With nimble fingers and steady hands, the women diligently work on a quilt in the Quilts and QuiltRacks shop, downtown Hillsboro.
Usually it’s a special order, many times from someone outside of the area.
Word gets around that this is the place to have quilts made — or finished. Sometimes a quilt is started but, for various reasons, not finished. Later, sometimes years later, a customer wants the quilt completed, so they call Diane Claassen, owner of the shop, for the final work.
So how did Claassen come to be a quilt shop owner?
Actually, she started her career in Hillsboro as a teacher.
She and husband Dwayne met when they both were attending Tabor College. They were married two weeks after graduation and have lived in Hillsboro since 1968.
After teaching, Claassen became an accountant and opened a financial services office.
The couple raised two children in Hillsboro who now live in Oklahoma and New Jersey.
“It’s amazing how we got by,” Claassen said. “God always provided for us.”
When Claassen sold her accounting business, she turned to retail and quilting.
“I quilt to enjoy the quilting, not to get the job done,” Claassen said.
Quilting is relaxing and often a social event where the women have a chance to visit and share their lives with one another.
There’s a common saying that people should “live within their means.” Claassen believes people should “live within their lives,” which means when lives change — and they do — we have to learn to adapt to that.
“We have a good life here in Hillsboro,” she said. “It’s such a positive and supporting community.”
Claassen is glad to have a flexible schedule and to be her own boss so she can take time off from her job to tend to family needs.
“It’s all been good,” Claassen said with a smile. “God is good.”