Will be featured in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue available September 2

BERNINA of America, the premier manufacturer of sewing, embroidery and quilting machines, is pleased to announce that Thimbles, a BERNINA Dealer in  Lockport, Ill., has been recognized as one of North America’s top quilt shops by Quilt Sampler magazine, a Better Homes and Gardens publication. Quilt Sampler has been profiling top quilt shops for the past 18 years and will feature Thimbles in a multi-page profile in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue, available on newsstands September 2. On Saturday, September 13, Thimbles will host a celebratory event at the store in Lockport, Illinois.

Nearly 3,000 quilt shops were eligible to apply for this year’s honor. Only 10 were selected by a panel of quilt experts, led by Elizabeth Beese, senior editor of American Patchwork & Quilting.

Thimbles is owned by Tammy Newton and Jane Hartl. The quilting duo, who frequented the store in early 2000 to learn how to quilt, took the helm in February 2004 after the original owner was forced to close the doors. Today, the store offers artisans in the community an array of products, educational opportunities, special events and guest speakers, all in an inviting and friendly environment where people can share their passion for sewing and quality fabrics.

“Since opening the shop 10 years ago, we have always been aware of this competition and are honored to be recognized among our quilt shop peers,” said Tammy Newton, a co-owner of Thimbles. “To us, this is like the Oscars of quilting, and we proudly accept this award.”

“Regardless of the economic downturn, the quilting industry has remained strong and steady,” said Jane Hartl, co-owner of Thimbles. “We have been blessed to be able to continue to offer a unique experience where people can create and be around people who enjoy what they are doing.”

According to American Patchwork & Quilting magazine’s 2011 Quilting Consumer Insights study, the U.S. quilting market is comprised of 4.2 million avid quilters, who spend an average of $1,165 a year on quilting supplies. This overwhelmingly female, well-educated, affluent group completes nearly 11 projects a year and has been quilting for almost eight years.

Thimbles is an authorized BERNINA Dealer that provides top-quality service to area residents. The Dealer sells BERNINA sewing machines and software, and also provides a variety of sewing, embroidery and quilting classes for people of all skill levels. Thimbles is located at 940 S. State St. in an Italianate limestone building, the building’s third tenant since 1878. The Dealer offers a full-service quilt shop experience in Lockport’s historic downtown district. For more information, visit or follow Thimbles on Facebook at

Founded in Switzerland more than 100 years ago, BERNINA is the world’s premier manufacturer with a proven reputation for offering state-of-the-art sewing and embroidery systems, sergers and embroidery software. BERNINA’s leadership is marked by an impressive number of industry leaders, influencers and artisans who chose to partner with the company. BERNINA products are sold in the United States through a network of approximately 450 fully trained independent dealerships. In 2008, the company introduced the revolutionary   BERNINA 830, a machine designed to change the home sewing industry. To learn more and to find a dealer, visit or call (630)978-2500.