Quilted Treasures: Huntington quilt shop owner at the heart of the business
At Quilted Treasures gifts come from the heart and Michelle Anderson is the heart of the business. She is the owner/employee in this quilt shop located at 185 North and 100 West in Huntington. Anderson was born in Illinois and spent 10 years there before moving with her family to Price where her father worked for Peabody Coal. She attended Emery High. "I learned to sew in Home Economics in junior high school. My mom always sewed and made our clothes but quilting wasn't something we had grown up with. After I was married and was expecting my first baby Melissa, I learned to quilt because she needed baby quilts. I learned to hand quilt. But, it takes so long. I loved to piece quilts.
"I started making quilts for all my kids when they were small. I figured they would all get married some day, so I wanted to have a quilt ready for them. My son is getting married soon and we have four quilts ready for him.
"I didn't really have much time for it when my kids were small. We had a farm and were always busy there and with four small children I couldn't spend much time on my quilting. It was a turning point for me in 1999 when my aunt passed away and left me with all her material and supplies. There were scissors, cutters, patterns, a lot of fabric and just a lot of good stuff," said Anderson.
In the early 1990s Anderson began putting together quilts which were a simple patchwork design. She joined the quilters guild in Emery County around that time and made a Star quilt.
Anderson said she enjoys figuring things out for herself. She's not afraid to try new patterns and new things. She enjoys taking classes and learning. She learns something new every day as she works with patterns and fabrics. She combines materials in a way you may not have seen before. She likes to take chances and you never know how it's all going to turn out until you see the final product.
Each year Anderson attends the Home Machine Quilting Show where quilters go to learn new techniques and see the latest in machines. There is a vendor mall and a quilt exhibit. This show celebrates the art of quilting and teaches more about the craft.
"I really enjoy attending the quilt show and there are always some other quilters from Emery County who attend. There are a lot of wonderful classes there and every subject is covered, machine embroidery, borders, bindings, cutting, everything. My husband Roger took a class on maintenance of the sewing machines and he maintained my machines until he passed away last year. Last year I took four classes and you learn to pace yourself because there is so much information it can be overwhelming. There's just so much out there and so much change so it's good to see what they've got each year.
"I started my quilting business at home in my basement in 2004. In November of 2007 we moved to our present location. We have classes here at the shop and we have a block of the month class which will begin in June. We have pre-sign ups for our classes because they have been so popular and we want to make sure we have enough for everyone that wants to participate.
"We also have a website, quiltedtreasure.com and our classes are listed there. There's been a huge interest in our classes. We are also having a class to make a pinwheel baby quilt. I encourage everyone to watch our website to see what's going on and when. You can call us at 687-9445.
"Things are really taking off. I have had a quilt on display at the Utah Power credit union and I have helped them make a quilt the past few years which they donate. I have had a lot of quilt orders from people who have seen those quilts.
"We also participated in the Coal Country Quilt Show which was held at CEU. There were 100 hanging quilts at the display and 75 of those were from Emery County quilters. That was excellent for my business too.
"I am still a member of the quilters guild and we meet the first Wednesday of each month at the Huntington Senior Citizens Center. In the summer we meet the second Wednesday of each month.
"Some of my products are also available for sale at etsy.com where they only sell handmade items. The user name is quilt a treasure.
"When you look at a quilt you might be overwhelmed with the project. But, you just need to break it down and start small and it's really not that hard. I really just do quilts that are easy, but look hard. I really have a lot of fun. Sometimes we 40 ladies working on projects at any one time, not all in the shop together, but all with a project going. I am the only employee, but I have three ladies who sew with me, that just trade work for quilts.
"We also try to help our community and we do a lot of charity quilts. We donated 14 quilts to the Bishop last year and we have donated quilts to the benefits they have in the community.
"My favorite part of the process of quilting is taking that completed project off the machine. I love piecing the quilts together, too. But, I really love that feeling of when a project is done. I like to experiment with colors. There is never an ugly quilt. You may not like every piece of fabric within the quilt, but I believe there is not an ugly quilt. It doesn't matter if no one else likes it either.
"My quilting machine is a Gammill. It is a long arm quilter with 22.5 inches quilting reach. You can either follow a pattern with the stylus when you quilt or free hand. Right now I am working on a quilt where the lady wants loopy flowers on it and I am just free handing the design. The machine is really easy to use and you just need to learn to move the arm evenly across the fabric so the stitches are the same size. You can write names on quilts and do all sorts of things," said Anderson.
Anderson also has some other nifty tools around the shop. She has a small cutting tool which cuts the fabric for the rag quilts. She has several kits made up and ready for sale to do your own rag quilt with the instructions and the material is already ragged for you.
Another product for sale at the shop is the apron. These stylish and colorful aprons are a must to give away at the next bridal shower you attend. Baby headbands and flowers are available at the shop and Merle Marshall's famous stick horses.
Anderson has three daughters who help out from time to time at the shop. Hannah and Kortnie have been making aprons and taking orders for them as they go to craft fairs and county fairs around the area.
"I have a lot of projects going at the same time. We try to work around the needs of our customers. But, they really need to plan ahead. If you have a wedding coming up then give us two months to get your quilt done. We can fill last minute orders sometimes if they choose a quilt top that is already completed. We try to have receiving blankets on hand at the shop too, if you need a last minute baby shower gift. Try to plan ahead to get what you want for your son or daughter's wedding.
"My husband used to say, you can't call that work, when I was quilting. But, it is work. I call it work and I love my job. There is some stress involved in meeting deadlines for having the quilts ready. We are open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. But, call on Fridays, because sometimes we are gone to quilt shows and events on Fridays.
"I do really love my job because it doesn't tie me down. I can go and see my kids. Melissa lives in Aurora and works for Barney Trucking. Kortnie is in Ioka by Roosevelt. It's just a small town and her husband is a farm service loan officer. My son Bro is at Macs Mining and will be married soon. He's happy with what he's doing and still helps out on his friend Cliff's farm. My daughter Hannah is in Salt Lake and works for Utah Higher Education at the University of Utah and is expecting her first baby.
"We all have our trials, but I am really glad to be able to do something I love each day. Having the quilt shop has really helped me to get through the tough times and will continue to help me get through the tough times," said Anderson, "Things are good."