Stained and Torn

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.

11 thoughts on “Stained and Torn

  1. What a pleasing and meaningful piece you have wrought, Maria! The eye just flows over it. And how wonderful gift this is within a marriage. Much continued happiness to this couple!

  2. Maria – this is terrific! I’m sure the intended recipient will love this and be touched that items that mean so much to him have been incorporated into this quilt. Now he’ll be able to enjoy all his favorite shirts in another way. It’s not easy to handle commissioned work sometimes, especially when you’re provided the materials and they may not be what you would have chosen to use for any number of reasons. But, you’ve truly created more than a keepsake here – it’s creative, too.

  3. Maria,

    What a sweet idea to have the quilt made! How wonderful to have meaningful work that you love doing!

    Janet

  4. I told my husband about my idea of putting the counted cross stitch in the center and using his old harley shirt with it and now I know I HAVE to do it. He asked when I was going to tackle this project. I think it will be a wall hanger instead, so we can incorporate an area for all his pins and patches of years and years of being a Hog member! I’m going to aim for it being done on our 14th anniversary next June.Thank you so much for your wonderful idea and sharing with us.
    Some day I’ll write you about how I found out about Jon and your blogs.All thanks to those wonderful border collies!

  5. To use a well-worn phrase, Maria, this quilt truly is a gift of love! How thoughtful of you to choose the favorites. Your color choices for the solids are so perfect to bring it all together. Would certainly love to be a fly on the wall at the presentation.

  6. It turned out so well. I did a similar project with a friend’s husband’s running shirts years ago. I wish I had used fusible interfacing, but I am pretty certain the shirts have added up again.

    Congratulations, great work!

  7. Maria, As always, I am touched by your thoughtfulness. I truly cannot express how grateful I am that you did this project for us. My husband is the most wonderful, gentle, patient, loving man in the world, and I am so pleased that I can give him this gift. Yes, a lot of these tee shirts came from somewhere long before I met him, but his past is all part of mine now as well. His family is mine, mine is his, and all of his experiences are part of what have brought us together and who we are – ONE. I love your blog and I love Jon’s because I see the same love with you two that we experience, and there is nothing better in the world. Many, many thanks. Barbe

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