Let us introduce ourselves. We are Ron and Barb Bergquist and A Block Away Quilt Shop is our creation.
First about us. I – Barb – am a dedicated quilter. A friend got me hooked on quilting in about 1990. Until that day I walked into my first quilt class with my friend, Jane (yes that is her name), I did not consider myself a creative person. In my work life, I was an IT professional. Though intimidating to most folks, I earned my degree to work on computers and learned that it was just a matter of know what keys to press. Nothing creative about that. But quilting doesn’t have keys to push that just makes it all work. So I will not lie; I was intimidated by the fabrics, the colors, the thread, the supplies, the tools, the patterns… Need I continue? But with patience and time, I learned about quilting and discovered that I do have one or two creative bones in my body. Now, more than 25 years later, I am still creating works of art out of fabric. Some are amazing; some, well let’s say that I’ve done better.
Ron was also an IT professional in his day job, but for years, a rock-n-roller by night. He makes amazing music when he sits down long enough to pick up one of his guitars. But more importantly, he loves me and has marveled at the joy that quilting brings me. So much so that he decided to learn how to service and repair sewing machines. Now I don’t deal with the frustrations of running into problems with my machine and then being without my machine as someone else works it into their busy schedule. Should something not work right, Ron makes it purr as I am out shopping for more quilt fabric!
Now about A Block Away. To make a long story short, we now have spent our summers in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. I could spend hours telling you how wonderful that area is, but for the sake of shortness, I will take the direct route. Where we were located in the mountains, we are surrounded not only by the beauty of nature, but also by the history of the people who live there. They take pride in what their ancestors have taught them, and that is the old-time music and crafts. Well, I just fit right in with my love for quilting.
The first summer in the mountain, a little group of quilters from our community took to the road and explored quilt shops near and far. We had a blast, and we bought fabrics for assorted quilt projects. But as we worked on our new quilt projects, we would need more thread, or batting, or fabric to complete the project. Our nearest quilt shops, though, were an hour’s drive away. Ugh! That’s nearly a half day gone spent in the car that we could be quilting. If only there was a quilt shop closer…
Ding! A light goes on. Why not open a quilt shop?! So Ron and I started research with the goal of opening a brick and mortar shop. It is a long process and trying to decide where to locate the shop has been difficult. But we are so excited to get going, so ding again! You guessed it – we decided to start with an online shop.
Are you wondering about the name? Well, it tells the short story of our initial motivation – to have a quilt shop close to us. A Block Away will do, right?!
Dreaming for the future. Our dream is simple. We love quilting and we love people. So we want a quilt shop that is a community for quilters. It will be more than a place to go for quilting fabric. Our dream is to bring people together. We want unite the quilters in the area and make our shop a meeting place for them to share their craft and learn together. We want to provide classes and sponsor clubs. We want to give back to our community by providing classes for kids to teach them the art of quilting, and offer our space for creating handmade quilts for charity. Our shop will become a gathering place for people who are working on a quilt project and just want someone to talk with while they work. Our dreams are big and our ideas are overflowing.It’s about community. We started with an idea; then we started an online shop and now we have a physical shop. As long as we can, we will continue to grow, but we know that we can’t do this alone. It’s going to take you helping us. Please share your thoughts, your feelings, your questions and your knowledge too. We will always give you credit. Explore our shop online or in person, buy some things for quilting, sign up for our newsletter, take a class or join in with other shop events, and share us with everyone you know. We can become an community, a quilting community.