Quilted Scottie

Race Shirt Quilt Excellent Way to Keep Memories Alive

Around a year ago, I was about to break down and place a bunch of my old race shirts in the thrift store pile when I started talking to a friend of mine who is a quilt maker and owner of The Quilted Scottie. Sharon and I came up with the idea of creating a race shirt quilt using the old shirts – many of which I rarely wore but still had weird attachments to.

At first I was skeptical of tying together the old shirts. As many of you know, most race shirts aren’t the highest quality. Some start to fray after the first few washes, so I was doubtful that these materials possessed the proper properties for a quality quilt.

Sharon assured me that this was not an issue, so I went home that night, pulled out one dozen shirts and promptly put them in the wash. While I always wash my shirts after workouts, I know how bad I smell after a run and wanted to make sure I was delivering the freshest shirts possible.

A few weeks after handing over the shirts, Sharon and I met at a local restaurant for lunch so she could present me with the finished product. What I saw struck me. I’m not an overtly emotional person but I got a little misty. The tattered and frayed shirts I had given her were free of flaws, working together in a colorful patchwork. The stitching secured the disparate fabrics, giving the design a beautiful strength. Looking closer I saw the stitching was done in the outline of runners crisscrossing the fabric. The material was soft and warm to the touch. Shiny borders along the perimeter were made from material cut from my finisher medals, which I grabbed out of a bag where they were stored away in the corner of our basement. It gave the quilt a unique touch and was a great way to make use of medals that would otherwise sit out of sight for years to come.

I looked at the mixture of logos and colors as if I was seeing them for the first time, and in a way I was. When the shirts lay in your drawer the only time you see them is when you are preparing for a run. And then it’s a grab-and-go, with little time left for reminiscing. Now I had this quilt that serves so many purposes. It keeps us warm as we sit at home reading or watching TV. It’s a topic of conversation for visitors who see it and ask about the different races. But most of all it’s a way to keep those memories for years to come. I expect that I will have this quilt, and hopefully a few more before my racing career is over, for many years to come. What better way to keep these incredible memories alive.   

If you have a a bunch of old race shirts or any shirts that carry special memories, I would suggest reaching out to Sharon to talk about how she can stitch together your memories. 

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