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Spinning Spools Quilt Shop marks 10 years

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Val Besser in her Spinning Spools Quilt Shop which is celebrating 10 years in business this weekend

NEW ULM — In 2008, Val Besser had the notion to start a sewing and quilting shop on downtown Minnesota Street.

This notion spun into the Spinning Spools Quilt Shop which is celebrating 10 years in business this weekend.

The celebration started Thursday and will run through Saturday. Besser is giving away gifts with qualifying purchases. Everyone can enter the raffle for the $100 gift basket and enjoy the sweet mini-cupcake snacks.

Besser said her business has been quite successful because there is a quilting guild in town and with the other quilting shops New Ulm has become a destination city for quilt enthusiasts.

She estimated that 90 percent of her regular customers were from outside New Ulm. The customers come from Mankato, St. Peter or the Twin Cities.

“If they live an hour away they will drive down and make a day of it,” Besser said. Often customers come in as groups. It is not unusual for a van full of quilt fans to visit the shop.

Besser has not seen many changes in quilting trends over the last 10 years. Technology has improved. Sewing machines have made the push to digital. The fabric has changed as well. Around four years ago digital prints on fabric became popular. Prior to this the fabric would be stamped.

“The digital print looks almost like a photograph,” Besser said. “It looks beautiful.”

Some of the changes to the shop have been personal. Besser said five years ago she became a grandmother for the first time and soon she had a lot of baby-themed material and items for sale.

Perhaps the biggest change has been to New Ulm’s downtown business district. Spinning Spools is located at the southern end of downtown and saw Minnesota Street grow and change in the last decade.

Currently Besser is watching the City Center Apartments construction project unspool in front of her shop. Once the apartments become occupied, she might find even more regular customers.

“If they are not sewing now, we will get them sewing,” Besser said.

Besser hosts small sewing classes. Typically the classes are small, but she has helped teach 4-H students and Girl Scouts, which Besser finds truly rewarding.

The public is invited to visit Spinning Spools Quilt Shop over the next few days. Whether you are a regular customer or it is your first time in the store, Besser gave assurances there were quilt patterns for beginners and experts.

Spinning Spools Quilt Shop is located at 106 S. Minnesota St. The shop is open 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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