My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Repurpose men's shirts into a quilt

I supported our local op shop (charity shop) by buying some men's shirts.
"Lovely shirts." said the lady.
"Yes," I replied, "But I'm only going to cut them up!"
My man has to be attending a wedding or funeral to wear a proper shirt so there is nothing for it, but to cut them up and add them to my fabric stash.

They have to be 100% cotton with no nasty armpits and not too much wear.  Stripes are great, but a small check works well too.  Wash them well in hot water, then press them and cut out the collars and cuffs and any seams.  I add the buttons to my button jar.  Then I just use the fabric as I would any other. For $4 a shirt I get heaps more fabric than a fat quarter which typically sells for around $7 in New Zealand.

Shirt fabrics are great to increase your stash of 'man' fabrics.  You know, the fabrics that aren't too girly or floral and work well in quilts you're making for men.  There is at least four shirt fabrics used in this log cabin quilt.

And you can get both light and dark shirts, which help when you're making a quilt that needs light and dark fabrics.  I think I nailed the tonal contrast in this one!

This quilt is going to get bigger soon.  I have more blocks than this and my sister has been working on doing some too.  With any luck she'll post them to me shortly and I can work on getting the top together.  (Are you listening Sis?)


  1. I do the same. I have taken all MOH's old worn shirts and when I go to the car boot sale, I always look at the shirts.

  2. Yes I have many, some XL shirts hold aprox 1 1/2 mtrs. I love it when my hubby cleans out his cupboards ready for new clothes!
    Your log cabins look great.

  3. Hey girlie, I just stuck ours in the post this morning, will get Jono to post his asap. And hey, did you know Becca is getting a thermomix??

  4. Aha, so that's what it looks like - I've got a whole book of different log cabin settings if you're interested in having a play around. Especially with such good contrast with your lights and darks!

  5. Awesome job! Thanks for the tip. I wonder if Cameron would like a quilt like this? Must ask him.

  6. Lovely idea and easy to sew probably. If only my man would ever quit his shirts - he needs them all for his renovation job in our house. But the thrift-shop idea is good.

  7. Love this quilt! I have a pile of men's shirts that I wanted to make into a log cabin quilt! Perfect inspiration, thanks so much for posting your project.


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