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Life in the Fast (and Slow) Lane

11-year-old drag racing quilter puts the pedal to the floor

Are you an athlete or an artist? Do you drink Pepsi or Coke? Do you like to go fast or go slow?

Society often pressures us to choose between conflicting lifestyles or preferences, but more and more people today are finding that “one” just isn’t enough. Just ask Alex Gray.  At only 11-years-old, he’s a poster-child for hobbyists with multiple and remarkably dissimilar interests. 

See also: Jeff Gordon and the Drive to End Hunger.

Since the mere age of three, Alex has felt the need for speed. Dune buggies, motorcycles, dragsters…you name. If it goes fast, he’ll drive it. But when this speed demon isn’t burning rubber on the track, he slams the pedal of a different machine, one with a bit slower RPM: a sewing machine. That’s right, Alex is also an accomplished quilter who has been perfecting his craft for years.

But why drag racing and quilting? Well, they’re in his blood. Alex grew up watching his father race and his grandmother got him hooked on pins and needles from a very young age. Now, he’s receiving acclaim both on the racetrack and in the quilting circuit. Just recently, one of Alex’s quilts was accepted into the Arizona State Museum, where it will hang alongside a quilt made by another 11-year-old boy that dates back to the late 1800s!

He just might be the world’s only quilting drag racer, but as My Generation’s Andy Field explains, jumping from brake pads to bobbins isn’t as big of a leap as you may think.

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