ANGOLA — Quilting retreats will soon be available in downtown Angola at the Angola Quilt Shop.

Tammy DiPasquale and her husband Steve purchased the shop, located at 206-208 W. Maumee St., just under a year ago and have been in the process of renovating the second story, which used to be home to Penny’s School of Dance, to use as a retreat space.

Steve said they hope to have construction finished by the end of April to be able to start retreats by May 1.

“We were originally going to build three apartments upstairs,” he said. “But we decided not to because it’s a quilt shop. My wife and some ladies that work here said we should instead do a quilting retreat.”

He then began reading and researching quilt retreats to see what all should be offered to make the retreats a reality.

The shop itself had always been a dream of Tammy’s to own.

When looking to bring a shop to Angola, Steve scoped out the nearest competition which was located in Bryan, Ohio. He had Tammy check it out before he purchased the business.

Two weeks after purchase, he moved the contents to Angola and set up shop.

“Suppliers were already set up for Bryan, so we just added to it,” he said.

A training room, originally in the lower portion of the store, will now be part of the upstairs retreat center.

A big change to the façade of the building included removing the boards covering the second-story windows and putting double-pane windows in to allow natural light into the upstairs.

“There were no windows upstairs,” he said. “It was basically a hole with no trim or anything.”

Working with Indiana Landmarks and Angola Downtown Services Coordinator Maria Davis, the DiPasquales made a plan for the façade but were told the first design didn’t look historic enough.

That’s when Steve decided to try and find pictures of the building when it was new, which proved to be somewhat of an undertaking as there were plenty of the building that houses Then and Now Antiques but not many of the rest of West Maumee.

He finally found a postcard, postmarked 1910, at Remember When that showed the building, complete with second-story windows.

“We got windows that look just like those,” he said. “With going with the design it had in 1910, I’m trying to buy mostly 1900s era items.”

The windows are just some of the work that’s taken place in building to get it ready for retreats.

All new electrical work and plumbing was run for the second-story. New lights — chandeliers — were put in as were granite countertops in the bathroom and kitchen and the flooring is in progress.

Steve has also added a few antique furniture pieces from around the same era as the building he purchased from Leroy Wisel’s antique shop on Snow Lake.

“I bought an 1890s China cabinet with a leaded glass top for upstairs and a scrolled secretary desk from around 1920,” he said.

He also has other furniture for the retreat on the way, having ordered 12 beds from Sanborn’s For Your Home in Angola so those attending quilting retreats will have beds to sleep in during their stay.

Each quadrant of the sleeping area in the retreat center will have a different seasonal theme, with the quilts on each bed and the wall hangings being themed in that season.

The ceiling in the second story is tin. Steve had a painter paint the metal bronze so it would have the look of a copper mansion ceiling.

There will also be stained glass windows in the retreat area. It’s work Steve said he commissioned from Big Otter Lake stained glass artist Sharon Abriani.

Included in the stained glass work is a custom quilt block window that matches the block in the shop’s logo. Steve said it’s Tammy’s favorite block.

Retreat attendees will have access to two private showers, a full kitchen, two bathrooms, real china in the cabinet, crystal wine glasses, sewing machines, irons, ironing boards and more.

The large room will have 12 nine-foot long tables, one for each person attending a retreat, to work with. People can bring their sewing machines or use machines provided.

“This is going to be a first-rate, first-class retreat,” he said.

For more information on future retreats or anything else the shop offers, visit it at 206 and 208 W. Maumee St., on Facebook, @angolaquiltshop, at angolaquiltshop.com or call 668-3888.

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