Are You With Me??

Want to join my bandwagon??

I jumped on one a week or two ago …What kind of bandwagon you might wonder.  One to tackle THIS…

To some of you, it might look like garbage.  Not to me!!

This is a couple of years of collecting.  I’ve been collecting yellow and blue shirts with the hope of designing and make a yellow and blue quilt made from shirts.  I have LOTS of my plate as far as sewing goes right now and that’s okay but…I am so sick of this mess sitting in my upstairs hallway.

Yes, it’s true confession time.  These bags have been sitting there for about two years.  I add a shirt or two from time to time but I never process the shirts.  UGH.

Here’s another confession.  There previously was another bag of shirts there but, with the new year, I made a plan to get the shirts tackled.  So…that bag is now fabric.  YAHOO!!


I’ve made a goal to get one shirt done a day.  I know that sounds ridiculously easy, and it is…but that’s how I’m doing it.  I know I don’t have time to sit down and do the whole bunch but I know I can do one a day.

I had originally thought these were all yellow and blue but a few others have landed into the pile too.  That’s okay.  I love working with shirts and happily welcome whatever falls into the pile.

At the rate I’m going, I’ll be at this awhile.  I actually think I will get down to one bag and then forge ahead and to them all.

Once I don’t have deadline projects looming I will likely make this my nap time childcare project…maybe that way I can do a few more shirts each day.

Whatever the plan…I have to do at least one a day.  If I miss a day, I have to three the next day.  It’s a motivation to keep me going.

I do have a tutorial on how I cut up shirts.  Find it HERE.  Maybe I’ll do a video that shows how I do them with the rotary cutter.  I can make quick work of a shirt that way.

UPDATE!!  I DID A VIDEO.  If you want to watch it on the big screen you can click this LINK.

I really do love quilts made from shirts…Here are a few of mine.

This is likely my favorite shirt quilt that I’ve made so far.  Oh, I love playing with shirts!!  This is Rectangle Wrangle from the book Scraps and Shirttails II.


This is the most used…Criss Cross Applesauce.

Here is Stars over Shallotte.

I’ve made Bargello in Plaid twice…This is the most recent one…

Here is Cactus Patch


I simply adore quilts made with shirts…destructing the shirts I don’t love as much.  It’s the price to pay.  So, I do it.

So, do any of you have a pile of shirts that needs attention??  Want to join me in getting them all taken care of?  I would love the company.

39 thoughts on “Are You With Me??”

  1. I love the quilts you have made with shirts especially the churn dash quilt you made recently! I have large bag of shirts to deconstruct and I would be really interested to see a video on your process with a rotary cutter. Thanks for the inspiration … and a new goal!

  2. this is not something i will be joining you on since I made a promise to myself to get a better handle on the move of my office out of the already very small sewing closet and to create order in both areas. I will sign on as a cheerleader though. Seeing the ways you accomplish your challenges has been spurring me on so this one should probably put me over the top. thanks and Go, Jo Go Rah Rah Rah !!!

  3. I have two totes full that need to be deconstructed. I may try to join you but don’t know if I can commit to one a day. Depends on my work schedule. I do need to deal with them though.

  4. I don’t generally sew with shirts, but I got the idea to use the front buttons on the back of a cushion (instead of a zipper). So I rescued one of my husband’s shirts that was destined for the thrift store. It was a green and white check that was perfect for my new Christmas cushion. I love it, and it was so easy and fun! The rest of the shirt went into my Christmas fabric stash.

  5. If I had a pile I’d join you but I LOVE processing them and do so at the end of the day to unwind. In fact, I get real antsy if I run out of shirts, lol.

  6. I don’t have any bags of shirts, but I am tempted to start downsizing my husband’s shirt collection and he has so many! I could work a few a week and he would never miss them! Good luck getting these deconstructed. I just love the bargello quilt. I didn’t find the tutorial, but maybe I will be able to access it another time.

  7. Oh my, I will be happy to join you. I have at least 2 large overflowing bags of shirts that need to be reduced. They have been hanging around way too long. I would love to see your technique using a rotary cutter. I’ve done Bonnie’s method using her video but I think it could be done faster. I’m on board. Thanks for the kick in the … I need to getter done. Thanks!

  8. I have several bags of shirts so count me in! I could do one a day I think! Would love a video on how you do it with the rotary cutter! Thank you for all you do for us!!

  9. Because of you, I have collected shirts……for years……from thrift stores. Although not nearly so cheap as you find them. But I thought it would be fun.

    I have done NOTHING. Not a single one. So……I shall join you. 1 per day. 3 if I skip a day.

    Thank you for the challenge Jo. We can kick this task in the butt! :-)

  10. We have a goodwill and a thrift store in are town and I have yet to find a 100% cotton shirt. NOT ONE Believe me I havel looked.for years.

  11. Yes yes yes I want to join you. I made myself a promise that I would take johns shirts and make each grandkid a quilt from poppas shirts. It’s almost been two years since he’s been gone and I think I can deal with them now. Hoping for a video but i go back and see how you do it.

  12. Hi Jo. I too would love to see your rotary cutter technique. However, can you also show how you fold and store the cut up shirts? It looks like you mostly are folding the backs? I am so thrifty I hate to not save every little bit. But it also slows me down when it comes time to use the “fabric” because I have such odd shapes. Thanks for all you do, your warm practice spirit, your kindness and your energy!

  13. While I absolutely LOVE quilts made with shirts, I don’t have a collection of them. I’ve only ever made T-shirt quilts. Until last summer when I made two pillows from men’s shirts. I made secret pockets using the front AND back of the shirts! The back hides the stuffing and the front allows the pocket to be unbuttoned in order to add a book or special treasures.

  14. I’m joining you but mine are tee shirts. I have three large totes with shirts from 8 individuals to make into quilts. It is my goal to get them processed, backed with the interfacing and put into tops over the winter.

  15. Just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your blog last night. It was just what I needed for an inspiration. Now your blog today has inspired me to do something with my late husband’s shirts. I have been enjoying all the blogs you have posted. You are such a great inspiration.

  16. Just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed your blog last night. It was just what I needed for an inspiration. Now your blog today has inspired me to do something with my late husband’s shirts. I have been enjoying all the blogs you have posted.

  17. Hi Jo,
    For Kalissa, try Mason Shoes. They are online. I have a couple friends who wear a larger shoe size, and they have had luck buying from them.
    Hope thiw helps!

  18. I loved your tutorial on processing shirts. I had been using scissors and your method is ever so much faster! I am working on my 4th Mountain Majesty quilt. Shirt quilts are so nice and soft. My daughter said it is her favorite quilt. Thanks for all the tips.

  19. Jo,
    I will definately join you. I just pulled out a whole laundry basket of shirts i put away after my husband passed away in 2013. I figure now is the time to do something with them. I decided to make Bonnie Hunter’s Smokey mountain stars so have started on the light shirts first. But let me tell you how many shirts I have LOL. can see at least one more scrappy quilt in my future here. Anxiously awaiting her Scraps and
    shirt tails ii book. Have my eye on the holy toledo quilt. Will see since I decided to use 9 inch squares of the shirts on the back.

  20. I’d love to see your video on deconstructing the shirts. I bought the Bonnie Hunter book last time you had mentioned it. Unfortunately my husband doesn’t wear those kind of shirts. I have looked in the one thrift shop here but they want upwards of $5 a shirt. Maybe when we get back to Tx I’ll have better luck… But I’ll enjoy seeing what all of you are making.

  21. When COVID is past my goal is to hit the thrift shop! I have the Holy Toledo quilt on my to-do list and look forward to utilizing your video – thank you! Did you receive my email? No hurry to respond just wanted to make sure it reached Iowa Have a good day!

  22. I will not be making a shirt quilt. Ever. The thrifts around here are too pricey. It would take some crazy luck to get enough for a quilt. I do like watching though!

  23. Michelle Stallo

    I’m with you on the shirt challenge! I’m a faithful blog reader although I think this is my first time ever commenting. I attended your Bonnie Hunter retreat a couple of years ago and I’ve been so inspired by you ever since both your quilts and your attitude! I think your Rectangle Wrangle with shirts may be one of my favorite all time quilts. I left that retreat with a lot of shirt parts from your sales table and I need the motivation to just jump in and start making them into quilts! I’m enjoying the Sew with Jo videos, ended up randomly catching the shirt one last night and loved it!

  24. You are so inspiring. Wow! What all you do. I watched the deconstructing shirt video. I noticed The shirts you used didn’t have any pockets. What do you do when a shirt has a pocket?

  25. I have deconstructed shirts in the past and have one that I want to do, but I really like the one that looks like diamonds just above the criss cross applesauce Can you provide the name of it or where it can be found. Thanks

  26. Pingback: What I’m Working On… | Jo's Country Junction

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