The Quilt House of Gardnerville is celebrating its 10th year of business on the heels of appearing in Better Homes and Gardens "Best of Quilt Sampler in 2007" as one of 20 best quilt shops in the nation.
"It's kind of like the Academy Awards for quilters," said co-owner Janet Pierce. "We are honored to be listed among some of our favorite shops in the country."
Janet and her husband, Gary Pierce, started The Quilt House in 1999 in the Raley's shopping center. In 2003, they designed and built their own shop in the Park Place Plaza in Gardnerville.
"This is really Gary's vision for the shop," Janet said, "With the high ceilings and the upstairs workshop and classroom."
The high ceiling allows large quilts to be hung from the walls. Shelves of fabrics, threads and other quilting materials line the floor. In one corner, high-tech Swiss sewing machines are for sale. One has a Microsoft-powered computer system and is used for embroidery. Antiques adorn each display: miniature sewing machines from the early 1900s, hand-carved figurines sporting traditional quilt designs, and Gary's grandfather's 26-foot Minnesota farm sled.
"The antiques have combined well with the history-rich traditional art form of quilting," Gary said.
"It is an art form,"Janet said. "But it's different in that they are so many styles and techniques that everyone can be successful and create their own master piece."
Janet described different quilt patterns.
"Some prefer bright, contemporary colors and others antique, muted colors," she said.
Janet said The Quilt House follows a more traditional aesthetic. She and store manager Susan Van Alyne created their own line of quilt patterns called Bread and Butter Quilts. Their most popular design is "Housewarming" created for a 2004 edition of Better Homes "Quilt Sampler." The design mixes rustic colors like brown, amber and burnt sienna with bolder royal-blues and beige. Pictorial blocks of log houses revolve around a central star medallion. The corners are tulips, and a checkerboard border surrounds the enclave.
The Quilt House offers "Housewarming" kits, where the pre-chosen fabrics and design come in a package.
"Quilting is a creative outlet, but it has to be easy enough where people can have fun and get it done," Janet said.
Gary, who handles the business side and leaves the quilting to his wife, said in the past women would quilt at church while they visited.
"It's a fellowship," he said.
"It's like the show 'Cheers' for women," Janet said.
The Quilt House offers classes, workshops and quilting clubs. In honor of their 10th year, the business is reducing their prices by 10 percent till the end of May. The sale includes a silent auction. A percentage of machine sales and silent auction sales will be donated to Carson Valley charities.
The Quilt House is located at 1328 Highway 395, Suite 105 and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 782-8845 for more information.