Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Running T-Shirt Quilt

Photo by OHventures

As an avid runner, my dresser drawers slowly began to overflow with race t-shirts I have collected over the many years of hitting the pavement. 

At first, it's really cool to get a new t-shirt every time you run - it can serve as a memento of a great accomplishment and fantastic experience had with friends. But, if you do 10, 15, even 20 races a year like I do, then it begins to take over your wardrobe, and your storage! A friend once asked if I had anything other than suits and running t-shirts, because he'd see me wearing them so often. Unacceptable.

So I decided it was time to do something about it. As part of my 30 Things To Do Before (While) I'm 30, I set out to have a quilt made using some old running t-shirts! It was a genius idea that I had seen before on Groupon. But rather than sending shirts off to a random company, I put the call out to my friends on Facebook to see if anyone had any ideas of where or who I could go to for a t-shirt quilt.

Many people stepped up and offered ideas, but one friend of mine, Rick, stepped up in a big way. He said that he had always wanted to try to make a quilt, but never had a reason to. If I trusted him, he said he would be willing to make a quilt for me. Instead of monetary payment, he said he would like to have a sampling of wines I gathered from all of my various wineries I visited across the state. It was a perfect match! 

I had to figure out which shirts I could use. He said he could take 20. There were some that I didn't want to give up because I really enjoy wearing them and they are too cool to give up. And there are some that - let's face it - are so ugly that I didn't even want them on a quilt. I wanted ones that looked good and were from races that had special meaning to me. So, after meticulous planning, I came up with a good mix of shirts. 

The shirts are, as displayed on the quilt:

Row 1 (l-r)
Capital City Quarter Marathon - May 2013, Columbus
Boardman Memorial Mile - May 2013, Boardman
Capital City Half Marathon - May 2012, Columbus (my first half marathon)
Run With The Pack 5K - June 2012, Columbus (first run I did with my dog)

Row 2 (l-r)
World Fit 5K - May 2014, Warren (my brother helped organize this race)
Selfless Elf 5K - December 2013, Akron
Glo Run Columbus - April 2013, Columbus
Arnold Pump & Run 5K 2014 - March 2014, Columbus

Row 3 (l-r)
Hubbard Public Library Zombie Run - October 2012, Hubbard
Oktoberfest Brat Trot 4 Miler - September 2012, Columbus
Warrior Dash Ohio 2014 - August 2014, North Lawrence
Out Of The Darkness Walk - October 2014, North Canton (in honor of my cousin)

Row 4 (l-r)
Team OHventures T-Shirts (a shirt I designed for the blog)
Warren Kiwanis Turkey Trot - November 2012, Warren (started our family tradition)
Funny Bunny 4 Miler - April 2014, Canton (took place on my birthday)
Foam Fest 5K - June 2013, Logan

Row 5 (l-r)
Akron Marathon Relay 2014 - September 2014 Akron
Bike Columbus Festival – July 2012, Columbus (first biking event)
Dirty Dog 5K Run & Wash - July 2013, Avon Lake
Akron Gen. Birthday Bash Dash 5K - August 2014, Stow (I was Race Director)

These shirts were the perfect shirts to have made into a quilt. And, Rick certainly delivered with a high quality and great looking quilt (not too shabby for his first quilt making experience). Having this quilt has transformed a pile of t-shirts shoved in a dresser into a unique, meaningful and timeless piece of art (that also doubles as a comfy blanket). 

I owe a great deal of gratitude to Rick for making this happen. This is an item I will always value. One look at it brings back a flood of memories of friends and stories I have made in my running career that has truly changed my life in a number of ways. It's something you can't put a price tag on. No amount of wine can show my appreciation for this great creation!

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