Susan Miller met Carol Huisman early in 1985 around a quilting frame where they were stitching on the 50th Tulip Time quilt at the Pella Historical Village. Carol had already taken a quilt class at T & D department store along with Jane Hummel and Bev Kramer, and the three were meeting weekly to stitch on their own projects.
Susan Miller joined them in May and they all attended the Des Moines Guild and the Iowa State Guild to find out how such groups operated. Susan had an idea about guild functions from her mother-in-law’s group in California which had been meeting since the 1970’s.
By late August, Carol, Bev, and Susan were ready to organize a guild in Pella. Notices were put in the Pella Chronicle inviting any interested quilters to meet in Susan’s home at 510 West First Street on September 3, 1985. About twenty people came, among them were Aileen Taylor and Karen Spencer. At this meeting it was decided the first officer’s would serve until the end of 1986. They were: Carol Huisman as president; Susan Miller, vice president; Bev Kramer, secretary; and Jane Hummel, treasurer. Patsy Sadler offered to let the group meet at the Sterrenberg Library at the Historical Village, and dues were set at $1.00 per month until the end of the year.
Many quilt activities filled the schedule during the ensuing months- each one so exciting because everything was new and happening for the first time. Early on, the group was lucky to have two Iowa Quilt Guild(IQG) presidents as members and workshops by several national teachers either on our own or in conjunction with IQG meetings here.
The accomplishments of the first fifteen months are remarkable. How did we all do it? Adopted name, logo, by-laws, and dues; arranged for members to do the monthly programs at Historical Village or members’ homes; began quarterly newsletter; held floor-frame quilting bees; and had lots of show and tell.
1986 Schedule for extra activities:
Feb-Carolee Knutson, Lone Star workshop
Apr-Organized another Lone Star class
Road trip to Kalona for show, lunch, and shopping
May-Name tag contest
July-Road trip to Quilt National in Decature, IL
Sept-Potluck anniversary dinner, guest night, slide show of members sewing “rooms”
Fons and Porter workshops
Displayed quilts throughout Historical Village
Oct-Mary Golden workshop
Nov-Hosted Iowa Quilt Guild at Second Church-, exhibiting members’ quilts
Dec-Made Christmas Tulip decorations for Village Farm House in six work days