Friday, November 14, 2008

Thrifted Shirts

I'm sure we've all seen the wonderful quilts that Bonnie Hunter makes from thrifted shirts. I just had to try my hand at this. Last weekend I went to Joanns to get some black fabric for the Amish House Block Lotto. It was not too far from a Goodwill Store so I went there too. There were 10 long, neat racks of men's shirts. I went straight for the XXL and immediately spotted some gorgeous plaid shirts. There were so many to choose from I didn't know which to grab first, until I spotted the sign that said $5 each. If I wanted a shirt to wear these would have been a really good deal, but they are a bit too expensive to be cutting them up. I asked the lady at the cash register if they sold by the pound and she gave me the address of the only place in town that sells by the pound. It just happens to be a few blocks from where I work.

On my lunch break one day, I went to the Goodwill warehouse and what a difference from the first store. There were rows of table with piles of crap on them. The lighting was dim and the floor was in desperate need of a sweeping. There were several ladies (none who spoke any English) combing through the piles. I spotted a great looking screaming orange (I love screaming orange) plaid shirt in a bin that was separate from the rest. One of the ladies grabbed it out of my hand and spoke harshly to me in Creole. It was a crazy scene and it was hard to figure out just what was going on. But I went back to the crap tables and managed to find 9 all cotton shirts, in stripes and plaids. They cost me $7.


I took them home and washed them all in hot water. Here they are. I spent Wednesday night cutting off the buttons.



The buttons are a bit of a bonus. I spent Thursday and Friday nights cutting up the shirts into usable pieces. Here they are piled up next to my sewing machine.


I'm thinking I might add some of my own plaid homespuns and make a very masculine looking log cabin. It will have to wait though as I have started some other projects that I would like to finish first. That was fun and I will have to do it again.



8 comments:

Vicki W said...

That's a lot of fabric for $7!

KimP said...

Barbara, your enthusiasm for this project makes ME want to do this! My family has many quilts made by my great grandmother that are clearly just old shirts strip pieced and simply quilted, probably in order to just get a quilt on the bed in time for winter. Can't wait to see what you do with all of these shirts.

Ann said...

Mens' shirts are a great way to get lights and neutrals. Don't worry. I am not going to send you Frankie's shirts.

Barb said...

Oh I can't wait to see the end result of this project. How exciting.

Mary said...

Well you had to work for them but I get the shirts will make a great log cabin quilt. One of your tops is next up on my longarm tomorrow...plus I need to get the turquoise String X bound this week too if all goes well.

bingo~bonnie said...

lucky you to find a Goodwill that has $1/pound. Ours here never has that! I did some shirt cutting today too - check out photos on my blog ;)

Love from Texas! ~bonnie

sparkle jars said...

I look forward to the results. Those buttons are wonderful, too!

bingo~bonnie said...

forgot to tell you - you should revisit that first store and ask if they have tag sales? Our Goodwil here has $0.99 tag sales on two chosen tag colors every Sunday and Monday... maybe they do the same? ;) if so those $5 shirts will only be $0.99 if their tag color is on sale!

also later this summer I am planning to host a bonnie block swap using shirts ;) over on the HGTV board... maybe you can join us :)