Thursday, April 28, 2016

President's Message - May 2016

for March:

            I would like to take this time to express my great joy and deep appreciation for the guild membership and the South Louisiana Quilt Community.  Your generosity of spirit was expressed in your donation of time, talent, fabric, and energy that created these lovely Quilts of Valor, these quilts of comfort and tribute made for our local veterans.  Your efforts far outstripped my humble expectations.  The quilts were beautiful.  The ceremony that Roxanne Brown conducted at the guild meeting was so touching.  It was a heartfelt moment of a lifetime that we all could share.

            I am also proud of my community, St. Gabriel.  Its people take tremendous pride in our veterans and host a day of celebration and remembrance on Veterans Day.  The mayor and the VFW, Post 312, were important contributors to the Feb. 6th, Quilts of Valor Sew Day.  However, the most important component in this equation was All of You.  Your participation made all of this possible. 

            As a local leader for the Quilts of Valor Foundation may I say that I find your volunteerism to be so extraordinary.  You give freely of yourselves to pay tribute to these worthy men and women who have served our country so well. I cannot thank you enough.

            The Veterans Ceremony for QOV was a fine tribute to the veterans at the March meeting.  It was so very touching.  It provides inspiration to sew and quilt for others.

for April/May:
            My thanks to Elena for leading the (outdoor) meeting and my thanks to the membership for making the best of the situation.  I made it back from Slidell in time to attend the al fresco gathering in the church courtyard.  Thanks to our presenters, Sandy Mellinger, BeBe Tulley, and Debbie Hulett for their beautiful springtime quilts and items. The door keys are now up-to-date.

            The GSQA Show was just exquisite, a splendid display of talent and creativity.  Many of you talented quilters exhibited your works.  Please bring your show quilts to this meeting and share your judge's comments with us.  Tell us what you thought and tell us what you won.

SEW, dear ones, be inspired,……LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH, AND MOST OF ALL, QUILT.         



- bring all that Show & Tell.  Tell us about the Paducah Quilt Show - what did you find?
- bring monies and sign up for Labor Day Retreat.  see Cynthia; minimum 20 with deposits by the July meeting or it might have to be cancelled.
- bring items and monies for the Birthday Table Extravaganza.
- bring  FQ's for Fat Quarter Drawing -  "Dots"  (up to 4 Fat Quarters)
- bring & wear your Fiber Name Tag:  You could win $20 !!
- Reminder - the GSQA regular meeting is Sat., 4/30, at Mes Amis Shop in New Orleans @ 10 a.m.

- a Special bring - St. Paul's Ladies Auxiliary - has requested donations of Scraps, Batting, Stuffing, and Beanie Babies.  The ladies are making "Flat Stanleys" for foreign mission trips. The beanie babies are small gifts to give to impoverished children who visit the mission.  See Daisy.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Archives Project, Post Three

The quiltmakers.....


Information from the archives about the Bonne Fete quilt: 

As Baton Rouge approached its 300th birthday, a collaborative group of local quilters joined forces to create a very special quilt to commemorate the event.  With 18 months' advance notice, the group knew they had plenty of time to complete their task, but how? 

Local quilter Judy Holley began by contacting area guilds and assessing interest.  From the six participating guilds, a research and design committee was assembled and the task of covering 300 years of local history began.  The fall of 1997 found committee members Thelma Berg, Sherry Herringshaw, Judy Holley, Candy McLaurin and Melanie West meeting twice a month at a local library poring over old books, photographs and newspaper articles to assemble the knowledge they would need to create a design. 

Three hundred years of local history proved to be a daunting task!  It soon became obvious that only a few select places would actually be memorialized on the quilt, and from a sewing standpoint, it would be easier to limit the use of people on the quilt.  Ultimately, nineteen block themes and twelve vignettes were selected for the quilt. 

Once research was completed Melanie West spearheaded the effort of translating these ideas into a scaled draft of the basic overall layout of the design.  Next, actual-sized patterns were needed for all of the designs.  Melanie and Judy divided up the designs and started drawing.  Sherry Herringshaw assisted with the vignettes; Thelma Berg drew the Hayden sculpture; and local Native American artist Chery O drew the Indian with the peace pipe.  Judy's daughter Lauren Holley also helped. 

On February 1, 1998 the Research and Design Committee met at a local library and presented the design to a packed room of quilters who would actually choose and sew the individual blocks and vignettes, and the stitching began.  For the next few months, the quilters met once a month to share progress on their work and to compare tips and techniques on translating local landmarks, past and present, into fabric works of art.  On May 31, 1998, the completed blocks were turned in at a local library, and Melanie West undertook to set them all together and add the oak tree with some help from Thelma Berg. 

By late summer the quilt was ready for quilting, and quilting bees in the homes of Thelma Berg and Melanie West became a daily ritual.  In just over two months the entire quilt, 72 by 114 inches, had been hand quilted and over 60 people spent hundreds of hours to quilt the Baton Rouge Quilt.  This does not include the time spent making the blocks and assembling the top. 

Melanie West, Suzanne Elliott, Margie Bumm, and Thelma Berg in Thelma Berg's studio

In March 1999, the quilt was displayed at the Baton Rouge Hilton during the 16th annual GSQA Seminar, the same weekend the city started its Bonne Fete celebrations.  On March 7, 1999 the quilt was donated to the city in an official dedication ceremony at the Old State Capitol. 

The NQA appraiser noted the very good workmanship in the patchwork, applique, and embellishments with moderately heavy overall quilting and set its insurance value at $8,000.

Please send comments and corrections to me at or 760 815 5305. 

A Quilter's Tale, the History of the River City Quilt Guild

by Suzi Montague based on information provided by Pat Hodgins, et al

Once upon a time there was only one quilt guild in town, the Patchwork Pelicans, a close group of about 12.  There were other quilters in Baton Rouge who longed for the kinship of quilting.  So began their odyssey with a few members from the Embroiderers Guild of America.  The group gained focus with Julie Mohr in 1984.  What began as a cluster of helping hands, to help Julie in creating and completing a quilt show for the NQA-GSQA, became the charter membership of the guild. 
Julie Mohr is an NQA-certified quilting instructor with skills in hand piecing, hand quilting, and applique.  She is a Midwesterner with Mennonite roots and a long family history of quilting. 
Names you may recognize from the "good old days" are Ann Crossley, Gail McClain, Pam Rosebrook, Thelma Berg, Ella Wilkinson (Gail Bass' mom), Louise Bradford, Marilyn Kelley, Barbara Hoffman, Pat Hodgin, Marsha Dardenne, Lynne Frutiger, and Norma McGee, to name just a few. 
1985 -- La Fete de Piquage - National Quilting Association.  The debut at the Great Hall of the Bellemont Hotel presented a judged show, fashion show, luncheon, and merchants' mall.  Kit Carpenter won Best of Show with a quilt which later went on to win at the AQS show in Paducah, KY.  Veronic Fitzgerald also entered a quilt which later won Best of Show at Quilt National held in Ohio in 1987. 
Guild name:  Suggested by David Kelley, husband of Marilyn. 
Original guild logo:  In 1985, Lynne Frutiger and Norma McGee created a Baton Rouge skyline logo which was appliqued on docent aprons used at the show. 
Present guild logo and pin:  Deanna Carney made this design in 1988.  She now resides in Norway.  Her use of color (blue, fuschia, and green) and their placement was to depict azaleas by a body of water. 
Guild banner:  Created by Eileen Parent. 
Initially, members met in one another's homes.  As the guild grew in number, the Goodwood Library became the permanent meeting place.
1985 -- There was a succession of presidents:  Marsha Dardenne, Pat Hodgin, then Thelma Berg completed the year. 
1986, 1987 -- Thelma Berg as president. 
1987 -- Bon Marche quilt show.  The guild was incorporated and by laws written.  Thirty members had the choice of day or night meetings. 
1988 -- Carol Burger was president. 
1989 -- Ellery Fleming was president.  Special events included the first Christmas Challenge and the Magnolia Mound Quilt Show. 
1990 -- Melanie West was president.  This year brought Parker House and quilts for its children.  Melanie taught classes to provide inspiration. 
1991 -- Eileen Parent was president.  Membership soared from 12 to 40.  The Progressive was begun along with lotto blocks and secret pal.  Community service took several to present a demonstration of quilting at Vermillionville Acadian Settlement in Lafayette. 
1992 -- Del Horan was president.  Membership rose from 40 to 70.  Raffle quilt, a blue Triple Irish Chain, was created to benefit the Marilyn Kelley Van Fund.  Participation began in the Very Special Arts Fair. 
1993 -- Barbara Hoffman was president.  Small sewing circles were created to bring members closer together.  Christmas in July community service drive provided household goods for Parker House.  Scrappy Challenge had 42 participants with a much anticipated presentation in October. 
Community service:  Generosity is a strong trait within the guild.  Projects include quilting exhibitions at Fest-For All, Magnolia Mound, Vermillionville (in Lafayette), the Very Special Arts Fair, local schools and nursing homes.  Parker House has always been a rewarding experience.  Many guild members have taught classes and workshop to the benefit of all.  Members have made and continue to make quilts which have been juried in national and international shows and have appeared in books and magazines. 
Please send comments and corrections to me at or 760 815 5305. 

Archives Project, Post in Progress...Officers Past and President

This is the format I'll use for posting:  YEAR, PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT, SECRETARTY, TREASURER

1984, Marsha Dardenne

1985/1986, Marsha Dardenne, Patricia Hodgin, Ann Crossley, Gail McClain, Thelma Berg (Education Chairman, an elected position), Karen Pierz (Publicity Chairman and Historian, an elected position)

1986, Pat Hodgin

1986/1987, Thelma Berg

1988, Carol Burger, Deanna Carney,  Ann Stanton, Brenda Hutchinson

1989, Ellery Fleming, Gail McClain, Melanie West, Pam Gardner

1990, Melanie West

1991, Eileen Parent

1992, Del Horan

1993, Barbara Hoffman, Diana Maloney, Suzi Montague, Shirley Barnes

1994, Diana Maloney, Melanie West, Sherry Reeves, Margie Bumm

1996, Suzi Montague, Susan Waller (secretary)

1997, Lilly Willis

1998, Pam Rosebrook, Robbie McHardy (vice president)

1999, Nanzy Stewart

2000, Nanzy Stewart

2001, Melinda

2002, Melinda

2003, Mary Boneno

2004, Chris Wrobel, Georgia Narrow (secretary)

2005, Chris Wrobel, Karen Perron (secretary)

2006, Michael Young, Nina Deleune, Kathryn Merritt, Beverly Yearby

2007, Margie Bumm

2008, Margie Bumm

2009, Mary Woltman

2010, Mary Woltman

2011, JoPaula Lantier

2012, Cynthia McGee

2013, Barbara Lankford, Noreen Mazzaroppi, Elena Acosta (treasurer)

2014, Renee Hoeprich, Joni DeVilbiss, Louise Porter, Elena Acosta

2015, Renee Hoeprich, Judy Momenzadeh, Francie Jones, Bebe Tulley

2016, Daisy Comeaux, Elena Acosta, Francie Jones, Bebe Tulley

...a work in progress...........

Please send comments and corrections to me at or 760 815 5305. 

Archives Project, Post Two

This is a hand appliqued and hand quilted apron made from a pattern in the archives.  It was donated by Marilyn Kelly. 

An excerpt from the 1985 binder:  During March and April members of River City Quilting Guild made aprons with our club logo appliqued on the front.  Our first public appearance was at the April 27th GSQA meeting.  Several workshops were held to cut out the fabrics and make the aprons.  Each member appliqued her own logo on the apron.  This happy looking group reflects the fun we had making the aprons.  It drew us together as a group. 
left to right, back row:  Pat Hodgin, Louise Bradford, Madeline Prestridge, Karen Pierz, Ella Wilkerson, Marsha Dardenne, Pam Rosebrook, Ann Crossley, Carol Burger, Gina Kirkland, Julie Mohr
front row: Mary Ann Robker, Marilyn Kelly, Thelma Berg
Please send comments and corrections to me at or 760 815 5305.