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Posts Tagged ‘jeans’

No Quilt for Old Jeans

In Humor on March 10, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Five or ten years ago, my friend decided to learn quilting. She is now an expert quilter. Some people are like that: they make a plan, stick to it, and excel at what they’ve learned to do. I admire those people. I will never be one of those people, but I admire them.

My friend is now a member of a traveling quilting group. The members meet weekly at rotating houses. The houses belong to the members. They don’t just show up at random houses, hauling armfuls of material and quilting paraphernalia.

The other day, I decided to thin out my family’s closets. By the end of my culling exercise, I had a pile of clothes to donate to local charities, and a pile of clothes that would be too embarrassing to donate. In fact, the clothes in the latter pile would probably be thrown out by the charities, due to their tattered states.

However, I don’t like to throw out clothes. Except for old socks. I know that I should learn darning eggto darn socks, but I don’t have a darning egg and don’t want one. And everyone who has ever sewn holes in socks with a needle and thread knows how uncomfortable lumpy socks are to wear. So, I draw the line at holey socks and just toss them. Then my dog digs through the trash, hauls them out, and litters the house with them. But that’s another blog post for another day.

Anyway, I had a pile of clothes that I couldn’t donate and couldn’t bring myself to put in the trash. I was at a fork in the road, so I went straight to bed. While I napped, my subconscious sorted out my clothing conundrum and made me realize that old clothes could make great quilts.

I immediately contacted my quilting friend. I started small, however. I didn’t offer her stained, ripped shirts and sheets. I offered her only my very best junk. I told her that I had a collection of jeans in a variety of colors that couldn’t be worn any longer because they were torn in unfashionable places. I asked if she or her quilting group would be interested in cutting the jeans up into squares, or any shapes they liked, for use in their quilts.

It turns out that my knowledge of quilting is antiquated and romanticized. My friend told me that she doesn’t know anyone “who makes quilts out of old jeans.” She said that people use T-shirts or other shirts for memory quilts, but old jeans have no place in quilts.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 1.43.15 PM

I bought this patchwork quilt on eBay.

Huh. I had a vision in my head of patchwork quilts being made from any and all scraps of material by women sitting around a large, round, scarred wooden table next to a giant fireplace. I thought that my donation of many different pairs of jeans would be met with glee, especially since, as I told my friend, there would be a lot of material to work with due to my long inseam.

But, my offer was rebuffed. Nowadays, people make pretty quilts, not utilitarian quilts like they did in the olden days.

I personally love patchwork quilts made from scraps. I appreciate their rustic beauty. I don’t like “crazy quilts,” though. I prefer quilts made with at least a little sanity.

So, I still have a pile of ripped jeans that I can’t donate and can’t use. I suppose I could sew vintage patches over the gaping holes and wait for 1970s’ fashion to come back into style. Or, I could look for a quilter who would find a use for my old jeans, and maybe even my holey socks.

There has to be at least one person in the world who has lower standards than my friend has.

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Hold Onto Your Pants

In fashion, Humor on January 27, 2018 at 2:43 am

I understand pack rats. Not hoarders, though. Hoarders, from what I understand, don’t clean and never throw anything out. Their piles of trash reach their ceilings and spill out their windows. Pack rats, however, are people who don’t throw their belongings out for fear they’ll need them someday. Or that’s my definition. I make stuff up to suit my purposes.

Anyway, it’s the fashion nowadays to talk about purging your home of everything that doesn’t “bring you joy.” What a crock. Toilet paper doesn’t bring me joy but I can’t throw it all out. They don’t print Sears catalogs anymore.

Before the woman who wrote about joyful decluttering became popular, though, fashion magazines had always been encouraging people to get rid of clothes that hadn’t been worn for more than a year.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. Let’s say you haven’t worn your favorite (or only) evening gown for over a year because you didn’t have any balls, or Italian weddings, to attend. According to the fashion advisors, you should donate it, pronto. However, you just know that you will have barely closed your car door after dropping off the gown when an invitation will arrive to a black-tie event, or a costume party. What do you do then? Go to the charity shop and buy it back?

And are they also suggesting that men should get rid of their tuxedos if they haven’t been worn in 366 days? That’s crazy talk, as my sister would say. Fashion experts need to be held accountable for their clever advice. If they make me throw out an expensive item that I will need in two years, then they should replace it.

“Dear [insert fashion magazine name] , I took your advice and threw out my husband’s wetsuit. Now he needs it. Please send me one in size XL, and include the flipper-thingies in size 11. Many thanks.”

Also, other items that have been shoved to the back of the closet might be unfashionable now, but fashion cycles are speeding up and they could be back in style in two years, or a year and a half. Then you’ll curse yourself, and that idiot fashion writer, for getting rid of them.

Here’s a perfect example: I wore men’s Levi’s for decades. Even after I succumbed to pressure from those-more-fashionable-than-I to buy women’s jeans, I kept the old Levi’s to wear when I worked in the garden or painted. Just last year, I decided to get rid of them since I had discovered that my husband’s old sweatpants were more comfortable to work in and, thus, I would have no need for these jeans since I couldn’t wear them out in public.

Naturally, I just found these Helmut Lang jeans being sold online for $275. These are Screen Shot 2018-01-27 at 1.38.09 AMexpensive because of the name, but it’s only a matter of time before Levi’s knocks them off and sells them for $100. Summinabeech*, as my husband says.

The moral here is that we should stop taking advice from inexperienced people who are younger than our clothes, hold onto everything, and let our heirs decide how joyful our stuff is.


* Translation: SOB


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