Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Using Shirts


Once again, my inspiration came from Bonnie of Quiltville.com (who incidentally, has her new book out in the market!) I've been collecting men's shirtings for years. Also, I've made numerous shirts for my DH, so all those scraps are also hanging around. My last Mission Store 'haul' netted me 15 cotton shirts for $7.50. What a deal -- we kept and are wearing 4 of them!

I'm making an effort to keep these blocks subdued, plain, and toned down. The one far right is not correct - that was my audition block - the flying geese should be light, not dark.

My last trip to the Mission Store left me with a knot in my stomach. I was looking for appropriate cotton shirtings and went to the Men's 4X section where I found a doozey! It was cotton and HUGE! Big mouth me, as I paid for it, I enthusiastically mentioned "this was going to make a great quilt!", to which she responded, "I hope a poor fat man doesn't come in looking for a shirt!"

Wow!! Kick in the gut, WOW!!! I had to rethink this Mission Store shirt buying escapade. I felt so guilty, I didn't even BLOG about that. Never had I given any consideration to that point of view! This bothered me so much for months -- I finally CALLED the Store Manager and expressed my unorthodox use of the Mission Store, and was I taking a decent shirt away from a fat man? Was I being selfish? unChristian, not helping my neighbor, uppity, snooty, unappreciative of those less fortunate than I?

She ASSURED me that ANY Mission Store was happy to sell ANYTHING to anyone! They always had more than enough to go 'round. Whew, conscience clear. 8-)

19 comments:

dot said...

Great blocks and great story.

Sue R said...

Oh boy, more shirt quilts! I have only recently started seriously collecting plaid shirts for a quilt. The poor fat man will find another shirt; and as a frequent donor to the thrift shop, I'm delighted if someone else finds a use for items I've donated, no matter how they use it! Rather that than throw it out.

Sharon said...

Love your "shirt" blocks! I love plaids! I even like the "wrong-way" one. I think that's got another name, though. I've used shirts too, but I have tons of plaid fabrics now, so I don't really need to go to the thrift store. That clerk sure put a pin in your balloon, didn't she? What a sour puss. Don't feel guilty - you're still recycling! And put in a quilt, that fabric may last longer than as a shirt. As a quilter, I sure hope so anyway!

Joyce said...

I think that if a guy can afford to buy enough food to get that fat, he can afford to buy a new shirt. Lol. I wouldn't worry about it. The shirt obviously feels happier being in your beautiful quilt than on the back of some fat guy. The clerk was just having a bad day or a bad life.

Vicki W said...

I think that's one sales clerk that needs to focus on generating SALES - any kind of sales! I lvoe the blocks. It's going to be a lovely quilt.

Jeanne said...

This will be a bargain in addition to a wonderful quilt. I really love the subdued effect.

StitchinByTheLake said...

I couldn't help but laugh Elaine. There's an older woman in my church, now in her 90s, who used to drive around town with one man's tennis shoe sitting in the window of her car. When asked why she said, "you never know when you're going to meet a one legged man who needs a shoe." She was a missionary in Brazil for 30 years and as long as she was able to drive she kept water and food in her car and stopped to give it to any homeless person she saw. She wasn't scare of anything or anyone and I never saw her that she didn't say, "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!" She's an inspiration! blessings,marlene

Gypsy Quilter said...

Looks good Elaine, lovely colors.

Perhaps you did not see the news article that referred to how much used clothing is sold (via thrift stores) to third world countries like Africa where vendors buy the bulk lot and then re-sell everything earning a living from our cast-offs. I'm glad you were able to support your local community by buying directly from the thrift shop.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right, Bonnie went through the same thing on the Stashbuster list a few years back (about using clothing that was meant for those of meager means).

I've bought beautiful wool sweaters to felt and denim skirts at the op shop, making purses/bags from them.

And to commenter Joyce. Shame on you. I'm a size 4X quilter, and sometimes it has nothing at all to do with food. Learn a little compassion.

Elaine, all of your blocks are lovely. Your audition block is just the start of another quilt!

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

The shirt is well used in your quilt. Good for you! You do lovely work.

mjjones said...

Love what you are doing with the bargains that you found...thanks for sharing your talents!

Mary Jo in Iowa

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Money well spent and look what a great use you have found for those shirts! I wouldn't feel badly at all - your money went into the community pocket no matter what you do with your purchase.
Cheers!
Evelyn

Lynn Dykstra said...

Hi Elaine,
Most shops major mission is to raise money for services and to provide jobs. Buying the shirts helps with this. The secondary mission of providing reduced priced items to the poor can only work if others in the community also shop there so the volume of business makes it possible. So, you are helping that way too!

Now, my snarky side--I have a neighbor who is an animal lover who was outside one day beating a crow off a baby squirrel. She was so proud of rescuing that squirrel until I said, "that crow is going to bed hungry tonight."

I love the blocks.

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Hi, as you know I am a huge op shopper, especially the shirts. My credo is that the poor really need the money often far more than they need the shirts. I satisfy any feelings of guilt by always rounding up when I pay-a simple thing, but so appreciated by the shops.
Love the blocks, Tracey

Tanya said...

Oh, I had a laugh at your dilemma! I can see me thinking exactly the same thing! Hey, money we spend there helps in some way. Good for you!

Marilyn said...

Love your shirt quilt. It is going to be very homey and comforting. Who cares who buys what's donated as long as the mission gets funds from it? One of these days I just might have to make a plaid quilt.

Lindi said...

I love the look of your blocks. Perhaps 2 quilts in the making? You could call them positive and negative in memory of your experience. lol

Morah said...

Stop it I say! I have been very deliberately avoiding buying shirts for quilting....you all are on the bandwagon and I want on....

meggie said...

Thanks for posting your blocks, & the story. Made me smile, & I thought the sale is what is most important to the Mission.