How to Care for Your T-Shirt Quilt

Congratulations! You’re enjoying your t-shirt quilt and now you’re wondering how to care for it? Is it washable? Can I put it in the dryer?

WASHING Your T-Shirt Quilt

Good News - your t-shirt quilt is completely machine washable! You’ve washed your shirts before, so they’re fine. Here at Meg’s Quilted Memories, we pre-wash the backings to ensure that if the fabric shrinks, it shrinks before it’s put on the quilt, not after. Also, if the fabric bleeds dye, it bleeds before it goes on the quilt! The batting that we use is completely washable as well.

Use Cool Water

We suggest that when you wash your quilt, you wash it in cool/lukewarm water. There’s really no need to use hot water. Use a mild detergent like an Arm & Hammer® or Tide®. You may want to throw in some Shout Color Catchers® as well, just to be safe.  

No Center Agitator

It’s also important to wash your quilt in a front-loading machine or a top loader that does NOT have the center agitator. The agitator twists and pulls on the quilt and the stitching.

If you have a smaller drum in your home machine, don’t stuff it with a large quilt like a full, queen or king size. You don’t want to throw off your drum or your timing. It may be better to take the larger sized quilts to your local laundromat to have them washed and dried. They tend to have larger capacity drums.

DRYING Your T-Shirt Quilt

You can dry your quilt in your dryer on medium heat. We suggest that you take the quilt out of the dryer mid-cycle and rearrange it so that the center dries completely. You may also wish to line dry it, but as with most line drying, the fabric tends to get stiff. Or you can partially line dry it and finish it in the dryer just to soften it up a bit.

Should I Dry-Clean My Quilt?

The answer is no, it’s probably not necessary with the following exception; you put an article of clothing on the quilt that requires dry cleaning. A silk tie or something with wool, like a varsity jacket or letter, can be put on a quilt, but then it needs to be dry-cleaned.

Red Flag!

If you research other t-shirt quilt companies and notice their washing instructions indicate dry clean only, it should be a RED FLAG for the following reasons:

The company doesn’t pre-wash their backings

Cottons will shrink, and the lower the quality of the cotton, the more it will shrink! If your backing material isn’t pre-washed and you wash it for the first time with your quilt, it will shrink. Except, now when it shrinks it will bunch up your shirts and your batting because the batting and the shirts are still the same size, but the backing material isn’t.

The backing material will bleed dye

Again, this is due to a lack of pre-washing. Pre-washing is an extra step, no doubt, because after you wash and dry, it means you have to iron as well. While skipping pre-washing saves time for the quilt maker, it is a potential headache and heartache for you, the customer!

Making it Last

At Meg’s Quilted Memories, our quilts are made to last many, many years. The materials we use are selected for their longevity. If you have any questions on the proper care of your quilt, please feel free contact me at To learn more about our full range of t-shirt memory quilts, click here.