Expression through applique

Clark County Quilters Guild celebrates 40th anniversary

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Clark County Quilters is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver. The purpose of the guild is to contribute to the growth and knowledge of quilting techniques, provide educational meetings, support quilting activities, perform community service by participation in quilt related projects and to provide assistance to charities in Clark County and the Pacific Northwest.

General meetings are held the second Thursday of each month September through June, at the Vancouver Church of Christ, 9019 N.E. 86th St., Vancouver. Social hour begins at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7 p.m. Non-members are asked to pay $5 per meeting to cover speaker fees.

For more information about the group and upcoming workshops, visit www.clarkcountyquilters.org or clarkcountyquilters@gmail.com.

Clark County Quilters is a non-profit organization based in Vancouver. The purpose of the guild is to contribute to the growth and knowledge of quilting techniques, provide educational meetings, support quilting activities, perform community service by participation in quilt related projects and to provide assistance to charities in Clark County and the Pacific Northwest.

General meetings are held the second Thursday of each month September through June, at the Vancouver Church of Christ, 9019 N.E. 86th St., Vancouver. Social hour begins at 6 p.m. and the meeting begins at 7 p.m. Non-members are asked to pay $5 per meeting to cover speaker fees.

For more information about the group and upcoming workshops, visit www.clarkcountyquilters.org or clarkcountyquilters@gmail.com.

When eight women met in Iva Lindsay’s home in 1974 to organize a quilting group, they never imagined what it would become.

What began as a small group of friends who wanted to create quilts and help local charities has grown into a 500 member non-profit organization with numerous beneficiaries.

This year, the Clark County Quilters will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Some things have changed, such as the technology available to quilters, but the camaraderie, friendship and love of quilting has remained the same.

Margi Hadley, 81, is a founding member and still actively involved.

“Some of us were in a class at Clark College, and the gals from the class didn’t want it to end,” she recalled. “Quilting was starting to (become popular) all over the country and the eight of us decided to get together and start a group. Soon, we had 15 to 20 people coming. It took off right away.”

The organization’s activities include an annual quilt show, quilt challenge, featured artist shows, charitable causes, retreats, guest speakers, workshops, community service and more.

“I never dreamed it would get so big, and that the tools for quilting would be this fabulous,” Hadley said. “We did it the old way, with scissors and fabric. Now, it keeps getting better and better.”

Over the years, she has served as vice president and secretary, as well as chairman of publicity and of the quilt show. She is the only founding member still involved with the organization.

“I’m never leaving,” Hadley said. “I just love the group and always have. I have no plans to drop out.”

Her favorite parts are the friendships and the act of quilting itself.

“It is a wonderful thing to work on rather than think about your troubles,” she said.

Past-president Bev Herring of Vancouver joined the quilters after attending the group’s annual show in 1989.

“I was new to the area and decided to find out more about the group,” she said. “I really enjoy the inspiration of all the others and all the services we can provide. If we didn’t have to sleep, we’d get a lot more done.”

Everything from traditional to artistic quilts are created.

“We have people who do the most fantastic artwork,” Herring said. “Then, we have traditional people who make the charity quilts, which are beautiful. It definitely isn’t a bunch of scraps from grandma’s bags. What is great about this group is that if you love quilting, there is something for everybody.”

In recent years, the guild has had some male members join as well. Jim Scheurman of Camas did five years ago after taking a class from a guild member.

“She told me I was her first ever male student,” he said. “Now, there are about 10 men in the group. When I first started going to the meetings, they just said, ‘ladies,’ and I had to correct them. Now they say ‘gentlemen,’ too.”

The Battle Ground School District music teacher calls his foray into quilting a “happy accident.”

After purchasing a sewing machine to hem shirts and pants, he discovered it had a built-in dual feed, which made quilting much easier.

“When I figured out I could actually do it, I was hooked,” he said. “I took a class and got the fever whole hog. If you like it, you just love it.”

Scheurman’s first quilt is hanging at Pleasant Valley Primary School, where he teaches.

“You meet a lot of people in this group,” he said. “They are a real friendly bunch and there are some amazing guest speakers. For $25 a year (dues) the things you can learn are amazing.”

Abbie Dick of Washougal joined the quilting guild in 1992. Like many who become members, she attended the group’s annual show.

“I’d been quilting for six or seven years but never with a group,” she said. “There, I found like-minded people.”

She has served as president of the guild and in other volunteer capacities.

“It is so nice to see what others are doing and be challenged myself,” Dick said. “I always enjoy the speakers and being involved in the quilt show.”

Supporting charitable causes has always been a focus for the guild. Jane Dudley helped expand that area, starting in 2005.

She joined the group in 1999, after retiring as a bus driver for the Vancouver School District.

Dudley owned a long arm quilting machine and began teaching the technique to others, which allowed them to produce more of the charity quilts. She reserves a large space in her home, which is filled with fabrics others have donated to the charitable program, and has a large classroom with eight sewing machines.

“I have 16 to 18 ladies who come in every week to help me with the quilts,” she said.

The quilts are donated to organizations including the YWCA, Share House, Children’s Justice Center and Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital.

“I love the camaraderie of it,” Dudley said. “Everyone is just happy to do this.”

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