Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Amy's Memories

714 Main Street, Nov 1997
Amy's memories of opening Quilting Bits & Pieces–

Dave the UPS man
The best memory I have of opening a quilt store was that every night after I came home from work and after supper, Christy and I would head down to quilt store.  There we would open the boxes that Dave the UPS man had brought that day.   Those were the days when we hand wrote an inventory number and price on top of the bolts which would fade off.  That was before we got fancy and got the pricing gun that was originally fun to use.  We would turn on KUDL and listen to “Deliah” and I know you will find it hard to believe – but there was singing and silliness going on.  Christy’s husband, Bill, built the cabinets for us and we debated the exact construction of them.  We looked through every Quilt Sampler magazines saved over four or five years to see what other people were doing and tried to remember what we liked about all of those quilt stores Christy mentioned in her memories that I took her to.  We decided we had to have the little cubby holes for fat quarters and I think that was one of our better decisions to this date.  Although I don’t think cutting fat quarters is anyone’s favorite job.

1st day open
November 1, 1997
The quilt store has literally changed my life and has brought many godly women into my life for me to learn from.  We decided our business cards would have Bible verses on the back and we debated those special verses also.  We wanted to be a witness for Christ while we did something we loved.  I started going to the Baldwin quilt guild and this lady there asked if I ever went on blind dates because she knew this nice young farmer.  I said yes because that is usually the easiest way to never hear about it again.  Turns out the lady was his Aunt Mary.  She had come into the quilt store with her sister from Texas and the young farmer’s mother to check me out – was I friendly, have a nice quilt store, etc.   I must have passed the mother and two aunts test as the nice young farmer called me and we started dating in September 1998.   I was teaching a Conway Album class at the time to about 10 to 15 woman and they wanted to know all about how the dating was going every class and gave me advice.  Many of those same women attended the wedding also – and some the baby shower 21 months later.

Amy's baby shower
 October 2001
I love the quilt store and that it brought my husband and consequently my children into my life.  It was great getting to do something I loved with my sister.  Unfortunately, I also needed to return to the real work world with paid benefits – such as health insurance, so I went back to the world of banking and left the everyday running of the store to my sister and some wonderful partners that God brought into our lives (that Baldwin quilt guild is responsible for meeting Eula and me telling Christy that there was this amazing lady that we needed to come teach at the quilt store and the rest is history).  They occasionally let me crash trips to quilt market, do a block of the month quilt, and always find room for me at late night or quilt camp when I make it at the last minute (along with my daughter Katie).  I remember wanting to drop out of college at the end of my freshman year and going back to talk to a teacher from high school.  She convinced me to stay in school and just transfer into accounting at KU.  It wasn’t my burning desire to be an accountant, but God knows his plans for you.  I took the job in Minnesota being a bank examiner because it was where Christy lived and sounded fun.  All I really wanted was to get married, have kids, and stay at home with my kids.  I couldn’t figure out why it was taking God so long to bring that special man into my life.  However, he was still building the life skills in me that I would need to open a quilt store and then be able to work at home in a challenging, fulfilling career while taking care of my kids.  I don’t get to be in the quilt store every day, but I get to visit frequently and enjoy the life God made for me with my husband and children, Jacob and Katie. 
Amy Deay

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Christina's Comments

While growing up, I never dreamed of owning a quilt shop or even quilting.  I was a tomboy and never cooked or sewed until after I was married.  I did have sisters who liked to do these “domestic things”.  I met my husband while attending the University of Kansas and got married after my sophomore year.   My sister Amy made us a double wedding ring quilt for our wedding, however, I was too busy to appreciate the work she was putting into it.  She decided she liked it a lot more than I did (which was correct), so she purchased a very nice bedspread for us for a wedding gift and kept the quilt for herself.    
Christina  and kids in 1997
Back row, niece Megan & Brianne
Front row, Mark, Christina & Timothy
    After my husband graduated, we moved to Minnesota where we ending up living for sixteen years.  While living there, I took some quilting classes from the local community education program and fell in love with quilting.  Amy would visit (and even lived with us for a couple of years) and we would go visit quilt shops.  She moved back to Kansas after a few years when she decided it was tooooooo cold for her in Minnesota.  Everytime I came home to visit, we immediately went to visit quilt shops and even our vacations turned into quilt shop excursions.  It was always Amy’s dream for us to open a quilt shop and she said multiple times, “When you move back to Kansas, we are going to open a quilt shop”.   Well, the Lord did lead my family back to Kansas to live in August of 1997 and we decided to open our own quilt shop.  Amy quit her full time job and we started talking to sales representatives from various fabric companies to order fabric for our new quilt shop.  We found a vacant building on Main St across from the post office and opened Quilting Bits & Pieces on Nov 1, 1997.  We had several sales reps try to talk us out of opening a quilt shop.  They said Eudora was too small to support one and we would never make it.  Well, I think they were wrong.  The Lord has truly blessed us and we have witnessed many miracles as we watched Him work in our lives and in the lives of many of our customers. 
P.S.  -  Amy has since made many quilts I love.  A few years ago she gave me a hand appliqu├ęd Hawaiian style pineapple quilt for Christmas.  It is coral colored which is my favorite color and I cherish it. 
QB&P at 714 Main Street