Sunday, May 19, 2013

Rosie's Collection

My friend Rosie Mayhew got obsessed with collecting thrift shop shirts a while back. It seems a quilt I made could have started this BUT Rosie has taken this to an entirely new level. She says her collection now dates to 297 shirts. She sent this photographic evidence.

Rosie has made a pile of wonderful quilts from her beloved shirts. I like this new one, she calls it a wonky log cabin.

You need to see a detail shot of this too.

Rosie reports: "This quilt top is about 50" x 70" but I may add some kind of border before I quilt it.

It didn't put much of a dent in the collection at all. I started out with just the drawer with pockets, cuffs, collars, yoke pieces and scraps and I used pieces out of that until I needed longer strips when I decided to make the blocks bigger.

Of course I am still collecting but a lot slower and I try to only find bright colors or unusual shirts or (as you said on your blog) giant size shirts!"

Rosie sent photos of other quilts from her shirt collection. Keep watching and I'll post them from time to time. Thanks, Rosie!


  1. Really lovely log cabins! I am almost tempted to browse the menswear the next time I am thrifting!

  2. I thought about that too. But the shirts at are Goodwill are in such good condition. I would feel quilty cutting up a perfectly good shirt someone could wear. With the economy so bad people still need some decent cloths. Think before you cut up these shirts there are a lot of homeless people who would like a nice shirt. Instead of a quilt.

    1. I've thought about this, too. But part of Goodwill's mission is to provide employment and funding educational programs for those who need it also. I think we can feel that we are helping others by purchasing items from them regardless of how we use them. Then when we are able we can donate our own items to help replenish the store or, perhaps, we can donate a quilt for sell or for use in a homeless shelter. There are many ways we can share with others.

  3. The combination of fabrics looks amazing. I find some of my most interesting fabrics from recycled clothing.

  4. I don't think we will run out of thrift shop shirts anytime soon, do you? fabric is fabric! Quilters will leave the nice cotton blends, knits and rayons, they are great to wear. But i must admit i sometimes buy a shirt for the fabric and then i have to wear it for a while...I found a Patagonia shirt a while back that is getting good use.

  5. Rosie is a woman after my own heart! She has taken shirt fabric collecting to a whole new level. Thank you for the inspiration!

  6. woohoo, love R's collection of fab fabrics and her wonky quilt!!!!

  7. for the commenter that was worried about taking shirts from the needy, thats not really how Goodwill and other thrift shops work. The sales of items at the stores fund the programs such as treatment, job training, housing, you name it- all the stuff people need to get on their feet. To really help the needy, we need to get in there and spend spend spend so the programs are funded and the inventory moves. The shops are probably thrilled that quilters are taking an interest in men's shirts- so get out there and start de boning those shirts! whoo hoo! Love the log cabin, btw. Im making a shirt spiderweb but think a log cabin needs to be soon!

  8. Wonderful! I have some shirts in my fabric stash too, just a few! :-)
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

  9. Excellent work, great project! LOve that its all reused!!

  10. Whenever I buy any shirts at thrift stores there are always 2 or 3 hundred more on the racks, especially at Salvation Army and Goodwill! I figure that I am helping by buying at those stores!
    I try to recycle anything and everything that I can.
    Thanks for all the great comments on my quilt. Wait until Deb posts pictures of more of my quilts! Rosie M

  11. Amazing... I covet her stash!

  12. I volunteer at a thrift store, and you can be assured that there are plenty of nice shirts for everyone, even the neediest. We take the clothing that isn't perfect and sell them by the pound to some recyling company...I'm not sure what happens to them there.
    The fact is.....most people, even the poorest, will not buy 2nd-hand clothing. Lots of our clothing sits on the racks, unsold, for a few months.
    Don't feel guilty using clothing to make beautiful quilts!

  13. Rosie has always done a wonderful job with her quilts. I have a friend who knows her, and when I was in the same quilt guild, I was amazed with her unique ideas. I too recycle and make quilts, so it is fun to see others who do it also. Go Rosie!!!