We're Rick and Ruth Grihalva.
I 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, I grew up on a farm approximately 7 miles east of Bluffton. I 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?
I've sewn most of my clothes during my teenage years, and even sewed my wedding dress. Although my grandmother introduced me to quilting, I didn't get "hooked" until our son was born in 1994. Even though cross-stitching and doll making were passions of mine, I got hooked on quilting when I 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. My wonderful hubby never begrudged my 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 I'd 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 Gammillä. We have 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:
What's In Our Shop?
As you can tell by the list that we had for a full-service shop, our scope narrowed sharply in December, 2014. In November 2017 we expanded to sell INNOVA Innovative Quilting Solutions.
Up to December 2014, time we had a full-service shop with 10 employees, and attended up to 18 shows per year from coast to coast, not including talks at clubs and shows. The year and a half preceding December 2014 was full of surprised with both Rick and Ruth having back surgeries and then with Rick having two full knee replacement.s The result was three fold: the impact on vending at shows; the ability to restock shelves; and the need to reduce our size from 4,000 square feet down to 1,000 square feet.
The result was beneficial as we ended up focusing our the best part of the business: quilt designs, longarming, and digitized stitching designs.
To see more on our products, check out the Products tab.
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.