Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 22

You're part of the family at The Rusty Moon

Willow Springs

by Heather Berry | hberry@ruralmissouri.coop
he clang of a cast-iron bell resounds throughout
the store, buffered by the colorful rows of fabric
between the bell and front counter. Donna
McKinney stops and cheers from wherever she
is in the shop.
"Wonderful! Great job," exclaims Donna as
she heads toward the customer holding her
quilt project. "Love the colors, too!"
Donna, along with her son, Kurt, and his
family, run The Rusty Moon Quilts, Wool &
More in Willow Springs. Open since February
2017, the 5,000-square-foot emporium offers
about anything a quilter, crafter or embroidery-buff could need for projects.
"People probably thought we'd lost our minds when we opened this," says
Donna, a member of Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative.
Before The Rusty Moon, the original 2,400-square-foot portion of the building
housed Kurt's welding business, Metal Connections. Because he was in the metal business, Donna showed Kurt a table clamp she
needed for a pin cushion pattern and asked
if he would weld her one. She liked the clamp
so well she asked Kurt for 100 more because
she knew they would sell.
"She sold 144 in a week," says Kurt, shaking his head.
Another day when Donna was at the shop,
she looked around and said, "You know, I
think God's saying to maybe shut this door
and put in something for people to walk
through," pointing to the big garage opening
at the shop entrance.
"Kurt's comment to me was, 'Are you crazy?' " recalls Donna, who thought the area
could use a small family-owned fabric store.
Situated near the junction of highways 63
and 60, the location is convenient for travelers. "But I knew it could grow into something
big."
Before long, the metal yard was cleared
and the building emptied. The shop had new
windows, a new front entry and a long, welcoming porch. Keeping a barn feel inside, the

T

22

RURAL MISSOURI | AUGUST 2019

The Rusty Moon Quilts, Wool
and More in Willow Springs offers
anything a quilter could possibly want
in the 5,000-square-foot emporium.

VWDLQHGÁRRUDQGIRRWFHLOLQJURXQGRXWZKDWKDVEHFRPHDQLQYLWLQJVSDFHWR
hang completed quilts, buy fabric and quilting notions and get creative.
The name came about after a long day of clean up at the shop. They were
headed home and Kurt looked back at the building and said, "Look at that big ol'
rusty moon," and the name stuck.
Donna points out there's coffee and a comfy chair for the husbands to wait in
if this isn't quite their thing. That said, she notes they have quite a few men who
come in to buy fabrics for quilts they're working on.
"Men usually come in generally thinking this place is just for the ladies," says
Donna. "But then they look over and see Kurt at the long-arm quilting machine.
It usually gets their attention when they see a man quilting."
The shop hadn't been open too long when the McKinney family decided to buy
DORQJDUPTXLOWLQJPDFKLQHVRWKH\FRXOGÀQLVKDGGLQJWKHEDFNVDQGERUGHUV
to quilts. While Kurt takes on "other duties as assigned," he spends much of his
time quilting projects with the long-arm.
Dick Ferguson travels south from Lake Saint Louis once a month to visit his
mother, who lives nearby. The Rusty Moon is always a stop.
"I think I'm on quilt number nine now," says Dick, noting his wife, Janet, is
also a quilter. "It can be a little addicting."
The retired pastor and hospital chaplain
says he's only seriously been piecing quilts
for a year or so. His latest quilt dubbed "The
3KHQRPHQDO %XWWHUÁ\µ ZLOO EH GRQDWHG WR D
skeet shooting event scheduled in St. Louis
later this year.
"Kurt is an artist with the long-arm
machine," says Dick, who's a member of
Cuivre River Electric Cooperative back home.
"I'm to the point now where I just tell him,
'Quilt it like it was your own quilt, I don't
want to hamper your creativity.' "
3ULFHV WR KDYH .XUW TXLOW \RXU ÀQLVKHG
work range from 2 to 5 cents per inch. Currently his backlog is about three months for
completion. "It gets really crazy when the
holidays come around."
Kurt's wife, Carey, says she's the "man
behind the curtain," like in the classic movie
"The Wizard of Oz."
"I design quilt patterns with Donna, help
Left: These custom-made clamps for pin cushions
were the start for The Rusty Moon Quilts, Wool &
More in Willow Springs.



Rural Missouri - August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - August 2019

Contents
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 4
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 5
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 6
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 7
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 8
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Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 26
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Rural Missouri - August 2019 - 38
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - August 2019 - Cover4
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