Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Glad Creations Fabric Store to close after 43 memorable years

Posted on 27 January 2019 by calvin

Glad Creations Fabric Store has been holding down the NW corner of Bloomington Ave. and 34th St. since 1976. Its current owners, who also happen to be sisters, are ready to retire. With mixed emotions, they are moving on.

Co-owners Nancy Raschka-Reeves and Susan Dyer grew up in South Minneapolis and graduated from Southwest High School. Their unassuming little shop has been a labor of love in their family for three generations, and a haven for quilters from far and wide.

Photo right: Employee Jennie Baltutis (left) has been a quilter for 60 years; employee Wynn Martin (right) has been a quilter for 11 years and commutes to work from Marine on St. Croix. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Much has changed since the shop opened 43 years ago. To understand the history of Glad Creations, you have to know something about the origin of its name. Gladys Raschka, Nancy and Susan’s mother, or “Glad” for short, was involved in many creative ventures as a young woman—and excelled at all of them. Hence, the name Glad Creations.

“Our mom was a WW II bride,” Susan said, “and made almost all of our clothes (there is a third sister as well). She taught us to knit and embroider. She enjoyed cake decorating and even learned to make panoramic Easter eggs out of sugar. She tooled leather and sewed lingerie, which isn’t easy!

Her first business venture was a made-to-order purse business called Glad Creations. My sister Nancy was an avid quilter by the time she graduated from college, and the two of them opened Glad Creations Inc., Quilt Block together. Eventually, Mom, who celebrated her 100th birthday last summer, learned to quilt by sewing appliques. She went on to win numerous awards for her quilts in this style.”

When Gladys married George Raschka in 1943, quilting was utilitarian—something women did to save money. As shirts and dresses wore out, they were cut into pieces and stitched together as quilts rather than thrown away. Quilters would gather together, so it was a social pleasure as well as a useful skill. Nancy said, “These days, quilting has become an art form, but the social aspects still live on.”

Photo left: Longfellow resident Amy Swanson chose quilting fabrics from stacks of neatly arranged cottons grouped by color. Glad Creation has been a quilter’s dream. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

According to shoppers at Glad Creations, the classes and quilting sessions have been as sought after as the fabrics. Longfellow resident Amy

Swanson said, “I took a class here with my neighbor and got hooked on the place. I’ve got three little kids, so I hardly have any time to sew. I can’t stop buying these beautiful fabrics though. There are so many ways that this shop has helped build community over the years: by nurturing long-lasting friendships among people who love to quilt. Maybe you could find a few of these fabrics online, and maybe they’d be a little bit cheaper, but you sure wouldn’t make any new friends shopping that way.”

In addition to offering a full catalog of classes every quarter, Glad Creations has made a name for itself designing and distributing high-quality quilt patterns. They have over 90 patterns to their credit, which are sold in quilt shops across the country. Susan’s daughter, Emily Dyer, will take over their extensive pattern line. Like her grandmother Gladys, she enjoys many artistic ventures including sewing, pottery, graphic design, writing, and publishing.

Nancy said, “We’ve been very open with our customers about our retirement; we didn’t want it to come as a surprise. Several years ago, we came up with a five-year plan. While we’ve loved it, owning a small business like this takes up all your energy—in other words, it takes up your life. The closing is bittersweet for us, but time moves on. So many of our customers have said that while they’re sad to see us go, they wish us well. Susan and I have really appreciated that.”

Discounts are currently at 20% and climbing on fabrics and notions. Call 612-724-1079 to learn more, or visit the shop at 3400 Bloomington Ave. S. while it’s still open. Hours at Glad Creations are Mon.-Sat. from 9:30am–5pm until further notice.

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