Forever In Stitches...
Is all about improving and enhancing the art of quilting: of our customers, in Northwest Indiana, of the industry, and of ourselves. This is accomplished through our:
- Longarming Services;
- DIY Longarming™
- Informative, educational "Sew-Sew News" letters;
- Training Materials For The Innova;
- Quilting Patterns by Raggedy Ruth Desiogns;
- Digitized Longarm Designs;
- Donations; and,
- Speaking Engagements.
- We have longarmed over 8,000 quilts for customers. We have longarmed an additional thousand quilts for charities and ourselves.
MEET THE TEAM
"Raggedy" Ruth Grihalva
Ruth's creativity has been the guiding force for Forever In Stitches. Under the pseudonym of "Raggedy Ruth Designs", Ruth has published over 160 quilt patters, three books, and two tools. These items are sold in the shop or in the on-line store
She has been longarming since 2003. Customer quilts have won numerous awards in competitions.
She had developed and written two multimedia self-study training courses for the Innova Mach 3. One of the books is on creating designs on the Innova and is called "Be Creative With Your Mach 3" and the other is called "Advanced Training AutoPilot Mach 3".
She has also given numerous local and national presentations on a variety of quilting subjects. These have ranged from topics such as:
- The History Of Quilting;
- Getting Inspiration;
- About Forever In Stitches;
- Trunk Shows of Parts Of Her 160 Quilts She Has Designed;
- Classes on various techniques she has used using her published patterns.
She has earned the "Certificate in Longarm Mastery" from Accomplish Quilting.
Rick has been involved with Forever In Stitches since its founding in 2003. His focus is mainly on communications such as newsletters, the web, and web-store.
Additionally, he has developed the digitized longarm design library of 1,600 designs for Forever In Stitches. These designs are sold in the on-line store.
He co-authored, edited and produced Forever In Stitches' two Innova multimedia self training courses.
He, also, has earned the "Certificate in Longarm Mastery" from Accomplish Quilting.
Hours [Central Time Zone] are Tuesday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Please check or calendar page for engagements and closures.
Forever In Stitches is located in northwest Indiana just nine minutes [four miles] north of US 30 on Tower Road [N250W] in Valparaiso.
You are welcome to come visit us in person or send us your quilt tops via Priority Mail/UPS/FedEx
We're Rick and Ruth Grihalva.
Ruth returned to Bluffton from Scotts Valley, California in April 2003. Although Rick was born and raised in San Diego and lived the majority of his adult life in the San Francisco area, Ruth grew up on a farm approximately 7 miles east of Bluffton and graduated from Cory-Rawson High School in 1981.
We have a son, Peter. He is an Electrical Engineer at Arcelormittal, Burns Harbor. He graduated from Valparaiso University, College of Engineering. He is married to Ann [Wilmsen] a wonderful lady and speech therapist.
And, of course, there is our dog, "Velvet", so named for the softness of her ears, yet turns out to be a perfect name with our running a "fabric" business. She is a dog of many talents, ranging from coaching her sponsors in dog training to being able to lick anyone in Bluffton. She was able to convert me from a cat lover to a dog lover! Unfortunately, Velvet passed away in August 2017. You can read about her on our web-page Our Owner Emeritus.
Why A Quilt Shop?
Ruth had sewn most of her clothes during her teenage years, and even sewed her wedding dress. Although her grandmother introduced her to quilting, she didn't get "hooked" until our son was born in 1994. Even though cross-stitching and doll making were passions of hers, she got hooked on quilting when she made him a quilt.
Later, when we bought a Coleman tent camper, we traveled all over the West from California to Canada and Wisconsin to New Mexico for "camping" vacations. Rick never begrudged her finding quilt shops to explore. For those of you that are familiar with it, "The Quilter's Travel Companion" was our tour guide.
You're all familiar with your children's "Are we there yet!" We got used to Peter exclaiming "Not another quilt shop!!!" along the way.
Many times Ruth would be browsing the fabrics while Rick and Peter went behind the scenes to see and use the long-arm quilting machines of all different makes. When we decided to start this shop, we had tried enough machines to know that the only brand we wanted was a Gammill. We then two machines, both of which have been upgraded to Statler Stitcher automation. One is 12' and the other is 14'.
In 2017 we exchanged our Gammills for Innova AutoPilot™ Mach 3™ with Grand Format Embroidery™.
As a result of our travels and experiences, we wanted to have a shop with the following characteristics:
- Well lit
- Well decorated
- Well laid out
- Well stocked
- Well trained
- Places to sit
- Places to quilt
- Places to peruse
- Friendly to our customers, their friends, and their family
- Meeting place
- Full Service Longarm Studio
- Quality Everywhere
- Helpful to customers
Was There Life Prior To A Quilt Shop?
More than a few people inquired about the prior professions of Ruth & Rick Grihalva.
Prior to opening Forever In Stitches, LLC, which had been planned for more than a decade, we were co-owners of Executive Insights, Inc. EI was a consulting firm that specialized in international project accounting using software that we designed and developed to work with Solomon Software/Microsoft Dynamics SL, based in Findlay, Ohio.
In our final year, our client APCO won Microsoft's Pinnacle Award for Innovation for the software solution we developed supporting their multi-currency, multi-national activities.
Wouldn't you know, we can't get away from computers! . . . Our automated long-arms use Microsoft Windows. At least we don't have to worry about currency exchange rates and intercompany billings!
How Did Rick & Ruth Meet?
After getting her degree she worked on technical support, database repair, and "dealer/consultant training" for [Microsoft Business Solutions] Solomon Software in Findlay, OH. She met Rick in 1984 on the 800 hot-line where he would call to report problems and get answers. Rick, at the time, as President of Grihalva Associates, a California corporation, that was a consulting firm supporting Solomon.
She left Solomon in 1989 and joined Grihalva Associates. Six months later they formed Executive Insights, a California corporation, that was a Solomon dealer. He was head of consulting and she was head of development. They employed 19 professionals. They had a son, Peter [her maiden name was Peter] in 1994. They spent their summers camping in the western states and Canada, visiting quilt shops and gathering ideas for the ideal quilt shop.
In early 2000 they focused on international project accounting and developed a Solomon add-on to facilitate that business and joined forces with Resource Corporation, Ltd., London, UK.
In 2003, they moved to Ohio and in 2004 opened their quilt shop at the main intersection of "downtown" Bluffton OH. Which is located 1.1 miles from I-75 and 5 miles from US30.
In 2020, They moved the Longarm Studio to 545 Hampton Manor Court, Valparaiso 46385.