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Area quilter offers her services to others

NORTHWOOD — One Northwood woman has taken her passion and talent for making award-winning quilts and turned it into a career.

Kyra Reps, 45, is a semifinalist for the 2018 American Quilter’s Society international quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky. The competition, which will take place next month, will have 300 quilts representing quilters from 42 states and 13 other countries.

Projects as intricate as the “South for the Winter” piece, which Reps submitted for the contest, can take between 12 to 18 months to complete, yet she does them on her own time.

“I work my competition quilts around my customers’ quilts,” she said, admitting she sometimes spends 80 hours a week working on various projects.

Her earliest works were piece-by-piece projects she started when she was about 12. Over time she grew in her craft and decided to invest in a used long-arm quilting machine. According to her, that’s when her interest boomed.

“It opened up a whole new door for me,” Reps said. “I love art, so I was able to take my art and put it on fabric with thread.”

It was about this same time she started her business, Quilting Tranquility, out of her home and purchased an even larger, higher-quality long-arm quilting machine.

“I was getting better, I was getting more intense with my stitches, and I wanted them to be more precise — especially now that I’m starting to do a lot more national competitions,” she said.

Her quilting business now occupies an addition Reps and her husband, Cory, put on their rural home, and the work she does in her shop varies as much as the individuals she quilts for.

Reps said sometimes she is contracted to do a project from start to finish. Other times, Reps works on parts of a project for someone who is themselves a quilter — they do the piece-by-piece work, she does the quilting and the quilter will finish their own project by binding it.

She said she’s happy to do whatever fills the needs of her customers; however, her specialty is custom quilting. 

“Not everyone wants custom; not everyone can afford custom,” Reps said.

Items quilted with the same pattern edge to edge are billed by the inch. The level of stitchwork on a custom piece can vary greatly, so it is billed by the hour.

Before beginning a project, Reps goes over the difference with clients, as well as other key factors that may affect how the quilt should be stitched. For example, she does not recommend custom quilting on pieces that will be used every day and frequently washed.

In addition to quilting, Reps teaches classes in quilting, applique and paper-piecing.

To contact Reps regarding a project or to sign up for one of her classes, call 507-313-3335 or find Quilting Tranquility on Facebook.