One day, Katie Stoltzfus laundered a
beautiful quilt and hung it out to dry on her wash line, not suspecting at
all that this simple, everyday action would change her life. Later that
morning a feed salesman came to the house to see her husband and asked
Katie if she wouldn’t want to make some extra money. Well, of course,
that is always an intriguing question, and the salesman went on to tell
the Stoltfuses about a friend who owned a furniture business and he also
wanted to sell quilts.
Katie wasn’t extremely confident about
the plan, especially with the quantity of quilts that the store would
want, but her husband told her, "Yes, you can do it!" So
Katie’s mother-in-law pieced the quilts and her mother quilted them.
That’s how Katie Stoltfus started to
make and sell quilts to the public about fifteen years ago, but she never
did sell any to that furniture store! When that plan didn't work out (and
Katie had a bundle of quilts on hand!) she started to sell the quilts to a
store where her mother-in-law also sold quilts. Then one spring, the store
couldn’t take all the quilts Katie had made, so she put out a sign and
spread the quilts out in her parlor. And did she ever get excited when her
first customers came into her home that very afternoon! Since
then, the shop moved into a little barn, and is now located in an addition
to the Stoltfus house.
Tending the quilt shop is a part of the
everyday routine, but Katie also has a family to care for! Her daughters
started piecing quilts for the shop when they were fourteen and it allowed
them to work at home. They have all loved to sew and to work with the
visitors who come into the shop. And, the youngest daughter, who is now
just ten, is already interested in busying herself around the shop!
A frequently asked question at Country
Lane Quilts is: "Are they all handquilted?" The answer is
"Yes!" Everything in the shop is made in someone’s home, and
of course, all the quilts are handquilted.
People also ask Katie if she makes all of
the quilts herself. No, Katie has 40-50 quilters working for her. Although
Katie does love to quilt, and on occasion enjoys quilting sessions with
her sisters, she actually just plans the quilts for the Country Lane
Quilts—cutting the linings, stenciling pieces and keeping the
quilters busy. She’s always bustling about, trying to manage the many
joys of raising a family and keeping her quilters supplied with
fabric, patterns and other materials.
Although it’s off the beaten path, a
visit to Country Lane Quilts is well worth the few extra minutes,
so take the time to visit the farm and enjoy the handmade quilts and
crafts at Country Lane Quilts.
From Intercourse, travel West on Route 772
to South Groffdale Road. Turn Right onto South Groffdale Road. When the
road ends, turn Left onto Musser School Road, then turn Right to get back
onto South Groffdale Road.