The Shirt Off His Back

Well, my husband wasn’t wearing them because the cuffs were so frayed and they were made of pinpoint oxford cotton, so why not cut those shirts up.  This project began when I was looking through a Kaffe Fassett book and was taken with a baby quilt made of men’s shirting fabrics.  I don’t think Kaffe actually cut up shirts, but I went with what I had.

kaffe_fassett_baby_quiltI found that men’s shirts contain a lot of fabric.  Here’s what I have left after cutting over 200 2 and a half inch squares. The center back box pleat in men’s dress shirts gave me an extra 4 to 5 inches of fabric.

cutup_shirtsSo far I’ve sewn 75 squares together, out of about 220 squares cut.  I don’t know what the final size of this top will be.  It will depend on how quickly I tire of sewing those squares together.

The fun part of this project is creating and inserting “quirky” squares with little pops of color.  Kaffe used vivid solids.  I’m using bits of a yellow and blue stripe plus a few half square triangles left over from an old Bonnie Hunter quilt.

construction_begins

6 Comments

Filed under In Process

6 responses to “The Shirt Off His Back

  1. I love men’s oxford shirt fabrics. I thought I was going to have a source last winter, but it didn’t pan out. Thanks for showing us your project.

    • The only problem with the shirts I used is the tight weave of the cloth. I used a size 70 sharps needle and even that sometimes didn’t want to penetrate the cloth. However, the fabric irons up beautifully.

      • Thanks. I sent the link to my sister, who has the sad task of creating a quilt from her nephew’s shirts. She is used to dress-making, so perhaps the needle issue won’t phase her.

        Thanks again.

      • Your sister’s project must be hard for her. She may not have the same needle issue I did, depending on the weave of the shirts. My husband’s were pinpoint oxford cloth, which is silky and very thin.

  2. Are you placing the stripes in any particular direction, or are you just doing random?

    • The original inspiration put most of the stripes vertically, but then that quilt was called corrugated (as in cardboard) baby quilt. I found that the 2.5 inch blocks kept getting turned around between my design wall and my sewing machine, so I simply went with random.

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