We are John and Andrea O'Brien of The Splintered Spool, LLC, established in April 2016.
We are a home-based business, housed in our basement, so we do not have a storefront. Andrea's quilt studio is about 900 square foot, and John's woodworking shop is about 600 square foot.
We love creating new things and have found a passion for combining our love of woodworking and quilting into a way to develop customized products that are made of high quality, are functional, and very attractive. We hope that the items we make may become heirlooms for the people that buy them.
I began sewing as a young girl with my mom and Grandma, and began learning even more in high school, when I was blessed to have amazing home economics teachers. Over the years, I have sewn a variety of things, but mostly clothes and bags. My early attempts at quilting were total failures! Only in my mid-40's did I become friends with some local quilters and get involved with the local Hands of Friendship Quilt Guild, based in Kirksville MO. At that point, I started quilting seriously, making quilts and quilted tote bags as a hobby. I am a professed fabricoholic, and have always had a fairly large stash of beauties to choose from when making a new project. After being asked by many people to make quilts and tote bags, I decided to offer this as a service through their small business.
In May 2017 and after doing a lot of saving and research, I also purchased a Gammill Vision 2.0 22" longarm machine, and am now taking orders for custom or edge-to-edge quilting.
I began woodworking when I finished about 2/3 of our basement for Andrea's quilt studio, then realized how much fun power tools were to work with. Andrea would come home and ask whether I could make something, so I would research it and make it. I also paid close attention to the tools and furniture that Andrea or her quilting friends used in their studios, and began developing customized furnishings to suit her needs. One thing led to another, and pretty soon, I realized how much fun it was to take quilt pattern designs and make inlaid designs with wood products. I am a self-taught woodworker, and specialize mainly in smaller items (though I have made a lot of quilting studio furniture, and a custom queen sized bed)
When we are not creating, we work full time. John is a chemistry professor, and Andrea is a Director of Admissions at a graduate health professions school. We have been married since 1991, and have two boys that make us very proud. We also do a significant amount of volunteer work through Rotary, Hands of Friendship Quilt Guild, Boy Scouts of America, their church, and other local organizations.