Quilt Bus - May/June 2006

Owners Gay Murphy and Kris Kelderman (seated at left and right) made their first Patchwork Peddlers quilt bus stop in Albia, Iowa, on January 15, 2005. They're shown above at one of their stops in the parking lot of a local grocery store.
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Borrowing from the bookmobile concept, quilt bus owners Gay Murphy and Kris Kelderman stock 450 bolts of fabric in a remodeled school bus featuring their slogan: Patchwork Peddlers—The quilt shop that comes to you! This Iowa team is valued resource for quilters in small towns.
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In 2004, Iowans Gay Murphy and Kris Kelderman designed a tote bag for transporting a large cutting mat and rulers to workshops. They toyed with the idea of opening a quilt shop to sell their pattern and fabrics not readily available in the small towns where they lived.
Inspired by an article featuring a New York couple that operated a quilt bus, the duo decided to take their quilt shop to the customers rather than open a traditional store. They transformed a used school bus into the Patchwork Peddlers traveling quilt shop and then sent letters to area guilds to publicize their scheduled stops. On weekends, they often go to quilt shows as a vendor.
Gay is a school bus driver and para-educator who works with autistic students. Kris is a para-educator in the same school. Driving the bus is a team effort, with assistance from friend Robyn Barrickman when the owners are working at school.
Since the bus has a metal interior, Gay and Kris display quilt blocks on the walls and ceiling using refrigerator magnets. Bolts of fabric adorn the sides of the bus, and there is a pattern wall on the back. Since the bus returns to the same locations each week, special orders are welcome and can be picked up the next time the Patchwork Peddlers bus comes to town. Contact them patchworkpeddlers@hotmail.com
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