It’s shirty – a patchwork quilt in progress

patchwork quilt made from shirts

I like to recycle as much as possible and like many who sew, save clothes and fabric trimmings to re-use in future projects.  I have had a bundle of mens shirts, all blue, that I have been keeping as I wanted to make a patchwork quilt.   As the summer rolls on, I thought I would make a start as I’m not sure how long it will take or how much sewing time I’ll get.  I figured it was better to make a start than leave something else on my “to do” list and once I start a project, I usually work out how to fit it in.

The start point was cutting up all the shirts.  After taking the buttons off, I removed the collars and cuffs and cut the sleeves, back and two front pieces into usable fabric pieces which I pressed.  From the charity bag to useful!

stitching patchwork strips

I’m not that experienced at making patchwork or quilting so decided this would be a bit of a “make it up as you go” project.  I’d seen a few quilts made from strips and decided to make up some blocks like this.  I cut the shirts into strips and was so surprised how much fabric I got from five or six shirts.  I had a few experiments with the order, then decided that as they were all blue and as long as I didn’t have bold stripe up against bold stripe, pretty much any combination would look OK.

patchwork quilt in progress

I have some linen left over from making roman blinds for our bedroom (they are still under the bed waiting for the room to be decorated!).  I like the contrast of the blue against the linen and was able to use up all the thin strips I had. First off, I sewed all the blocks from the shirt strips, then laid them out on the floor.  I decided that a quilt made four blocks by five would make a nice single size that we can use as a lap quilt to snuggle under in the winter.  I like having something in the living room as we live in an old, draughty house and even with the fire going, winter nights can be chilly.

It’s surprising where you find the time when you are motivated.  I am grabbing an hour here or there, even the odd 10 minutes while the vegetables cook!

When it comes to writing about projects, initially I thought I would only share when I have completed them.  Now I figure, I will write in the way I would share with friends.

So here it is, my shirty quilt as a work in progress.  It will stay like this for a week or so as we are away next week… but I’m motivated to get back to the machine when we get home!


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