The pink robe

Frank, the man who asked me to make 44 potholders from his wife’s clothes left me a few pieces that were 100% polyester. He left the polyester clothes because they were important to him. A favorite shirt and robe, a colorful skirt. I didn’t think I would be able to use them, but I knew they meant a lot to him, so I took them. When he called back a week later and said he wanted more potholders and some for people to keep and not use, it became clear how I would use the polyester clothes. So the 10 potholders I made today are different because they can’t be used as potholders, they would melt.

I didn’t think about it too much until I started cutting into the pink robe. I hesitated, I could imagine the woman wearing the robe and the comfort it must have given her. It was pretty and soft and warm. It was something her husband saw her in day after day in the privacy of their home. And here I was, a stranger, cutting this intimate piece of a persons life apart. So I stopped. I though about not using it and realized that it would be worse to give Frank the robe back in one piece than for it to be transformed into something else. It’s about remembering and letting go.

6 thoughts on “The pink robe

  1. Maria
    This is a beautiful sentiment. And I’d add one more thing….it’s about remembering and letting go, loving and transforming……….and your art represents that!

  2. Very sweet. I love the fact that you re-use the meaningful parts of lives, helping them to evolve yet again. My grandmother loved her robes, so does my mom. My grandmother always wore fancy slippers with little heals on them, she was a tiny lady and never sat still. Reading about the robe reminded me of her clipping around her kitchen in her robe and fancy little slippers. Frank will so appreciate his special pink potholders-for-show.

  3. For the first time I made a quilt entirely from baby clothes and bed linens. I always quilted with new fabric. This was an entirely different experience. I hated to cut up the cute little dresses and pants and shirts. I am just finishing it up now and I love handling the finished (almost) quilt. I made it for a friend and she loves it. When she saw it for the first time (just the quilt top, I couldn’t wait to show her) she delighted in seeing the those little dresses transformed. I have you to thank, Maria, because you inspired me to get back to my quilting loft.

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