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Thread: Quilt from Men's Shirts

  1. #1
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    Quilt from Men's Shirts

    I lost my husband about 3 weeks ago. I was wondering if any of you have made quilts from men's shirts. I have a closet of both long sleeve and short sleeve shirts that are all good quality, 100% cotton. I know I am not ready to do this yet, but I think that is what I may do for our children and grandchildren when I am ready. I have only made 3 quilts so I am not an expert by any means. I guess my questions are about cutting out, pattern suggestions and any other suggestions that will help as I prepare. I know it will be a long process, but right now all I have is time to try to fill and keep busy. Thanks.
    Last edited by Little Lulu; 05-04-2019 at 04:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    Lulu -

    So sorry for the loss of your husband. I know you are still in shock and hope you are taking good care of yourself. Quilting will help fill your days and I hope help you re-enjoy your good memories.

    This quilt: https://www.quiltingboard.com/pictur...e-t254529.html is one of my favorites on the QB and was made from men's shirts. I'm also looking for another one that I've seen here. If I find it I will post the link.

    Take care,

    Darren

  3. #3
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    I'm very sorry for your loss. And it is very thoughtful of you to think about preserving your husbands memory in this way, for your children.
    I am wondering if it might be easier on you to put your husbands shirts away for the time being, because I would think your loss is too fresh. It might be helpful for you, after watching some videos, to go to a thrift store, buy maybe 4 or 5 shirts and do some practice. These won't have any emotional attachment for you. You could make a throw or child's quilt to donate. The questions you have, and the mistakes you make will get worked out before you cut into your husband's shirts.

  4. #4
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry for your loss Lulu.

    I love working with shirts. You can take any color patchwork pattern and use shirts in those colors is one way to open up the possibilities.
    You can start here for idea of how they will look
    https://www.google.com/search?q=mens...wVCvoQ_AUIDygC

    This is one of mine in a planned color scheme, wonky flying geese in oranges and greens.
    And another big one I just built out on the working wall with no planning colors or design at all

    and how to debone a shirt
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS-09AYE0fM

    Several of Bonnie Hunter's books deal specifically with shirts, a wonderful resource.
    (((Lulu)))
    Attached Images Attached Images



  5. #5
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    My deepest sympathy, Little Lulu. I've been where you are. Just thinking about quilts, patterns, fabric, etc. helped me so much. It really was my saving grace.

    I really like wesing's suggestion for a quilt. I think any scrappy quilt would be great.

    One day at a time, Little Lulu ..... one day at a time.

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    I'm sorry for your loss. I lost my Mom in January and my Dad in March. I have my mom's clothes but am waiting for my brother to mail my dad's. This is what I have planned to make https://thecraftyquilter.com/2017/01...lock-tutorial/ I will make pillows for the siblings and grands. It is a simple pattern, but plan to use Mom's for one half and my Dad's for the other half.
    Nancy in western NY
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    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.

  7. #7
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    So sorry for your loss! You might want to start with Bonnie Hunter’s video of deboning shirts. You could also just do a pillow for each instead of quilts to start. There are many cute versions on the net of men’s shirt pillows.

  8. #8
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    So very, very sorry for your loss. Yes, there are a lot of patterns that I have seen made out of men's shirts. This may be hard for you in the beginning to cut up his shirts. My suggestion would be to fold them up and put away for awhile until you are ready to do a project with them. That is such a lovely idea to make quilts for your children and grandchildren and I hope you keep one for yourself then when you want a hug from him you can just wrap a quilt made out of his shirts around your shoulders and feel comfort. I am sure your family members would treasure these items too. Good luck and please take care of yourself first.

  9. #9
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    I so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear husband recently. Prayers are being lifted up for you for strength & comfort as you have to deal with the sadness & lonesomeness of all of this. I have only made one shirt quilt. I used the block pattern from Quilter's Cache called Indiana Puzzle because it was a memory quilt for my employer's father-in-law who was from Indiana. I made it on point but don't have a picture as my pictures were lost when my computer crashed a couple of years back. I think quilts from shirts are beautiful no matter which pattern is used. There will be a time when you are ready to begin to make the quilts. Take your time & take care of yourself.

  10. #10
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    My condolences on your loss - it's hard to lose one's partner.....
    With reference to the quilt/clothing idea - someone on this board posted a picture of a quilt made with "grandpa's" shirts for a grandson - it featured sections of his most favorite shirts as the body of the penguins in the blocks. \While I'm not saying that this is the right idea for you, I wanted to put it out there that you don't have to do a traditional block if something else is more appropriate or appealing.
    A husband is the perfect confidant to tell your secrets to - he can't reveal them to anyone else because he wasn't really listening when you told him!

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I am so sorry you lost your Husband recently. I haven't made a quilt from shirts, so I have no ideas.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  12. #12
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Condolences on your loss. I adored my father-in-law, and when he passed in 2012 I asked my MIL to send me some of his clothes so I could make a quilt. I should have asked my BIL or someone else - MIL sent 2 pairs of pants, 2 shirts, 2 pairs of socks, 2 undershirts, 2 pairs of briefs, and a jacket. It was like she was packing for him to go on a short trip, and has absolutely no recollection of my request or her actions.

    This is a quilt of shirts I've always wanted to make; it's simple and straight-forward.

    http://wishesandweeds.com/seven-shirts-quilt/

  13. #13
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    I am sorry for your loss. Hope this picture of an irish chain that I made with thrift store shirts will give you some ideas. https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f...ml#post7092064
    Singer 66 treadle, Singer 15-91, JC Penney 6923, Kenmore 50, White 2334, Brother 920D serger. RIP Singer 1036

  14. #14
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    I'm glad for you that you are planning to utilize these shirts rather than quickly taking them from the closet and sending them out, then later wishing you had them to put into something "comfort"ing. I have used several of my husband's shirts and still have shirts for consideration and it's been almost 5 yrs since my husband passed! You are going to be amazed how much fabric you can glean from one shirt. I have made one queen sized quilt, 3 large wall hangings and various other items and still have a goodly amount of fabric to work with from only 6 shirts. I am considering now to use some of it for a bow-tie quilt and can finally get the solid color shirts out to use as coordinating background for some of the plaids. I used Bonnie Hunter's youtube on how to debone a shirt. Also I have a box with dividers--the kind that holds the little cards for embroidery floss--and put the buttons into those so they are sorted. Lots of buttons! Interesting to see how many manufacturers use the same button. Give yourself some time and you will enjoy working with these shirts and creating new memories, treasuring previous ones.

    You asked for pattern suggestions. Once you have the shirts deboned, you will see the size of pieces for consideration. In the meantime, watch for quilts that take your eye and look to be something you would enjoy. You do have some limitations on what will work with the fabric available but there are many, many designs. I mentioned the bow tie as my next endeavor with what is in the stack from my own husband's shirts but stars and other designs can be used. You may pick up ideas just from this forum as time goes along.
    Last edited by illinois; 05-05-2019 at 03:14 AM.

  15. #15
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    So sorry for your loss. My sons’ cousins asked me to make a quilt for their mother after their father passed. They sent me 18 cotton shirts. I sent them some pattern ideas and they picked something very simple. I made 4”x8” blocks and placed them like setting bricks or tiles - offset. For the back I used the backs of the shirts - large pieces done the same way. It was easy for them to pick out a shirt and say “I remember him wearing this at ...”. Simple to do and very well received.
    Alyce

  16. #16
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    Sorry for your loss. Please take care of yourself.

  17. #17
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    so sorry for you loss. take one day at a time.

  18. #18
    Super Member rvsfan's Avatar
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    I am very sorry for your loss . And your future quilt plans sound wonderful . On youtube you will find videos on how to deconstruct a man's shirt . I hope you will find it helpful .
    rvsfan
    A Ricky Van Shelton fan

  19. #19
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    I also offer my condolences.

    The idea of making a practice block from some "other" shirts before you start cutting up your husband's shirts seems to be a good one.

  20. #20
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    We share in your loss. I wish I had words to convey my sorrow for you.

    This past Quilter's Anonymous show in Monroe, WA had a quilt that was made from the quilter's husband's shirts. She had a note about how she was able to wrap it around her and give herself an extra hug... It happened to be a design I was working on at the time, I was using up a bunch of leftover Y2K 2.5" squares. She used his solid blue and basic work shirts as the background, with the squares being plaids and prints and stronger colors. You do have a partial seam in the block to deal with but other than that it is very straightforward in design, cutting, etc.

    Block is old, traditional, "Flying Squares". Here's a picture of my project as I was putting on the my border. I wish I was sharing it under better circumstances
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
    Senior Member imdelagarza62's Avatar
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    Sorry for your loss. I am praying for you and your family. I haven't made a shirt quilt yet, but agree to try a practice one with shirts not so sentimental. Take care of yourself. God Bless and keep you.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Fizzle's Avatar
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    Deepest condolences...

  23. #23
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    I am sorry for your loss. I, too, am a recent widow. Using his shirts to honor him makes a lot of sense to me. Pinterest has many, many ideas for men's shirt quilts. Good luck with your project.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Lulu View Post
    I lost my husband about 3 weeks ago. I was wondering if any of you have made quilts from men's shirts. I have a closet of both long sleeve and short sleeve shirts that are all good quality, 100% cotton. I know I am not ready to do this yet, but I think that is what I may do for our children and grandchildren when I am ready. I have only made 3 quilts so I am not an expert by any means. I guess my questions are about cutting out, pattern suggestions and any other suggestions that will help as I prepare. I know it will be a long process, but right now all I have is time to try to fill and keep busy. Thanks.
    Don't waste your time with e seam ripper; Just cut close to the seams. Vi

  25. #25
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    So very sorry for your great loss. Ma God hold you tightly in His loving arms.
    I am in the process of making two quilts for my daughter's friend. The shirts were her dad's and she wants them for her daughter and son. I have the top for the daughter's made 84x84, yet to sandwich and quilt. I am getting ready to make the son's and trying to decide on a quick and easy pattern. I learned the hard way with daughter's don't use a seam ripper, it takes forever. All are western shirts with snaps. will save the pockets to make a throw for the mom who is wheel char bound.

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