A successful quilting business blossomed from a rundown bank in Bird Island, Minnesota.
Kathy Squibb Ludowese and Deb Jacobs saw past an old bank building's faults and envisioned a shop where they could share their passion for quilting. An extensive renovation project made that vision come true and the pair now operates Gathering Friends Quilt & Gift Shop from the former bank in Bird Island, Minnesota.
Front row, from left: Kathy Squibb-Ludowese (co-owner) and Deb Jacobs (co-owner); back row: Mary Freitag, Joyce Walter-Larsen, Jane Eskridge-Dale, Joanne Reinert, and Sue Sandgren.
Kathy and Deb display their fabric and quilt samples in unique ways, such as a vintage oven.
With freshly refinished hardwood floors that date back to 1902, Gathering Friends Quilt & Gift Shop exudes a feeling of home. Color selection ranges from deep reds, greens, and tans to brights. The owners strive to have something for every quilter.
Gathering Friends Quilt & Gift Shop co-owners Kathy Squibb Ludowese and Deb Jacobs designed Northern Lights for Quilt Sampler® Spring/Summer 2011 magazine.
Kathy Knox machine-quilted the center star units with a star motif and stitched the assorted dark squares that surround the star in an allover swirl.
Using the Summertime collection by Barbara Jones for Henry Glass & Co ., quilt tester Laura Boehnke constructed the quilt center and border Nos. 1 and 2 for a small 46-1/2x56-1/2-inch throw. A solid black background instead of the original quilt's cream makes the center star shine in a whole new light.
When you're visiting Gathering Friends Quilt & Gift Shop, take the time to check out these other local attractions.
Athmann's Inn , 110 N. Main St., Bird Island, MN 55310; 320/365-9997. Steak, seafood, soups, and sandwiches.
Black River Crossing, 801 Highway Ave., Bird Island, MN 55310; 320/212-3809. Home decor, clothing, and bags.
Broaster, 745 Highway Ave., Bird Island, MN 55310; 320/365-4590. Delicious cinnamon and caramel rolls.
Emma's Coffee Shop, 130 S. Main St., Bird Island, MN 55310; 000/000-0000. Located across the street from the quilt shop.
Karen's Creative Quilting, 175 S. Main St., Bird Island, MN 55310; 320/365-4191. Long-arm machine-quilting service and Bernina dealer.
Max's Grill , 2425 W. Lincoln Ave., Olivia, MN 56277; 320/523-2833. Pizza, pasta, soups, and sandwiches.
Sheep Shedde Inn , 2425 W. Lincoln Ave., Olivia, MN 56277; 320/523-5000. Newly renovated hotel located 5 miles from Bird Island.
The Masters Coffee Shop & Bakery, 809 E. Lincoln Ave., Olivia, MN 56277; 320/523-5061. Coffee, pastries, and homemade breads and soups.
Contact Gathering Friends Quilt & Gift Shop  to purchase a copy of the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Quilt Sampler magazine. Issues are also available at your local quilt shop, on newsstands, and online .