The Quilted Cowgirl
Liz Wood Turns A Hobby Into A Successful Business
That Focuses on Creativity, Community and Faith
Many people would think having such a turbulent upbringing would bring about a hardness to your life but nothing could be further from the truth in the case of Liz Wood. Liz is the owner of The Quilted Cowgirl and is one of the kindest people with a sweet disposition and a deep faith in God. Liz's mother left when she was 2 years old and to avoid foster care, her father dropped her off on her grandparents porch in Pampa when she was 5. She was raised by her father's parents until she reached high school. Her grandparents didn't want her going to high school in Pampa so she moved in with her dad in Wheeler which only lasted a few very short months. She stayed with classmates, until her mother that she had never known, came to pick her up to live with her. That environment was extremely volatile so Liz ended up finishing high school while living with a kind widow lady in Wheeler named Betty Hennard who worked for the Wheeler County Judge. It was during high school in Wheeler that Liz would develop sewing skills through Home Economics class that would later be useful in learning to quilt.
Once Liz graduated from high school she started at Clarendon College to work toward a degree in Accounting at the age of 17. Two years into college and at the age of 19, Liz found a golf ball sized tumor in her breast. She had to have emergency surgery to remove it and returned to Wheeler for healing and recovery. During this time, Liz met her first husband and was taken in by him and his family. Once she was healed and ready to carry on with her life, she decided to go to Sayre and Weatherford, Oklahoma to work toward an Elementary Education degree. Once she began student teaching, she realized that being a teacher wasn't the path she wanted to take. Liz decided on a career in Court Reporting so while pregnant with her first son, Payton, she drove two hours back and forth to Amarillo to get her degree at Amarillo College. It took her four years to get her degree and her very first internship case was a death penalty case in Randall County.
Liz traveled around the Panhandle and did Court Reporting for four years. She then ended up working as a Court Coordinator for Judge Brady Meadows in Wheeler County for 8 years. When Judge Meadows was ready to retire in 2010, he encouraged Liz to run as his replacement and with much reluctance, she did! Unfortunately Liz didn't win and with a combination of losing the election, going through a divorce and her grandfather who raised her, passing away, Liz was ready for a big change so she decided she was taking the leap and moving to Amarillo. By this time Payton was a senior in high school and her second son, Korbin, was 10 and in 5th grade. Liz didn't want to disrupt the boys schooling, friends and activities so they stayed in Wheeler and she traveled back and forth to visit and attend all of their activities until they were both out of school.
Liz worked in the Accounting department of Happy State Bank in Amarillo for 3-4 years and it was at this time that she met her current husband, Michael who is a driver for FedEx Freight. Liz moved on from Happy State to First United Bank where she worked in Commercial Ag Lending for 3 years. During her time at First United, with the encouragement of her husband, Michael she purchased her first longarm quilting machine and started making quilts for people on the side. Through the years, her passion for quilting and the relationships she was building began to create a pull in Liz. She had a salary, health insurance and a 401K but she felt like she would never be able to move up in the company and quilting brought her pure joy. So in September 2015, Liz got a tax ID number and by December she quit her job at the bank. Liz knew that in the worst case scenario, she had a wide range of skills she could fall back on and when she left the bank and one of her co-workers said, "when you get done with your little hobby, you'll be back", she knew she had to take the leap and that statement lit an internal fire of determination.
Upon quitting her banking job, Liz had a car payment and a payment on her longarm quilting machine, so she knew she needed enough to cover her $1000 monthly payments. She knew this would teach her how to truly live by faith. As she explains, "I've never had to live by faith like I have while having my own business." She just did what she loved and treated people kindly and every month God provided a new customer just when it was time to make her monthly payments, "I live by faith and totally depend on God's grace. When you have to totally rely on faith, it changes the whole game plan. I just put it in God's hand and people walk through the door right when I need them to walk through the door and people buy stuff when you need them to buy stuff. God takes care of all of that and he works it out all ahead. I can't count the number of times something has happened and I know it was a God thing."
Liz started building a customer base as a longarm quilter. She had a special room built in her home just for her longarm quilting machine. Within a year and a half into her business Liz decided to look into the wholesale side of fabric since she was making so many quilts and having to come into Amarillo or purchase fabric online. She planned on selling whatever fabric she didn't use. She began having friends and family come purchase fabric and then her Quilt Guild, the Amarillo Quilt Finishers, began coming to her home to go through her fabric. When Korbin went off to college, they converted his bedroom into the "fabric room" which was a makeshift little store. Liz ended up opening an Etsy shop in 2016 to sell fabric. She figured she would be happy if she mailed out 10 packages a week and now she mails out 15-20 per day and she orders from at least 10 different fabric companies.
"I make a connection with people. People tell me how talented I am and I feel like I can sew things together and I can quilt but that's not really my talent. God gave me the gift of being a people person. I feel like quilting is just the medium behind God's direction of me connecting with people."
Liz and The Quilted Cowgirl have grown quite a following. Liz was taking up three rooms in her house; one for her longarm quilting machine, a workroom with her other machines and her fabric room. She also used their kitchen bar as her office and check out counter and she could have between 15-20 people in her house at a time with Fridays and Saturdays being the busiest days. This was on a weekly basis, not to mention when Michael would move all of their furniture out of their living room and dining room so Liz could teach classes or when she would provide quarterly 3 day Quilting Retreats. One Saturday morning, Michael made a big breakfast and they were so busy with people in and out of the house, they never got to eat. It was at that point they made the decision to build a special shop for The Quilted Cowgirl.
In January of 2020 Liz and Michael signed the contract with a contractor from Oklahoma to start construction on Liz's new shop. COVID would slow the process down and actual construction wouldn't start until June. COVID would also furlough Michael from FedEx for two and a half months which was perfect for him and Korbin to finish out the entire inside of the structure. Liz was able to move everything from her home to her new shop which is right next door in the middle of August. Liz's gorgeous and spacious new shop is open at 17401 Lake Ridge Drive. You can turn west on Rockwell Road from the Canyon E-way and take a left on Lake Ridge.
Today, Liz sells fabric in her shop, on Etsy and on her website www.thequiltedcowgirl.com, she also does longarming and embroidery and teaches quilting classes. Liz has become a success just through word of mouth, hard work, kindness and above all else...faith. Liz attributes her love of quilting and skillset to the elder ladies of Wheeler County that met at a local church twice a month and quilted. As a very young mother, Liz joined those ladies and they are responsible for nurturing her quilting gifts and talents that you see reflected in her most creative and treasured work. Liz also has an emotional attachment for Quilts of Honor for veterans and memory quilts for those who have passed or just being a part of creating something special for someone. Liz would love to welcome you to her new shop and to assist you in learning about quilting or helping you with your next creation.