Quilters living in Storm Lake will soon be able to purchase fabrics, learn new quilting techniques and buy new books about the craft without leaving the city limits, as a new business dedicated to the art of quilting will soon be setting up shop on Lake Avenue.
Bettie Sproul, a native of Missouri Valley, Iowa, will open One of a Kind Quilts to the public next month, and she said the goal of the store is to help the trade of quilting flourish in Storm Lake.
"I want to make sure the art of quilting doesn't die out," Sproul said. "I don't want it to become a dying art that nobody knows about, and I think opening this store will help keep it alive around the Storm Lake and northwest Iowa area."
Sproul, who moved to Storm Lake from the Omaha suburb of Papillion, Neb., two years ago with her husband, Joseph, has spent a majority of her working life as a nurse, but decided to go into the quilting business because of her decade-long love of the practice.
Sproul will run the quilt shop with friend Linda Salter, who will be the assistant manager of the store, and the pair jumped at the opportunity to start a quilt business in Storm Lake, a venture the two had talked about doing for many years.
"We thought now would be a good time to open because we felt it's a time where people are going back to their roots and quilting's a part of that," Sproul said. "We want to encourage that as much as we can."
Salter also said she thinks the new store will give quilters around the area a forum to both enhance and brush up on the quilting skills of those in Storm Lake.
"There's a lot of hidden talent here in Storm Lake," Salter said, "and we think this shop will embellish the talents of the quilters in town. We think it will give them the tools they need to become more knowledgeable quilters in the future."
The motto of the store is "Not Your Ordinary Quilt Shoppe," and Sproul said the business would not be a small hole-in-the-wall type operation.
There will be 3,000 bowls of 100-percent cotton fabric available for customers, and the store will also provide a variety of classes, including beginner lessons for those who want to learn more about the craft.
Sproul said the goal is to open the new store by the end of February, but, if the process of renovating the old Pickett's building goes faster than expected, the store could be open for business by the middle of next month.
Sproul said she is looking forward to meeting the needs of local quilters, and is ready for the challenge of owning her own store in Storm Lake.
"Our goal is to pamper the quilter," Sproul said. "We want to provide as much help as possible to the quilters around the area and give them a quality store to go to, and I think we'll be able to do that here in town."