Friday, May 21, 2010

A Frugal Quilter's Dream

One of the benefits to volunteering at the food bank here in my little home town is the thrift store right next door. I usually only get to run in with a donation while my kids wait in the car, or quickly scan the kitchen section for canning jars, but on Thursdays when I have a break in my food bank work, and while I have a babysitter at home, I enjoy a leisurely browse through the fabric and bedding bins, looking for scraps of 100% cotton fabrics or vintage sheets. I also scan the men's and women's button up shirt racks for treasures.

I used to say that if a scrap of fabric ever made it into my house, it wouldn't emerge unless it had been made into something useful, a quilt, apron, potholder, rag rug, etc. Now the same goes for men's shirts. I may even start scanning my husband's closets for pretty patterns.
I'm in the process of making two more scrappy log cabin quilts for my other two boys who share a bedroom. Their quilts will be red, blues, creams, yellows and some bear/nautical prints. Today I found this gorgeous Old Navy men's shirt with red white and blue stripes with ships' flags. I was so excited. The good thing about this shirt is it's a 2XL, so that means almost 2 yards of fabric for my quilting obsession.

I bought 4 men's shirts, one was 2XL, two of them were large size, long sleeved and the other was a large, short sleeve. Once I cut them up, I'll get about 5 yards of fabric, for a whopping, $2.40. If I had shopped at my local quilting shop, (which I admit to doing way too often...) I would have paid about $50 for the same amount of fabric.

Then later, my babysitter brought me a trash bag full of fabric, while most of it was fleece, knits and polyesters, I did find some scraps of solid 100% cotton percales. One can never have too many solids. I've washed them all, hung them on my drying rack and later I'll be cutting the up the shirts to add to my scrap bins.

Bonnie Hunter is my quilt hero, and you can find out why I'm so obsessed with men's shirts over at her website,

Enjoy the eye candy!!


Carol said...

Way to go Mary :) Looking forward to seeing the finished quilts.

American Quilter's Society said...

How creative. We can't wait to see the finished result!

Pinkshoelady said...

I sit here so envious! Quiltimg is something I've wanted to learn to do for almost 30 years.

Thanks for visiting me and askjing about our journey. MIke has accepted a commision in the Reserves for now. According to our recruiter, they are not accepting Chaplains outside of the reserves for active duty right now. So we are waiting to receive his orders. We know at somepoint He will again apply for active duty. But for now we will accept the homor of serving those who leave jobs and families to keep our country free.



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