By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Special Interest | Issue: January 2011
Ann Danback, aka “Grannie Annie,” offers over 1,000 bolts of fabric and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere at her Beggs quilt shop.
Ann Danback opened her quaint old-fashioned quilting store, Grannie Annie’s Quilt Shop, at 8054 Highway 16 in Beggs last April. “I retired in 2008, and in December of 2009, my husband Art passed away. He worked as a truck driver, and I was the driver manager for a trucking company. Before I retired I had often thought about opening a shop but I never got around to it. Finally one thing led to another, and I did it,” says Ann.
“My husband was always my biggest fan,” she adds. “Every quilt I made was his favorite.”
Ann got the quilting bug at a young age. “I started quilting many years ago. My mother was a quilter, and I got my passion for it from her. She and my aunt and their friends would all quilt together. They used to have large quilt frames that the quilt would hang down from, so several people could work on one at the same time. My sister and I would play under the quilt when we were little,” she laughs.
According to Ann, opening the store would not have been possible without the support of her friends in the Scrap Happy Quilt Guild of Okmulgee, which has about 40 members. “They have helped me so much. And I have a group of built-in regular customers, which doesn’t hurt!”
Members of the quilt guild explained what makes Grannie Annie’s Quilt Shop so special – the friendly atmosphere and camaraderie Ann provides. “Ann has a wonderful sense of humor. She is one of the strongest people I know and has overcome many obstacles in her life. But even when she has ‘down’ days, no one knows it. She is still outgoing, jovial and full of laughter,” said Laura Embry.
As soon as you step in the door, it’s obvious that Grannie Annie’s Quilt Shop is a very open, friendly place. “My goal was to set up the shop like a grandmother’s house, with old furniture and a cozy feel. I have a table where customers can bring projects to work on; there’s no pressure to hurry in and out. I want people to come in and have fun and chat and laugh. That’s what it’s all about for me,” says Ann. “If someone has a question, I’m always happy to help them, or if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find out. It’s amazing how much there is to know about quilting. I learn something new every day.”
Ann attributes her store’s success to the old-fashioned, welcoming feel and the vast selection of inventory. “I firmly believe that if you have a friendly atmosphere, a lot of inventory, and a place where customers can come in and relax and enjoy themselves, you will be successful.” So far, her business philosophy is working, with customers visiting from all over the northeastern region of the state and beyond.
Grannie Annie’s carries over 1,000 bolts of fabric at all price ranges, as well as books, patterns, quilt kits, cutting mats and notions of all kinds. “Every quilt shop offers different fabrics, so a lot of the selection is based on preference. I like a lot of darker fabrics and Civil War-era fabrics. Moda is one of my favorites, and I carry designs by Kansas Trouble and Holly Taylor.” Other brands available include Maywood, Benartex, Red Rooster, David’s Textiles and Timeless Treasures.
If you’re interested in learning how to quilt, Ann is teaching a beginning quilter’s class starting Monday, January 11. The four-week class will be held on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Ann has other activities in the works for the future. “Eventually I’d like to set up an area where customers can learn how to hand-quilt. When the community quilt is completed, we will donate it to a homeless shelter. It’s a great way for people to learn how to hand-quilt and help others at the same time. There is nothing better than sleeping under a quilt that was lovingly stitched by hand. I still pull out my mother’s quilts when I’m feeling down – they always make me happier.”
Ann and the other Scrap Happy Quilt Guilders also make quilts of valor for returning soldiers, as well as quilts to donate to breast cancer patients at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa.
Grannie Annie’s Quilt Shop is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. The shop is located at 8054 Highway 16 #300, next door to Kathy’s Pharmacy & Gifts. Call (918) 267-1551 for more information.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.