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Posted on September 11 2016


I am in a Facebook group called At Home (thanks Kristyn!) and I love seeing the creative things people do to their homes and within their homes. As I was scrolling the feed, I came across Dani Marchus-Rexine’s post about her son's jeans. Not only did this inspire me to want to do the same, but I cried. Like a friggin’ BABY thinking about Gentry turning 18 and graduating high school. I hope Dani’s story will inspire you, my readers, to do the same or similar. The days are long… but the years are short.

Image credit: Shannon Sewell


“I’ve tucked away one pair of jeans, for each of my four kiddos, from preschool-on to make them a quilt for college. It was almost surreal to pull out the first set, as my oldest graduates in a couple months! The finished product isn’t perfect, but it works out ok, because neither is the mom who made it, or the boy who once wore the jeans.

One saved pair from preschool through 12th grade

Front side

Back side – made from sweaters, many belonging to my dad who passed last October.

Riley- my senior. One of my best accomplishments.

For years I moved the tote of jeans from closet to closet. As the weight of the tote increased, so did the realization that the little boy, who taught me how to be a mom, was growing up. Sometimes the days seemed long, but the years were oh so short. Riley was also my dad’s first grandson. We lost my dad last October at the age of 66 after a 2 year battle with bladder cancer. He and my mom flew from ND for a visit, as my dad had never been able to see Riley play football. They flew in on Thursday, watched his game on Friday, dad was in the hospital on Sat, moved to our home for hospice on Tues and he passed on Wed. He was never able to return to home. We were all with him when he passed. Sweaters are not usually used to quilt, but the sweaters on the back belonged to my dad. The quilt has so much meaning. Riley growing into a wonderful young man, years of memories and his grandpa’s presence at graduation. (Side note- the game after Dad passed, Riley ran in two touchdowns, and was featured on two different news channels. We have them recorded. When he crossed into the end zone, he pointed to my daddy in heaven.) Ok- now my eyes are ‘sweating’.

My dad’s first and last football game. We had no way to know he would pass in a few short days.

Riley in a pair of jeans with his best friend- grandpa D.

Riley as a baby guy [in jeans].

It was going to be a surprise, however rugby practice got out early and try as I might, I couldn’t shove it up my shirt or behind my back. He recognized the pockets and red squares of “skinny” jeans he wore in the 7th grade. He had no idea I’d been saving his jeans. When I explained what it was, we both got emotional.”

Might be cheesy, and heaven knows, I’ve seen better days, but he [Riley] is wearing a pair that is in the quilt and I have each pair that Kierstyn and Julia are wearing.

Image credit: Shannon Sewell

Thank you for sharing your story with me Dani! Every time I save a pair of Gentry’s jeans in his keepsake box, your memory will be placed there too! I look forward to seeing your future blankets!

Do you have a sentimental story? I’d love to hear about it! Email me

1 comment

  • Molly Stillman: September 13, 2016

    this is so sweet! what a great idea!!!

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