History: 1990-1995


The September 1990 meeting was opened by Shirley Erickson, the guild’s new president. Francyne Willby proposed that the guild make small quilts to donate to the Athens ‘ Safehouse (a project that is still continuing). Each guild member was asked to provide 4 quilts each year, and Shirley reminded members to KISS ( K eep It Simple Stupid).

The fall months of 1990 were extremely busy for the group as they participated in the Sandy Creek Folk Festival and also helped run the “Georgia Quilt Project Day” held at Taylor-Grady House. The goals of this project were to locate and register the quilts and quiltmakers of Georgia , to contribute to the knowledge of and appreciation of quilts, to encourage their preservation and to promote the growth of the art of quiltmaking and the appreciation of quilts through education.

Members voted to change the by-laws so that meetings would be held each month of the year, and dues were increased to $10.

In early 1991, Guild members attended a retreat at Rock Eagle and were forced to evacuate early on Sunday morning due to a chemical cloud. They still reported having a great time!!


The 1991/92 year was also chaired by Shirley Erickson, with many new and exciting projects being announced. The guild’s next show, “All That Glitters is Not Cold” was held at Lyndon House and ran for approximately 2 weeks. It featured the guild’s current challenge project…a quilt containing a circular design and something that glitters.


The guild once again participated in the Sandy Creek Folk Festival, and raffled a quilt called “Inspiration”. Meetings were moved to the second Monday of each month and the meeting place was moved to the Walton EMC community room.

Programs during these two years included a machine quilting demonstration, Cathedral Window Christmas ornaments, “Fabric Fantasy” from Carousel of Fabrics, Bordering for Success, and Waltzing Down the Drunkard’s Path. March 9 th saw the birth of the “BAG” players, presenting a skit about the making of a Baltimore Album quilt.

Workshops during these two years included “Hidden Wells, Kaleidoscope, and Marbling fabrics.


Our "Hidden Wells" workshop in progress
Our “Hidden Wells” workshop in progress


Frances Arnold took the helm in July of 1992, and started off the year by presenting the first of many “Machine Quilting Workshops”. In October, Walton EMC included an article about the guild in their “Realite” newsletter. It highlighted the charity work that was being done.

Barbara Sanders presented a color wheel workshop and a “Mystic Stripe” workshop, while Frances Arnold & Joann Stewart taught about applique….both hand and machine. The “BAG” ladies added the word “Crazy” to their name and presented a program demonstrating what they had learned about Crazy Quilting. The Christmas meeting was at Shirley Erickson’s home and the entertainment for the evening included a Christmas block challenge, fat-quarter exchange and Shirley’s husband’s barbershop singing group.

May of 1993 was a particularly busy month, with the guild presenting a quilt to the Athens Regional Library to help celebrate the 1st anniversary in their new building. The quilt was designed by Elizabeth Barton and was pieced by many guild members. The 13 stars in the top section represent that Georgia was the 13th original colony. The second layer of the quilt is lavender mountains. The trees of Georgia are shown in the central section of the quilt and the bottom layer depicts the ocean around Georgia. The quilting patterns used were Starry Path, Delectable Mountains, Pine Tree, and Ocean Wave. The quilt is still hanging on the second floor of the library…..stop by and have a look.


Also in May, Margaret Rolfe (from Canberra, Australia) presented our first national (or rather International) workshop ever!!! She presented a lecture based on her book “Go Wild With Quilts” and then followed with a workshop where we learned to make a “Patchwork Zoo”.



Joann Stewart took up the gavel beginning in July of 1993 and led the guild well in the year following.

Programs during the year included a hands-on demonstration of the folded star by Dale Freeman, a talk about the quilts of Faith Ringgold, and a demonstration of using Prairie Points to complete a quilt.

It was announced that the guild would hold a show in March, 1995, with Barbara Sanders as Chairman.

Various new bees were begun, with each working on a Mystery Quilt. This proved to be a wonderful way of getting new groups of people together


The Christmas challenge blocks were won by Priscilla Golley and Mary Oliver….wonder if they ever finished a quilt using those blocks?



July of 1994 got off to a bang with Dale Freeman at the gavel.

Programs for the year included numerous nights devoted to quilt show preparation, as well as a “field trip” to Carousel of Fabrics where Francyne Willby treated members to the ins and outs of fabric and notions. Janet Wickes (an ex-Cotton Patch Quilter who had moved back to England) entertained members with her quilting and other adventures on the Misty Isle.

Much of the year was spent in preparation for the quilt show with time spent in planning how to receive and hang the quilts. The guild participated in making a “touching quilt” called “Potluck Blues”. This quilt was made from all sorts of textured fabrics and guests were encouraged to “PLEASE TOUCH” as opposed to the signs on the big quilts.

Many of our members participated in the Olympic Quilt initiative. Quilts were given to the country’s Olympic Committee and to the country’s flag bearers. Many of these quilts were displayed at the show.

The big show was held on March 3rd and 4th of 1995, at the Oconee County Civic Center. 748 people paid admission to the show and the raffle quilt raised $705. Frances Arnold won the “Guild Choice” award on her quilt, “Baskets for Pat”, and Shirley Erickson and Kristi Erickson won the “Viewer’s Choice Best of Show” for “Harmony”. It was declared a HUGE success and plans were put into motion for the 1997 show.


"Baskets for Pat" by Frances Arnold
“Baskets for Pat” by Frances Arnold

Workshops for the year included “Snowflakes In January”(an embroidery based embellishment), a day spent in designing a strip pieced quilt, a Tassels workshop from Jean Jordan, and a “Triangulation Workshop” directed by Barbara Sanders.