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Meet Amy Walsh of Shirt Off Your Back Quilts in North Fulton County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Walsh.

Amy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I don’t ever remember not sewing, or quilting, or weaving or just generally creating things! I was lucky enough to attend an amazing public high school in Sudbury Massachusetts that allowed me to completely indulge myself in the things that I loved– textile arts. I took weaving, loom building, sewing etc… When it came time to applying to college much to my surprise I could major in textile design and hand weaving. Who knew?! I graduated with a BFA in Textile Design, moved to the Big Apple, and began my career as a fabric designer. I worked for West Point Pepperell hand weaving fabric samples and designing residential upholstery fabric. Three years later we relocated to Georgia to work in the company headquarters in West Point GA. Culture shock? You bet! But we loved it! I loved my career and had many wonderful opportunities working with the furniture industry, forecasting color trends, creating custom designed fabric, etc…

Fast forward, I had two amazing kids and I was fortune enough to be able to stay at home and be with them full time, so I retired from my corporate job and stayed home with my kiddos. No regrets at all! But sewing continued to play a huge roll in my life. You know the drill, Halloween costumes, home decor stuff, etc…

One day I decided to do something with the quickly mounting pile of tee shirts that my kids were acquiring. Hum I thought, I bet this would make a cool quilt! So Eli got one, Lida got one, my husband got one and before I knew it, I had a business!

I began working on one or two quilts in the evening, and slowly but surely one quilt lead to 10 and 10 to 100. That was back in 2006. 11 years later I have an amazing group of women that work with me. We have created over 1,500 quilts and worked with hundreds and hundreds of folks turning their old clothing items into treasures.

Has it been a smooth road?
Because my business started gradually, I have mostly been able to keep up the business without too many struggles. I suppose my biggest challenges have been deciding when and how to expand and then when to invest in equipment and staff.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Shirt Off Your Back Quilts – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Here at Shirt Off Your Back Quilts we specialize in taking your favorite clothing items that you are no longer wearing and turning them into a beautiful quilt. These quilts are keepsakes that can be passed down from generation to generation. They are made of the finest quality materials and fully quilted to insure that they will hold up wash after wash, use after use after use. You are passing on your story, not just your quilt.

New this year is keepsake teddy bears. We take as few as a single clothing item (think grandpa’s flannel shirt) and up to 4 items of clothing and create a cuddly bear. These make wonderful gifts!

One of the things that we specialize in and are really proud of is the memorial quilts that we do. These incredibly special quilts feature clothing items from loved ones that have passed away. A son, a daughter, grandparent, etc. We have done quilts with Grandmas aprons and included scans of her hand written recipes, a dad’s championship fishing shirts, an uncles crazy UF shirts, and so, so many more.

We are always amazed at the great ideas our clients bring to us to create! The young man who wanted to create a “proposal quilt” for his girlfriend, complete with a tee shirt from the bar where they met, photos from special dates, and we even created a heart shaped pocket for the ring! The man from here in Roswell, that did a marathon in every state and wanted a king size quilt to celebrate the accomplishment. The stories go on and on. Every quilt has a story and we love to hear that story and then work hard to bring their story to life.

We are big believers in paying it forward and supporting our local community. Every year we make it a mission to create and donate 5 quilts or quilt gift certificates to local organizations. We have created several quilts for Camp Sunshine, Camp Kudzu, Forsythe County Humane Society, Atlanta Humane Society, Atlanta Speech School, Esther Jackson Elementary School, and many, many more.

I believe that we offer not only the expertise to put a quilt together, but the design experience needed to create something truly unique, beautiful and well designed. We take tremendous pride in our product and we believe that shows in every single quilt we create.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Atlanta has so much to love! Being here in Roswell, we love the river! We are super close to the ‘hooch and cruising down Riverside Road along the river, under a canopy of trees, it’s hard not to love. So beautiful! I love meeting all the great clients’ that we have that have relocated here, like us, from all over the county and now call Atlanta home. I guess I could say that the traffic is a bummer, but let’s face it, my commute is pretty sweet (our studio and shop is in the lower level of my house)!

Pricing:

  • Quilt prices start at $170 for a small (9 shirt) lap size quilt and go up based on the number of shirts you use
  • Our keepsake bears use 1-4 items of clothing and run $90

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Em J Images, http://emjimages.com/

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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