If you're a veteran of the Summer Reading Club at the Towson Library, prepare for a blast from the past.
The library just put up a six-by-six quilt made of the ubiquitous T-shirts from years gone by featuring the summer reading mascot, Sneaks the Cat.
Sneaks has been the Baltimore County Public Library summer reading program's mascot since 1986, but the library didn't get shirts until 1990. All 22 shirts since then—plus the backs of two—are represented on the quilt in chronological order.
This year's summer reading program begins on June 11. Check out the library's website for more information.
Jennifer Haire, the Towson branch manager, said library staffers dug up most of the old shirts and some were sent anonymously from library staffers at other branches. They then turned to JoAnn Stelmack, a media specialist at Chesapeake High School, who stitched the quilt together.
"I just don't know much about quilting and I didn't know there would be this rainbow thread" along the edges, she said. "There's so many details."
The quilt's roughly $500 price tag in materials and labor was covered in full by the Friends of the Towson Library.
"I think the quilt turned out lovely, really lovely and it's fun to look at it. I have children who went through the Sneaks program during that time span," said Fay Citerone, the group's president. "It was fun to look at that quilt and look back to the summers when they wore those T-shirts and visited the library."
Haire said she expects it to hang permanently next the "castle" in the children's section of the library, though she may loan it out to other branches.
"It really could be a way of thanking whoever sent us T-shirts, because we really don't know. It's too nice to really store away anywhere so we'd like to keep it hanging prominently," she said. "I think it will be fun for people to see and remember going back literally 22 years, what the earliest T-shirts look like."