There is something to be said about being in the right place at the right time. For how many times in life things don’t always add up, beautiful coincidences always seem to be peppered in. If you ask Lyn Hall of Quirky Quilters, she will tell you that her career started from a chance encounter. “About six-seven years ago, I was perusing a sewing shop in Erie, PA. There was a woman there looking to purchase a new long-arm quilting machine. After she proclaimed to the store, ‘Anyone want to buy my used machine?’, I for some reason, said yes.”
Hall was always proficient at sewing and decided she would teach herself to quilt.
“I have lived a gypsy life and now I am a snowbird; spending winters in Florida and summers in Randolph, NY,” Hall tells me. “I have been lucky enough to do so much from running motels, managing storage units to owning a Ben Franklin retail store for 12 years, and I always waited tables on the side.”
Hall’s children built up Oregano’s, a restaurant in Randolph, NY in 2001, which was a popular fixture for the five years they were open. After Oregano’s closed its doors, Hall’s husband, Dick, retired and started making wooden toys to send to underprivileged children locally and worldwide. “It started off very small in our garage and slowly grew into a huge operation over the last 10 years, with 10+ volunteers and a new location inside Rand Machine. These toys have been sent to 9+ countries including Jamaica, parts of Africa and South America.” Since May of 2016, Randolph Toy Makers have sent out 2,400 toys to children.
Back to Hall and her desire to learn the art of quilting. After successfully teaching herself to quilt, one of Hall’s friends asked Hall if she would make a quilt for her. After that, the requests just kept pouring in. “I was fortunate that the old 129 Main Consignment Shop allowed me to work out of their space and have my products on display. When they closed last May, Rand Machine took me in and allowed me to set up in their warehouse.”
Now Hall makes all the tops to her quilts while she is down in Florida soaking in the warmth, and assembles them when she returns home in the summer. When constructing her quilts, she “goes with the flow”, producing her own free-hand designs. “Patterns are too boring,” she says. Hall believes that this factor has attributed to her continued and growing success.
Another chance encounter about a year ago led Hall to downtown Ellicottville’s Ameri-Can retail shop where she met owner/operator Liz Boberg. Ameri-Can is a beautiful mash-up of local art, décor, clothing and crafts which align perfectly with Hall’s aesthetic. After a few conversations and looking at Hall’s works, Boberg offered to sell her quilts in the shop. If you stop in to check out her quilts and fall in love but are looking for something different than what’s available for sale, Liz is always happy to coordinate custom requests. In addition to Ameri-Can, you can find Hall’s work on her new Etsy page or contact her directly at 813-469-3821. You can also find ‘Quirky Quilters’ on Facebook.
Chance encounters happen all the time and occasionally things align perfectly. So, next time you are out shopping, running errands or stuck in line, remember to slow down and appreciate the now, otherwise you might just miss your beautiful coincidence.