Last year, Jan Doty, the Alden Run’s personal quilter, did it again. Jan designed & created a colorful quilted banner for us which is used at the start line and for fantastic photo ops along with our Run Quilt. Both will be on display at the TAAG Quilt Show which is scheduled the same weekend as our race and Alden Days!
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.