A Goodwill Quilt


I’ve been busy working on multiple throw-sized quilts that I’m making for family members who don’t have one yet and a few just because I wanted to try a pattern. This one I did because I fell in love with this pattern on a web site in flannel plaid. Flannel plaid is easy to find but I’m not fond of working with flannel and quilting broadcloth isn’t easy to find in plaids that would work for the quilt I envisioned. I was trying to find a solution as we were moving to our winter home in Florida last fall, knowing the greater Naples area has a shortage of quilting stores.

And then the fun began. I realized that there are a lot of rich old men living in Naples who die each year, and their clothing is given to resale shops. I’m guessing there are well over 50 resale shops for every shop that sells quilting fabric in this area. I found some resale shops who want $20 for a used man’s shirt but I also found that Goodwill had many high quality shirts for around $3. Over the period of a few weeks I found a big stack of shirts that I cut off seams and collars. I cut 3 x 6 inch blocks from all the shirt plaids and complementary blocks from prints that I had taken to Florida and some I collected there the year before. One of my goals of making throw size quilts is to use up some of the fabric I’ve accumulated over the years.

Our friends who gather at the pool every afternoon were intrigued with my shirt project, especially the two quilters. The men stopped wearing plaid shirts when there was a chance of being around me. I finished this quilt top before we left so everyone could see it because I decided it would be a perfect house warming gift for my grandson who just bought a house in Michigan.

I really like this quilt and wavered a little on giving it away, but knew it was my grandson’s when he and his live together partner both said that one of the red plaids was like the old undershorts he just threw away. I don’t think I’ve given a quilt to anyone that had “built-in” nostalgia.

And I still have a whole box of cut up shirts waiting for another project (and looking forward to getting back to Naples to see if I can find some more). I think I will make one with 6 inch plaid squares and 6 inch Ohio Star squares made from fabric stashed away in drawers. I will just dream of that one until I get the three done that I am currently working on. And just maybe I’ll use up the pile of extra bricks I cut out to make another “Plaid Brick Road” quilt.


13 thoughts on “A Goodwill Quilt

  1. Life is full of small moments of doubt that we resolve after questioning the facts. When making the bed with fresh sheets, for example, we have to figure out which way around the sheets go. I like instant feedback. I like it when the thing carries its own instant message – like the rectangles on your quilt.


    • I chose a pattern and then listen to the quilt as it is going together to choose colors and fabrics. Fabrics audition for a place in the quilt.


  2. Oh and just a tip – might not be relevant – but the colors are a little
    “Loud” – I know this variety is part of the charm here – but I know my boys would not want all those mixed colors – and neither would I – even as nice as it is – ya know ? Just my opinion


      • Yes – only for “some ” because sometimes contrast and extra variety is what we want – but make sure you see if he really wants it with all those patterns or he might put it in the closet and it won’t get used – that happened with us with an Afghan – and side note – ((And quilts are better than Afghans because Afghans have those holes and are bite as warm)) but my hubs finally said he could not Tale the multi colors of the one grandma Louise made us – sniff- but he was right – eye sore –
        And not sure how old your nephew is – but younger generations are more
        Minimalist in some areas – like their homes and so I would do a muted color palate for them – just thinking


  3. I like how you were open to the used material – and it is also a bit of helping to recycle when we shop at thrift stores!
    And cute story about the boxers – and I bet this quilt will be well used in Michigan
    Best wishes with the other three


    • Thanks, Prior. I bought two shirts sold by a quality on-line company that still had the tags on them. Jim kept one and a friend took the large/long one when he was visiting. Couldn’t cut them up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha
        And some used stuff is barely used – not like 60 years agaonwhen rags were at second hand stores
        – Mari Evans wrote a poem about only wanting new – or make that the joy of getting brand new clothes – but I remind folks that it was a different age –
        Today we have so much like new of gently used stuff
        And sometimes sewing with gently worn in fabric might have benefits – or no?
        Either way – I am all for the recycle part too –


  4. My cousin made one using her fathers shirts after he had passed away. Her mom used it every day until she also passed away. That when we realized most his shirts were blue plaids

    Liked by 1 person

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