Category Archives: Bonnie Hunter

Ask Jo: About Using Shirts

When questions come in from blog readers that I think others might like the answer to, I answer them here on the blog.  Today is one of those days.

Today’s question came from Bobbie:
Do you only use the backs of the shirts?  How do you use the fronts and sleeves?

This question came after I had been working on Baby Friedman’s quilt….


This quilt was made entirely of shirts…minus the red of course.

I’ve made several quilts from shirts and I absolutely love them.  They are instantly vintage especially if you can find a good 100% cotton sheet for the backing.  Seriously, one washing and the quilt feels like you’ve had it years.  I love that feeling.

I think my favorite shirt quilt is Rectangle Wrangle….Read all about the quilt HERE.

rectangle-wrangle-3-66
I love-love-love it!!  Being I get shirts at such a cheap price sometimes I feel like I’m sewing for free.  I’m not but it sure feels that way sometimes.

I didn’t know anything about sewing with shirts until I heard about it from Bonnie Hunter.  Once I heard, I was right on board as I have had good thrift stores in my area.

But…back to the question…”Do you only use the backs of the shirts?  How do you use the fronts and sleeves?

The answer is…Some of each.  Sometimes I get LOTS and LOTS of shirts in all at once and then I get a little overwhelmed with them all so I take the backs off and then sell the rest of the the shirt to blog readers via one of my auctions.   When I feel like I need to get “caught up” and this is a quick easy way to get caught up.

Cutting up shirts does take time but it you get into a system, it’s not bad at all.  Most of the shirts I have gotten recently, I’ll be cutting up the whole shirt.  My scrap users system is low on strips so now is a good time to replenish.

I’ll show you what I do….Here’s the shirt I am working with….


I start out by making a slit on each of the sides along the buttons.  I then rip up to the collar.  
Then I take a scissors and and I cut around the collar.  Then I have this…
From here I make a couple cuts in the collar as shown then rip.  Interfacing in the shirts is always different.  Sometimes it’s stuck on the fabric.  If so I throw that piece.

This is what I have “harvested” so far…two great strips for my scrap bucket and buttons.  Yes, I save buttons.  I have yet to figure out why.


Next on to the cuffs.  I cut them off.

I make the slits and again rip.

I cut off and save those two pieces.

Next, these get cut off.
Then I cut the sleeves off.  I often cut through both thicknesses of fabric at the same time.  I also cut off the seams….


Next I cut on each side of the seam at the TOP of the sleeve.  Then I rip.
With that, the sleeves are done.

Now I start on the rest of the shirt.  A slit goes on each side of the side seam.

I rip up to the under arm and then start in on scissor work.  I cut out the yoke and cut the back off.
Then cut the fronts off.  I’ve gotten so I can do a shirt in about 7 minutes.  Time consuming yes but I still feel very well worth it.

This is my harvest from one shirt….. Continue reading

Another Book of Quilts??

After I finished up making ALL of the quilts in Bonnie Hunter’s String Fling book I felt such a sense of accomplishment that for a bit, I thought about doing the same thing with another of her books.

Scraps and Shirttails

Image result for scraps and shirttails

Our biggest accomplishment of this book was making THREE of these.  One my top is finished but I’m waiting for Kelli to make the backing.  This is Perkiomen Daydreams.  10,000 pieces in this quilt!
PerkiomenDaydreams-1

PerkiomenDaydreams
There are 12 quilts in this book….

Here is my list of done quilts:
Perkiomen Daydreams
Cactus Patch
Hand Me Downs
HandMeDowns-1
Bargello in Plaid (all made with shirts).  I have a second one of this quilt in my UFO pile.

Star Gazing

Star-Gazer-Quilt-2-1

Virginia Bound is a UFO

I’d still like to make
Carolina Crossroads
Nifty Thrifty

Adventures with Leader and Enders

Image result for adventures with leaders and enders
There are 12 quilts in the book.  I have completed FIVE and have one top done so I’ll count that as 5+ done.

Here is my list of done quilts:
Blue Ridge Beauty
BLueRidgeBeaty-1
Crabapples
crabApple-1
Rick Rack Nines
Rick-Rack-Nines-1-1
Nine in the Middle


Hopscotch, Butterscotch
Hopscotch-1
I still have these on my list of want to makes:
Bow-Dacious
Happily Scrappily Irish

Scraps and Shirttails II
I adore this book.  I could happily make every quilt in the book.  I haven’t yet as they are made with shirts and shirts although economical for me, take lots of processing time.  This book I would pick as a favorite.  
Image result for scraps and shirttails
There are 13 quilts in this book.

I have these finished.
Smith Mountain Morning

Smith-Mountain-Morning-
Fair and Square
Fair-and-Square-200-1
Criss Cross Applesauce
CrissCrossApplesauce-1
Stars Over Shallotte
Smith-Mountain-Morning-
Rectangle Wrangle
rectangle-wrangle-37

Carolina Christmas
CarolinaChristmasFINISHED

These are working towards a finish.
Holy Toledo-UFO
Bricks in the Barnyard- a Top

All of the quilts left in the book that I haven’t done are all quilts I would really like to make.  I love this quilt book!!

String Fling
FINISHED EVERY QUILT IN THE BOOK!!  Find the link to them here.

More Adventures with Leaders and Enders

Image result for more adventures with leaders and endersI have made a lot of quilts from this book…
There are 12 quilts in this book.  I have made 9 of them but one quilt I made two of it.

Here is my list of done quilts:
Scrap Crystals

Four Patch X
12607388_1110497285649980_705455525_n-1
Winston Ways

Winston-Ways-11
Texas Tumbleweeds

Texas-Tumbleweeds-0

Spoolin’ Around

Spoolin-Around-Quilt-3
Version ONE
Easy Street Version TWO
EasyStreet-

Cheddar Bow Ties

Narragansett Blues
Narragansett-Blues-6
Lazy Sunday
Lazy+Sunday-1

I would happily make the remaining three quilts in this book.  I’ve been a little intimidated by the remaining three.
Friendship Cross needs some fussy cutting
Lucy’s Baskets…APPLIQUE
Midnight Flight-everyone says it’s so easy to twist the blocks and lots of time ends up being spent with a seam ripper.  UGH.

Addicted to Scraps

Image result for addicted to scraps
There are 12 quilts in this book.  I have three finished.

Garden Party

Garden-party-7

Tropical Twist
Tropical-Twist-11
Jingle Bell Square

Jingle-Bell-Square-Quilt-1
I like others of the quilts in this book and I’m sure I’ll make a couple more.  There are others that are higher priority on my list right now.  Many of the quilts I’d want to enlarge and haven’t done the math.

String Frenzy
Image result for string frenzy

There are 12 quilts in the book.  I could happily make the all.  I do already have one finished!!

Punkin’ Patch

pumpkin-patch-1
When looking back at the posts and pictures I took, oh my.  I wish I had a better camera when I first started making Bonnie Hunter quilts.

If I do make all the quilts in another of the books it will be one of the following books:
Scraps and Shirttails II
More Adventures with Leaders and Enders
String Frenzy

I actually think I will make all of the quilts in another of her books.  It was a crazy fun ride.   For now, I’m just going to try to not make any deadlines…I need some easy going sewing for a little bit.

If you don’t have Bonnie Hunter quilt books and want a recommendation, I pick both the string quilts but I know many aren’t into string quilts…After those I’d pick More Adventures with Leaders and Enders and Scraps and Shirttails II…but that’s only my faves.

So readers…what is your favorite Bonnie Hunter quilt book?  What book have you used the most?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Geese on a String

Guess what I don’t need??  A new project.  My plate is full.  I have LOTS of projects in the works and a couple must do’s on the list.  So what do I do?  Dream.

It’s the tendency of a true quilter I think.  Don’t we all have a project still going and start dreaming and thinking about the next one?

Several year ago Bonnie Hunter was making these scrappy triangles on her blog.  I jumped in with two feet.  I was sure that sometime she’d come out with a quilt featuring them.

Previously she had done with her spool blocks.  I had jumped with two feet into that too.  I thought I was doing so fabulous.  I made something like 350 of them and once that pattern came out I needed over 600.  Well this time, I wasn’t going to be duped quite so badly (or so I thought)  I made 425 of these triangle pieces.

Well in Bonnie Hunter’s new book String Frenzy, she released the pattern that uses the triangles.

This is the quilt- Geese on a String.
I love the pattern.  How fun but what I have and the look of the pattern, they don’t jive at all.  Cheddar..nope.  My green would need to be lime.  Ah.  I was a little disappointed.  Then I remembered that I have two girls in childcare that I would need to make quilts for next year.

Hm…How could I tweak the colors to make something that uses my triangles…something that looks girly…something I could make two of so the quilts are similar but not exactly matching?

Here’s the idea I came up with…. Continue reading

Book Review: String Frenzy

A blog reader asked if I had plans to review Bonnie Hunter’s new book String Frenzy…well yes, of course I do.

I’ve had mine for a bit now…first as an ebook edition sent to me by C&T Publishing and then my hard copy.


So do I like the book….YES!  I was thrilled when I heard that Bonnie’s book was going to be a STRING quilt book.  I loved the quilts from the first string book so much that I made them ALL!!  One might think I was “strung out” but NOPE.  I was itching to get my hands on a copy.

There are 12 quilts in the book and I don’t have a bad thing to say about any of them.  Bonnie out did herself on the designs.  I can see myself making all of them.


Geese on a String is the first in the book.  Happily Bonnie featured the string triangles on her blog a couple years ago and I jumped right in.  I have 400 string triangles already made.  I’m thinking I might make two of these quilts for two of my childcare kiddos….we’ll see as things settle down around here a bit.


I’ll need to change some colors up as my strings are in brights.

A few others from the book that I’m highlighting are Straits of Mackinac.  I LOVED this one when Bonnie was working on it on the blog.  Oh my, I have a basket of fabric waiting for this one.

As per Bonnie style she included the Directions at a Glance.  This feature is one of the reasons I love her books.  I can quick reference anything.  I love this.  It makes quilting easier as I’m not reading through all of the directions to find out how many of something I need to make!!

This is one of my favorites in the book…. Continue reading