Only in Iowa: stitching together personal & business relationships

quilting fabric

When people ask me what I do…  Okay, let’s be real: when I try to forcefully insert that I’m a quilter into all of my conversations, I’m often met with the following: “my grandma quilts”, “my grandma used to quilt”, “I have a quilt my grandma made for me”… or any variation thereof.

You see, I’m the token young person in almost any and every group of quilters I’ve come across and it’s been that way for some time.  And I (not so) secretly love it.  I love quilting and I love quilters – young or formerly young.

I met Jacque Johnson, the one person most responsible for helping me turn my hobby into a business, about eight years ago when I was a fresh-faced new mama learning the basics of quilt making.  She and her husband Frank own and operate Adel Quilting and Dry Goods Co., which happens to be located in the town that I call home. I lucked out on that one.

Jacque – maybe because she has kids my age, or maybe because she’s just a warm human being – has always been such an encouragement to me.  Last summer she offered to train me to run her longarm quilting machine so that I could quilt the samples destined for display in her shop.  I jumped at the chance!

Quilter Jessie Zeigler and store owner Jacque Johnson discuss recent trends in quilting.

Quilter Jessie Zeigler and store owner Jacque Johnson discuss recent trends in quilting.

After a few months of quilting those samples, I KNEW that I had to get a longarm machine of my own.  One year ago this month, my machine was set up in my dimly lit, Lego booby-trapped basement.  I’ve been cranking out quilts ever since.  How’s that for a warm and fuzzy success story?

I still have the privilege of doing a lot of quilting for Jacque’s shop via my business Threaded Quilting Studio.  I also have my customers use her shop as a pick-up and drop-off point.  You know, to trick those unsuspecting quilters into starting their next project just as they’ve finished their last.  Yeah, it’s not really a trick.  A quilter just can’t help but be inspired in her shop.

Jessie Ziegler lays out her most recent creation.

Jessie Ziegler lays out her most recent creation.

The modern pattern is quilted with a scroll design to soften the stark color contrasts.

The modern pattern is quilted with a scroll design to soften the stark color contrasts.

Thanks, Jacque, for having your hand out-?, down-?, up-? to the next generation.  Whatever the position of your hand, thank you!  High five?

-Jessie Zeigler

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