Auntie Bling’s in quilt challenge

Michelle Mires holds up the quilt block she designed for the International Row by Row Quilt Challenge. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)


By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

This occasional column highlights business news in Waterville and in other Douglas County communities. If you have business news that you would like to appear in this column, email

Auntie Bling’s Attique is a part of the International Row by Row Quilt Challenge. Participating quilting shops each design a quilt block that represents their area and create patterns of the block to give away to participants. Travelers pick up the quilt block patterns from the various shops during their summer travels and then create a quilt from the all the block patterns they have collected.

The block that owner Michelle Mires created depicts wheat and grassland country with a barn, windmill, tree and grazing cow.

The Row by Row Quilt Challenge stipulates that the first participant to return to each shop with a quilt including that shop’s block wins 25 fat quarters.

The quilting section has become a large part of Auntie Bling’s since the closing of Yesteryear Quilting last year. The shop is selling the remaining Yesteryear fabrics as well as other quilting items. As items sell out, Mires is replacing them, so quilting looks like it will be a permanent part of the business.

Mires said that customers come from around the area. In addition, many travelling customers stop in on their way through town.

As an avid quilter, this is a fun direction for Mires.

Mires also continues to hold a variety of classes at Auntie Bling’s, including many quilting classes. She will be offering jellyroll rug classes on Aug. 15 and 17, and a “dumpster diver” quilt class on Aug. 31. She held one beginning embroidery class earlier this year and is hoping to hold a second one in the near future. She is planning to invite a guest teacher on Sept. 14 to teach how to make a table runner or quilt using “Sew Kind of Wonderful’s” curved ruler.

During October, she is planning to start her first ever “Block of the Month” program. The theme will be the Lori Holt Farm Girl Quilt. Participants will pay a monthly fee and will come once a month to get a new pattern and to watch a demo for assembling it. She is expecting the program to run for one year, so participants will have the chance to make 12 blocks.

Mires said that of all the aspects of Auntie Bling’s, she especially enjoys teaching.

For more information about upcoming classes, stop by Auntie Bling’s during office hours or call Mires at 669-1966.

Vendors sections surround the central fabric area. Current vendors include Signs Etcetera, Sisters, Scrubology Soap, Rustic Treasures, Three Chickadees, Woodward, Jane, G&S, N&M, Reyoce Treasure Pockets and Badger Co.

Auntie Bling’s is currently working on establishing a baby corner especially dedicated to homemade baby items.

Mires works full time as an engineering technician at the Natural Resources Conservation Service. A group of volunteers have allowed her to keep the shop open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Volunteers include Helen Mires, Sharon Fultz, Nancy Pearcy, Eileen Irvin, Kathie McMahon and Alice Dawson.

“If it weren’t for my friends and family that have stepped up to work at the shop and keep the doors open until I retire, there is no way I could have bought the business or ran it. I am so very grateful,” Mires said.

Oldedays Firearms will be having an “Everything Must Go Sale” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 9 and 10 and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 11. This will be a total estate sale and total liquidation of everything.

Waterville Auto Parts will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays during August for harvest hours.

Bruce and Cathy Clark, co-owners of the Blue Rooster, have a new business model that aligns to areas of long-term expertise and training in professional services, including research, grant writing, proofreading, business spreadsheets, website maintenance and design, computer assistance, consulting and debugging, and genealogy consulting.

The Blue Rooster premises can be rented for events such as meetings, birthdays, receptions, anniversaries and tea parties. The contact number remains (509) 293-6070.

The Waterville Historic Hotel has reopened for the 2019 season and is taking reservations. Basic to deluxe rooms and suites at a range of rates are available. As always, the lobby welcomes walk-ins until midnight. The hotel is completely smoke free and has complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast. For more information, visit the hotel website at or call at (509) 745-8695.