Fabrics galore
Quilters Barn and Gifts owner, Beth Ruiter, welcomed customers to the one-year anniversary during the week of April 16. The celebration featured specials, demonstrations and a year-in-review slide show of her customers’ projects.      Sawyer Helmer photo

Victoria Van der Linden demonstrated how to use specialty rulers on fabrics to make precise cuts and shapes. Sawyer Helmer photo

Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
Villager Staff
RUSSELL – Quilters Barn and Gifts owner Beth Ruiter celebrated the store’s one-year anniversary during the week of April 16 to 22. There were specials all week and on Sat. April 21, the store hosted demonstrations in the classroom each hour, on the hour.

Angela Monfils was at Quilters Barn and Gifts to demonstrate how to sew quilt blocks before connecting the final product. This method makes the size more manageable for quilters with a small sewing machine. Sawyer Helmer photo

For Ruiter, the year has been a joy and a success. “It’s been very well received and I’ve been really pleased with everything,” she said. “I got to meet a lot of lovely people, people whom I didn’t even realize quilted. I’ve really enjoyed it. We’ve had some amazing classes and teachers who have put on amazing classes as well. I love meeting the people and having them sharing their projects when they come back.”

In order to achieve that success, Ruiter follows a simple philosophy. “I want to always enjoy it. I don’t want it to feel like work and so far it has been an enjoyment.”

She explained that a lot of her success has to do with her customers working with her and sharing their ideas or requests. While they might not all be possible, Ruiter looks into each and every request. “I want people to tell me what they want. My success is based on what they are looking for, not just what I want to do,” she said.

With this in mind, Ruiter hopes the store has a homey atmosphere, one where people can gather to learn, share ideas and enjoy themselves. She explains: “I want [customers] to always feel that if they have a question or concern or a problem with the project, they can pop in and see us. We will always try to help them and if we can’t then we will figure out a way of finding someone who can help.”

Despite the week starting off with no power and the store shutting down on Monday and Tuesday, the week picked up with a lot of people coming through for the celebration.

As for the future, Ruiter said she will “keep going and keep improving.”