Ruth returned to Bluffton, Ohio from Scotts Valley, California in April 2003. Although Rick was born and raised in San Diego and lived the majority of his adult life in the San Francisco area, Ruth grew up on a farm approximately 7 miles east of Bluffton and graduated from Cory-Rawson High School in 1981.
We have a son, Peter. He is an Electrical Engineer at Clevland Clifts, Burns Harbor. He graduated from Valparaiso University, College of Engineering. He is married to Ann [Wilmsen] a wonderful lady and speech therapist. Why A Quilt Shop?
Ruth had sewn most of her clothes during her teenage years, and even sewed her wedding dress. Although her grandmother introduced her to quilting, she didn't get "hooked" until our son was born in 1994. Even though cross-stitching and doll making were passions of hers, she got hooked on quilting when she made him a quilt.
Later, when we bought a Coleman tent camper, we traveled all over the West from California to Canada and Wisconsin to New Mexico for "camping" vacations. Rick never begrudged her finding quilt shops to explore. For those of you that are familiar with it, "The Quilter's Travel Companion" was our tour guide.
You're all familiar with your children's "Are we there yet!" We got used to Peter exclaiming "Not another quilt shop!!!" along the way.
Many times Ruth would be browsing the fabrics while Rick and Peter went behind the scenes to see and use the long-arm quilting machines of all different makes. When we decided to start this shop, we had tried enough machines to know that the only brand we wanted was a Gammill. We then two machines, both of which were upgraded to Statler Stitcher automation. One is 12' and the other is 14'.
In 2017 we exchanged our Gammills for Innova AutoPilot™ Mach 3™ with Grand Format Embroidery™.
As a result of our travels and experiences, we wanted to have a shop with the following characteristics:
* Clean* Well lit* Well decorated* Well laid out * Well stocked * Well trained* Friendly to our customers, their friends, and their family* Meeting place* Full Service Longarm Studio* Quality Everywhere* Helpful to customers In 2017, both Ruth & Rick suffered sever back issues and had to have surgery. This ended the activities of national shows. It also resulted in a re-evaluation of Forever In Stitches. The result was that we shut down our 45" fabric, notions, and books by other authors. In 2020, after several hospitalizations for Rick, we moved our operations to Valparaiso, Indiana. Was There Life Prior To A Quilt Shop?
More than a few people inquired about the prior professions of Ruth & Rick Grihalva.
Prior to opening Forever In Stitches, LLC, which had been planned for more than a decade, we were co-owners of Executive Insights, Inc. EI was a consulting firm that specialized in international project accounting using software that we designed and developed to work with Solomon Software/Microsoft Dynamics SL, based in Scotts Valley, California and Findlay, Ohio.
In our final year of operation, our client APCO won Microsoft's Pinnacle Award for Innovation for the software solution we developed supporting their multi-currency, multi-national, multi-company activities.
Wouldn't you know, we can't get away from computers! . . . Our automated long-arms use Microsoft Windows. At least we don't have to worry about currency exchange rates and intercompany billings!
How Did Rick & Ruth Meet?
After getting her degree she worked on technical support, database repair, and "dealer/consultant training" for [Microsoft Business Solutions] Solomon Software in Findlay, OH. She met Rick in 1984 on the 800 hot-line where he would call to report problems and get answers. Rick, at the time, as President of Grihalva Associates, a California corporation, that was a consulting firm supporting Solomon.
She left Solomon in 1989 and joined Grihalva Associates. Six months later they formed Executive Insights, a California corporation, that was a Solomon dealer. He was head of consulting and she was head of development. They employed up to 19 professionals. They had a son, Peter [her maiden name was Peter] in 1994. They spent their summers camping in the western states and Canada, visiting quilt shops and gathering ideas for the ideal quilt shop.
In early 2000 they focused on international project accounting and developed a Solomon add-on to facilitate that business and joined forces with Resource Corporation, Ltd., London, UK.
In 2003, they moved to Ohio and in 2004 opened their quilt shop at the main intersection of "downtown" Bluffton OH. Which is located 1.1 miles from I-75 and 5 miles from US30.
In 2020, They moved the Longarm Studio to 545 Hampton Manor Court, Valparaiso 46385. Telephone 219.255.8085.