Quilter Feature - Adel Quilting & Dry Goods Co.

Quilter Feature

This is where we check in on sewing rooms and learn a bit more about our quilting customers and friends. Contact us if you would like to nominate a quilter for a special feature here. It might even be yourself! We love to share and learn.


 Meet Abbie Allen

When I think of Abbie, I can easily place her in several categories - - - skilled seamstress, art quilter, charity quilter, very cool t-shirt maker, large quilt maker, machine embroidery quilter and prize winning quilter. She loves stitching with friends and attends about 6 retreats each year.


Married to Kevin, they have three daughters, Jesi, Bre and Tammy. Well, Tammy was actually the girl next door that became a part of their family several years ago. Each of the girls has three children making Abbie and Kevin grandparents to 9, 6 girls and 3 boys ranging from 7 months to 19 years old.

Here is what Abbie tells us about her quilting journey.

Hobbies other than quilting:

Sewing of all kinds - prom dresses, wedding dresses, 'tea party' dresses for the granddaughters, Hawaiian shirts for Kevin, backpacks and all kinds of things for the home...also have done upholstering furniture.

Tap dancing (and recently started clogging - another form of tap dance).

Making porcelain dolls (haven't done this for a few years though).

Bicycling - have ridden RAGBARI 16 times and a couple of BRR rides too - haven't been on the bike for several years, but hoping to start again soon.

Career info:

Data Architect at John Deere Intelligent Solutions - transferred in December 2018 after 12 years at John Deere Financial.

History of quilting:

Not sure I know when I started quilting - I've sewn since I was in Jr. High and did a few quilts after I was out of high school.  I guess I got 'serious' about quilting again about 1999, when my oldest granddaughter was born.  I had members of the family cross stitch blocks that I made into a quilt.  Now, it took quite a while before that quilt was done (I think she was in Jr. High before she actually got it) and then my daughter, Bre, wanted a Mickey bed & quilt from the Disney catalog and I thought, "I'm not paying that kind of money when I can make one myself", so Kevin made the bed and I made the quilt.  


Quilting awards/ribbons:

I've won blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair for 3 of my embroidery quilts and for one of the T-shirt quilts I've done.  I also received a blue ribbon for the quilted backpack I made for my oldest granddaughter this past year.





                         FRONT                                                               BACK

The first year I put in a quilt for the State Fair I had an extra tag for the Fabric & Threads division and thought 'what the heck, I'll put in this quilt just to use up the tag'...never expected to get a ribbon so was quite surprised when it got a red ribbon.  I also received a red ribbon for the Pledge of Allegiance embroidery quilt.


I received a white ribbon for the quilt I made for Jesi's father-in-law when he retired from the Air Force and an honorable mention for a t-shirt quilt I made for a friend’s daughter's graduation.  I've entered many quilts that haven't received ribbons, but I believe if we don't participate in these types of competitions they may go away and what a shame it would be if we couldn't see all those awesome quilts at the fair.


Machine Quilting:

I do my own quilting on my HandiQuilter Infinity.  I use a program called Art & Stitch to digitize the designs I use.  I purchase some of the designs, but still use this program to combine them into the overall design layout.  I truly struggle to do an 'all over design' as I see the different sections of the quilt with different designs and find myself doing a different design in each section.  The cancer quilts we're doing for Warrior Wagons have helped me get over that somewhat but it’s still a challenge.

Sewing machines:

I have several Husqvarna sewing machines - my first 2 have been handed down to 2 of Jesi's girls who are very interested in sewing (yeah!!!!).  The ones that remain with me are Diamond Royale that also does embroidery, the Sapphire that I use for piecing and garment sewing, a serger, and a newly purchased Opal that will be my 'traveling' machine (i.e. I needed a lighter machine to take to retreats!).

My longarm is a HandiQuilter Infinity with ProStitcher (the computer software).  I started out on the Sweet 16 (it was the only one HandiQuilter made at the time) and quickly realized it was too small for what I liked to make, so I upgraded to the Fusion a couple of years later (it was a 24") and then last year I upgraded to the 26" Infinity.  I think this will have to do unless I can grow taller - don't think I could reach to the back of a larger machine.

Then I have a slew of old machines that I've 'inherited' or purchased at garage sales/antique shops. I don't know that I can choose a favorite - but I guess I prefer the ones that run.

Favorite thing about quilting:

I enjoy the creativity of quilting - seeing the designs that start as ideas in my brain come to fruition as a finished quilt is very rewarding to me.  I enjoy seeing the emotion on the faces of those I've created quilts for (especially the tears of happiness).  I enjoy the social aspect of this hobby - all the people I've met through this adventure and watching each of them grow their talents.


 Meet Bonnie Nelsen

I have known Bonnie for about 10 years. She came in one day to pick out fabric for this quilt and has been a mentor to all of us since.

Known for her creativity as well as her perfectionism, Bonnie is one of the few perfectionist I know who is also very humble. She seems to like working with either bright happy fabrics or black, white and red combos.    



Here is her story:

I hail from Audubon, Iowa!  I was married to Jim for 34 years and have been widowed for 20.  We raised two children......Debbie and Jeff.  We started our teaching careers at Gages Lake, Illinois.  After three years, we moved to Ankeny where Jim taught and I became a stay-at-home mom.  Then it was four years in Mechanicsville, nine years in Postville where I resumed teaching music at Garnavillo before moving to Adel in 1982.  Jim was the Principal at Northwest Elementary while I taught at Panora and later at DC-G finishing my career with 28 years of teaching music.

                                These are applique blocks Bonnie made and now                                   displays in her home, next to her baby grand.

My mother started me on my quilting journey.  Being the third and last daughter, “I” was her last chance at teaching one of us to quilt!  My first quilt was tied using her quilting frame.  (Sad to say, it was destroyed as a dog mat.).  After I retired, my oldest sister who took up quilting later, taught me how to hand quilt.  All of my early quilts were hand quilted.  My favorite part of quilting is “dreaming” it.  I also like to appliqué as I find it very relaxing.  I quilt every chance I get!!!

When we built this house, I planned to sew in the loft, but it soon became apparent that I needed much more space.  Thus I moved everything to my 20’ X 22’ room in the basement. I used two 4 X 8 sheets of plywood which had previously been used as ping-pong tables to make one large table supported by old tables.  I painted it, decorated it with fabric, and had it professionally coated with epoxy.  The cutting table is another “old” table.  This enabled me to seat eight ladies around the table for “fun” quilting retreats.  AND what happens at my retreats STAYS at my retreats!

                                                Bonne's sewing/retreat room. 

This beautiful hand appliqued quilt is also hand quilted.

My quilts have won 2nd and 3rd place ribbons at the State Fair.  My first quilt won a blue ribbon in the “My First Quilt “ category.  My last quilt won Best of Show in 2017. 

This is about half of Bonnie's Iowa State Fair Best of Show quilt. The blocks are 16" and each Dresden Plate has a 1/4" flange of black and white checks. A very stunning quilt.

Bonnie is kind hearted and has a great sense of humor. She says:

The BEST part of quilting is the friendships you make along the way..............they are priceless!


  Meet Patty Starmer


Meet my good friend, Patty. She and I worked together for the postal service for several years. We used to  multi-task, walking during lunch breaks while solving all the issues related to family. At that time, we each had 3 teenagers.  Over the years, Patty, a fantastic cook, has attempted to teach me how to cook and I have been teaching her quilting. I recently interviewed Patty for this feature and here is what she had to say:

How long have you been quilting?

Since the first “Super Bowl sew-in”, probably about 15 years.  I did a little bit of quilting with my Mom back in late 1990’s.

What was your inspiration to get started?

You, Jacque Johnson, were my inspiration. You encouraged and coached me through many projects (and still do today!).  

My mother, Regina Boyd, originally introduced me to quilting, as she attempted to make a quilt for each of her nine children, and many of her grandchildren. Mom passed away in 2001.  I had the privilege of completing a quilt she had started for my sister Cathy but never finished.  I was amazed at the accuracy of her cutting and piecing, as she didn’t have or use even half of the tools I have available to me today.  My sister was thrilled when I presented her with the treasured quilt from Mom.

What is your favorite part of quilting?

My favorite part of quilting is picking out the fabric, and then seeing the blocks come to life.

Do you prefer block of the month quilts, kits or creating your own designs?

I enjoy the BOM quilts because each month usually presents something new and exciting.  I do occasionally enjoy coming up with some of my own ideas.

Patty's Basket of Blohms BOM

What other crafts or hobbies do you enjoy?

Each year in the spring, I plant a vegetable garden and preserve much of what I grow to be consumed during cold winter months.  I also enjoy woodworking with my husband and cooking. 

How many/what are the sewing machines you own?

I own and use three sewing machines; Janome for my everyday sewing, a Pfaff Grand Quilter that I use to quilt small baby quilts and throws, and a Singer Featherweight.

Tell us about your family.  

Married 47 years, three grown children and eight grandchildren.  I will have been retired from the USPS eight years in July. One of my favorite things is preparing great meals for family gatherings.

Patty and her sisters have been coming to our fall retreat for several years. Always a good time with these gals in the house!

This is a quilt Patty is working on for another sister. It is an Irish Chain, a nod to their Irish heritage. It features one crocheted doily found in their mother's sewing basket.


  Meet Theresa Hane

Theresa is a quilting friend from rural Adel where she lives in a log cabin home with husband of 35 years, Mark and their chocolate lab,Chase.


Several years ago, Theresa made this first quilt for their log cabin log bed. It was lovingly worn out by Chase.She replaced it with second quilt shown here, including matching shams and shower curtain.

I first met Theresa in 2003 when she joined Quilt Circle of Friends and then took our Beginners Quilting class. She has been a loyal member of Quilt Circle of Friends ever since and does a lot of our project quilts. Below see one of her Strip Club quilts, a quilt top from our Mystery Quilt project, and a quilt finished using Nine-Patch exchange blocks from Quilt Circle of Friends.


Already talented with scissors from a 39 year career as a hairdresser, Theresa did general garment sewing before exploring quilting. She is also very skilled at knitting and crocheting, having made several things for siblings, nieces and nephews over the years that they still talk about.

After that first quilting class, Theresa was hooked. She says;

"I took subsequent classes in Adel to build skills. After I took a Free Motion machine quilting class, I just could not learn fast enough. I practiced on my quilts and just went for it. I could see my confidence growing as I continued to quilt. I followed blogs, bought books, watched you tube videos and did a lot of drawing on paper. Craftsy.com classes also opened more doors and ideas. I love free motion quilting but also enjoy creating texture with walking foot quilting."

It has been fun to watch Theresa's machine quilting skill grow over the years:


Below is a machine quilting technique Theresa shared at a Circle meeting. She did an all over meander quilt pattern and then she went back and echoed the first meander with another. It makes a playful double image that anyone can do.  Theresa does all of this machine quilting on her domestic sewing machine. Impressive, right?


Theresa's Great nieces and nephews have each received a quilt from her. She tries to keep at least one boy and one girl quilt made up and ready for the next baby.


Here are just a few more of Theresa's beautiful quilts:


"I feel blessed to be surrounded by so may talented quilters around Adel. I enjoy the entire quilting process and follow a pattern about 60% of the time.The other 40% can make it challenging in that I may be scrambling to find that last quarter yard of fabric or end up with 2 yards too much! In the end, I love presenting to the recipient for whom the quilt was made."

I think it is obvious why I feel blessed to have Theresa in my Quilt Circle of Friends.

  Meet Jan Price

I have known Jan Price for about 15 years. She is both a gifted quilter and a lovely person. I visited her at her home recently and she took me on a tour of a few of her quilts. She is shown above with a quilt made from Bow Tie blocks her mother made. Jan put them all together and then finished the quilt with hand quilting.

It was particularly fun to see small quilts hanging around her house that I recognized as kits coming from Adel Quilting. Here's just a couple. The star block was the first kit we ever packaged and sold.


Jan retired after 37 years of teaching elementary school. She is the wife to Don, mother of 3 sons and grandmother of 8. In addition to her excellent skill as a quilter, Jan is also a gifted gardener and holds the title of Volunteer of the Year for countless hours spent updating, improving and promoting the Adel Historic Museum. I have even seen her pulling weeds from the flower beds that surround the museum.

Here is what Jan has to tell us about her quilting journey:

In the fall of 1997, I enrolled in a beginning quilting class at Knits and Other Notions in Creston, Iowa. The class was taught by Kathy Herzberg of Afton. The name of the quilt we were going to piece was Shadow Box. I decided to use red, white and blue for my colors. I wanted to use it in my guest bedroom in our home.

I had it all pieced together by the end of class and then decided to hand quilt it.The quilting went very slowly as I began to make other quilts.

Another fun quilt was one I made with my last 1st grade class at Orient-Macksburg School. Each child in my class picked a fabric on which they traced around their hand. I then sewed it on a block and put all the blocks in a quilt. I hung it outside the classroom. The children loved to put their hands on the block that contained their hand print.

Like everyone who begins quilting, I made quilts for friends, children, grandchildren, weddings and myself. Small wall quilts became a favorite of mine. My lion and bear quilts, made almost entirely by small log cabin blocks, are probably my favorites.

After moving to Adel, I began to enjoy classes at Jacque's quilt shop and loved her fabrics and block of the month club quilts. The largest I pieced was a king sized quilt for our bedroom. By that  time, I had begun to have my quilts machine quilted.


In 1999, friend Fern Hill and I began making autograph quilts for the Relay for Life. The blocks would be signed by cancer survivors participating in the Relay and then I would piece them all together. They would be displayed around town in business places. After several years, they began to auction them off to raise money for the relay. I lost count but believe we made about 10 Relay for Life autograph quilts.

It may be hard to see in this picture but, in the center of each yellow star, there is the autograph of a cancer survivor.

Jan Price is one of the kindest, most generous and graceful women I have had the pleasure to meet. She has gently touched the lives of hundreds of students, adorned the earth with her beautiful flower beds, fought to retain and maintain the history of Adel and built of legacy of lovely quilts to bring comfort and beauty to her family and friends. Thank you, Jan Price, for being my friend.



  Meet Michele Pettorini  


Above is Michele in her Urbandale studio, a very creative environment!

I met Michele when she was a brand new quilter. In fact, she took our Beginner’s Quilting class. It was not long, though, before the student became the teacher.


Michele was the first employee we hired at Adel Quilting. She clerked in the shop, made shop samples and taught classes. The above pictures are from her very popular Kids Camp. 

Michele is the gal in the center, the only one looking at the camera at our ribbon cutting.

She taught several classes for us from hand applique to silk ribbon embroidery and everything between. There has never been a challenge too big for her. 


These two quilts are just a couple of her shop samples. The applique quilt was from a class she taught. The close up on the right is a shop sample quilt she made. You can see it in the background of the kids camp classroom picture.

Then, she bought a long arm quilting machine and her quilting career really took off. Now she is a prize winning long arm machine quilter, known for her extraordinary detail work in custom quilting.

With her own studio where she teaches long arm quilting, runs a business for Edge to Edge machine quilting and a business making quilter rulers using a plastic laser machine, Michele stays very busy indeed.


At this point in her career, her main focus is creating and making acrylic rulers for nationally known quilt designers. She no longer takes customers for custom quilting but does still offer Edge to Edge quilting.

Above are a couple samples of her Edge to Edge designs. She has a limitless number of designs from which to choose.

Another contribution Michele has made to the quilt industry is the establishment of the Des Moines long arm guild. This group gathers monthly to learn from each other and share ideas.

Before quilting, Michele populated the earth with 4 wonderful little ones - - Nathan, Hannah, Aaron and Timothy. These kids are nearly grown now and each has their own artistic talent. 

Nathan  is a gifted musician, majoring in Trombone and Computer Science at University of Iowa. He will soon graduate and already has a job waiting for him as a computer engineer in Kansas City.  I remember the day, when still a little boy, he taught Michele and I a shortcut for computing sales tax on our calculator. 

Hannah is at Simpson and is busy learning fluent Japanese to help her secure a fellowship at a prestigious Japanese college of art. In July, she will move to Japan to teach English for two years.

What about the little guys? Aaron and Timothy are highschoolers, still helping their mom hold down the home front.

After nearly 15 years in business, I find that quilting friends come in and out of your life, many leaving a smiley face on your heart. I am so proud to have been touched by Michele’s creative talent and kind nature.


  Meet Marti Klatt  


Martha “Marti” Klatt’s mother started teaching her to sew, embroider, knit, crochet, etc. by the time she was 4 or 5 years old.  By the time she was 6, she was allowed to use the sewing machine to make simple skirts and other projects.  About this time she also started her first quilt.  It was a crazy quilt and is still in her stash of UFO’s waiting to be completed “one of these days.”


Marti was very involved with 4-H throughout her school years and made many clothing projects, often taking 20 or more items to the county fair.  She also made most of her school clothes.

Following graduation from Graettinger High School, Marti attended Iowa State University, earning a B.S. in Home Economics Education with a minor in Textiles and Clothing.  Her first teaching position was in Ringsted, Iowa where she taught junior and senior high Home Ec. and was also the school librarian and sponsor for both the cheerleaders and the school newspaper. In her “spare time” she worked on a Master’s Degree in Library Science at Mankato State and her summers were spent working for an old Greek tailor.  She then took a job as head Home Economist at LeMars High School for two years.  Her next 29 years were at Perry High School teaching Family and Consumer Sciences, Health, and Careers.  For many years she taught adult sewing or quilting classes in the evening.  Following her retirement in 2002, Marti and her husband opened the Stitches in Time Antique Mall in Perry.  In the back of the store, Marti had a computerized long arm machine where she quilted over 3000 quilts for customers before retiring in 2012.

with William and Magnus

Marti met her husband at Iowa State.  They have been married for over 43 years.  Early in their marriage, Marti restyled Gordon’s straight jeans into bell bottoms, sewed colorful and creative patches onto some of his clothing, and even made him some stylish pants and shirts.  She moved on to tailoring him a number of three piece suits.  She made many of their son’s outfits until they became old enough to rebel and insist upon wearing jeans and t-shirts.  Charlie now works for John Deere and has been in China for 4 years.  David works at the Munitions Plant near Burlington and has two sons, William,9, and Magnus,5.  William made his first quilt this summer while he was at “Grandma Camp.”

1930s repro sampler - 1 of over 100 quilts made by Marti.

Marti has obviously always enjoyed sewing.  She’s made several wedding dresses, all types of clothing, decorator items, costumes and specialty items.  She’s repaired school uniforms, stage curtains, Hotel Pattee items, rugs, horse blankets, and upholstered items.  She’s tried her hand at most crafts including beading, felting, knitting, embroidery, scrapbooking, etc. but quilting has crowded most everything else out.  There are only so many hours in a day!  She doesn’t know how many quilts she has made but it has to be well in excess of 100.  She claims to not have a particular style, having done crazy quilts, machine and needle-turn appliqué, paper piecing, three dimensional, 1930’s and Civil War reproductions, modern, embroidery, brights, children’s, charity quilts, a yo-yo quilt, a Cathedral Window, hand-piecing, hand-quilting, machine quilting, color wash, thread painting, etc.  Most of her quilts, however, are scrappy.  She also searches flea markets and antique stores for antique quilt blocks or tops that she can restore and complete.  She most enjoys selecting and combining fabrics and rarely follows a pattern as it is written, preferring to make it in her own style.  

3 D cat quilt in forefront and applique quilt in process on design wall

Marti is a collector of, Japanese glass fishing floats, Moroccan Amethyst glass, Cape Cod red dishes, Forest Green Depression Glass, aprons, pot holders, whimsical linens, anything with violets on it, half dolls, rhinestone jewelry, demitasse cups and saucers, laundry sprinklers, nun figurines, and Princess Peggy salesman sample dresses.  She also collects anything sewing related: thimbles, pin cushions, miniature sewing machines, thread holders, miniature irons, spools, buttons, tape measures, skirt markers, needle books, sewing kits, vintage fabric, feedsacks, etc.  She has a number of sewing machines but mainly uses her Bernina at home and takes an Elna to classes and retreats.  She also has a number of Featherweights, a restored treadle machine, and a number of other antique machines.

collection of thimbles displayed in wall cases.

more sewing notion collectibles

Marti frequently attends the Sit n Sew at the Library and usually can be found at the monthly Quilt Circle of Friends meeting.  She is a founding member of the Perry Piecemakers Quilt Guild, a member of the Iowa Quilters Guild, the Des Moines Quilt Guild, and the Heart of Iowa Longarm Quilt Guild.  She usually attends the Machine Quilters Showcase and is a member of the International Machine Quilters Guild. 


 Meet Jo Anne Schnebly

Meet my friend, Jo Anne from northern Iowa. I met Jo Anne several years ago, bonding over our common interest in long-arm quilting. Always willing to take on a new challenge, she purchased an Acu-Quilter . In addition to long-arm quilting for customers, she also does custom cutting. She does almost all of the cutting for our Strip Club. As you read Jo Anne's quilting story you will learn, she is a jack of all sewing trades and very, very generous with her time and talents. Here is what she tells us.

I have been sewing since I was 9 or 10 years old. I am 60 now so, that's 50 years of quilting. Wow! My Mom had me make a blue and white checkered gingham shorts and top outfit.  The shorts had a zipper and waistband.  The top was sleeveless and had facings around the neck and sleeves and buttons down the back.

My Mom taught me how to sew.  My grandmother helped my sisters and me with our 4-H sewing projects, prom dresses, and wedding dresses. I still have a Lone Star quilt to finish that my grandmother started in the 1930's.

My first quilt was a tumbler pattern.  My husbands great grandmother gave me one of her pattern pieces that was cut out of a cereal box.  I purchased the only 12 cotton fabrics that Rike’s Department Store (Dayton, Ohio) carried to make the quilt.  I used a sheet for the back and draped the quilt over the arms on my rocking chair to hand quilt it.  I didn’t know about quilting hoops or frames at that time.

My Great Grandmother gave me the fabric and pattern to make this tumbling block quilt when I was in High School. It is also hand quilted. 


My first machine quilted items were a pair of potholders I made for a gift for an aunt.  I made them out of scraps from a jumper.  I also made patchwork potholders for my mom, using the same scraps 

I've made at least one quilt for every member of my family. In 1999, I made 4 Millennium charm quilts (2000 pieces each) for my 2 sons, niece and nephew. I also made 5 memory quilts from my fathers clothes (farmer - blue jeans, fisher stripe coveralls, and flannel shirts); one for my mom, three sisters, and myself.

‚ÄčAs a young wife and member of the church ladies group we made quilts to send to missions.  Those ladies taught me a lot about quilting and they shared stories of helping their mothers make quilts.  I have been making donation quilts ever since.  Mostly baby quilts and lap robes.

I "rescue" fabric from garage sales, auctions and second hand stores.  This fabric is used for charity quilts. I also rescue unfinished quilt projects.  Some get finished; others are waiting to be finished.

I own 2 Featherweights, 2 Pfaffs, 2 Singers, and a 30" Nolting Long arm quilting machine with a 14’ table. I added an Intelliquilter 2 years ago.  Love it!    I have quilted more than 1500 quilts on it. The name of my business is Greenbrier Quilts. I also have an Accu-Quilter and do customer cutting. My home is a "quilt factory".


My sister loves Downton Abbey.  She made a quilt out of the Downton Abbey fabric and I quilted it. This is the back.  Love doing feathers with my IQ.


Over the decades I’ve done hardanger, embroidery, macrame, counted cross stitch, crewel embroidery and silk ribbon embroidery. I have also tried just about every quilting technique there is.  I jokingly tell people I don’t do the “A” word.  However, I do admire the work of others who do applique.  I’m always impressed.  I try to take at least one class a year.  I also teach quilt classes. I love all aspects of quilting.  Perhaps my least favorite is color coordinating.

There was a call out to Iowa quilters to help make quilts for the families of 9-11 victims in New York and Washington, D.C.  I made 26 throw sized quilts to send to children who had lost a parent at the Pentagon.  A gal in southwest Iowa organized that project.  I have since done some work with the Freedom Quilts project from Fonda, Iowa.

A few months later Quilts of Valor was formed.  I have made and/or quilted 156 Quilts of Valor for quilts those that have been affected by war.

I am a member of the Des Moines Area Quilt Guild and a local group in Greene County.

I graduated from Hillsboro High School (Hillsboro, Ohio), attended secretarial school at Miami-Jacobs (Dayton, Ohio) and Bliss College (Columbus, Ohio) and took Ag classes in St Joseph, Missouri.  I have lived in Iowa since 1980. I am married, have 2 sons and 2 grandchildren.  

I worked in a variety of jobs over the decades - mostly office work in Ag related businesses.  I also sold Longaberger Baskets for about 15 years.

I do a lot of volunteer work in Greene County.  Have been Cubmaster for Cub Scouts for 10 years and Den Leader for several of those years.  Help kids with 4-H sewing projects, work at the county fair, etc.  Serve as Township Clerk and part time secretary for our little country church.

I don't sew just quilts!  These are 280 school bags made out of drapery and/or upholstery fabric.  They are headed to UMCOR. This is an ongoing project for me each year.


These are Iowa State and Iowa Hawkeye quilts:  I made 3 of each and donated to various charity auctions this winter.



In 2014, Jo Anne coordinated with friends to make a quilt for every veteran in the Jefferson Class of 1964 to present at their 50th class reunion. They initially thought they would be making 4 or 5 but ended up presenting 16 quilts! Jo Anne did all of the machine quilting. 

Feeling just a bit overwhelmed by the 2014 veteran quilts, this year they asked Jo Anne to make flag banners for each. Good plan as this year they expect to present 38 of these patriotic banners to veterans in the class celebrating their 50th class reunion.


Additionally, she presented 15 Quilts of Valor to members of her church last July.


These stacks of quilts were made by Jo Anne and donated to charities. The first stack was an attempt to use up her gingham collection. I think she may have at least made a dent in that collection. Below are more charitable quilts on which she donated machine quilting.



Did I tell you? One very talented and generous quilter. Thank you to Jo Anne for sharing.



  Meet Fran Cleary

I first met Fran at our Ladies of the Lake Quilt Retreat. It's hard to picture her without her two quilting co-horts. Sister Mary,on Fran's right above, is from this area. Friend Joyce, on Fran's left, is from northern Iowa. Fran (center) is from Missouri so, they meet up in the middle at our Ladies of the Lake Quilt Retreat for some fun fellowship and quilting. Their infectious smiles just light up the room. Read on to learn more about how Fran enjoys and shares her love of quilting.

I started sewing when I was in about the 7th grade with sewing lessons from the Singer store in Fort Dodge.  At that time I made clothes and continued by making clothes for my daughter when she was young.  I started quilting in 2008 with quilting lessons from JoAnn’s.  This is my first quilt: 

Most Sunday afternoons find me in my sewing room working on some project.  I own 3 sewing machines – a Husqvarna Sapphire 950 that I use most of the time, a Singer Quilter and a Singer Featherweight.  The Featherweight is my most recent addition.  It was found by my sister, Mary, in Arizona this winter. 

I machine stitch my quilts and usually do the quilting on my machine.  Once in a while, I will hand quilt when I am looking for more detail.  I am currently trying English Paper Piecing and am looking forward to developing that skill as well.  My biggest project with hand work is what I call the 20 year quilt.  It uses machine stitching for the background and hand stitching for the “windows.” 

I started crocheting as a part of a service project back when I was in Camp Fire Girls.  That lead to learning to knit which I enjoy more than crocheting.  I have made numerous afghans some of which ended up at nursing homes at Christmas time.  I also make dishcloths all year long to be able to share with others


My favorite thing about quilting is sharing time with other quilt lovers, especially my sister and also with the Ladies of the Lake. 

Fran can be competitive, too. Here she is shown with her strip quilt made in our retreat Jelly Roll Race. Let's just say there was smoke coming off her foot pedal!

I also really enjoy sharing my “gift” with others – such as; I have made 4 “What Cancer Cannot Do” quilts for family and friends battling cancer, I have made some comfort quilts for friends and relatives struggling through difficult times.  I have made baby quilts too numerous to count which have found their way as far away as Africa and Switzerland.  If there is a baby being born in the family or a friend, I get to work making a soft quilt. 



I also made a memory quilt for my mother-in-law on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

My great-grandma was a quilter.  She would present each grandchild with a quilt for a wedding gift that she had made especially for them.  She would use the technique of tying quilts and I am the proud possesser of her quilt frame.  Our mom also liked to quilt and I helped her tie several quilts.  After Mom died we found a couple of quilts that she had started and never finished.  I did finish one which now travels from family member to family member each year.  We put the names of all the women and girls in the family into a “hat” and whoevers name comes out gets the quilt for a year.  This quilt is lovingly called the Ugly Quilt. 

I have been married for 36 years to my husband, Jim.  We have two children who are both married.  We have one granddaughter who will be 2 this summer.  I grew up in Fort Dodge and went to St. Edmond High School there.  I currently work for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  

Thank you for sharing, Fran. It's been a treat to know you and a treat to read your story.


  Meet Julia Swallow


I met Julia shortly after we opened the shop. She has been a good friend and always willing to help out during special shop events.  


             Setting up for our outdoor quilt show                         Helping with Sisters of the Cloth meetings

 Now that she has retired from her career as a teacher, we are very happy to have her as our "Monday Girl". 

Julia is also a very talented long arm quilter. I admire her attention to detail and lovely scrolling designs. Below is a sample of Julia's long arm quilting, done on a quilt made by Margaret Beal.

                                      Ask us for her contact information!

Here is what Julia tells us about her quilting journey.

I have been sewing since I got a little sewing machine from my uncle. I was probably 6. I made some dreadful clothes for one of my dolls.

My great grandmother was a quilter. She was always taking the scraps of fabric from sewing projects and making quilts. I have a quilt she made for me that has fabric from many of my dresses from elementary school.

I started my first quilt when I was teaching in Kansas. It took me 21 years to finish, and that only happened because my obsessive quilter/friend, Barb, was visiting and insisted. It could be an example for the “what not to do when making a quilt” class.


Lots of little squares in this quilt - - - - a few of which made it on to the back!

I have three sewing machines, all old. I have a Viking that I bought in 1971 (college graduation). I usually sew on two Singers, a featherweight and a 301.

As a former art teacher, I have done most crafts. I found that quilting was one that I didn’t ask myself, “What will I do with one more of these?” Although…I knit and I’m working on the largest collection of hand knit socks in Western Dallas County.

I have a long arm quilting machine which keeps me busy quilting for customers including my two sisters who complete more quilts than I do. I enjoy the challenge of matching the style of quilt and fabric to quilting designs and thread. Long arm quilting has helped me cut down on adding to my stockpile of quilting fabric. I have less time to make quilts, so my fabric collection (not a stash…collection suggests more purpose than stashing) is extensive enough to last for quite a while.


This is Julia's stunning Amish style quilt and a close up of the back to show more of her machine quilting skill. 

My favorite part of quilting is starting a new project. You could tell that if you saw my list of unfinished projects. I’m working to correct this fault. Quilting and knitting for me are about the tactile experience and the use of color.

 A lover of batiks, Julia made this quilt with a pack of Hoffman Batik Bali Pops


- - - -and this quilt top made from a pack of batik layer cakes (10 in squares)                              

I have two granddaughters who are eager recipients of quilts. I try not to take them into the quilt shop often because they aren’t bashful about telling me what they like and what I should buy, usually anything pink.

I taught school for 38 years and retired in June 2014. Now I am a part-time employee at Adel Quilting and Dry Goods which I enjoy immensely. It’s such fun to see what everyone is making. I also enjoy watching the new fabrics arrive with all their possibilities for projects.



  Meet Cyndi Craigmile

I've known Cyndi as a customer for several years. She has done several of our block of the month quilts. Never one to shy away from an advanced quilt project, Cyndi has made several extraordinary quilts as seen in this photo gallery of her quilts:



And many lovely graduation quilt gifts:



As with many quilters, Cyndi's biggest helper is shown here pressing fabric 

                                        ----- and rearranging pieces:

Here is what Cyndi has to tell us about her journey in the sewing room:

I come from a long line of sewers.  My Grandmother and Mother had me behind the sewing machine at age 5 sewing together strips for rag rugs and socks to make cleaning rags.  By age 10, I was in 4-H and making many of my own clothes.  The quilting bug did not hit until after I graduated from college.  I made my first quilt in 1980.  This was before the rotary cutter, there was 1 quilt shop in the area, and to be the best quilter, you hand pieced the blocks and hand quilted the quilt.  I even drafted my own templates!  My first quilt was a sampler quilt that fit a king sized bed as a bedspread.  It was hand quilted by an Amish group, at a cost of $75.  The quilt won a People’s Choice award at the National Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo Iowa.  I look at the quilt now and realize how much I have learned!  I took some time off from quilting to do needlework, coming back in the early 1990’s.  By then, the rotary cutter was your best friend and it was ok to quilt with a “faster needle.”

I enjoy many techniques.  I do foundation paper piecing and hand applique as well as machine piecing.  My hand applique projects can take several years, as they are called my “Vacation Quilts” and travel with me to our cabin in Northern Minnesota.  My nieces and nephews all get a full sized quilt when they graduate from high school.  They get to pick the color, but I get to pick the pattern.  It is so much fun to watch their faces when they open up their quilt.  I have also made quilts for all of my family and my in-laws, 10 full sized quilts in total.  When I gave the quilts to my brothers and sisters, it was my Dad who was most touched.  I think he realized what a labor of love the project represented.

I have started a mission quilt group at our church.  We take donated fabric and make quilts that are given to missions and to area Hospice locations.  Our latest project was to make quilts out of the volunteer jackets from Iowa Methodist/Unity Point.  With the change in their name and logo, they wanted a way to recycle the jackets.  The quilts have been donated to Taylor House Hospice.

I also do baptism quilts for our Church.  Each child that is baptized gets a small quilt to remember the day.  It is so much fun to “present” the baby wrapped in the quilt to the congregation. 

 Quilting is relaxing for me.  My family knows when it is time for mom to pick up a needle!  It relieves lots of stress!  I enjoy the mathematics of quilting.  I also like to see if I can improve on a pattern by changing a technique or changing the instructions.  I am always looking for ways to improve my end product.

My husband Mark and I have been married for 28 years.  We have 2 children, Matt and Michaela.  I have a degree from ISU in accounting, and recently semi-retired. 



 Meet Vanessa McBurney

Continuing our series of featuring the top 12 quilters from our 2013 Little Sister's Outdoor Quilt show brings us to Vanessa McBurney. She has not been a life-long quilter but, she is certainly making up for lost time. 


This is a snippit of Vanessa's first quilt.

Vanessa says quilting is her hobby, her passion and now, it's her career! She retired after 42 years with Qwest but she didn't stay retired long.

She met the crew of At the Heart of Quilting and before she knew it, she was running their long arm, teaching and having the best time of her life. Vanessa says, "Where in this world can you do what you love and learn at the same time!"

Vanessa has been featured in our Calendar of Quilts several times. Above is one of her entrees. She was tasked to convert these vintage embroidered towels into a quilt.

Vanessa is wife, mother of 1 and grandmother of 4. Her family is her very supportive, including a brother who loves to get her gift certificates to her favorite quilt shop!

This beautiful quilt rack, used to display a few Vanessa's quilts, was built by her 14 year old grandson.

And these two young men, ages 7 and 11, are grandsons that love to sit down to the sewing machine. Quilting is a family affair at the McBurney house.

We at Adel Quilting enjoy Vanessa's enthusiasm and love watching her grow and develop in her career, her hobby and her passion. What could be better? When asked her favorite part of quilting she responds, "I just love it all!"


  Meet Karla Janning   

Karla is a very talented quilter and not afraid to take on a challenge. In fact, I don't believe I have ever seen one of her quilts that was not of the spectacular level. 

Here are a series of Karla's quilts that have been featured in our Calendar of Quilts over the years. 




Here is what Karla has to tell us about her career as a stitcher:

I learned how to sew from my mother, who made many of my clothes when I was young.  Then my good friend Mindy decided we needed to learn to quilt about 16 years ago.  Boy, if we only knew what we were getting into!!!! 


This is Karla with her quilting  buddy Mindy.  They are regulars at our Ladies of the Lake Quilt Retreat. They come for the whole week and stitch until they drop!


My first quilt was a block of the month that came in the mail.  It never did make it to quilt status, but the blocks did become curtains.

Above is a block of the month that Karla did complete!

I own two machines, a Janome and a Pfaff as well as a long-arm with a computer.  I enjoy all types of piecing, but am starting to appreciate the quicker patterns more and more.  Lately I have been very interested in the modern quilts with the large areas to add quilting designs.

I donate quilts to the local Relay for Life and donate long-arm services for various charities of my customers.


I live outside of Scranton on an acreage with my husband, Josie the Border Collie and our two horses.  I split my time working for Region XII in Carroll doing housing rehabilitation and Queen Bee Quilting, my long arm quilting service.  My son manages the Coop in Scranton, so I get to see him and my Grand-dog fairly often.

My favorite part of quilting.....Annual Ladies of the Lake Quilting Retreat!!!




   Meet Margaret Beal     

Margaret is a neighbor and friend. She is very humble about her quilting skill but those of us who know her and have seen her work know she is really a master of stitching. A very generous soul, Margaret is a modest mentor of many and highly respected in our Quilt Circle of Friends. Here is what Margaret tells us about her sewing experience.

I began sewing as a 4-Her when I was nine years old, learning on my mom’s treadle machine.  Mom was always a very patient teacher which is so important. Both of my grandmothers were quilters so it follows that my daughter and her daughter are also quilters. Both of my sisters and two nieces are extraordinary quilters.


                                  This is Margaret with her sister as they return                                         from a 3 day quilt shop bus trip.

I still have my grandmother’s quilt frame although I do very little hand quilting any more.  My first quilt was a baby quilt for our first baby, a collection of embroidered animals sashed together in a yellow print. This my first experience at hand quilting.

I only have three sewing machines, my original White and two Pfaffs, one which I take to Open Sew at the library, what a fun time! 

I belong to Quilt Circle of Friends quilt group and Adel Christian Church quilters where we make baby quilts for Blank Children’s Hospital.


These are a few of the quilts Margaret has helped complete for Blank Children's Hospital.

I like traditional quilts.  I’m not creative enough to make art quilts and my choice of colors pretty much runs to blue, red,  brown and reproduction fabrics.  I currently am working on a gray and yellow quilt which is a little daring for me.  Two quilts are being quilted and two more quilts are waiting to see the light of day.


These are a few of quilts that have been featured in our Calendar of Quilts. Margaret has been in the calendar nearly every year.

I combine piecing and applique in a lot of my quilts and I occasionally paper piece.  I have made picture memory quilts for each of our grandchildren as they’ve graduated from high school.

I enjoy showing quilts at Little Sister’s Quilt Show and have entered quilts at the Iowa State Fair – still striving for one of those top ribbons.  Our church has a quilt show each Christmas in conjunction with our parade of Christmas Trees which is another opportunity to show quilts.

Verlynn and I were married for fifty two years. He was an Iowa State Trooper and we moved to Adel  in 1965. We have three children, six grandchildren, two step grandchildren and one great grandchild. I worked for many years at the Dallas County Courthouse and have been a church organist for many years as well.

I’m fortunate to live just a couple blocks from Adel Quilting & Dry Goods and enjoy the friendship of Jacque, Frank and their staff. Quilters in the Adel area are also fortunate to have so many long-arm quilters who add so much life and beauty to our quilts.


These are quilts Margaret entered in our Little Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show in 2013 and 2014, both winners by Viewer's Choice and both Calendar of Quilt features.


  Meet Joyce Strand   

Joyce is a kind soul and a fantastic quilter. I have known her for several years and always smile when I see her come walking up our sidewalk. I can always depend on her for honest and frank opinions, whether it be about quilting or life in general. So glad I have had the good fortune to know her.

Joyce has had a quilt featured in our calendar several years. This is the quilt that was featured in our 2014 calendar:

Joyce does a great job with fabric selection and take a closer look at the machine quilting. Joyce does not do customer quilts. She just enjoys quilting for herself and her family

Here is what Joyce has to tell us about her career with needle and thread:

I have been sewing a long time! I started when I was in a junior high home ec class using my mothers old treadle machine. Her mother was a great seamstress but my mother did not sew. I really learned to sew trial and error and the learning curve was steep.

I  bought my first electric machine and got serious when my oldest daughter was born and find that I still love to make little girl dresses, my very favorite thing to do. I make lots of formals for my granddaughters which they really like and so do I. My daughter,Dina,and I have made a lot of the costumes for the flag girls for the ADM band. They ask Dina and she recruits me.

Below are just a few garments Joyce has made for her grandchildren over the years. She has sewn everything from baby clothes to prom dresses, each to perfection.



I started quilting for real about 1985, making quilts to be tied . I think the first pattern was a Trip Around the World. Since then I have improved my skills and my equipment.  I have owned many machines but my favorite is a Memory craft 8000 that I bought about 21 years ago and use almost exclusively still. I bought a long arm when I was 70 and love that machine and use it a lot. [Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks]. My daughters sew also and so we have a lot of machines but those two are by far the most used.

As far as what techniques I like to use, I can better tell you what I don"t like. I stay away from hand sewing projects except I hand sew bindings. I don't like the look of machine finished binding. I don't hand applique either and I don't care for paper piecing. I LOVE SCRAP QUILTS. I'm game to try any technique that makes piecing easier and quicker and better organized. And of course I love fabric. Some pieces I have a hard time cutting because they are so beautiful, love the batiks. My habit is to start and finish a top before I start the next one. I line up my long arm projects so I will have 3 or 4 to finish at a time. 



               These are a few of Joyce's quilts that have been featured in past calendars. 

My other interests are crocheting, knitting, some embroidery, lots of cooking and I love mystery novels. Can't always solve the puzzle but I keep trying.

I have donated to charities who auction off the quilts but may family is large and there is always someone waiting for a quilt.

I have a nursing degree and a bachelors in business and economics but my main job has been mothering 5 children and 14 grandchildren. Lots of laughing in this family.

Joyce is always willing to share a new quilt design idea. Above is a sample. She made this strip quilt and let us feature it in the shop, a favorite for any batik lover.  Joyce - Thank you for being a friend of the shop!


  Meet Marge Pearson                    


Marge is shown here with her first quilt to be juried into a contest. She designed this quilt herself, using a new curved piecing technique she picked up in a class. This quilt was also featured in our Calendar of Quilts.

Marge is a prolific quilter. She accomplishes more in a year than some of us do in a lifetime of stitching.  We have been producing our own calendar for about 8 years. Quilts are selected for our calendar by viewers choice at our spring outdoor quilt show. Marge has had a quilt voted into each of our calendars.  Here are a few:




Here is what Marge tells us about her journey as a quilter, designer and teacher:

I started sewing when Barbie dolls were invented.  I wanted to make her clothes.  I still remember the discovery:  If I sew my side seam right sides together, I will not have the seam on the outside of the skirt!

I probably started sewing a year or two  prior to that.  When my mom sewed and I was a pest, she had me start a quilt.  She never made a quilt herself, but it would keep me occupied so she could concentrate on the garment she was working on.  She helped me draw a triangle on the inside of a cereal box.  It was my template and fabric came from her scrap box.  I traced with any pencil or pen I could find.  I hand pieced these hour-glass blocks together.  Later she taught me to use the sewing machine to make my blocks.    I remember she had me use her left-over bobbins to get them empty!  What a clever mom!   The quilt was not finished, but mom saved all of the project in a shoe box.  


                           Here are a few fabrics used in Marge's childhood quilt.

Fifty years later when I started thinking of doing some quilting she gave me the shoebox!  

Some of the blocks got taken apart and resewn, but I was determined to finish the quilt.  I added some solids to put the blocks together and make it large enough to cover a bed.  I might redecorate my bedroom to accommodate the masterpiece!  I hand quilted the monster!  It now makes a cozy blanket and there is always a quilt on top of it as a spread.

Once I got going doll quilts were my passion and the first book I purchased.  I made a few on the trusty Singer I bought with my own money when in high school.  But I soon moved to bed quilts.  I still like to make a doll quilt after a large quilt just for the fun and ease of the size.

One of my quilting friends made fun of the Singer and encouraged me to buy a Phaff at an auction.  It was 10 years old when I bought it, but light years ahead of the Singer. 

When the Pfaff began to give me trouble I bought an Elna.  The Pfaff came out of the repair shop like new!  I love all my machines for different reasons and use them for what they do best.  I have added a Singer Feather-lite as I so love classes and retreats.  It travels so easily.  


                Here is Marge at our Ladies of the Lake Quilt Retreat with her                                                              quilting buddy and sister-in-law.

Through lots of classes I have tried many techniques and learned so much.  But I still love piecing quilts the best and hire out my quilting.  I also like the challenge of figuring out the math of a block and quilt and have written a few patterns.

As for fabric, I have to share one of my first buying experiences.  I was at the Adel Quilting store and discovered reproductions of those charming 30s children’s prints.  I selected one and when asked how much I wanted, I paused.  From making most of my clothes as a teenager and new bride I knew that three yards could make most garments, so I said three yards!  I remember the surprised look at the gal cutting my fabric.  I knew I had made a quilter’s error!  

After teaching high school science and often going home wondering if I had had an adult conversation that day, I have so enjoyed the quilting groups I have been a part of.  Some are small as the ladies who come to my home each month, others are large.  I have been a part of the DMAQG for ten years now.  Quilters are some of the most lovely women and I am blessed with so many adult friends now.



        Marge stands beside this quilt she helped design and                                                               hand quilt for the Des Moines Area Quilt Guld.



 Meet Deb York


I have known Deb since we opened business 12 years ago. She is one of our more experienced quilters, always willing to teach and share ideas.  This first quilt is a great example. This quilt was voted by viewer's choice as one of the top 12 entered in our 2013 spring outdoor quilt show. Deb used a unique circle piecing technique to make this quilt.




This quilt to the left is a baby quilt Deb designed for her first grandchild and titled, Circle of Life. As you can see, it was not only featured in the Fons and Porter Love of Quilting magazine but was also one of their top 10 selling patterns.






photo courtesy of Fons and Porter Love of Quilting magazine.

Here are a few of her quilts from Quilt Circle show and share. 




Here is what Deb has to tell us about her long creative stitching experience. Thanks for sharing, Deb.

How long have you been sewing?

Sewing fascinated me as a child & I can remember begging for those cardboard sewing cards & prestamped embroidery pieces from the dime store.  I got more serious about it as a teenager who loved clothes, but wanted to wear something different than everybody else.

Who taught you?

My paternal grandmother taught me basic garment construction & helped me when I need extra instruction.

When did you start quilting?

My first ‘official’ quilt was made when I was pregnant with our second daughter in 1976.  It was blocks of embroidered animals offset with blocks of red gingham and a satin blanket binding.  I’m pretty sure I used flannel as the batting since she was a June baby.


                   It's no secret, Deb loves to sew for her grandchildren!

How many sewing machines do you own?

That’s a tough one!  I used a no-frills New Home machine for 30 years.  I then upgraded to a Viking sewing/embroidery machine in 2004.  I also have a Viking mid-arm, 2 sergers, 3 antique treadle machines (one belonged to my maternal grandmother & one to my husband’s paternal grandmother), a Singer Featherweight  & a felting machine.  Hmm, & I only use one at a time!

What techniques have you played with and which do you enjoy the most (paper piecing, machine appliqué, hand work, etc)

If there’s a sewing technique out there, I’ve probably tried it.  I most enjoy designing & piecing quilts. I recently took a workshop with Dawn Cavanaugh & am enjoying the quilting process much more.  Art quilts are very interesting to me & are something I would like to try a little more.  Ah, so many quilts, so little time!

What other types of fiber work or crafts do you enjoy?

I tend to go in phases, although I rarely work exclusively in one medium.  I’m a self-taught knitter, crocheter, cross stitcher & even do a little upholstery & home dec ~ don’t tell anybody!

If you have done charity or professional quilt work, please describe.

I donate several items each year to various groups through the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild & Adel Quilting.  I recently attached a binding for Iowa Comfort & am embroidering some aprons for our church.  My 15 minutes of fame comes from designing & making a quilt that was published in Love of Quilting magazine in 2004.  I also enjoy teaching quilting on occasion.

Do you belong to any quilting groups?

I belong to the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild, Quilt Circle of Friends & a couple of small groups.



                                Here's another quilt Deb shared at Quilt Circle after                                                              playing with the Jelly-Roll Race technique.

What is your favorite part about quilting?

Does buying fabric count?  Seriously, my favorite part about quilting is the creativity.  I rarely make a quilt precisely as the pattern instructs & often just design my own pattern.

Tell me a little about your family and career.

I grew up in Storm Lake, IA, but married an Adel boy in 1973 & we have lived here ever since.  We have 3 kids, all married & living in the Des Moines area & 4 grandkids who we get to babysit as often as we like.  We work out of our home serving the real estate/banking industry & 2 of our kids & 1 of our sons-in-law work for us.


        How pretty is this? Deb made this quilt for her daughter's wedding quilt.                        

  Meet Carol Piziali


I first met Carol shortly after we opened in 2001 but, I see a lot more of her now that she is retired! Carol makes a lot of our big shop sample quilts. She stands beside two of them above. She is not afraid of color and experimenting with the modern quilt designs. Skilled in all kinds of fiber arts, we appreciate Carol for her quick turn around and neat work on shop samples and are so happy she retired!  Carol entered this next quilt in our spring outdoor quilt show and was voted by Viewer's Choice as one of the top 12 quilts for our 2014 Calendar.


Here is what Carol tells us about her background in all things stitchery.

I attended a one-room country school in rural Hardin County. Our Superintendent of Schools thought that all boys and girls should know how to use a needle and thread, so on his visits to the school, he taught all of us, even we kindergarteners, how to do hand embroidery. Embroidery is still my secret pleasure.  I wasn’t quite big enough to sit at my mother’s sewing machine then, but when my feet finally touched the floor, she had me learning the basics. Her teaching and 4-H set me on a course for clothing construction for many years.  I made almost all my own clothes and those of my children.  I still own my mother’s machine, my grandmother's treadle machine that she got to make my father’s baby clothes 99 years ago, and I have two others including a new one I just acquired this last fall.

I taught music in the Des Moines school system for a year after graduation from the University of Iowa. After the military took my family to some interesting locations around the world, we settled in Adel 35 years ago. Before retirement, I worked for Dallas County as Human Resources Administrator for 23 years and Russell Loan and Title for 27 years. Loved the jobs, but love the freedom of retirement even more.  I have two children, 2 teenage step grandchildren and a brand new granddaughter born in November.


                   Carol's musical talent skipped over to this quilt of pieced notes.

My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet as a young girl,but I learned to quilt at a small shop in Beaverdale about 33 years ago. We all did a sampler quilt, using the various piecing techniques.


These are hats Carol made for my grandchildren. She has since become a grandmother again herself and has showered her baby Katherine with all things knitted!

The construction of the quilt is my favorite part. The fun is in seeing how all the parts and pieces fit together.  I like colorful, fun and bold fabrics and unique quilt patterns. The more modern patterns really catch my eye. I am fascinated by the feast for the eyes in the colors and patterns of the different fabrics.  I think my sinfully huge stash is undoubtedly the result of giving in to my obsession with those colors and patterns.




The annual statewide quilt shop hop is a great adventure.  So far I have managed to travel the southern half of the state, and hope to try the some of the northern regions this year (June 1-30).  It is a good excuse to see parts of our beautiful state, and affords the opportunity to meet some really great quilters.

I guess you could say that I have had a needle in my hands virtually all my life.  I am certainly not an expert, and my outcomes are not always as envisioned, but always a learning experience.  The needle arts are my companion, my solace in trying times, and certainly a huge source of peace and joy at all  times.

Beautifully stated, Carol. Thank you.


   Meet Juanita Coulter

I have known and admired Juanita since we first opened our doors.  I have learned over the years that a quilter's fabric choices really reflect their personalities.  Juanita is a great example of this as she often works with soft pastel colors and I think that sound just like her, - -  very sweet, kind, demure.  Juanita has been featured in our Calendar of Quilts many times over the years.  Below are a few of her calendar quilts.



She also loves to work with reproduction fabrics from the 1930's and 1800s.  I think that reflects her close ties with family and ancestry.  



Here is what Juanita tells us about her sewing and quilting background.

When I was growing up, my mom was always sewing.  She taught my sister and me to sew on the Singer sewing machine that my dad bought for her before they were married 60 years ago.  Since that time, my sister and I have both been given new machines, but we have both given them up and gotten black Singers just like the one dad gave mom ... and she's still using hers as well!  I also own a Singer Featherweight machine and love it almost as much as the Singer I learned on.

When I was in fourth grade, I began sewing clothing for 4-H entries.  I continued sewing clothes for many years.  My great grandma on my mom's side of the family was a quilter, and I always had an interest in vintage quilts.  I always thought "someday I want to do that", but I really had no idea how to begin.  Then Adel Quilting and Dry Goods Co. opened up, and the world of quilting became available to me!  Their offering of a variety of classes, strip clubs and block of the month programs taught me how to get started and move ahead as an independent quilter.

I enjoy piecing quilt tops that have a vintage feel.  I am partial to 30's fabrics and Civil War reproduction fabrics.  I have belonged to the Prairie Women's Sewing Circle sponsored by the quilt shop since it began in 2010.


I also enjoy baking, cooking and am a very beginning knitter.  I teach first grade in Urbandale, but enjoy living in a small town and spending time on the family farm.

I hope to continue to grow and learn as a quilter, and I am very grateful to Adel Quilting and Dry Goods Co. for getting me started!


  Meet Pat Dorman

             Pat is shown here beside her quilt in our 2013 Little Sister's Outdoor Quilt Show. It was selected as one of the top 12 by Viewer's Choice.

I met  Pat just a couple of years ago, shortly after she started quilting.  In her relatively short career as a quilter, she has knocked out more quilts than most of us do in a life time.  Many of these quilts have been gifts or donated to fund raisers for a cause.  It's always a pleasure to assist such generous and enthusiastic customers.


Here is what Pat has to tell us about her sewing and quilting journey:

I have sewn since junior high when I made a bean bag frog as a class project .  I  went to school at Wayne Community Schools in Corydon, Iowa and at that time all students were required to take a semester of home economics so the guys as well as girls had to make a bean bag frog.  I had a great home economics teacher and I would say she taught me a lot about not only about sewing but that was also the beginning of me learning to cook.  She gave us a really fantastic sixty minute cinnamon roll recipe which I still use to this day on occasion.  I can still hear her telling me to “put more pins” in my sewing projects.  

I began quilting approximately two years ago after my mother had bought some fabric to make a queen size quilt and decided it was more of a challenge than she wanted to undertake.  I completed the top and took it to Michelle Pettorini to have her quilt it.  The quilt turned out so beautiful that we showed it two years ago in Jefferson, Iowa at a quilt show to benefit the Greene County Medical Center.  After that I was hooked and decided I wanted to do some quilting.  At that time I bought a Janome DC 1100 .  My husband built me a nice large table - 8 foot x 8 foot - in our basement for me to lay out my quilt tops.  I do the majority of my own quilting in a crosshatch pattern using my domestic Janome machine.

I enjoy working with large block quilt patterns and modern, bright fabric.  Very seldom will I do a quilt in dark colors.  


 My personal favorite is the tee shirt quilt I made from Harley Davidson shirts from some of our travels on the motorcycle.  I used red and yellow batik sashing to echo the flames in some of the Harley shirts.  I had that quilt longarmed because it was so heavy to work with.


I also enjoy working with wool to make wallhangings and tablerunners.


I have been married to my husband Mark for twenty five years and I work for Unity Point Health at the Consolidated Services Center where we send supplies out to the Unity Point Hospitals and Clinics.  Mark and I have a Harley and on the weekends in nice weather we enjoy riding.  We also love blues music and going to concerts.   


            Here is another of Pat's quilts voted into the top 12, this one from our 2012 show.


      Such a pretty chevron quilt.  Another of her big-block quilts.


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