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Piece by piece and stitch by stitch, more than 50 local Amish seamstresses lovingly create beautiful, future-heirloom quilts for Swiss Village Quilts and Crafts in Sugarcreek. Sometimes that's 375,000 stitches or more (but hey, who's counting?).
"These are not consignment quilts," said Aden Hochstetler, who, along with his wife Anna, has owned the 24-year-old business for the past 12 years. "We pick out the fabrics and patterns here and have the quilts handmade for us. Since we control what goes into each quilt and who quilts it, we feel we have much better control over our products. When a single quilter works on an item, we know all the stitches are uniform, and that really matters on the finished product."
There are two convenient Swiss Village Quilts and Crafts locations in Sugarcreek: one, on S. Broadway in the downtown area, and one on W. Main Street, close to the intersection of state routes 93 and 39. Both stores sell quilts and related handmade items, although the downtown site feature more quilts.
"Our Main Street store has some quilts, but has more wooden items," Aden said, "especially P. Graham Dunn inspirational products (made in nearby Dalton). The downtown store has collectible toys tractors, locally made wooden toys and other wooden crafts, Amish dolls, a nice selection of cookbooks, most of the quilts, and all the fabrics."
And fabrics it is! Colorful rows of beautiful bolts of quality fabrics are just ready to be transformed into handmade crafts. Already-made quilts, place mats, table runners, wall hangings, purses, pillows and pillow covers, aprons and more are available in a vast array of colors and patterns. There are notions, patterns and other sewing necessities, as well. Be sure to check out all the chicken-related fabrics; I love the plain chicken-wire print they offer, and, as you know, chickens are really "in" right now!
If you don't want to purchase a ready-made quilt, but instead, want to have one created just for you, Swiss Village Quilts and Crafts is the place to go. They will create a custom quilt according to your specifications.
Not all beds are the same size these days. Some beds are higher off the floor than others, and some mattresses are extra thick, so a quilt may need to be a little larger than a regular one. Or you may have an antique bed that's just a little larger or smaller than the standard twin, double, queen or king size. And then, some people like their quilt long enough to fold up over the pillows, where other folks like it to lay flat so mounds of matching and coordinating pillows can be tossed on top. This is where the custom work provided by Swiss Village Quilts and Crafts pays off.
"We have people show up here with a piece of their carpet or a scrap of wallpaper," Aden said, "and they want to pick out just the right fabrics to go with it. We work with them so they get just what they want. They can pick out material for matching pillow and drapes, too, if they choose."
Swiss Village Quilts and Crafts sounds like a "must-stop" on your next trip to the Amish Heartland!
Swiss Village Quilts Crafts -- PO Box 514, Sugarcreek, OH 44681, firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.swissvillagequilts.com; 113 S. Broadway, (330) 852-4855, open Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; also at 1025 W. Main St., (330) 852-7705, open Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.