Friday, May 2, 2008

Emotional Clothing

Do you have some? We have some. Mine is limited to a single pair of jeans. It's the one item of clothing that I haven't been able to bring myself to get rid of since having children. It was my favorite pair of jeans and I sort of think I'd like to frame them or find a way to hang them on the wall to display the fact that once, once upon a time, I was a size 5. They're sort of like a trophy for me.

So I have 1 pair of jeans. My husband.... had like...hmmmm.... 12 pairs of jeans/pants and about 200 t-shirts. Oh you think I'm kidding? No really. More t-shirts than we knew what to do with. He couldn't handle the thought of parting with them, forget about the fact that they went unworn.

Over the course of our first year of marriage we whittled through several in the stash. Each month I'd convince him into getting rid of 2-3 of them. "You don't really even like these two honey.. just two, we don't have enough room in the dressers and closets." You know. Jedi mind tricks. Then right before moving, in a fit of trying to get everything packed while having an 8 month old... I demanded "CUT THE SHIRT STASH OR I WILL" So long for using the force.. it was a different kind of force ;-)

So... he tearfully went shirt by shirt and decided which he could really do without. Just kidding, there were not tears involved. So... we were down to hmmm... several dozen shirts. I mean a lot still. After moving, we went to move again, 2 months later. We had a larger bedroom in this place that had 2 closets. So I let go of the shirt issue. 4 months after that.. we moved again (Yes, all that moving made me crazy. And, no, I don't actually like moving) into a place that was the smallest we lived in yet.

What made sense to get rid of? You guessed it. The clothes we didn't have room for and weren't worn. So I conceived an idea and made a deal with Jacob. I told him, pick 12 you absolutely can't get rid of and will wear if you keep and pick another 12 and I will turn them into a quilt for you to have forever. Deal or No Deal? Jacob said "You have a deal!" And pushed that little red button.

So while my beloved was gone in basic training I took the project on. 12 t-shirts.. 12 or so pants and the cutting began. It's by no means perfect, but somehow... a t-shirt and jeans quilt just seems to need a little imperfection to make it perfect! You know? Or is that crazy mom talk?

If you want to do one of these, you make it as you would a rag quilt. Batting and all. I believe I cut my squares to be about 8 inches, so the batting would be 6 inches.

This quilt takes up residence on the back of our couch, or across the couch seat. It has proven to be quite a focal point of our home since almost every first time guest mentions it, and people who have noticed it in pictures bring it up.

Best of all, my husband has his most treasured t-shirts (yes, that is the bat signal on one square) and we didn't ruin our marriage over it ;-) The kids also love to use this blanket often to spread out on the floor for a little indoor picnic. Here it is with their pretzel bowl left on it.. somehow finding this inspired me to take a picture and share with you all about the quilt :

Here is the back :

So, do you have emotional clothing? Does it continue to hang in your closet? Or have you found a creative way to keep them around while giving your closet a break?


Tara said...

Hmm, I can't think of anything specific, though there are always some items that take several rounds of closet clean outs before I consider parting with them- despite the fact that I haven't work them in years!

Adam has been good at helping me get rid of things that are just taking up space. The funny thing is that I've NEVER missed something that I ended up giving away.

Come to think of it, I do have a handful of formal dresses in my closet from high school and college functions that I can't part with. I don't really know what I'll do with them, and highly doubt I'll EVER wear any of them again, so hmm.

Joanna said...

What a great idea! I have thought about doing baby clothes this way. No room for them but I want to hang onto them for sentimental reasons. I should do this! On the hubby shirt note. I know what you mean. But oddly enough I would just sneak a couple of shirts he never wore out every few months. To this day he has never ask about them! : )

Hannah said...

what a wonderful idea!!

Erin said...

I just left you a comment about adoptions (I did a search through blogspot for adoption and found your post) I promise I'm not a stalker... smile.

After reading your adoption post I read this post about the quilt and I LOVE the idea!! Between my husband and me we have way too many t-shirts with memories that I just don't have the heart to throw away... this is a PERFECT solution! Thanks for the fun idea!