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Bittersweet sale signals retirement at quilt shop

Staff writer

The second time around Diane Claassen of Hillsboro is ready to let go of the rigidity of daily work schedules and business plans for a little rest and relaxation. Claassen, owner of Quilts and QuiltRacks at 130 N. Main St. in Hillsboro, will be closing her shop doors for good Dec. 17.

“This time I am ready,” Claassen said. “Ten years ago when I retired from the accounting business, I still needed something to fill my time. That is why I opened this shop. Now I’m ready for some free time and I really look forward to spending more time with my grandchildren.”

Claassen said her decision to finally retire was a bittersweet one because she thoroughly enjoyed working in her quilt shop and interacting with customers and friends there.

“People who quilt are happy people,” she said. “At the classes we’ve had here, we all had such a good time. Every bit of this has been fun.”

Last year at this time, 60 quilts on 12 racks filled Claassen’s Quilts and QuiltRacks store. Now only one quilt remained on a single rack where quilter Phyllis Richert of Hillsboro worked to get it finished before the closing date.

“It’s sad to see this all go,” Claassen said. “But I am glad to know there will continue to be a place for quilters to go to get their fabric.”

Claassen said she quit ordering new fabric and kits for her store in November 2010, with plans for retirement already in the works. She publically announced that she would be closing shop on June 1. Kessler Kreations, a quilt and fabric store from the other end of Main Street in Hillsboro, announced a move and expansion plans in September.

“It makes me feel good if I have helped Marie (Kessler) in any way,” Claassen said. “We need to have a place in town where people can get a spool of thread or fabric for quilting.”

Claassen said she had a quilt kit, several card-table playhouse fabric kits, some unique antique furniture items, and a few odds-and-ends crafts, baby clothes, and display stands for sale yet.

She took home several quilt kit projects that she plans to work on in the future.

“Someone once told me that once you start quilting, you’ll always have something to do,” she said. “I look forward to piecing my own quilts in retirement, and being able to go visit my grandchildren whenever I want to.”

Claassen and her husband, Dwayne, have four grandchildren; two live nearby, and two live in New Jersey.

Last modified Nov. 30, 2011

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