By Marj Frew
Since 1999 Vickie VanderMay has been piecing together Badlands Quilting, row by row, to create her downtown Martin business. While visiting with Vickie about the history of the business, she quickly pointed out that many local people helped grow the business to what it is today.
“From the Kadoka region, through Long Valley, to the Martin area, I have a long list of people, who from the beginning lent their expertise,” VanderMay stressed. “The heart of my business started in everyone’s homes, and those people sewing in their homes throughout a large region help me continue. Those people are doing everything from sewing quilt tops to completing the finished products with home quilting.”
Badlands Quilting began at the VanderMay home ranch in rural Long Valley in 1999. By 2007 the quilt store was moved to Martin, following the renovation of their building on State Street. The little store was soon bursting at the seams, which prompted a move to their current Main Street location.
The downtown Martin location resembles an art gallery, with quilted items hanging as works of art. The store also carries a large selection of materials of every color and pattern for quiltmaking, or sewing in general. Other quilting kits and supplies are available, as well as a handsome collection of Pendleton products.
The hum of the many quilting machines in gear can be heard as the crew creates and puts the finishing touches on a wide variety of products.
Along with the five full-time employees and one part-time employee, Badlands Quilting also provides employment for eight inmates from the South Dakota Women’s Prison in Pierre.
The women at this facility have learned all the skills of quilt making, from sewing, to binding, to creating a completed quilt. Badlands Quilting was the first private sector business chosen to participate in this program, which has been beneficial for all involved since January of 2018.
Vickie and her husband Steve, have one son still at home on the ranch. Tell is a senior at Kadoka High School. Their other children include two daughters, Colleen and Val, and sons Trent and Todd.