so fun! A tee shirt quilt can take anywhere from 10 days to 6 weeks to complete, depending on what other jobs I have in my queue when you contact me. One of the most time-consuming steps is the initial Q&A about what you want and how you want it. I do this via email.
I specialize in the "Jigsaw Puzzle" method where the blocks are uniform in size and all squares so they can butt up against each other (nothing in between). Most blocks are 12" to 14" squares and I fit them together in columns. I prefer to make all the blocks the same size but if one is super large and another super small, I can fill in the gaps with "filler" blocks, pieced traditional quilting designs that are made with cotton from my stash.
I can also create blocks that are completely uniform in size and shape and then set with sashing (frames). These look more like a traditional quilt. Please see the Meredith College tee shirt quilt with sashing that I did for Media in the Testimonials area.
Note that tee shirt quilts are not as well-suited to traditional quilt patterns as they are to the "Jigsaw Puzzle Method," but I can do whatever kind of quilt you want. Please use the Contact Form to ask me about designs you have in mind!
Can you make a T-shirt quilt from sports uniforms?
Yes! I can use sports clothing but due to the difficulties stabilizing the slippery synthetic materials (e.g., rayon, spandex, wicking-dri-weave) I may have to add a surcharge to the per-block processing rate or modify the design to compensate for a difficult material--or both!
Recently, I made a quilt from dance costumes from spandex, velvet and other materials as well as being embellished with sequins, fringe and other elements. I had to limit the design options and add surcharges for some of the special treatments. However, it's interesting to note, even with all that, the price still fell within the typical range for a lap-sized quilt.
How much does a tee shirt quilt cost? How many shirts do you need?
The cost is completely dependent on the finished size of the quilt and the number of blocks made from the shirts. This can vary wildly so the price is not a "set" fee but here's an overview of how I calculate prices.
To start, there is a base price for each quilt size. This covers my materials and labor to create a design layout. Once you have laundered the shirts (no fabric softener, dryer sheets or other additives like fragrance beads) and delivered them to me, I'll examine and photograph each shirt. Then based on our email conversations to that point, I'll create a layout mockup in Photoshop and send you a JPG to see if you like the way the shirts look tiled together.
The next step is for me to process each block. I charge a $10/block processing fee. This is not per shirt, but per BLOCK. If you have a design on the front and one on the back, and want me to use both, that's 2 blocks or $20 to process that shirt. Check out my worksheet for an idea of how many 12" blocks it takes to make your desired size quilt and if you play around with the numbers, you'll see this is the cost where it can add up quickly!
Special handling or unusual materials might cause me to add a surcharge to the block fee for those special items like I did with fringe and sequins on the dance costumes quilt I did in June of 2021. Mixing in hard-to-stabilize materials like dri-weave and spandex with heavy sweatshirts and regular tee shirts also carry a surcharge. It's best to make a quilt out of all of one kind of shirt or material and plain old tee shirts are the very best!
The last step is to finish the quilt, I add a border, make a "quilt sandwich" -- that is, the pieced blocks, batting and a backer of some cotton fabric are layered together like a sandwich. After it's quilted, I bind it in some cotton fabric, too. I can offer you a flat fee for all this added together called a finishing kit, which varies depending on the size of the quilt (larger quilts require more fabric).
The quilting itself is charged by the square inch. Low density quilting (the standard on tee shirt quilts is straight, parallel lines running horizontally across the quilt) is one cent per square inch ($0.01) and rates go up with density since the more quilting, the more time I spend (and the more thread I use). The medium to high density rate is usually $0.025 to $0.03 (and the $0.03 is the rate for me to send out to a computerized long arm quilter for a large bed quilt, like a queen sized).
A lap size quilt (54-62" wide by about 72-84" long) is the most common size people seem to want. Typically, the total combined fee for this falls in the $400-$600 range for everything (base, processing blocks, finishing, quilting everything). That's with no special handling and usually takes 16-20 shirts of average size. Children's size shirts are smaller so you'll need more of them (more processing fees); whereas, larger shirts can be made into larger blocks and will cost less in per-block fees. Your design is going to be unique so your price will be unique. Please tell me your dollar limit and I'll try to find a solution that is within your budget but still an attractive design.
What if I don't have enough T-Shirts for my quilt?
Don't think you have enough shirts for the quilt you want? No problem! I can often adapt the block sizes to better match the desired size of your quilt to the number of shirts you have available.
Or I can create filler blocks in traditional quilt block designs from cotton I have on hand.
Or I can add blank blocks from leftover tee shirt material and add animal or other cartoon appliques like in the photo above. I love this idea for kids's quilts! Check out these other Shiny Happy Applique ideas. I can also add applique words (one or two per block like in the picture above) or a whole 4-5 word sentence across the blocks, personalizing the quilt! Email me to discuss ideas (no additional charge for up to one hour of design time). Each of the blank blocks or blocks with words is also charged a $10 processing fee just like the blocks made with tee shirt motifs.
If you need more than one hour of design time, I charge $50/hr billed in 15-minute minimum increments ($12.50). I ask a lot of questions to get a feel for what you like and don't like so if you give me that picture, I can usually come up with a design idea quickly that will be just what you wanted but didn't know how to describe. If you give me a general idea and tell me to go ahead and figure out whatever works best, I'll find the least-expensive solution for you. If you give me a dollar limit, I will always try to come in below the limit for you.
Can you make ... ?
I love to do custom designs! These are at the heart of what makes a quilt an heirloom. I also have a vast library of quilt patterns and blocks from which to build traditional quilt patterns.
My forte is applique but I know and can use other methods of quilt construction as well.
If we can design it, then I can make it for you. I use Photoshop to mockup design collaborations with clients and find this results in a satisfying design experience for both of us. I will donate the first 3 hours of design time in Photoshop as part of the purchase price. I can usually get a mockup done in 3 hours or less. Beyond that initial mockup time, my rate to collaborate on design is $50/hr billed in 15-minute minimum increments ($12.50 minimum).
Please use the Contact Form to discuss custom designing a quilt with me. Once we have a mockup image approved, I'll create a Quote for you on the web site (or so my web site host claims I can do) so you can pay using the built-in shopping cart and secure payment methods.
What are the payment options?
I accept digital payments only. My web site has a shopping cart that takes all major credit cards (more than I show here) for which I pay 3% plus 30 cents per transaction. This is standard practice for online shopping but it's all new to me, so there might be bugs on my web site widgets. Please use the Contact Form to let me know if something is not working right or is too hard to use the way I have designed it. Your feedback will help me make this web site shopping experience great for everyone! If you don't want to use a credit card, you can use the free Zelle app to pay directly from your checking account.
Zelle is totally free for both you and me to use! I love it!! Zelle has been around for over a decade so it's proven and safe--and free. Did I mention it's free? Like everyone, I love free stuff. Here's how it works. If Zelle is not already incorporated into your bank account menu, you can use the App Store on your smartphone to install the free Zelle app (links are on the Zelle Pay site and there are lots of fakes out there so be sure you have the authentic Zelle).
After you've downloaded and installed the app, create a free account by entering your email address and a password. Then enter your bank info into the app to connect your account. This is the only place and only time you'll enter your bank info. I will never see it and the Zelle app is secure after more than a decade of use! Finally, use the menu (look for the 3 dots or 3 lines and tap to open) to create a contact for me. I have tied my Zelle account to my email address: email@example.com Once you have a contact you can send money with Zelle to that contact. You never see my private data, I never see yours! It's that easy. Oh, and it's free LOL
Do you take checks?
No, sorry, digital payments only. However, you can choose to use the free Zelle app which works on any smart phone and lets you pay right from your checking account. My email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Zelle contact identifier. See the FAQ above on Payment Options for instructions on how to use the free Zelle app.
Do you take PayPal?
No, sorry. I had linked up PayPal to a business account but it had some bugs so I have disconnected. If you like digital payments, please consider using the FREE Zelle app on your smartphone instead of PayPal. It's also secure and lets you attach whatever banking method you want (for instance, your checking account).
What is your return policy?
Since each item I sell is a one-of-a-kind product, usually made "on demand" for the specific customer ordering it, I am sorry to say I cannot generally accept returns.
However, I want my customers to be happy so if, after you have paid in full and taken delivery, you decide you are unhappy with your purchase, please contact me to discuss how I can make it right.
Do you offer gift cards?
No, not at this time but it is possible I might in the future. My hosting company (Wix) offers an app for gift cards that I still need to investigate.
However, if you would like to purchase an item as a gift for someone else, that's easy. Maybe not quite as easy as checking a box on Amazon but you can definitely indicate the recipient's location in the Shipping Address when you check out and then contact me to let me know it's a gift. I can personalize a Maker's Label (at no additional charge) for the back of the quilt so the recipient will know that their heirloom quilt was made just for them. Let's talk about it in email.
Can you ship anywhere?
Yes! I am located in Fuquay Varina, NC so "local" customers can get free porch pickup. You can even choose that option in the shopping cart checkout.
I can ship anywhere in the continental US using a flat rate USPS Priority Mail box. If you spend $150 or more, I'll even ship it that way for free -- well, free to you. LOL
I can also ship internationally but the fees are quite high, so I haven't installed the shipping calculator for this. Please consider asking a friend who is travelling back to you from the US to carry your finished quilt in their suitcase. I can ship it to them while they are here in the States, but obviously, this requires some level of pre-planning and coordination. Never fear! We can do it! Contact me to discuss the details.