Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Guest Designers: The Buggy Barn

Today we welcome The Buggy Barn ladies, Janet Nesbitt and Pam Soliday! We had a lot of fun with this interview and we know that you'll love getting to the ladies too. Go to their website to check out their wonderful kits, patterns, books and BOM designs.

Pam & I were raised on the family wheat farm in Reardon. We grew up in the same house our dad was raised in, and like most farm kids, we grew up helping with hay and harvest, and lending a hand with all those other chores that needed doing. Sometimes we weren't so helpful, like the summer our older cousin taught us to "pick a bean, pick a blossom." Henry just couldn't figure out why his green beans weren't producing! In spite of the bean episode, we developed our work ethic on the farm. After Pam was married, her husband, Ron, joined Dad working the farm, and Pam was a stay at home mom and raised their three daughters. When her girls were taking naps, we would quilt. My first quilt in 1975 was from a McCall's pattern and every piece was cut out with scissors after first pinning on the tissue paper pattern! Those really were the "dark ages!"  I eventually got a degree in civil engineering and worked in the LA and Seattle areas but my husband had a job opportunity that brought us back home to the Spokane area where I "retired" to stay home with our two boys.

However, plans change, and in the fall of 1996 when Pam's youngest daughter went off to college and my youngest son climbed on the bus for his first day of kindergarten, we opened the doors of the Buggy Barn, in  a barn at my house that really was a buggy barn, hence the name! Our shop is small, and we learned young, that you can't have it all, but what we do have are the things Pam & I love best. We have always been scrap quilters who love antiques and folk art and all things primitive, which is reflected in our store. We stock the things that we want for ourselves so it's a bit like shopping in our stash. I used to put my favorites away in the back room because I didn't want it all to sell; after repeatedly being "caught" and reminded that we were trying to make a living here ("it's supposed to sell"), I've had to work on my sharing skills! Because we are out in the country away from the "big city" ," we developed our "crazy" technique, originally designed to be offered as a class to try and entice customers to make the drive out to our shop on a gravel road to receive that distinction! In 2003 (I think?), Alice from "Little Quilts" was kind enough to introduce us to the folks at Henry Glass who asked us to design fabric and they have put up with us ever since! We currently have four lines in various stages of production, with "Harvest House" currently available in stores but each new line is my favorite!

After we made it through our first year in business, we decided to put on an outdoor quilt show as a thank you to all of our new and loyal customers. We've continued this tradition the last weekend of every August since that first show. The quilts look spectacular outside. It's something about the light and it is amazing! Quilts are hanging on barns, fences and clotheslines. Over the years, we've added concessions as well as a juried folk art sale. We bring in nationally known teachers who teach the week prior to the show. We hope to see you at our show!

Thanks for the wonderful visit!

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