FAIRMONT - The machines are humming and the phone ringing as sisters Richelle Moore and Laurie Truesdell work on customers' orders at Dandi Stitchin in Fairmont.
The business recently opened in the same building as Moore's Auto, owned by Richelle and husband Darin Moore. The space is split so the grime associated with an auto repair shop is never seen or sensed by clients at Dandi Stitchin.
The name of the new venture is inspired by Truesdell's love of dandelions.
Laurie Truesdell works at her sewing machine as her sister, Richelle Moore, runs the Bernina mid-arm quilting machine in the background. The two recently opened Dandi Stitchin in Fairmont, located on 12th Street near Fleet & Farm, in the same building as Moore’s Auto.
"You know how you blow on a dandelion and make a wish? Well this is our wish come true," Moore said.
The two attended a workshop in Worthington on how to operate a Bernina mid-arm quilting machine.
"We went home and talked to our husbands, and they said you're not getting any younger, you might as well try it," Truesdell said.
Truesdell has been making quilts for about 30 years - without a fancy sewing computer to assist her. Both women learned how to sew and quilt from their Grandma Esther, while growing up in Welcome.
"It's been in our blood, because our grandma made lots of quilts," Truesdell said.
"Yep," Moore agreed. "Grandma has been our inspiration."
At Dandi Stitchin, the sisters are willing to take on a variety of jobs, from making quilts from scratch, to finishing quilts customers have started.
One project they recently completed is a large fireman-themed T-shirt quilt, created as a gift for a client's husband. Another woman hired Dandi Stitchin to make a quilt from her husband's Harley Davidson T-shirts after he passed away.
"There's nothing like a quilt to wrap yourself up in and pour your tears into," said Richelle, getting teary-eyed herself.
One project they were just hired to do is a photo quilt, with a snapshot at the center of each square. When it's completed, the quilt will be a gift for the client's grandparents.
How much a project costs depends on its size and the intricacy of the quilting. The Bernina has thousands of different designs, so the possibilities are endless. The cost ranges from half a cent per inch, up to 3 cents per inch.
As of yet, there is no machine that can match the quality of a hand-sewn binding, which is Truesdell's department.
"Feel free to come and talk to us," Moore said. "We're game for anything at this point."
In the near future, Dandi Stitchin will sell scissors, thread, fat quarters (a quarter yard of fabric) and more.
Dandi Stitchin is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (507) 238-9066 for more information.