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In The Media

This Article in the local "Star" Newspaper.

Friday, 11 September 2009
by Joni Astrup
Associate editor

Eight years ago, Angie Roberts' husband suggested she find a hobby. She liked the idea, chose quilting and hit the ground running. Today Roberts, of St. Michael, is the owner of a new quilt shop in Elk River called The Noble Quilter. The shop is located at 19570 Holt St., next to Pearle Vision and near Aldi.

Roberts' goal is to provide a warm, welcoming atmosphere where people can get friendly, knowledgeable advice. She's already had one customer tell her the shop is like "Cheers" of TV fame: the place where everyone knows your name. "I try to treat my customers how I would want to be treated," she explained. A native of Spring Valley, Minn., Roberts is new to business ownership. But she brings a diverse background to the task, including seven years as a technical writer, where she wrote operations and maintenance manuals for seismic machines. She also had a stint working for Target and was employed for several years at quilt shops including The Quilters Basket in Maple Grove.

Roberts also is a wife and mother of three. She thoroughly enjoys quilting, and said it provides a social outlet for people and is therapeutic. "There's a calming element to it," she said. "It's something about hearing the humming of the sewing machine combined with just watching your hands do the work. And when you're done you have such a glorious piece of art. It's very rewarding." She's experienced the power of quilting to calm spirits firsthand. During the frenzy of preparing for the store opening, Roberts relaxed by making a large "Block of the Month" quilt. It now hangs in the shop. Her favorite quilt is a king-sized pineapple quilt that she made. It consists of 2,664 pieces of fabric. She did her research before opening shop.

Before opening The Noble Quilter, Roberts did extensive research, took business classes and tapped resources like the James J. Hill Library and WomenVenture. She looked at potential space in Anoka, Ramsey, Champlin, Albertville and Otsego before choosing her Elk River location. "The building owner here, who owns Pearle Vision, was wonderful to deal with," Roberts said. She isn't daunted by the task of opening a new business during these economic times. "People are looking for positive. There's so much negative out there," Roberts said. "... It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and effort and you will make it. So, I'm not afraid." She said her husband, Robbin, has been the wind beneath her wings in the quilt shop endeavor. He encouraged her to open the business and provided a lot of logistical support. An engineer by profession, he built 37 shelves and counter tops for the shop as well as slat walls for hanging items. Others who have helped are Rachael Hunt, who works at The Noble Quilter part time; and Cathy Johnson, and Rita Kroening.

The shop carries more then 1800 bolts of fabric as well as notions, books and patterns. Classes and special events also are offered. Roberts said she is interested in community service as well. Her shop is part of the Quilts of Valor effort, which provides quilts to soldiers, and the Home of the Brave Quilt Project, which presents quilts to the families of fallen soldiers. The Noble Quilter also sent 50 pillowcases to an orphanage in Thailand and Roberts also hopes to help women's shelters. It all ties in with the shop's name, The Noble Quilter, which means a person of integrity, graciousness, courage and dignity.