Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bonnie Created a Monster

I have gone completely nuts the last month over repurposed clothing fabric ala Bonnie Hunter. She has created a monster. 

First, gorgeous baby Pokey posing helpfully on a white and purple striped shirt:


and again:


I stopped taking photographs along the way and I'd be embarrassed to admit just how many shirts I've gotten... But man, Florida is great for getting shirts in light colors like this pink plaid and the purple and white houndstooth


I've also been grabbing good oranges and fun greens whenever I spot them.


I know at some point I need to actually sew with these fabrics, but I've been amazed at how much fun it is to cut apart the shirts. I love the destruction, who knew. And right now the sewing machine is a little hard to find.



This area of Florida isn't just good for the colors in the shirts but my jaw drops at some of the labels. Couture shirts handmade in Hong Kong and London. holy cow. One guy I was talking to at the Goodwill told me about a thrift shop south of here where you can find all sorts of clothes like tuxedos and evening gowns that have never been worn. criminy.

It just makes me crazy that the shirts I find that would be perfect for me are never the right size. I love some of the men's Hawaiian and bowling shirts but these stupid hips get in the way.

Pokey has enjoyed the new spot to sleep on the cuffs and plackets I still need to cut up.



Pokey is doing well. She's still overgrooming her front legs (she has two reverse mohawks) but at least she's not doing it so much that she's hurting herself. I wish she wouldn't spend so much time hiding under the bed worrying about being abducted to the vet. At least she's bouncy and happy when she's sure the coast is clear.

Commenter Oleander asked how old Pokey is. She and her sister Lily are six years old. They were rescued from the streets of Cairo after they lost their mother when they were about 4-6 weeks old. Little tiny critters I could hold in the palm of my hand and only intended to care for for a couple of days until I could palm them off on someone else. yeah, well that part didn't work out so well. It's not like Pokey was this irresistible when she was tiny. She was bald and funny-looking - it took several weeks before she was fluffy and cute.


At least Pokey is doing well. I haven't been on the top of my game. Fatigue, low iron. I've been undergoing tests - the doc is still trying to decide on whether or not I have Celiac Disease. Sigh. More tests. Gluten-free looks like a pain the patootie, but very healthy.

What else? Have you caught Bravo's new series Work of Art? It's Project Runway for artists in a range of media, primarily paints but also some photography. No fiber though... In the first episode the artist who won wouldn't even have been in my top five, but did agree on their bottom three. Could have added a few more to the bottom as well. All in all, very enjoyable and recommended.

35 comments:

Amanda said...

Honestly, gluten free isn't all that hard. I've been gluten free for about six years now, and the improvement in my health makes any inconveniences doubly, no trebly worth it. There are lots of great products around, even more in the USA I believe than in the UK, and some great blogs too. I hope the doctor sorts you out soon, and if you need to go on a gluten free diet, it's easier now than it was six years ago.

Loris said...

Awesome finds in the shirt search. The colors are wonderful!
Hope you get to feeling energized again soon. And that they come up with some answers for you without too much trouble. We don't want you to have to hide under the bed with sweet Pokey :-)
Thoughts and prayers,Loris

Jennifer D said...

Fabulous shirt fabrics!
I was wondering about that show Work of Art, I think I will check it out.

I hope you feel better soon,J

AnnieO said...

Great Pokey pics as usual!

Bonnie is very influential. I was at a thrift store recently and had to pull myself back from grabbing a handful of mens shirts--I don't have room or time for that venture! But to add to your search--little boy shirts also come in 100% cotton plaids, stripes, and checks. Hah!

Lee said...

bonnie and you are both inspirations to me. I just wish that the shirts at thrift stores up here were cheaper. You definitly have a great variety of colour.

deborah said...

Bonnie created more than one monster..I haunted my local thrift stores for months gathering shirts. Not a huge selection, but fun to look for..and I even used them in a quilt top:) I love to cut them up, its very relaxing. Do you keep the buttons? I have a little jar full. Reading her blog has also lead me to read many blogs now:)

Pokey is a beautiful cat and I'm so glad to hear that she is holding her own. She does have a very important job helping you, so she knows she has to try to stay healthy!

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that you will feel better soon and the doctors will figure out the right plan of action for you.

Sharon said...

Oh boy, you have found some wonderful plaids! Love those "tropical" colors! I've cut up my son's shirts from high school (Miami Vice-era), and he had some cool ones too. I'm resisting the thrift stores for now. I want to do a quilt with only fabrics from the family first.

Some day some poor man will be in desperate need of a plaid shirt, but he won't be able to find a single one because you got there first! hee hee!

Sorry to hear that you're not up to snuff lately. That really is a drag. I have issues with fatigue too, so I understand. Hope the doctors figure it out soon. And gluten-free is pretty easy these days. Both of my granddaughters are allergic to gluten, eggs, milk, soy, corn, etc. etc. etc. My DIL does a lot of baking. There's some great cookbooks out there, plus websites too. So, possibly a pain, but definitely do-able. I'm wishing the best for you!

Hugs and scritches to Pokey!

Kathie said...

well Pokey looks wonderful on the purple shirt, you need to let her keep that one, its her color :)
wow those are some bright shirts but GREAT!
Have fun cutting them all up!
Kathie

Teresa said...

That Pokey is a cutie...now she just needs to work on learning how to de-construct shirts with you. You are a good influence as well as Bonnie...I will hopefully post the center of my liberated lady project on Monday (and maybe my first free-pieced words!).

It figures that the shirts would be awesome in Florida...light colors, good quality, well taken care of. Southeast Michigan is not so good in that capacity...

Good luck with your tests!

Teresa :o)

Stephanie said...

Pokey is absolutely gorgeous with those big blue eyes. Terrific shirts. I've been deconstructing denim but somehow I think shirts would be so much easier to work with.

ROZ said...

Hope that you are feeling better! I'm still collecting old jeans for those denim quilts I make and old t-shirts for the t-shirt quilts. If I start in on the old plaid shirts, I'll have to move out of my condo! But what fun. And you are recycling.

Oleander said...

Oh! thanks for replying!
Pokey's looking gorgeous, as usual..

beth said...

I've had the same kind of pile of shirts at my house. I call it "dissecting" when I'm cutting them up! ;)

Stephanie Newman said...

Pokey is gorgeous, what a set of blue eyes she has, just incredible blue. And very chic coat colouring- sounds like she was lucky to end up finding you.
BTW I think your Anna Williams idea is brilliant, hopefully a reprint will come to pass.

The Paper Princess said...

Hi Tonya,

I just signed up to follow your blog - OMG you have the most adorable cats! They are SO full of life and personality! You do a wonderful job of capturing them on film! (Oh yes, I do believe I saw some lovely quilts in the background too!) I have 2 Maine Coons who love to hijack my blog as well - come visit us when you have a moment, I'd love to get to know you better, and I'd love to welcome you to my family of Kindred Spirits as well!

Hugs
Ramona
http://create-with-joy.blogspot.com

9patchnurse said...

I love Bonnie Hunter, she's coming to my guild this fall. I also love thrifting shirts and I like to use them for the backs of pillows (you can see some on my blog). The button plackets (?sp) save lots of time and trouble with the pillows. Good luck with the gluten-free diet, I've heard we should all try it. I love Pokey's blue eyes! Beautiful.

Andra Gayle said...

I have started collecting old shirts too....

Anonymous said...

I hope you saving the shirt labels too. You could do something really fun with labels in the center blocks or a label border.
One of my friends saved clothing labels and covered a sweatshirt with them to make a unique jacket.
Pandy

Cathy said...

WHOA! your cat is gorgeous! I also cut up shirts for fabric!

Lynda said...

The secret with uysing clothes for patchwork, is to cut them up into fabric straightaway - that way they're ready to go! There is a lot of fabric in a man's shirt!

belinda said...

...LOL....I'm laughing...I was a shirt monster there for a while last year....something very theraputic about cutting them apart...kind of mindless 'handy' work...you have a nice pile going there and wow...that first photo...your cats eyes and the shirt he is laying on are great!!

Millie said...

Yeah! When I first "met" you, you were all about dark colors on black backgrounds! I can't wait to see what kind of "monster" Bonnie has unleashed! Adorable pictures of Pokey!

Kathy said...

I had a gluten free vanilla cake today and it was delicious!! You would never know it was gluten free.

Too bad you do not live in Maryland, we gave a good gluten free bakery here.

Love the shirts, esp the orange one!

Katie :o) said...

Oh! I love Bonnie's book, Scraps and Shirttails! And I will soon be buying a copy of Leaders and Enders! Beautiful kitties :o) I hope you are feeling better soon! If you have any time for blog-reading, I have my first giveaway up on http://kwiltingwithkatie.blogspot.com/
A totally different look than your work, but still fun :o) Hope you'll check it out!

Pat said...

I'm in PB county in south Florida and have been amazed at the variety of shirts also.. and the quality!

I was just telling a friend how soothing it felt to sit with a good pair of sharp scissors and cut them up. Don't know why, but it sure is.

Not too far from me is the Goodwill outlet. The prices are waaaay cheaper! It's the last stop they make before they're shipped out of the country from what I've heard. The selection and quality is the same. It's just that they get more donations than they can sell at the stores so quite a bit gets diverted to the outlet.

I read the comment about cutting into usuable pieces right away. Guess I better start doing that. Thinking I'll cut some 10" squares to use for a "Bonnie" backing. ;-)

Angie said...

i love your photography, the photos of the cats have almost a painterly quality to them. What camera do you use?

Quilts And Pieces said...

I"ve been wondering how MY miss lily is. I haven't seen a pic of her in a while. I almost was afraid to ask. Holly's husband (my oldest who just got married) has celiac disease and he has been doing awesome since they diagnosed it and she has been cooking for him wheat free. It takes a while to get used to it, but boy is he feeling good since they have made the effort.

Nifty Quilts said...

Oh boy, I'm with you on the shirts. Looks like you get the good colors in Florida. Lucky you!

Gluten-free is not so bad. Look up www.glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com. She's got a cookbook coming out soon.

I hope you get your energy back soon!

YankeeQuilter said...

I did the Gluten free for DH for a few months...not as hard as it sounds. There are tons of new things on the market for it. Hope you are feeling better soon....

Kim said...

I totally have the cutting the shirts up addiction too and now wool clothing too for my crazy wool project!
Oh dear seems silly with all the tons of stash I have but I just can't stop finding shirts that I love.

Happy Sewing

cribs said...

That is the scariest monster I ever see. If ever I had one monster on my house just like that I will love it with all my heart. She is so cute.

daveandlo said...

Tonya,
If the shirt is big enough, you could cut it down to fit you-just get a regular pattern (Simplicity, Butterick, Vogue, etc.). There are some very simple ones. It's almost as easy as making a quilt. . .let me know if you need help.

Lois

Pepper Cory said...

Wonderful pictures! Always love cats-n-quilts. Pet Pokey for me.

Beth said...

My daughter has not been diagnosted Celiac, but chose about 6 months ago to go gluten free. She is not fanatacal about it, but says she feels better. Try http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/. I love her cookbook :make is fast, cook it slow. Her recipes are different from other crockpot books. My fav chapter is Takeout Fakeout. She made her own recipes up to mimic take out foods. She gives gluten free and non-gluten free ingredients. I think you have the cutest kitties on earth! And I'm a DOG person! HA!

Dia said...

Hi, I love these photos of your cats playing in the fabric. Your sewing area is so cheerful, and your quilts are fun.

Thankyou, Dia*