Racetrack Quilt - Fabric Prep

Racetrack Quilt {WiP}


I like to walk. I tried to get into running, and for almost 5 years I forced myself to run 20-30 miles a month. It was agony and torture. When I realized that I am a walker and not a runner, things really turned around. I love going for walks in the evenings with my husband. The quiet companionship of having him beside me, holding my hand, and talking about our days or nothing at all… it makes me feel loved and connected to my town and the natural world. I also don’t mind walking on a treadmill. I can listen to my iPod and bop along, or I can talk to my friends who are exercising on elliptical machines beside me. It works. It works so well that I walked 1,386 miles in 2014. My goal for 2015 is to walk 1,500 miles. I think I can do it, and I think from our evening walks alone that my husband can walk 1,000 miles this year. Pretty crazy and cool, right?

Treadmill Screen
Treadmill Screen

When I won the bundle of fat quarters curated by Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs and Alyssa @Pile O’Fabric, I knew I wanted to make a new quilt pattern. Pondering what I could do, I headed off to the gym for a bit of time on the treadmill before taking a strength training class. While I was listening to my music and spacing out, I realized the inspiration for a quilt pattern was right in front of me. The treadmill has a digital display that marks how far around a “track” you have walked. One lap is a quarter mile, and four laps is a mile. I watch the blinking digit march around those laps a lot during the year, and I thought it might be really appropriate to make a quilt that would be a nod to all the miles we all put on our feet during the year. Because what better way to relax, put your feet up, and thank your body for its efforts than by lounging underneath a quilt, right?

Racetrack Quilt Pattern
Racetrack Quilt Pattern

I worked to make sure that the pattern uses up all of a fat quarter: only about 1.5 inches by 8 inches is left over from each fabric! One fat quarter provides the “background” for one block and the “track” for a second block. I have the pattern all written up, and yesterday I printed it out and started testing it out by getting started on my fabric prep.

Racetrack Quilt - Fabric Prep
Racetrack Quilt – Fabric Prep

It is *so* tempting to just start piecing, but I am really going to be disciplined and pre-cut all my fabric before diving in. I am really excited about the pattern, because I can see it being used to make quilts for anyone who has a love of track and field, for a friend that you occasionally go for talking walks with, to snuggle under while watching the Kentucky Derby, for a relative who loves car racing, or for anyone who has ever stared at a screen on a treadmill and persevered. I can see so many possibilities with it, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Linking up with WiP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social (buttons on the right).


  • Or even, given the right fabrics, for a small boy with a toy car in his hand! Looks a brilliant idea, and what a great place to find inspiration. Evening walks with my husband was one of the things I missed most when we first had children, such a lovely way to round of the day and talk, glad you enjoy them.

  • Do you STRAVA? Or use another system to track and record your walks? It maps, shows elevation change and times your walk/run/bike/etc. You can label your activity and share your progress with friends if you like. It’s fun for biking because it will rank you against others and yourself when you pass thru certain segments.

  • I’m a walker too. For me me the walks are always more fun when we take the dogs. I get a kick out them smelling everything and always watching to be sure you don’t go too far ahead of them!

  • Great pattern! I think you’re right, there’s a lot of situations a racetrack would be great for – but I think it’s just a really attractive modern design for anyone!

  • I can’t even imagine seeing inspiration on my exercise bike… I’m too busy praying for my half hour to be over LOL! (Trying to work myself up to 40 minute sessions, and then an hour eventually…).

    I bet this would look fun if you switched around the middle section as well (having 3 fabrics within the one block for a more scrappy look).

  • running hasn’t been too enjoyable for me either :/ but losing weight has! lol. i LOVE this quilt! you are so talented, i could never design a pattern, let alone make it efficiently use a predetermined amount of fabric. and i love the fabrics you are using as well. this pattern is very versatile…although your originally inspiration was a track, i don’t think it’s limited to just that. it’s so modern and fun…it makes me think of ticket stubs for some reason. i’m still interested in testing for you if you ever need me! ;P

  • Inspiration hits at any time! I think I’m more of a walker than a runner, although I don’t mind running too much…I just really enjoy walking!

  • I LOVE the story behind this and the inspiration. It makes the quilt even better and I can’t wait to see it all finished! It already looks great as a pre-lay out and I have no doubt it will be even better with the real deal!

  • That’s an awesome amount of miles! Congratulations! Last year I challenged myself to run 8 miles a week and I need to get back to that. I laughed at your closing paragraph because “for anyone who has ever stared at a screen on a treadmill and persevered” describes my winter. “Are you *sure* I haven’t gone a mile yet? That definitely felt like a mile…” The treadmill and I are not friends. lol.

  • This is an awesome pattern and love the story and the inspiration that surrounds it! Congrats on the mileage, I think your goal is totally doable considering how close (well much closer than I) you were to it last year. 🙂

  • You are just so darn creative! 🙂 Love reading about your inspiration and how your patterns come to life. I tried to make myself a runner. . . even injured myself and when the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong and said ‘so good that you can run through the pain’ . . . I continued…. at some point I couldn’t go on and took up walking. Years later I went to a physical therapist who said I had torn a hip flexer and that was where the pain had come from. He was able to work out the scar tissue and I was able to run again. . . For about three miles and I told him I had no idea what possessed me to want to do such a thing again 😉 Definitely a walker and a biker.

  • This is SUCH a great idea!! I love when real life provides inspiration for craft life. 🙂 My husband and I got to know each other as friends and “more than friends” by going on frequent walks together. We haven’t been doing it as much lately (cold weather and it gets dark outside at 4:30!), but I can’t wait for the weather to get nicer so we can pick it back up again. Thanks for the little reminder of what I have to look forward to soon!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)