Shirts, Shirts, and More Shirts!

A post from Kelli–

So believe it or not, I haven’t yet made a quilt completely out of shirts.  I have been collecting them for quite some time, but just haven’t finished anything.  I recently finished up some blocks for my Moth in the Window quilt and they are just so soft!  I can barely believe it!  So needless to say, I have been bitten by the bug!

I have been collecting shirts for a while, but that’s about it.  But lately, the color choice at my thrift stores (or dealers as I like to call them) has been AMAZING!!!

Here’s how I choose what to purchase–At The Depot, shirts are $2.00 each.  At Spectrum, you can usually get a bag for $5.00.  Often times, that is the regular sized plastic grocery sack, but sometimes, it’s the large one or a garbage bag that donations may have been brought in with.  When I go to the Depot, I start with the larger sizes and pull anything neutral or a color to a project that I’ve been working on.  Because they are larger sizes, there is more fabric, so I don’t feel bad paying a bit more.  As the sizes decrease, my threshold for buying is supposed to as well, but it doesn’t always.  I also make sure to look through the pajama pants because there are some awesome finds there too!  At Spectrum, I pretty much buy anything and everything!

Here’s one of my most recent hauls–About $80.00 worth of shirts, but soooo worth it!

As you can see, I was able to find some really cool purple-ish ones on the top and a couple good green ones too.  Since ER was added to Hulu, I just sit with my pile and binge Hulu while cutting.

I start by cutting the bottom off of the shirt and then cut up the sides and the front.  I then cut the front panels off.  Then I cut off the sleeves and throw them in a pile.  Next I finish off the backs and cut the yokes off.  Once I get through a whole bunch, I do the sleeves.  I cut the cuffs and the upper seams.  Then I rip down the odd angled part and put them in a box with the yokes to use for little parts or strings.

The–The ironing–And I love the ironing!!!I

I ended up hauling a table in from the garage to set up with piles to cut and then a cutting mat to hopefully get some strips cut.  I have accumulated to pretty tall piles, but now just need to accumulate some time to get them all cut down!

Here I have a pile of backs that need to get folded and put in their containers and a box with the sleeve extras and yokes.

Needless to say, it’s quite the process and I’m really looking forward to getting everything ironed and cut down so that I can sew-sew-sew!  I keep telling myself that once I get it all done, it’ll be worth it, but boy is it a pain in the mean time!  And the worst part is that just as soon as I get all of the shirts I have done, I’m sure some more will find their way into my cart and make their way to my house….it always seems to happen that way!

10 thoughts on “Shirts, Shirts, and More Shirts!”

  1. Carmen Montmarquet

    Here i go putting in my 2 cents for the first time, but i like the one you like but also the first one, it’s a little more turquoise but i think it would go just as well. I really like Bonnie’s quilts too and so enjoy everything you show us that you are working on. I have made a couple of her quilts but i now want to make more, especially this one you are working on, and i am not even a batik person , more on the primitive! Keep up the good work!!!

  2. Love this post, and all the great photos showing your work and progress – wish i were there to help !

    just keep plugging – you’ll be so proud when it is finished

  3. Richard (in Charlotte, NC)

    What is the fabric content of the shirts that do make it to your house?

    Are there any particular brands of shirts that you prefer?

  4. Shirt options look great! I wondered if you buy only 100% cotton shirts which is very hard to find in my area or my daughters area. I’m looking forward to seeing your finished quilt.

  5. I also do this and only buy 100% cotton items. Have even found a few 100% cotton bathrobes. The only brand I’ve had trouble with is sometimes the fabric of Brooks Brother’s shirts that do not need ironing is weird and doesn’t work well for me. Curious as to if anyone else has noticed this about the Brooks Brother’s shirts.

  6. Looks like you have a nice “nest egg” of shirts. I have so many projects to do that I don’t think I’ll get into shirt quilts for awhile. BTW how well do you like your ORECK vacuum? I’ve been through a few brands and just can’t seem to find one that works well with dog hairs.

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