Friday, 17 January 2014

Scrapbooking With Striped Paper: Shirt City

You know how it is: sometimes an idea for a project comes and you can't wait to get started and you blitz through and when it's finished you feel great. Other times, you know you want to make it, but it goes on the back burner and you know - just know - you'll come back to it later? How does - mmm, at least ten years later sound?

From High In The Sky - scrapbooking with stripes

It's easily that: ten years since I spotted the little hand drawn illustration in a magazine and tore it out and kept it. No instructions, just the drawing, and a description of a quilt, sewn with care from a collection of blue and white striped shirts. It was a lovely thing: even in pen and ink it looked soft, but crisp, slightly faded, but also fresh. And it jumped right off the page at me because I too had a stash of blue and white striped shirts. Or, at least, some of them were striped, all of them were blue.

That's the way it is when you marry an accountant. You get used to him leaving the house dressed like Mr Banks. Sharp suit, nice shirt. Those shirts wear out and they get replaced, but they are never thrown away. Not in this house. All that beautiful blue poplin? It's a  bit tired, yes, after all that heavy accounting, but it's down, not out.

Funny how it's always blue. That's what he likes - narrow stripes, broader ones, tiny checks, plains: darker in the winter, lighter in the later months of the year, little white buttons, single cuff, double cuffed, and I save them all. Would you believe I have almost a drawerful? The picture on my torn out page shows big-ish quilt blocks, with a border of points cut from collars. I've spent years thinking about how to do it and I've been tempted to stray from my original plan by this book The Shirt Off His Back, which I'm probably going to give in and buy any day now. In the meantime? I can spare one cuff for my Get It Scrapped page, made for an article on setting the mood with stripes

“A pale blue striped patterned paper with low contrast and regularly spaced stripes does double duty on this page. I think it’s a pretty obvious signpost to the subject of the page, but it also conveys a mood: a sense of the calming, relaxing effect of stitching a quilt. If I had wanted to play up a “Business” mood to make a page more about working in the city and less about sewing with the shirts, I would have chosen a deeper toned, more striking, stripe. I prefer this restful look!”




35 comments:

alexa said...

What a great idea for a book, Sian (not come across this one before), and with a drawerful of shirts, you would not be stuck for fabric! Cotton can wash so soft after years ... The mix of blues, whites and kraft shades on your page is lovely. I do love all the little bits you add too; the buttons seem most appropriate!

Julie Kirk said...

Awesome. All of it. The shirts, the saving, the quilt, the layout. So inspiring. x

Micupoftea said...

Great page, like the design, neg space and soft color! A quilt from shirts? Cool!

helena said...

oh what a fabulous quilt that will be and I love your patience in keeping them as they are discarded until you have enough

Jo said...

How funny, I've just been looking at a quilt on Pinterest that was made from old shirts :) Great page!

Karen said...

I've never heard of a quilt made with shirts but after your description, I have a lovely vision of a blue one with many stripes. What a fabulous idea---and a great layout to accompany it.

Barbara Eads said...

Now that's clever! I love the added shirt buttons too. Can't wait to see the quilt---sounds really interesting.

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Ah yes, how satisfying that will be when it all comes together. I am saving my boy's old jeans, for a similar enterprise, which I may have mentioned before.
PS Still loving those polaroid frames.

Jimjams said...

Great page - love the willow pattern shades of it - and wonderful writing (still smiling at the thought of all that heavy accounting ... those numbers certainly pile up).
Now I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with that pile of shirts!!

Kirsty.A said...

love the page. I can just picture the quilt

Mel said...

Love this idea Sian and love that it has been ten years in the making!

debs14 said...

What a great idea! When my husband worked in the city he was always a blue striped shirt man. All manner of tones of blue and all widths of stripes.
I think 10 years is long enough to be in the planning stage - time to dust off those scissors and cut out some squares!

Louise said...

Only ten years... That's good going. A great idea and fab page x

Jennifer Shaw said...

A terrific page and that would be such an awesome quilt. If the idea has stayed with you all these years, you will get it done. :)

scrappyjacky said...

It's a lovely idea to make a quilt....but if you buy the book you may be sidetracked into allsorts of other ideas as well!!
Love the page.

Miriam said...

Just a beautiful page and story to go with it. I keep things for years and years too because I know that 'one day' will come. I have lost count of the number of pairs of jeans I have kept because I have an idea for them...

Ladkyis said...

then you save up all those neckties and make another quilt - that one may take a little longer unless you combine them....Hmmm

S said...

This page made me smile. Back in the day when my accountant hubby still wore suits a lot, I remember it being quite a thing to get him to buy a pale yellow oxford shirt. Which of course ended up being worn less than any other in his closet; it was always blue or white for him too.

Jane said...

just love this, but I'm so glad my DH is retired now and don't have to iron any!

Ginger said...

How beautiful a quilt this will be :). My brother in law always wore a nice shirt, he had many colours. Solids, stripes and checks. When he passed away there were enough for my mom to make two small quilts. My sister gave me one and I cherish it to this day :)

Missus Wookie said...

Lovely page and idea - I'm with him numbers are often heavy going ;)

Wookie always wears plain shirts but they'd still make a nice quilt, I'd have to learn to quilt first mind...

Sandra said...

To me that's just how they would have made quilts a while back - I can't wait to see it.

Amy said...

I would LOVE a quilt made from old shirts - and the colour would be wonderful. Just imagine, the quilt would already be worn in and soft and 'just right'.

Sandie said...

Great page Sian and I love the cuff embellishment! At a recent retreat there were a couple of ladies making quilts out of shirts. The thing I most loved was how they cut out the labels and used those and some of the buttons too. It added detail and character. Can't wait to see your quite coming together.

Maria Ontiveros said...

The cuff is very cool! I just completed a project lickity split - the cards I posted on my blog today. And I'm going to turn my attention to some old projects soon - not ten years old, but from last year.
Rinda

Sheena said...

As I've been dabbling into quilt making this past year, I know how soft a quilt these shirts would make... it's well worth trying Sian xxx

tidbitsandtreasures2011 said...

That will be some quilt when you are finished. Do you suppose The Accountant will recognize some of the patterns and recall stories associated with them? It may take a while, but I know you will share here once your one-of-a-kind quilt is finished.

Nathalie said...

I love this SO much! The cuff is such a genius touch and it makes you look closer at the story behind it :) i would love to start quilting one day....

Mitra Pratt said...

oh goodness! that cuff is adorable and the idea of a quilt super awesome! I do hope no one will dream about work when they use it though, that is the worst! Just kidding it will be too soft to even THINK about work! ;-)

Chipper Newman said...

LOL I have been collecting the kids t-shirts to one day make them each a t-shirt quilt. I bemoan the loss of the older ones before I saw the idea.

Melissa said...

What a great idea to use a cuff on this layout to tell the story. I have a box of Robbie's dad's old shirts that I want to turn into a quilt someday . . . when I starting sewing . . . and learn to quilt . . . someday!

Cheri said...

I can hardly wait to see the quilt that comes from all those old shirts! It should be lovely.

Michelle Tercha said...

I really like this layout. Clever. But also really soft, if a layout can be considered soft this would be it. Pretty paper. Calming. Michelle t

Gail said...

What a gorgeous layout Sian and a great idea making a quilt from his old shirts.

Peg Hewitt said...

How cool! I love the cuff as an embellishment!

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