The Alden Run Quilt

It’s amazing what you get when you combine a bunch of old T-shirts and one very talented quilter. This story involves begging, pleading, and bartering without thought to personal safety or conscience. The result was a pile of T-shirts that represented 35+ years of the Alden Run.

The back story starts in 2015. It’s over and done except for the thirst quenching activities that always follow a great event. I’m packing up signs, rolling up tape, patting myself on the back, congratulating both winners and the amazing volunteers I work with, and a woman walks up to me.

She is smiling, she is sweaty, and she is Jan Doty. She asks me if we would be interested in a T-shirt quilt for the run. She is actually offering to make one for us.

I’m thinking of all the old sweaty T-shirts I have stashed in my own drawers at home and imaging a kind of funky,” rumply” quilt kind of thing, which I think could be kind of cool.  I’m even thinking maybe we could have the winners every year, sign the quilt. So I say, “Sure”!

When I ask if I can do anything to help, Jan says she just needs a few more T-Shirts to work with. That starts the whole series of begging, pleading, and bartering. I had no idea people were so attached to the Alden Run T-shirts! I think some people would have given their first born away more easily. I end up finding a number of generous souls (or people who owed me) and I take a pile of freshly laundered shirts to Jan. 

I walk away, having done my part, and don’t think much more about it. 

I get a call from Jan a couple of weeks later and she wants to show me her progress. Again, I’m thinking, “No big deal”.

To say I was surprised is the understatement of the century. I was, in fact, blown away. The little I know about quilting tells me that not only had she done and impressive amount of work, but that she added a great deal of talent to the project. 

The rumply, funky quilt is in fact, a gorgeous work of art! This quilt has become another piece of the tradition that makes the Alden Run so special.

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