East Side Quilters

Southern Rensselaer County Quilters meeting in Castleton, New York

We Celebrated 25 Years in 2017!

General Information

East Side Quilters gather year round at the Castleton VFW Post 7337 building at 105 Scott Avenue (Rt. 150) in Castleton-on-Hudson, NY (flagpole out front; parking in the back; driveway has brick columns on one side, chain-link fence on the other). Our meetings are open to everyone who is interested in quilts and quilting.

     Our regular monthly meetings begin at 7 p.m. and visitors are always welcome.

Our regular business meeting is held on the third Wednesday night each month. Besides general business, we have show-and-tell for members and visitors, block-of-the-month (see Miscellaneous below), and sometimes block exchanges or short programs. Occasionally we have speakers at these meetings. Check the Schedule link in the menu to the left for exact dates and more information about our meetings.

Because of low attendance we've decided to discontinue the first Wednesday work night. Members who need help pinning a quilt or want advice or instruction can post on the email list, ask for members to stay after a business meeting, or come to the Ladies of Leisure (LOL) get-togethers on Wednesdays*. LOL provides an opportunity to bring your own work, including problems or questions you might have about a current quilt project. We might be working on our raffle quilt or charity/"care" quilts. Even when we have a group project scheduled, you are welcome to bring your own projects.

* LOL will meet every Wednesday, 9-3, at the VFW Hall (barring major holidays).

Membership and Dues

Our membership year starts in January and dues are currently $25**.

We have an average of 60 members who are a pretty active and very friendly group. East Side has a nice year-round program including show-and-tell and a block-of-the-month, which gives everyone a chance to participate and learn. We schedule workshops periodically throughout the year. These are often held on Saturdays.

Guests are welcome for free for the first visit, but may not participate in drawings or take care quilt kits to finish.

Group Projects

Quilt-In Days

In March, sometime around National Quilting day, East Side holds their annual "Quilt-In." During this event, we get together with our sewing machines and supplies, plus a lot of donated fabric, to make quilt tops which eventually become care quilts donated to local service organizations. This weekend (Friday and Saturday) is a great get-away for great causes. You can bring some munchies, a favorite quick pattern and even a sewing buddy if you want. People often team up to make quilts. Come for half a day or all day! Everyone has a good time and we make LOTS of quilt tops. Quilt tops are brought back to LOL and/or other meetings and are machine quilted or tied and finished over the course of the year.  In recent years we've added Cabin Fever weekends in other months as well. 

In the past we have donated quilts to various Rensselaer County shelters, Ronald McDonald House, Hospice and Head Start of Rensselaer County. Recent recipients include the Troy YWCA, Joseph's House, and St Pauls in Rensselaer. At times organizations or community groups have approached us seeking a quilt for a special cause or fund raising need and we are usually able to fulfill the need.

Raffle Quilt

ESQ 2019 raffle quilt for VFW
Every year we make a quilt which is typically machine quilted by our members. This quilt is donated to our host — currently the Castleton VFW Post — for them to use for fund raising. After choosing a pattern, we all make the required blocks and work at assembling this quilt. Everyone is encouraged to work on this quilt - it's a great way to learn ALL of the stages of making a quilt. If you're uncertain about something, get involved and ask questions.

Thanks to everyone who worked on the 2018 raffle quilt and everyone who sold tickets. The raffle drawing took place on June 11; it was won by a family member of one of our members! The 2019 raffle quilt is pictured (click the image for larger view). 

Holiday Projects

In the fall, we often organize quilting days to create items for donation, such as placemats for Meals on Wheels, fleece winter hats donated to a local elementary school, Christmas stockings for a local shelter, or cloth tote bags for those in shelters who arrive with little more than the clothes they are wearing.


Care Quilt "stash"

The VFW is very supportive of East Side’s efforts. In addition to the large banquet tables for tying and basting, they have provided closet space for us to keep the donated fabric and other supplies for quiltmaking. The guild has: a big board ironing surface; regular ironing boards; irons; battings (Warm & Natural cotton and polyester); tying and pin-basting supplies; risers for the banquet tables; and a basic sewing machine. We do ask that, if you use the supplies from the guild’s stash to make a quilt, the results be donated back to our Care Quilts endeavor.

Lending Library

The guild has an assortment of quilt books and patterns for borrowing and browsing by members. Look for the list on the Files page or click this link to download the latest list in PDF format (Adobe Reader required to view PDF files).

Block of the Month (BOM)

A block pattern with or without accompanying fabrics is distributed at our business meetings. If you complete the block, your name goes into the draw to win all of the blocks completed from that pattern and turned in. BOM is a good way to try a new technique without a big investment of time or money. We do ask that you check and re-check your seams to make sure the block is the proper size before handing it in!

FQ Raffle

Starting in May 2013, we will have a fat quarter (FQ = fabric cut to approx. 18x22") raffle at our business meetings, based on a theme chosen the month before. Watch each month's minutes for an announcement of the theme (new in 2017, they're also on the schedule). Any member who brings in a fat quarter of the theme fabric will add their name to the hat; one name will win all the FQs.

Quilt-Til-You-Wilt or "Bash the Stash" Day(s)

Our Quilt 'til you wilt day takes place the first week of August, when we take over the VFW hall all day and work on our own quilting projects or care quilts and enjoy the companionship of other quilters. Check the calendar for exact date.

Cabin Fever Days/Weekends

In January and February (and sometimes other months if the calendar has openings!) we try to schedule weekends to get out of the house and sew with friends at the VFW!  Check the Schedule for cabin fever weekend dates.  In March we celebrate National Quilting Day (third Saturday) with a Quilt-in weekend dedicated to work on Care Quilts.

Donation to Camp To Belong - See the July 2011 announcement on our ESQ News page. In 2012, we donated pillowcases to the campers. Other years we have donated twin-size quilts, or capes for the children to sign for their sibling.

Though we talk a lot about care quilts, the guild also inspires and encourages quilters to work on quilts for family and friends, loved ones, and themselves!

**Note: $10/member goes to the VFW to help pay for electricity, water, etc.


Favorite links

Ann Fahl's favorite way to fold and store quilts! No more centerline creases when you fold on the bias.

New York quilt shops (Quilting Hub, with a "plan your route" tool)

Other Local Quilting Guilds (get more information about these guilds):

Quilting Guilds in New York State

Quilt Bug (formerly Quilt Bus)

American Quilters Society list of NY Quilt Guilds

International Quilt Study Center (Lincoln, Nebraska)
---quilt of the month