SUGARCREEK TOWNSHIP — A homemade quilt can be a treasured and very personal family heirloom. From the earliest American settlers, the craft of quilting has been passed down from one generation to the next, each adding a new creative style to the process.
Once the top of a quilt is completed, it must be stitched to the back with batting in between — a detailed and painstaking process if done by hand. Crafters Lodge in Sugarcreek Township now offers long-arm quilting services and certification classes for those who wish to learn to do the work personally.
A long arm quilting machine is an industrial sewing machine similar to those used in the mattress industry. It moves along a track or rails and sews the three parts of a quilt together.
“We have the American Professional Quilting Systems (APQS) Millennium or Millie as it’s also known,” said Crafters Lodge co-owner, JoBeth Bryant. “The Millennium is the top of the line long arm quilting machine.”
Bryant said the store currently has two certified long-arm operators on staff and walk-ins are welcome.
“When you bring your quilt top to us it will be measured and checked for any issues that may affect the quilting process. Then you can choose the type of quilting you want done and the thread color.”
A 50 percent deposit and signed contract are required at time of drop-off. Customers can also choose any additional services they may want, such as binding, a hanging sleeve, or a label.
To make the process go as smoothly as possible, Bryant said that customers should properly prepare the work.
“Make sure the backing is square, backing must be at least six inches wider than the top,” she said. “There are some materials, particularly generic brands from chain stores, which may not be suitable for batting, and they must be clean and odor-free. Check with us for details on acceptable batting and backing materials, both are available in our store.”
Certification classes are also available for those who wish to learn to use the long arm machine and handle the quilting job personally. Students are given expert instruction on how to load a quilt, threading the machine, wind and load bobbins, access the various features, use of the pantograph, and how to create basic “meander” quilting pattern.
Crafters Lodge is located at 6056 Wilmington Pike, just behind Fazoli’s in the Sugarcreek Plaza in Sugarcreek Township. Regular store hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 12-6 p.m. Sunday and closed on Monday. For more information and a schedule of classes visit the store’s website www.crafterslodge.com or call 937-470-2649.