Scraps and Shirttails II

I have had my new Scraps and Shirttails II book by Bonnie Hunter for two weeks now.  I’ve been wanting to review it but truly can’t think of the words to describe how WONDERFUL I think it is.


If you aren’t familiar with Bonnie Scraps and Shirttails quilting books, let me give you a little background.  Bonnie makes the quilts in the books using primarily 100 percent cotton shirts from men’s shirt from thrift stores.  I had the first book and liked it..thought about making a quilt…but the thought of collecting enough shirts seemed daunting.  The book went to the back of my cupboard.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked the quilts.  I just didn’t fall head over heals for the quilts.  To me, the quilts had a look of being made with thrifted fabric.

Fast forward to the newest book….


The pictures in the book are great.  Many of the photos show the quilts in a modern setting and they look stunning.   In this book, Bonnie lost the feel of the quilts being made from thrifted material.


Isn’t this quilt STUNNING??!!  Many of the quilts in the new book feature amazing fun borders.  Aren’t the Ohio Stars on the border of this quilt WONDERFUL??!  I think every person I have shown this quilt to wants me to make one for them!

If you are looking for “guy” quilts.  I don’t see a quilt in the book that a guy wouldn’t like.  My husband agreed….my son too.

I am completely in love.  If you bought Bonnie’s book..and thought like I did, that the quilts looked thrifted, and decided to not buy the second, you are missing out.  There are 13 quilts in the book, I think I’ll be making all 13 at sometime in my quilting life…luckily I already have Carolina Christmas done.  It was the mystery quilt from 2009.

After loving this book so much I went back to my shelf and pulled out the previous book…


I tried to imagine the quilts in this book in a modern setting….They took on a new life for me.  There are several I want to make in there now too.

Just to give you an idea on how much I like the quilts…..I had made Bonnie’s Roll Roll Cotton Ball quilt.  I HATED the string piecing.  I vowed I wouldn’t be doing string piecing again.  Well there are several quilt in the books that have string piecing.  I don’t mind or care.  I will be doing string piecing.  The quilts look that fabulous and will be worth it!

I bought some shirts a couple weeks ago and have begun destructing them…Luckily I got 39 shirts for $13.  Then a week ago I bought a couple more for $2 each.  Then yesterday, I hit the jackpot.  I got 78 shirts for $16.

Getting the shirts was one of the crazier things I have done in my life.  The local thrift store has a notorious bag sale twice a year when they switch seasons.  Wednesday was the day.  The store opens at 9:00.  I got there are 8:50.  There were about 35 people in line to get into the store.  The doors opened and people hurried inside.  Once inside people grabbed grocery bags.  Anything that was in the store could be put in the bag and the price of the bag was $4.  I hurried to the men’s shirts section.  I grabbed like crazy…anything and everything that might be cotton.  I found a corner and sorted through the shirts putting cotton ones in the bags and others back on the rack.  It was CRAZY.  After the frenzy settled, I still had room in my bags so I went to the ladies section and then the kids section finding a few more cotton shirts there.  With a bit more room, I headed to the women’s blazer section and found two wool blazers.  IT WAS A WONDERFUL DAY….I think my version of black Friday except it was at a thrift store, on Wednesday in February.  All toled, 78 shirts and two blazers all for $16.  WOW!  Totally worth it for this Scraps and Shirttails obsessed girl.

I have started destructing shirts…what a job but again, totally worth it.


I drew our a little chart showing what size of strips I need for each of the quilts I want to make….Oh, I can’t wait for the destructing to end the sewing to begin!

Making quilts from recycled clothing is just another way I am “going green”….Don’t forget to take time to check out the GE Light Bulb giveaway.  It’s still going on and you don’t want to miss your chance to win their amazing new 20 year light bulbs!

16 thoughts on “Scraps and Shirttails II”

  1. Love your conversion story Jo! I too have deconstructed many a shirts!!! and you are super smart making a chart of all the strip sizes that you need so you can set aside for your projects! Wish I had thought of that!!!

    My advice would be to on most – to lay them out on your cutting mat as if you were getting ready to fold them… and use a rotary cutter to slice the arms off first. Cut on both sides of the seams and I don’t care if I’m so close or not… I rather not hit the seam on the underneath side if I can – helps to keep the blade sharp… then snip at the bottom 1″ at the buttons and rip up to the collar…and repeat for the side seams…

    then either use your rotary cutter to roll along the seams left or a pair of Fiskars easy spring back open sissors = I la,la,love mine for this task.

    You did super awesome filling up your bags!! I wish our Goodwill had a season clearance sale like yours… $0.50 tag sales on Sundays is about as good as it gets here..

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  2. I made a full/queen sized 100% wool double Irish chain quilt last year – black background, red chain surrounded by tan/cream/camel – out of suit coats and blazers from the Goodwill store. It’s gorgeous, even if I do say so myself. If you’ve never had a wool quilt — my grandmother made them from my grandfather’s business suits — you’ve never slept under anything so warm in your whole life. I have the wool collected from the Goodwill store blazers for a second one — forest green, black, red, lavender, sky blue, purples, tans and some creams. The first went to my son, this second one is for my husband. I have been collecting 100% cotton plaid and solid color shirts for months now, have 2 tubs of fabrics washed, cut up, ironed and ready to go. I’ll be making a plaid strings quilt this year.

  3. Wow! You really did get some good deals. Best we have around here is 1 shirt/$1 — and I have quite a collection! I’ve made two quilts with them and am very pleased with the results — have taken a class with Bonnie — do it, if you ever have a chance. My husband says I need to find a boyfriend with only his right arm! In order to get lots of variety, I’ve started by cutting off the left sleeve, removing the cuff and placket, and cutting it into strips. Someday, I’m going to get to the rest of the shirt!

  4. I’m all for recycling but . . . after putting all the creativity, love and effort into a recycled shirt quilt, are you sure the fabrics will hold up? My husband has been retired for four years, and his (office work) shirts have discolored under the arms and smell not-quite-fresh now even after washing. Does anyone have experience with this?

  5. you only need about 8-10 large or extra-large shirts at the most to make one of these quilts. You must have a humongous storage space :)

    thanks for the review!

  6. 120 shirts should make a LOT of quilts!! I can’t wait to see the one for Merrill’s benefit! Russ made a stained glass piece that looks like one of your quilt squares!

  7. Wow, you are hooked!!! What super deals you’ve gotten. I think the colors of shirts you use make the difference between looking thrifted and looking scrappy. I’ve deconstructed all of the shirts I’ve acquired but I’ve only been cutting squares and strips as I need them…..I like your idea of making a list of the sizes I will need for the quilts I want to do and just having a slicing and dicing fest! I’m definitely going to get Bonnie’s new book after your review :)

  8. great I will buy that book, I have Leaders & Enders and love that. I have been collecting shirts for some time. Here in New Zealand our thrift shops don’t do great deals like that, but I am happy to pay as the money goes to a good cause…with the big earthquake we have had here, we need all the help we can get.

  9. I have recently ordered all 3 of Bonnies books although I don’t know how I’ll find time to make all that I want to. I have started a list of quilts on her website I want to make and I love your idea of making a list of what size pieces are needed for each quilt. I’m in the process of major reorganizing and this would be a great help. Thanks for the great idea.

  10. Jo, I enjoyed this post and agree with everything you’ve said. I got my book about the same time and can’t wait to start one of the patterns. (I also have RRCB complete.) Have you been at all successful buy shirts in the cheddar color that is featured in many of Bonnie’s projects? I’ve not exhausted enough of my stash to start with recycling shirts yet; looks like you’ve got it down to a science! Share your strip chart with the new book PLEASE. Sandi

  11. Jo, super review, thanks so kindly. Will be following your blog to see those thrift shirt quilts. I am a HUGE fan of Bonnie’s and cannot wait for the “hopeful” opportunity to someday get to a workshop and/or trunkshow of hers someday. In the meantime, as you have reported, her book is a must buy. Thanks again

  12. Pingback: The Shirt Saga Continues — Jo's Country Junction

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top