I found the free block pattern, Sail Boat Block 2, at Quilter's Cache website. I modified the cutting instructions so each block would turn out 9-1/2 inches square. That meant cutting the small HST blocks at 3-7/8 inches and the larger at 6-7/8 inches.
The blocks were then set 7 across x 8 down. I liked the no-border look of the inspiration piece, so I just bound my quilt in a red and black print from JoAnn. There is one pale red pinstripe shirt used in the quilt, and the binding brings that out while providing a nice accent for the rest of the shirt fabrics.
Ship Shape was shipped off to Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting for an all over panto called Van Gogh, which I thought looked like swirling ocean waves as much as Starry Night. Love the effect!
Melissa did a fantastic job, and fast! I'm sure my backing was a challenge (and I'm sure that is an understatement). I was using up a piece of blue and white older fabric in the backing, as well as a strip of large shirt fabric blocks. The backing was just barely big enough, were I to have quilted it on my domestic machine. When I decided to send the flimsy out for quilting, I added muslin strips on all sides of the backing so it would be able to be loaded on a longarm.
I knew it was going to be close, but until I trimmed the quilt after it came home and saw that on a couple sides I was shaving off only about an eighth inch of the actual backing, I didn't realize just how close. I'm sorry, Melissa, for any gray hairs I caused! I won't do that again, I promise.
Ship Shape was sleep tested last night, and I'm happy to say it passed with flying colors. If you've got a shirt stash you're wondering what to make of, I highly recommend giving this simple but stunning quilt a try. I think it'd make a great Quilt of Valor too!