Monday, August 24, 2009

A Glorious Passion

"God gives us a passion for something...mine's quilting."

Vickie May realized this passion at the age of eight when, along with the help of an Aunt, she taught herself how to sew. And now, this (her quilting business) is "her world".

Keith and Vickie May, high school sweethearts originally from Pierce, Nebraska, have been married since 1975. They have three children; Tracy, Jeff, and Lindsey, and three grandsons. Keith and Vickie moved to O'Neill in 1979 when Keith was transferred to Carhart Lumber Company. Currently, Keith and Vickie are employed at O'Neill Lumber LTD. Vickie, who has a background in bookkeeping and accounting, works alongside her husband at the lumber yard, keeping the books and filling in wherever and whenever needed. She states that Keith is her best friend and best supporter of her interests. They reside on a beautiful acreage north of O'Neill, where they keep their horses and enjoy the freedom and solitude of country living.

Vickie took Home Economics class in high school, and after marriage, sewed for her children, but when she took a quilting class from local resident Alice Torpin, she knew quilting was 'it'. She has been hand quilting for herself since 1983, yet she had a dream to one day have her own machine quilting business. In 2002, she and Keith began attending quilt shows, researching and looking at computerized quilting machines, and inquiring as to what particular features people did and did not like.

In preparation for starting her own business, and to assist in obtaining a business loan, Vickie completed the 'EDGE' (Enhancing, Developing, and Growing Entrepreneurs) course through the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. EDGE is a 'community-based entrepreneurial training program designed to encourage the expansion of small businesses including agricultural operations'. She found the course to be difficult, but realized that the instruction had provided her with the proper educational tools with which to open her own home-based business.

Vickie believes in 'stepping out in faith' as evidenced by many examples in her life, one of which was when she ordered her computerized quilting machine in May of 2006, before her business loan was even approved. But, "God worked it out"... the loan went through, and the machine was delivered and set up on June 15, 2006. She named her business 'Old Glory Quilting Company'----"my way of being reminded everyday of the sacrifices of our men and women in the military that have made it possible for me to pursue my dream." She adds that this business "wouldn't have been possible without the support of my family".

Vickie has named her machine 'J.R.' after Keith's mom, Joan Ruth. Vickie shared that she and Joan enjoyed fabric shopping together and Joan was one of her 'biggest supporters'. Today, a framed photo of Joan rests on a bookshelf, watching over the piecing, sewing, and quilting that transposes in Vickie's tranquil, light-filled studio.

Most of Vickie's customers are in Nebraska, but she has also filled orders from New York, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maine. People find out about her business through word of mouth and from relatives living in this area. Vickie quipped, "Thank heavens they took a chance on me". Sometimes she gets a bit anxious when her quilting orders are getting low, but (God) "has never failed to send them (quilts) when I need them".

It could be said that our lives are like a patchwork quilt...a design of events pieced and stitched together over time, and upon completion a testament of who and what we are.

Vickie May can be reached at: All quilts handmade by Vickie except the 'Old Glory' wall hanging, which was made by her friend.



  1. You know I LOVED this story!!

    My hobby is quilting too...and how nice to read about this woman's adventure and blessing.

    I will definetly be visiting her site and hope others will after reading this.

    The pictures of her Quilts are beautiful!

    Thanks for a heartwarming and inspiring story..

    Now back to MY quilting..


  2. Congratulations on your new blog and I enjoyed this post and seeing Vickie's fabulous work! Hope your week is off to a wonderful start!

  3. Oh wow Joy...I love your new blog. I think that is such a neat idea to interview people in your community and introduce their talents to the world. I LOVE IT!
    I looked back at every post. They are all great.
    Hugs from Texas. Have a blessed one!


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