Over the last few years, I have added all three AccuQuilt Fabric Cutters to my sewing studio...along with pretty much every single die for the GO! Fabric Cutter - yep, I am addicted...a support group should be formed for those of us who can never have enough fabric cutting dies. I have also emailed and called AccuQuilt multiple times over the last couple years and have been blown away by their friendly, top notch customer service...so it was definitely no surprise when I made the trip to Omaha, NE to tour the brand new AccuQuilt Headquarters and attend the Barn Quilt Unveiling Event that I was BEYOND impressed! Enthusiasm, professionalism, and excitement fill the air - and if you are a quilter, you can't help but be happy in the presence of the AccuQuilt staff. It is extremely evident that they care about quilters and they appreciate our business...and they want to inspire our work and streamline the cutting process - just listen to Chief "Energizing" Officer Steve Nabity speak and you will want to be a part of the AccuQuilt team!
The new AccuQuilt Headquarters is located right off Interstate 80 in Omaha, NE...it is only about a 2 hour drive from my home, so I definitely want to make a return trip(s) (only with my husband with me next time). The entire staff just moved into this new location last week - in fact, they were in the process of moving only a couple days before hosting the huge Barn Quilt Unveiling Event...but truly, you never would have known what was going on behind the scenes - everything was ready to view when we stepped inside the front doors. Attending the first GO! Quilting Retreat at Country Traditions meant that I was in the first group to tour the new headquarters...how cool is that?! The new building not only has the staff offices and a HUGE warehouse, it also houses a "Quilt Gallery" (where quilts from both the AccuQuilt private collection and special curated quilt exhibits will be showcased) and a Quilters Dream Studio (where employees are expected to quilt at least 2 hours per week..seriously...now that's my kind of work environment!).
As our bus approached the AccuQuilt Offices, I got a great view of my prize-winning quilt block before the unveiling...hidden by a big blue tarp (photo upper right)....and the excitement started building immediately!
Throughout the lobby and offices, AccuQuilt collection quilts are hanging high on display - along with the 2nd place barn quilt entry by Carol Johnson (for some reason my photo was a little blurry, so I added a graphic design of her block in the upper right-hand corner). I had the chance to spend some time with Carol and she was absolutely delightful....she even created/quilted her winning block for showing/sharing at the show-and-tell event the night before - her work is AMAZING!
We started out the VIP tour by enjoying food and beverages, while smaller groups were taken on a tour through the Quilt Gallery, Quilter's Dream Studio, and the warehouse. The first exhibit in the Quilt Gallery features 'Alex Anderson - Through the Years'...and WOW was it impressive - I did my best to get photographs off all of the quilts (only some are shown below)...and it was quite interesting to hear details about each and every one. The "gallery" is museum quality and completely exceeded my expectations. Here is an array of photos from Alex Anderson's incredible exhibit:
|Made In America|
|Sticks and Stones|
After the Quilt Gallery, we headed into the Quilters Dream Studio...and well, I pretty much "died and went to heaven"....I was seriously in complete awe as we entered the room - sewing, quilting, and long arm machines...cutting tables with (of course) AccuQuilt Fabric Cutters...an entire wall of AccuQuilt GO! dies (be still my heart)...an entire cabinet/collection of beautiful Aurifil threads (OMG - could it get any better?? - I would do pretty much anything to have all those gorgeous threads in my studio)...bolts of fabric...an ironing station...you name it!...each staff member even has their own bin for their project(s)....AND all of that was put together less than 48 hours before our arrival (I can't even imagine it getting any better, but I'm sure it will as they get settled). I think I have found my favorite place on earth!!....do you think AccuQuilt would let me vacation there??
When I was finally dragged away (kicking and screaming) from the Dream Studio, we entered the warehouse...and all I could think of as I saw the aisles of Studio dies was "I'll take one of each please"...oh my gosh it was surreal. They were also in the process of setting up a "shop" for the Barn Quilt Unveiling Event.
As each of the tours ended, we finished up back by the main entrance...we snacked on the delicious dinner spread provided for us and were able to visit with each of the (oh-so-friendly) AccuQuilt staff members....and of course, CEO Steve Nabity spoke to the entire group and gave us a captivating history of AccuQuilt. Finally, before heading out, each attendee was given a gift bag filled with goodies - mine included scissors (large and small), a sewing tool set, a magazine, a spool of Aurifil thread (woo hoo!), and a bag of AccuQuilt pre-cut shapes (shapes cut when testing the dies) that we were encouraged to use in a project this year (mine are CRAZY and will put my creativity to the test). Then, as we loaded the bus, we were given the cutest wool flowers - each (front and back) cut with the GO! Fabric Cutter, sewn together, stuffed, and embellished with a button - they are adorable - my new quilting friend Monica had the brilliant idea to pin this fun flower to our new GO! Mini Totes (which I will show you a photo of tomorrow)...
Let me finish this post by saying - if you are a passionate quilter or seamstress, put a visit to the AccuQuilt Headquarters on your bucket list...the experience will be memorable!
Tomorrow my post will feature the Barn Quilt Unveiling Ceremony...