Have you ever wanted to spend a day with Friends and visit our wonderful Quilt Shop here in the Piney Woods of East Texas? Here is your chance!
We are scheduling motorcoach bus trips from areas all around Texas and neighboring states. If you're within riding distance and you are interested in a relaxing day with us, make your reservation today!
Click the image to join the fun!
By Deb Luttrell
When I was 13, my mother taught me how to sew as a leg up in homemaking class. Through high school, I made most of my own clothes until I realized it cost less to buy them. Also, the stuff I made didn’t always fit right, and I started to care about that!
After high school, I started a corporate job at Southwestern Bell. Then I moved to the yellow pages’ publisher GTE Directories, where I helped lead the company’s successful application for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. That experience instilled in me a lifelong obsession with systems and customer focus. But it was stressful work requiring lots of travel. Inspired by my aunt, who started quilting at age 65, I started quilting. It fit well with my travel and stress management as I would work on my blocks on the plane. In 1994, I asked my employers for the summer off to spend more time with Clay, my only child with whom I’d never spent a summer, then in fifth grade. When they said no, I did the most logical thing - I quit. We packed up our lives and relocated to a 200-acre ranch outside rural Quitman in east Texas. We had planned to raise emus there, but that once hot industry was cooling. The emus did not happen – but quilting did!
While learning how to quilt during my time in the corporate world, I thought how cool it would be to own a quilt shop. So, once I left my job and opened Stitchin’ Heaven in 1,000 square feet with 600 bolts of fabric. In 2022, twenty-six years later, we are a 75-employee company with fans who travel thousands of miles to take classes and commune with fellow “piecing” enthusiasts. We’ve recently built a 17,500-square-foot retail store, e-commerce, and office space, as well as 9500 square foot retreat center with 6 guest cottages for visiting quilters. In October 2022, we will move into our brand new 45,000-square-foot warehouse, office, and event space for the total square footage of over 75,000 on our campus.
In 2000, Quilt Sampler magazine listed Stitchin’ Heaven in their top 10 quilt shops. Then, in the Spring of 2022, Quilt Sampler featured us again as an Encore Shop designing the story of “where they are now.” Today we are by far the largest supplier of Block of the Month programs in the world. And our company has received national recognition--including a spotlight on The Kelly Clarkson Show--for spearheading a facemask drive among its community of quilters. Our customers and social networks sewed more than 50,000, which we distributed to clinics, doctor’s offices, and other businesses in our corner of East Texas. We also have been featured in Inc. Magazine, Authority, Southern Living, and Texas Monthly, to name a few. In 2021, I was named SBA Small Business Person of the Year. I was also awarded the 2021 BERNINA Rookie of the Year and many other industry-specific awards.
In 2018, it was a proud moment when my son, Clay, became my partner in the business that all started because I wanted to spend more time with him. But in the end, we are all about our customers.