Meet Jane & Tammy, Owners of Thimbles Quilts in Lockport, IL

Thimbles fabrics

Many of us began to pick up new hobbies to help pass time during COVID-19. Around the Heritage Corridor we have a few special craft shops that were busier during quarantine, and one specifically that was in high demand.

Thimbles Quilts in Lockport, IL is a great place to explore the world of fabrics, patterns, sewing machines, how-to books, and more! A welcoming atmosphere for beginners and professionals to come together.

Jane and Tammy, owners of Thimbles started quilting in 2000. With so much going on, they were looking for a new hobby. They began sewing, and immediately was hooked! In 2003, an amazing opportunity was presented to them, to purchase the existing business of this local quilting shop.

Now, celebrating their 17th year in business together, this dynamic duo feels like the city of Lockport is a great location to keep their thriving business. “We love Lockport, the Historic Downtown is perfect for a Quilt Shop location,” they said.

Not only is the area special to them, but also the building which they are located holds a lot of history. Built in 1870, they still have the original tin ceiling and wood floors and not to mention, Thimbles is only the third business to occupy the building.

This quilt shop is more than just a store, but a safe space for anyone to come and be a part of a family. “We try to create a community where everyone is welcome and comfortable. We like to think of ourselves as the ‘Cheers’ of quilting – ‘Where everyone knows your name,’” they said.

Jane and Tammy have worked extremely hard to make their shop reach visitors from all over. Being a destination for quilters, they have had many groups of quilters that would road trip to see them – either day trips or overnight adventures. They have even had visitors from The Netherlands and Europe.

Jane and Tammy

Being women business owners in their community means so much to them. Working so well together throughout the years, they have found ways to share their responsibilities in order to run their business smoothly. 

“We LOVE being around like-minded customers. We enjoy visiting and sharing stories about family and recent quilt projects,” they said.

Thimbles offer a range of classes for all levels such as, garment making, embroidery, quilting and more! However, like any successful business, they faced obstacles. Jane and Tammy recall the struggles they faced in 2008 during the recession. Most recently, COVID-19 had brought new challenges in their lives. Fortunately, crafts offered comfort for many.

“Our clients want to go where they can escape and be surrounded by friends. Thimbles offer that to all,” they said.

Like most businesses, they had to get creative and offer new ways to service their customers such as curbside pick-up. They are now expanding their online shopping, classes, and virtual events through their website www.thimblesquilts.com.

For the future of Thimbles, Jane and Tammy hope to offer more garment construction classes, online classes and retreats using Zoom and Facebook.

To learn more about Thimbles Quilts, visit www.heritagecorridorcvb.com/Shopping/Thimbles

fabrics at Thimbles  sewing machines at Thimbles

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