Three months from the day the building changed hands, the grand opening celebration for Born Again Quilts was held on Saturday, October 20. Three months of hard work priming, painting, spackling and repairing walls. Countless hours spent removing adhesive and restoring the wood floor close to its original grandeur. Weeks of publicizing the new location to the nearby neighborhood associations, quilt and sewing guilds and churches. Countless trips up and down 30 steps moving furniture and textiles from the former studio to the new.
The workdays start at dawn at the new studio inching the project closer to completion then off to the MPO job to return later to renovate some more into the late evening. It all culminates with the ribbon-cutting ceremony on that brisk Saturday morning. Fifth District Councilman Geoff Paddock reads the mayoral proclamation and October 20, 2012 is officially “Born Again Quilts Day”.
State Representative Phil GiaQuinta remarks that it is a great day to have another small business open in the 46807 zip code, especially one with such a unique service to offer the people of Fort Wayne. I take the time to thank my mom, my first needlework teacher and the many people who volunteered time and services to bring the studio to life. Spouse Tom and I jointly cut the ribbon and everyone is invited back to the 1940s.
The attendees swarm inside excited to get their first look. Even Tom is anxious to see inside since he was forbidden access the week prior to opening.
What the guests encounter is a Blaise of creativity. Now mind you “Blaise” is not a misspelling. For Blaise Folds Moore owner of Creative Occasions came to the rescue that Friday and took my ideas, all the set pieces, the textiles and sewing accessories and arranged them into vignettes creating a mood and feel of the 1940s. It is amazing to watch this dynamo of a woman take charge and by a simple tug here, a change of angle there transform the room. Blaise’s time was limited after all one doesn’t want to keep their hubby waiting on date night, so it was just incredible to watch her whip the store front window displays together in just five minutes. No kidding-five minutes! Blaise, you have an incredible talent and I thank you for sharing it with me.
There is the old iron crib festooned with baby textiles including a 1930ish “Mama Elephant” crib quilt. A Dumbo elephant toy sits in a small rocking chair holding a Golden Book of his life story. Other vintage Golden Books are wedged between the crib rails.
Another vignette features a 1948 Philco record player and radio. Grandma’s rocking chair sits next to it her sewing tin and The Waynedale News at her feet. You can just imagine her listening to Glenn Miller while she quilts before getting up to get a glass of water.
One guest shares with me how the BAQ Studio takes him back to his mother’s living room and her lady friends sitting around the frame talking and laughing while they stitch the day away. A memory he hadn’t thought about in years until walking back into time today.
All the guests enjoyed the delicious cake baked by Southpaw Dan of the Friendly Fox. A few are the lucky winners of door prizes provided by the businesses on the block. Vintage aprons, quilts and fabric find their way to new homes.
The day ends much like it started. The guests depart leaving Tom and I to lock up as Born Again Quilts completes Day One of its new life.
Lois Eubank is the owner of Born Again Quilts now located at 4005 South Wayne Avenue. You may watch the grand opening ceremony and get a peek of the studio at www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W1Noimgip0&feature=plcp. For more information go to www.bornagainquilts.com.