The Cutting Marathon

A post from Kelli–

So if you have been reading the past few Wednesdays, you are well aware that I am diving head first into the bottomless pit of buying mens shirts and cutting them up to use in making quilts.  Well, it is slowly turning into a slight obsession, but when I find the best colored shirts, I just have such a hard time saying no……And I’ve been finding some awesome colors and prints lately, so I’m really just falling down deeper and deeper into the rabit hole!

Finally last week, I got everything cut up into strips and then celebrated by going out and buying another 50 or shirts…so I was pretty much back to square one, but I’ll keep working til they are all done.

I have however started the process of cutting out quilts and getting them kitted up.

I’ve always wanted to make Criss Cross Applesauce from Bonnie Hunter’s Scraps and Shirttails II book ever since mom made it.  Originally, this is the reason that I started collecting shirts–I loved her quilt and wanted to make one of my own!  I also got Bricks in the Barnyard done and cut out too!  I’m going to make mine a bit bigger, so I had to cut extra blocks.  Since the pattern is from a book, I just added my “math paper” in to remind me what I was doing and why I cut out so many blocks.

Tumelo Trail is another quilt that I’ve been wanting to make from the Scraps and Shirttails II book.  I’ve had my eye on that baby since the book came out!  I have all of the 9 patches and half square triangles made and sewed.  Now I just need to get all of the blocks put together and before I know it I’ll be done!

As you know, Mom and I often submit blocks to Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks publications.  This next project is going to be taking our block “Windmill Farm” that was features in the Winter 2015 issue and turning it into a quilt.  When I relooked at the block, I was a bit worried that it would be hard to make enough blocks to make a quilt as they look a bit tedious, but with a little bit of thinking, I got it sorted out so that I can strip piece the inner 9 patch and make two blocks at the same time.  I think that once I get going, it’ll be a quick one!

You are all probably thinking I’m crazy by now, but I promise I am not….most days!  This next picture shows what I have cut out for Santa Fe String Star from Bonnie’s book String Fling.  This is another one that when I originally saw it, I wasn’t too fond of it, but after seeing mom’s I kind of fell in love with it.  And I love string piecing so….you know….I kinda have to make that one too….  I’m planning on getting the template made later today when I have to run to Decorah.

The second quilt is called Show Off from Quilted Twins.  If you haven’t heard of them before, you are truly missing out!  Mom discovered them a while ago and we’ve been loving them ever since!  I chose to make this project in blue as I had many blues already pulled for Windmill Farm and had plenty in the boxes/bags that I had purchased last week.  You can check out their website here–

They are currently running a promotion to boost their facebook following.  You can checkout their page here–  I’m not going to tell you what their promotion is, but it involves free, great quality fabric!  You’ll definitely want to check it out!

This next one–Diamonds in the Rough–is the newest one from Becky at Becky Quilts in the Old Country (she’s one of the quilted twins).  It’s made from blue and white men’s shirts–And since i already had lots of blue out, I guess it was just a sign that I needed to make this one too!

The most recent one I’ve been cutting out is called Nifty Thrifty from Bonnie’s original Scraps and Shirttails book.  I am going to make this one in “brights” but still from shirts.  I think that the colors that I was able to pull will turn out well….and I even have a plan for the rest of the “scraps” that I’ll have after cutting what i need for this quilt.  Because I definitely need another quilt to cut out…

You also may have noticed that for once, the pictures that I’m posting are clear, not foggy, and just look better–Don’t worry–It isn’t dirty glasses, my camera in my other phone had bit the dust, I tried to fix it, and obviously didn’t do a very good job, so I hopped off to US Cellular to get a new one!  I really can’t believe how awesome the pictures are with my new S8 and I’m kind of kicking myself for not doing it sooner….

So I’m off to Decorah and I’m going to try and stay away from buying any shirts unless they are neutrals, but we’ll see how that goes!


9 thoughts on “The Cutting Marathon”

  1. I’ve gone crazy collecting shirts too however I’m not nearly ready to start cutting. I do have some things cut to work on Tumalo Trail and Moth in the Window as I took those classes with Bonnie back in July. I think I have enough reds and greens for Crisscross Applesauce so I need to get ironing and cutting. I also have Mountain Majesty in the planning stages. Seeing how quickly you’ve gotten your kits together has inspired me to get into gear and get moving. Now only if our new puppy lets me take the time!

  2. Isn’t Diamonds In the Rough a great looking quilt?! When I saw the simple block it was made from I was amazed. Very impressed with all your organized cutting!

  3. Kelli, you are so industrious and organized! (You can come to my house and work over my stash.)
    Your shirt finds are gorgeous. No wonder you buy them. It seems like such a great idea, but I haven’t found such lovelies in my area. I guess this country town is just a jeans and and tee shirt sorta place.

  4. Show Off is a lot of fun, I’m glad you picked it. Cutting everything out at the beginning seems to be my stumbling block. I just cut a portion before I start sewing and then have to go back for more. I need to do a dedicated cutting day and get’er done. Can’t wait to see Nifty Thrifty in brights, looks like fun.

  5. Love all your shirt finds. I am on a shirt kick right now too. Do you wash all your finds before cutting and starch or just go for it ? Do you use a special cutter or just a ruler and mat ? I have Tumalo Trail and Rectangle Wrangle on the cutting board, and love the ones from Quilted Twins. i Love the variety in the shirts and have plans to make lots of shirt quilts.

  6. What a wonderful selection of shirt fabric you have. Here in the UK most of the shirts you get in the thrift stores are boring old blues or browns/creams. I still collect them but it’s not very interesting fabric wise. Can’t wait to see your finished quilts. Good luck to you. You are so industrious considering you are in full time work, I don’t know how you do it. I’m amazed.

  7. Goodness that is a year’s worth of projects.
    One of the comments you made gave me a question to ask
    1) Your off to Decorah to get a template made; from what and where do you get templates made?
    Your shirt selections are a lot better than what I have been finding; a lot more colorful!

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