Friday, February 22, 2013

Paralyzed by the Plaids!

I have spent the afternoon reorganizing a closet in my basement studio ----this is the “under-the-stairs-furnace-closet”  and it’s always been an eye-sore and pretty much always an un-navigate-able mess!

When we moved here 5 years ago ((YES! It has been 5 years already!)) I had anticipated this move, and prepared for it by boxing up my over-stock of recycleable clothing myself. I planned for more than I needed and could possibly use as if there was never ever going to be a chance to find these ever again. Ever.

Moving Van Day.

I don't think I knew when I was in collecting mode just how far these items would go, how much fabric was really in them!

When we unloaded the moving van, these mismatched boxes of various shapes and sizes were stacked willy-nilly in the back of the basement furnace closet ---and pretty much forgotten.

I already had three big bins of shirt parts already cut up  ----and drawers full of strips by size ----the overflow has SAT there being neglected, only being dug through when I needed a certain color or value over the past few years.

Today – they got moved from worn out cardboard boxes to uniform bins and stacked back in the closet:

plaids 002

Giant tubs in the furnace closet!

plaids 003

Bin full of folded but yet uncut shirts!

((OK, I confess -- originally I thought I would separate them by color, but then I told myself to get real and get on with it!))

The strip drawers-by-size can only hold so much ----and so THIS basket below holds cut up shirt parts waiting to be cut down into sizes as more room is made:

plaids 004

Quilts waiting to happen!

I have made the quilts for two books, Scraps & Shirttails and Scraps & Shirttails II from these shirt fabrics. I sew with these fabrics all the time and they still multiply!  Loaves & Fishes.

I can’t even remember the last time I BOUGHT a shirt at a thrift shop to use in quilting ----I feel like I am drowning in them!  And you know how it is as soon as your friends know you “collect” anything – they start dropping them on you every time you turn around!

Indeed, it brings to mind this bit of hilariousness:

My chocolate factory  ((Shirt Stash)) overfloweth!!

I have a plan---

Both my sister Mary and my sister-in-law Anna are both due with babies in July. I'm going to be an auntie again to two new ones!

I just found out today that both Anna and Mary are  having BOYS!!  Baby boy quilts would be fun out of recycled shirts, don’t you think? Maybe with some cute 1930s blue prints mixed in??

It's good to have a plan……

Time to quit stewing about the over-abundant blessings of too many shirts, and GO SEW SOMETHING!


  1. It sounds like a great plan! I can't wait to see how they turn out!!!

  2. Sounds like a plan. Better plan on plaid backings also (those baby quilts don't use that much fabric)

  3. I have two new Grandbabies coming in the Fall. I'm hoping for PINK ones... You could do like Janet O and just cut off a sleeve of each. She shared some sleeves with me. You could take the other sleeve to your workshops and share them, hint, hint.

  4. mix them with the chambray you were talking about the other day...tah dah! baby boy quilts! welcome home, we missed you.

  5. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

  6. I think we all have something stuck in the basement or attic of things we plan to use and have not sorted them out, so do despare you will get to them someday.

  7. I am anxious to see your next baby quilt creation. They are always so original!

  8. once again bonnie, you have made me feel good about my stash....just because i'm out of room to store it doesn't mean i have too much as somebody always has more....LOL

  9. Great idea for the baby quilts! I want to start collecting shirts - am amazed at all the great plaids I see - but I'm trying to tell myself that I do NOT need any more fabric!!

  10. Ah, the shirt story was like so much of my stash. Batiks for one quilt, leftovers in the plastic bin (lg); plaids for a future quilt, falling out of their cubbie; solids for an Amish quilt or two, overrunning their (lg) plastic bin and on and on. You have inspired me to start to organize some of it.

  11. Do you use any shirt, or only the 100% cotton ones?

  12. Sounds like a good plan to me. It'll be so fun to have a goal for what's in those totes (I'm impressed, by the way)and to be making them for someone very special. I have as yet to start the quilt for my 2 month old great nephew.

  13. I wish I had just a fraction of your energy. You never slow down! Didn't you just get back from teaching four or five days?! I would be dead on my feet. Send me some of your enthusiasm, please! And how you do it!!

  14. Looks like it is time to come over and help you to 'get rid' of a some shirts ;-)

  15. ooh, how much fun to look through those. love that yellow plaid. plaid baby quilts will be great, and soft. man, if I lived closer I'd be cutting those apart - for whatever reason I LOVE cutting up clothes...

  16. Isn't it great and terrible all at the same time, to have sooo much!It is funny how things that happen in our lives make us think and want to get into our sewing rooms and get projects completed. They aren't gonna make themselves!!! Have a great day playing in your sewing room.

  17. 2 weeks ago I decided that my 2 smallish tubs of plaids needed to be made into a quilt. Pineapple blossoms is a flimsy. And I cut out 3 more plaid quilts. And I still have about 10 yards of plaids left. But I'm down to half a tub of plaids!

    Good luck with the baby quilts!


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