Udderly Quilts and More, located in Story City’s outlet mall, is preparing to close in early October as the mall itself is closing and is for sale.
“We are losing our spot in the Story City outlet mall so we are reducing our prices to clear out inventory,” said Liz Kuennen, the quilt shop’s owner. “Everything in the store is on sale — from 10 percent to 50 percent off.”
Inventory includes everything you’d expect to see in a quilt store — fabric and sewing notions, quilting books, sewing machines and sewing kits — and some things you might not expect.
“About three-fourths of my inventory is not quilting related,” Kuennen said. “I have antiques, vintage and new gift items, used books, tools, household items — almost everything you can think of.”
Kuennen also has inventory she bought from two Christian bookstores as they closed.
Kuennen had a quilt store in Nevada for about a year, but had trouble with water in the building, so she changed it to a mobile business, using a camper. About a year ago, she opened Udderly Quilts at the outlet mall. Now her plans are to go back to the mobile unit.
Kuennen learned to sew from her grandmother, who traveled from house to house as a seamstress after her first husband died.
“I spent a lot of time with her after my mother died when I was 8 years old,” Kuennen said. “I grew up in Hamilton County near Kamrar on a farm. My maiden name is Trampel and my grandmother was a Klaver.”
Kuennen and her husband lived in Illinois for 11 years and moved back to Iowa after her husband had a bone marrow transplant for mantle cell lymphoma.
Kuennen is a published quilting author and has written for Quilter’s World, Quick and Easy Quilting, American Quilter’s Society Magazine, and wrote a booklet that House White Birches published. She has won awards at the Iowa State Fair and Iowa Quilters Guild, and has a background in dating antique and vintage quilts. She has taught quilting to international women on campus.
Udderly Quilts and More is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The closing date for the mall is currently Oct. 8. After more than 25 years in Story City, the VF Outlet will be leaving town in early October and is relocating to the Outlets at Des Moines.
The Roland-Story school district has offered to purchase the outlet mall property for $540,000, contingent on the successful passage of a bond vote for a new athletic stadium and auditorium upgrades. That bond election will likely be scheduled for a date in February.