Grant helps buys sewing machines for veteran quilts

VAR chair Lydia DeGumbia, right, presents a check to Close to Home owner Marc Gattinella to purchase supplies for a quilt project to benefit local veterans.



The National American Legion Auxiliary Foundation announced a $4,000 grant to the Veteran Affairs Rehabilitation (VAR) for the purchase of a long arm quilting machine that will be used to make quilted blankets and lap quilts for veterans in need.

VAR chair Lydia DeGumbia said she has wanted to do this for the past few years and is thankful for the grant that has made the purchase possible. “We just wanted to do something that will help our veterans,” said DeGumbia. “Having this machine will allow us to do that and will be sustainable for years to come.”

The machine was purchased from Close to Home at 995 Queen St. The locally owned supplier deals in all things related to sewing. Store owner Marc Gattinella sold the long arm quilting machine to the VAR at a discounted price.

Close to Home, on Queen Street, offered discounted prices on sewing machines, left, for use in the project.

“We’re happy to do anything that will help our customers for a good cause,” said Gattinella.

With the help of the machine, DeGumbia reported that the VAR’s first goal is to complete 15 quilts for their mid-winter conference in January. Beyond that, she hopes the group can complete 100 quilts a year.

A long arm sewing machine is used to sew together a quilt top, quilt batting (the material inside the quilt) and quilt backing into a finished product. The top and backing are prepared and assembled separately.

Since 1982, Close to Home has been family-operated business. They offer a multitude of brand name sewing machines, sewing furniture, sewing necessities (fabric, tools, threads, etc.) and offer instructional classes, along with vacuums and home décor.

For more info on Close to Home, call (860) 793-6639 or email

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