I love reproduction shirting prints, the ones with white/light/cream backgrounds with small motifs repeated across the fabric. I buy a fat quarter or more when I see them and can't resist taking them home. My love of shirting prints also includes the ones used to made men's shirts these days. (Sitting in church a little over a year ago I noticed a young father wearing a shirt with a wonderful print on it. It took a lot of self control not to ask him for it when he was finished it with.) I sometimes find shirts with those tiny prints at the thrift stores and bring them home. I've learn to take a needle with me to test a shirt's worthiness to be hand quilted.
These are current-day shirting prints from a few of the men's shirts I've found. I think they are fun and useful for some kinds of quilts.
These fabrics below, with flowery prints instead of tiny repeats, come from women's shirts and blouses. I believe a few of them are lawn, perhaps Liberty of London fabric, but they weren't marked so I can't know for sure.
And these next four are not from clothing but from sheets or pillowcases. Some sheeting fabric is too densely woven to hand quilt but the needle went through these easily.
It's probably a little unorthodox to buy thrift store clothing for quilting fabric (though I know some other quilters who do, too) but it seems like I'm following a long tradition of women repurposing clothing for other uses. It feels thrifty to me. I can get the equivalent of several fat quarters in one shirt for less than the cost of one fat quarter at the quilting shop. Fabric for clothing is not like fabric made specifically for quilting; the texture may be different and the quality is not the same -- sometimes even better and the colors even faster, other times not. So I admit I have to be careful in my choices or I can bring home some duds.
What about you? Do you use fabric from thrift store finds? Do you look for particular kinds or styles or colors of fabric? Do you have a good success rate using them?