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May 16, 2014

Quilt shop celebrates 30 years of stitches

CHICKASHA —

An immeasurable amount of old high school shirts from past and present students in the area have been made into memory quilts for graduations in Gail, and her husband Coy Bush's shop, which is celebrating being in business 30 years.

The full-service quilt shop makes custom quilts, finishes quilts by adding batting and a back, sells fabric and more.

Currently, they operate their business from the second floor of the Petroleum Building at 401 W. Chickasha Ave.

Coy, a plumber at the time, developed an interest in quilting after beginning a quilt one stormy evening in 1978 and spread the zeal to his wife, who noticed his work when she came home from her job as a dental hygienist.

After a man at an art show in 1984 approached her about opening a shop, Gail had purchased supplies and had a shop in the old JC Penney's building downtown within the week, she said.

Now, small Singer sewing machines and hand quilting have made way for huge, long-arm quilting machines and a 10-room shop on the second floor of the Patroleum building that provides quilting services all over the world by mail or in person.

"It's not boring because every day you see a different pattern and when it's finished, you make the customer happy," Gail said. "Every third Saturday of the month, we work on quilts for soldiers. The commander at Fort Sill calls out the soldier's name and we hand them the quilt."

Gail said a lot of her client base hears about the business by word-of-mouth, and they usually have at least 100 quilts to work on at a time.

Lynda Roy is a customer from Oklahoma City and said she met Gail at a quilt show in the city and has been coming to the shop to buy fabric and help on quilts for six or seven years.

"Gail has knowledge about all aspects of quilting," Roy said.

Roy said she's been involved in quilting since 1995 herself, after doing embroidery work with her mother in her hometown in western Oklahoma.

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