Craft: What Do You Do With All Of Those Old Tees?
What do you do when you are surrounded by t-shirts that are over two decades old and don't know what to do with them? Here's a possible solution that will solve the t-shirt overflow issue and make a fantastic (and fun) gift for any holiday or occasion!
What to do With Your Old T-Shirts
My husband finds it hard to discard anything related to his premarital past: old posters from college, the Sports Illustrated covers that lined his dorm room or old t-shirts that have seen better days. So, it wasn't too surprising that my mother-in-law visited us at our new house with a few items my darling spouse had asked her to bring now that "we had more room." As if by magic, she pulled three huge white garbage bags out of her tiny car and stated, "Oh! A asked that I drop these off! These are his t-shirts from school. I've even washed and folded them for him!" As soon as she arrived, and before I could protest, she promptly jumped back into her car and disappeared.
As I stood on my driveway surrounded by very nice smelling old t-shirts, I knew that I needed to think about my next steps carefully. I couldn't donate or trash them, right? He would eventually discover his items missing and question me on their whereabouts. But I also did not want a bunch of old, unused clothes cluttering my new home. I asked my husband what he would like done with his clothes and he casually mentioned something about having room in the attic for them. Note: putting the shirts in the attic equated to NEVER wearing them again.
Yes, like in the old cartoons where a character gets an idea and a lightbulb goes off over her head, I had a thought (and incidentally, the garage light, which I happened to be standing under, inexplicably turned itself on!) A QUILT!
I am sure there are quite a few uses for old t-shirts, but I can think of nothing more original than turning these old mementos into a quilt. As it turns out, there are very talented quilters who specialize in making beautiful quilts out of old t-shirts. I happen to have found the woman who designed and created my quilt via www.etsy.com. I placed the order in October, shipped the 30+ shirts to the quilter in Texas and in less than two months, I had an incredible Queen sized quilt to present my husband for his birthday.
To say my husband was surprised when he saw his t-shirts transformed into a very warm and aesthetically pleasing work of art is an understatement. I'd like to say that he had tears in his eyes but that is a bit of an exaggeration. He was quite shocked to see his "fabric memories" made into a blanket. I also think that he was and still is grateful that he can pull out his blanket and be reminded of the great times that he had in college.
As many of our children transition from high school to college or beyond, having a "Memory Quilt" is a great way to (a) get rid of the t-shirt clutter clogging up drawers and space and (b) remember those wonderful times and events in our lives. I am currently saving my daughter's soccer jerseys and t-shirts with the plan of having them made into a memory quilt before she leaves for college in a few years. She's going to get such a kick (pun intended) to see all of the different colors, team names and numbers that she wore over the many years.
What are some ways that you can preserve your memories?
Renee Radbill Keats has been blogging since 2003. Recently, Renee was selected to be one of twelve Oprah Winfrey Lifeclass bloggers on the OWN Network. You can find Renee’s musings on A Windy City Momma, where she writes about her strange parental experiences, the decision to learn Hebrew and become a Bat Mitzvah as an adult and her ongoing adjustment to living in Chicago despite the fact that she has resided there for more than a decade.
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