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Since 1974 Helping Hands Quilt Shop has been artistically designing custom-made quilts. What started in the home of Emanuel and Alma Mullet, has now developed into one of the most popular mainstays of Berlin, Ohio.
The history of the business states that Alma Mullet had the hobby of quilt making, but that she made so many quilts they took up the majority of the living room, leaving no place for Emanuel to entertain guests. Emanuel suggested that his wife move her quilting hobby into his recently vacated building. The hobby soon grew into the business now known as Helping Hands Quilt Shop.
One of the most amazing facts of the history of the business is that Alma was already 58 years old and had raised a family of nine children before opening the business doors.
Almost twenty years later, in 1997 the public library next door was torn down and a new building was built to accommodate the growing quilt shop.
In May 2011, Helping Hands was purchased by the Dennis Mullet family. Along with the experienced staff members, the Mullet family hopes to preserve the Amish Country quilting traditions in Berlin while at the same time growing to further accommodate new ideas in the quilting market.
Viola Hershberger, manager of Helping Hands Quilt Shop has always viewed the business as a stable asset to the community.
"The business has been here for so long that as far as many of them realize, it's always been here," Hershberger said. "Our goal has always been to meet the needs of quilters, giving them what they need to create their masterpiece."
When the quilting market started, the majority of designs weren't really specific designs at all. On the contrary, quilters used scraps of blankets, blouses and other fabrics were used together to form a patchwork of memories. Today, the mentality is still practiced as well as the notion to specifically design and coordinate each quilt in a contemporary style.
"Even though today's idea of quilting has changed into a more modern style, a lot of our customers are going back to the roots of quilting," Hershberger said. "With today's economy a lot of people are looking for creative ideas to use up their scraps, as well as, building up their stash of fabric."
Helping Hands Quilt Shop stocks over 3,000 bolts of fabric as well as essential tools to help locals and tourists alike build their craft. Also available are over 100, locally made by Amish & Mennonite ladies, finished quilts hanging on display walls to help generate inspiration.
As part of the business' development, Helping Hands Quilt Shop aspires to offer classes as well to assist beginners and experts with their quilting skills.
"Part of our progress is growing with the quilting community," Hershberger said. "We want to keep the tradition of where we came from but continue to grow in the process."
Helping Hands Quilt Shop is located at 4818 SR 39 in Berlin. Store hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information call 330-893-2233 or visit www.helpinghandsquilts.com.