‘I’ve got to stay busy’: Winston-Salem woman makes quilts of all kinds

Roy's Folks

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – When it comes to quilts Gloria Stickney has you covered. She’s been sewing ever since she got a toy sewing machine for Christmas at the age of 6.

“I’ve got to stay busy,” she said. “I like to have the creative piece and watch things come together and have a finished product.”

But the machines she uses these days are a lot more sophisticated than that first toy. Today she uses a computerized long arm quilter, a long way from the days of needle and thread.

“Its old world meets a new world, and a new world is taking off like a racehorse,” she said. “Last year we quilted 150 quilts.”

Her machines are running nonstop with many of them making what she calls a T-shirt quilt.

“People send us a number of T-shirts and we turn them into a quilt,” she said. “High school and college T-shirt quilts are the most popular.”

Since the pandemic started, she can barely keep up with orders.

“The phone started ringing and people were saying ‘We are home during COVID and we are cleaning out closets and we’ve been meaning to bring you some T-shirts, can we send you our shirts?”

Besides the T-shirt quilts she’s best known for her Wake Forest University-themed items.

“We have our line of fabric that is called ‘roll the quad,” said Gloria, referencing the student tradition of rolling the campus trees with toilet paper after a big game win.

“When COVID hit, who would’ve thought that toilet paper would be the hot commodity … so needless to say it got some attention.”

The pandemic has also expanded her quilting classes. She’s now able to teach classes all over the country through zoom.

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