I know which are my favorite clothes, because they are stained and torn and still, I’m wearing them. Looking at the Harley Davidson tee shirts that belonged to Barbe’s husband, I knew which were his favorites. The decals were cracked from being washed so much and the fabric was thin and soft. The ones he really, really loved, had paint stains on them, one even had traces of that foam insulation in a can, The Great Stuff. (I know the story too, either one day you decide to make the favorite tee into a work shirt, or you just love wearing it so much, you don’t want to take it off even if you risk getting paint on it.) I made aesthetic choices, based on colors and images, but whenever possible, I used the favorites.
I know these tee shirts have meaning and memories for Barbe’s husband, and I think that was part of the reason I had such a hard time figuring the quilt out. They are so personal, I didn’t want to screw it up.
I’m going to meet Barbe next week to give her the quilt. It’s an anniversary gift to her husband of 3 years, the best 3 years of her life, she told me. I know some of these shirts are older than their marriage, and I like the idea of their transformation into something so loving as an anniversary gift. And, now that’s it’s done, it makes me smile to think that the quilt is also a part of their love story.