T-Shirt Quilt – Main Project Aesthetics/Alternatives

For my project, I decided on making a t-shirt quilt out of my sister’s Iowa State University t-shirts. This falls into two aesthetics that I have explored in the past. The first being the aesthetic I used for my Upcycle Project: Old School Athletics. The second is my personal aesthetic: comfy coze. Since the shirts are 4 to 8 years old and are worn, they’ve got that old school university feel. Plus the Iowa State school colors are red and yellow, which is a pretty classic color combination. As we saw in the LinkedIn Learning video “The Red Effect”, the color red can present as a fear factor when worn on sports uniforms, so it makes sense for a large university to use this color. I imagine this quilt accompanying a couch surrounded by cyclone fans cheering on the basketball team during march madness. The aesthetic has a lot of school pride, which is also depicted in the images below.

The second aesthetic, comfy coze, is also fitting for this project. As I discussed in my Personal Aesthetic Post, the comfy coze aesthetic is characterized by lots of blankets, pillows, books, a comfy bed or chair and soft lighting, while an individual could be wearing sweats and a beanie. A t-shirt quilt fits within this aesthetic as it provides a comfy blanket to cozy up with whilst on a bed, reading a book, on the couch, watching tv, or cheering on your favorite sports team!

The images below show an alternative to the old school aesthetic that the University t-shirts provide. I decided to explore the earthy side of the comfy coze aesthetic instead. In this instance I would probably troll a goodwill for the t-shirts I would try to use for this. I think this aesthetic really embodies the idea of bringing nature indoors. Lots of plants in a room with natural light can make a room feel especially cozy. This incorporates a lot of neutral tones like browns, greens and whites, as well. The quilt below on the right is an idea for a t-shirt quilt with this aesthetic.

Because of my plan to try and minimize the amount of clutter I have to move after graduation, I’m planning to stick with my original plan to use my sisters Iowa State University t-shirts. An image of the design is shown below.


  1. Featured Image
  2. Image 1
  3. Image 2
  4. Image 3
  5. Image 4
  6. Image 5
  7. Image 6, made by me from a compilation of images
  8. Image 8, my own
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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Valerie, I love the idea of doing a personalized quilt for someone. The concept of using a blanket as a base to sew the other garments on top seems like it work. The overall color pallet you have collected fits and the empty space and soft symmetry looks satisfying. I would definitely get to a sewing machine at the ITLL if you don’t have one because sewing this by hand would take forever.

    • Valerie Welch
      March 30, 2021 8:42 pm

      Hey Peter, thanks for your feedback! I actually won’t be sewing the shirts to another blanket however, I’ll be making everything from scratch and using a filler material and a second fabric for the backside of the blanket. Check out my next post for more details! And I actually do have a sewing machine! It’s not always in working order those so I’ll probably find myself at the Idea Forge at some point haha

  • Valerie,

    This looks awesome!! I am super excited to see how it turns out. Since T shirts sometimes have different thicknesses are you planning on putting a back onto the front kind of like how some quilts are? That could add a very comfy soft back and a really cool looking front plus it would make it warmer since it is double sided. I think your aesthetics are spot on, are you going to put a skirt on too to surround it I am just thinking back to some of the patchworked quilts my grandma made. Hope it ends up looking as good as it already does!

    • Valerie Welch
      March 30, 2021 8:45 pm

      Hey Josh, thanks for your comment! And yes, I am most definitely planning to have a backside and a surrounding edge for the tshirts themselves. In between the front and the back will also be what is called “batting”. It’s a thicker almost foam like material that adds thickness and warmth to the quilt. Check out my latest post for the whole process!


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