Naperville store to 'sew locally,' 'help out globally'

  • Gayle Schliemann, co-owner of BERNINA of Naperville, models some unicorn headwear in the new sewing store, which opened Thursday.

      Gayle Schliemann, co-owner of BERNINA of Naperville, models some unicorn headwear in the new sewing store, which opened Thursday. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Gayle Schliemann is co-owner of BERNINA of Naperville, a sewing machine store that opened Thursday at 2764 Aurora Ave., suite 100.

      Gayle Schliemann is co-owner of BERNINA of Naperville, a sewing machine store that opened Thursday at 2764 Aurora Ave., suite 100. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Gayle Schliemann, co-owner of BERNINA of Naperville, helps participants Friday during a sew-a-thon at the new store that aims to produce 10 quilts for patients at Alden of Waterford rehabilitation center in Aurora by Sunday.

      Gayle Schliemann, co-owner of BERNINA of Naperville, helps participants Friday during a sew-a-thon at the new store that aims to produce 10 quilts for patients at Alden of Waterford rehabilitation center in Aurora by Sunday. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • BERNINA of Naperville is hosting a sew-a-thon to benefit Alden of Waterford rehabilitation center in Aurora and celebrate the store's opening. The sew-a-thon is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

      BERNINA of Naperville is hosting a sew-a-thon to benefit Alden of Waterford rehabilitation center in Aurora and celebrate the store's opening. The sew-a-thon is 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • BERNINA of Naperville offers sewing machines, thread, fabrics and other creative necessities at its new store at 2764 Aurora Ave., suite 100.

      BERNINA of Naperville offers sewing machines, thread, fabrics and other creative necessities at its new store at 2764 Aurora Ave., suite 100. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Sewists can participate in a sew-a-thon or a Unicorn Christmas photo shoot Saturday at the new BERNINA of Naperville store at 2764 Aurora Ave., suite 100.

      Sewists can participate in a sew-a-thon or a Unicorn Christmas photo shoot Saturday at the new BERNINA of Naperville store at 2764 Aurora Ave., suite 100. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/15/2019 5:59 PM

A new sewing store in Naperville is putting a twist on the "act global, think local" movement during its opening weekend.

BERNINA of Naperville opened Thursday at 2764 Aurora Ave., suite 100. On Friday, its first full day in business, the store began a three-day sew-a-thon, aiming to make 10 quilts to donate to patients at Alden of Waterford rehabilitation center in Aurora.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Store co-owner Gayle Schliemann said the sew-a-thon is in memory of her late mother and serves as a way to show support to senior citizens.

"It's just a cheery way to show that community that we do want to give back and we do care about them," Schliemann said.

Quilting is the local action, but selling sewing machines is where the global element comes in, she said.

BERNINA of Naperville has committed to donate 2% of proceeds from all sewing machines sold through Sunday to the American Red Cross to help with hurricane relief in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian hit in September.

"We want to sew locally and help out the local community," Schliemann said, "but we also want to help out globally when we can."

Schliemann owns the Naperville store with her boyfriend, Christopher Donahue, a certified BERNINA technician with what she described as an "engineer's brain."

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"We offer to 'super serve' the sewing community in Naperville with tried-and-true expertise," she said.

The store will offer workshops and classes so beginners can learn to sew or BERNINA machine owners can master new techniques.

"I love helping people," Schliemann said. "I love seeing their creative ideas get turned into an actual tangible piece of work."

Sewists looking to join the sew-a-thon can stop by anytime during store hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday or 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Shoppers also can participate in a Unicorn Christmas photo shoot with "unicorns" from Angel Hooves Healing Hearts, a charity that uses miniature horses to offer comfort and smiles to people they meet. "Unicorns" Wally and Tex will be at the store from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, with tips benefiting the Angel Hooves organization.

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