Georgia company turns clothing into special keepsakes

If your dresser drawers are filled with T-shirts and other clothes that you just can't let go of for sentimental reasons, a north Fulton County business can help you out. Its name says it all: Shirt Off Your Back Quilts.

For owner Amy Walsh and her staff of six, it's a labor of love. They turn piles of clothing, mostly T-shirts, into keepsake quilts and teddy bears.

"You hate to get rid of them, but you can only wear a T-shirt for so long. So it's an opportunity to take all of those things and create this thing that you can have forever," she said.

Walsh has been sewing since she was 8 or 9 years-old. She started making quilts when she was in her early teens. After getting a degree in textile design, Walsh worked in the industry in New York and in west Georgia before deciding to stay home with her kids.

The idea to start a business came when Walsh’s daughter had a beloved T-shirt she just couldn't give up.

The seven women of Shirt Off Your Back Quilts turn piles of clothing into keepsakes.

"I made one for her, one for my son and one for my husband and for my brother. One thing led to another and in 2006, I thought 'maybe I can make this a business. Maybe this is something I can do as my kids are getting older' and that was the beginning of it," she said.

Two years ago, teddy bears were added to the product line to give customers the option of a smaller, less expensive memento.

"Say your daughter is 10-years-old and she still has her favorite blankets from when she was little," Walsh said. "We can take all those blankets and make an adorable bear that she can continue to have."

She said that it's the icing on the cake that she was able to make a business from something she loves to do and then found six amazing women who share the same passion.

For more information, visit the company's website.