by Pauline Clarke, cofounder
Contemporary, modern, strong and enduring are words that best describe the celebration of twenty years that the KEMPTVILLE QUILTERS GUILD has been in existence. Established in 2000, the vision of the guild far exceeded what the co-founders, Debra Cloutier and Pauline Clarke had anticipated. The first meeting drew a handful of ladies to a small classroom at a local school and history began.
The main focus of the guild was for all to share their passion and expertise for quilting; to help new members starting the craft, and most importantly to have fun. In twenty years we’ve had ten wonderous presidents and numerous board members who helped shape the guild to what it is today, a strong and generous group of 75 members.
Over the twenty year timespan, hundreds of quilts, pillowcases and place matts have been donated to outreach programs in the community. Those being the Spencerville Mill quilt show fund raiser, CHEO, Beth Donavan Hospice, Kemptville Community Living, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, new immigrants to Canada and many more.
The Kemptville Quilters Guild focuses on helping members learn more about quilting in a variety of ways. A very popular feature of the Guild are the workshops and classes offered throughout the year. Local experts and talented members teach basic quilting skills, new techniques, modern design and many other subjects. Costs for these events are kept manageable by maintaining a policy of ‘cost recovery`.
Another way that the Guild helps members to learn more about quilting is through its library. Hundreds of books, magazine subscriptions and unique rulers can all be borrowed at each meeting. Many books are donated, but the annual budget supports the continuation of the library’s growth.
And, of course, the monthly speakers program is the most appreciated element of Guild meetings. Planning for an interesting and informative Speaker program begins months in advance to be able to book local and some big-name speakers to our relatively small guild. A substantial budget allows for eight or nine speakers a year, on a variety of subjects. Themes for the speakers program can be as varied as `Lets make it modern` to `Get it done!` Regardless of the theme, members can be guaranteed to learn something new at every meeting.
It amazes me, even though we are a small guild, half if not more of the ladies participate in the ‘Sew n Tell’ at each meeting. Their talents range from beginner to fabulous art quilts artisans and each a talented designer in their own right.
Guests and new members are welcome to visit or join this guild on the second Monday of the month. Find out more about upcoming guest speakers and past newsletters on our blog: http://kemptvillequilters.blogspot.com.
Although there are no plans at present for the Kemptville Quilters Guild to host a quilt show, the members participated in CQA’s Going Viral competition. One of our talented members, Linda Deverno represented our guild at CQA’s 2019 national show.
Plans are in place to kick off the new season with monthly celebration activities with basket raffles, viewers choice 20×20” quilt challenge to name a few activities. We anticipate our guild to live long and continue supporting those who are in need in our community.
[First published in the January 2020 issue of CQA, used by permission]