Pine Belt Quilters Blog

November — Slides of Ireland

Cliffs of Moher

Pine Belt Quilters met Wednesday, Nov. 8. The program was a slide show of Martha Ginn’s trip to Ireland in June. To relate the pictures to quiltmaking, Martha called attention to the beauty in green fields, stone fences, rocky coasts, sheep, flowers, and ancient architecture. She showed two art quilts inspired by the trip.

Field of cattle

Sand blown up over centuries makes this church appear sunken

Colorful shops in Dingle on Dingle Peninsula

Art quilt inspired by grasses at the Cliffs of Moher

Dianne McLendon reminded the group that the completed Modern Classic Challenge quilts are due at the December meeting. The Friendship Blocks are also due. 

Four members showed their completed Cynthia England pieces–congratulations to Beth McDaniel and Missy Lee on the Mountain scene, and Dianne McLendon and Linda Flanders on the Beach scene. Beth commented that it was hard! Linda said it was addictive once she got going. Be sure to bring your finished pieces to show us.


December lunch will be catered by Seasoned with Love. If you have not made your reservation, send your $10 to Missy Lee and indicate choice of beef or chicken. 

Charitable activities: We will give our Children’s Quilts to agencies at the December meeting, so bring any you have ready (with label). Elvia Edwards reported on the gift of 63 quilts to Hurricane Harvey flood victims in Houston. Today we received 20 quilts, 57 pillows, 10 mother pads, 11 preemie blankets, 18 walker totes,and 11 catheter bag covers.

Ellen Cox shows handy  container for lap stitching

Snippets: Ellen Cox’s snippet was a handy item you can make for hand sewing in your lap. Glue white felt to the inside of a large strong paper plate. Add a magnet to hold scissors, a pin cushion, any other helpful attachments. Members with December birthdays are reminded to bring a wrapped quilt-related gift to be given for a door prize.

It’s time to pay your dues for the 2018 year. Ellen has membership forms and asks that we either fill one out or mark the box “NO CHANGES” when you turn in your $20.00 check or cash. 

October with Cynthia England

Although Cynthia England had a foot of flood water in her studio during Hurricane Harvey in September, she was recovered enough to keep her schedule for our October meeting and workshop. She showed us some of her prize-winning quilts and talked about starting her quilt journey at age 13. Her quilts have won Best of Show, Viewers’ Choice, and named among the 100 Best Quilts of the 20th Century. She proudly admitted to being 58 years old and looking forward to making many more quilts. We welcomed several visitors from the Jackson area, and one from Alaska. PBQ is fortunate to be able to bring internationally known quilters and teachers to our Hattiesburg meetings! Thanks Dianne McLendon and Susie Jackson for your dedicated work on our program/workshop planning committee.

Shirley Wiltshire told us about garden flags for a boutique project this month. She has instructions and measurements available. Dianne McLendon said she had found a bargain at Dollar Tree stores–a substitute for template plastic.

Charitable activities: We received 14 pillows, 13 preemie blankets, 37 mother pads, 14 walker totes, and 6 catheter bag covers.

Quilts for Houston area hurricane victims: We had 60 quilts turned in to be sent to Elvia Edwards’ daughter for distribution as needed in the Houston area. Karen Edwards’ church is active in assisting victims and she can be sure the quilts are placed where they are most needed.

Friendship Block:  Christmas Star. Due back at December meeting.

Cynthia England workshop: We had 27 quilters in Cynthia’s class working on either the Mountain or Seashore designs. Since Cynthia uses only straight lines to create her works, she showed us how to alter a design from curves into straight lines. She furnished kits of fabrics so we could get started on her freezer-paper-on-top method of sewing. We had all previously done foundation piecing with paper on bottom, but Cynthia’s technique is different and does not require sewing through any paper. 

We enjoyed showing her Hattiesburg and taking her to a couple of our favorite restaurants–Crescent City Grill and Patio 44.  We voted on officers for 2018-2019. Ellen Hall, Missy Lee, and Dianne McLendon are repeating in their jobs. Thanks to these who are willing to serve. 

Ellen Hall, Missy Lee, Margie Hancock, Dianne McLendon, Jo Ellen Carr

Cynthia England at Patio 44 in Hattiesburg



September with Teresa Pino

Teresa’s Graffiti Doodle Diamonds

At the September meeting president Connie Hitt welcomed a full house of members and visitors. Helen Thornton reminded us of our many blessings in her thought for the day, poem about “drinking from my saucer because my cup has overflowed.”

Teresa Pino, professional longarm quilt artist from Hernando, MS, presented a program about her quilting journey from learning to quilt at her grandfather’s upholstery shop to owning two longarm machines and quilting about 300 quilts per year for customers. She had grandparents on both sides who sewed and quilted, so she came by her love of stitching very naturally. Teresa showed quilts her grandfather and grandmother had made, as well as her own early quilts such as a Dutch Doll for her “hope chest” to welcome a granddaughter in the future. Her most unusual quilt was by her Mama Ann, which featured motifs cut from a variety of fabrics and appliqued to navy blue denim, with the squares being joined by crochet stitches.

Teresa encouraged us all to “Do what you like; like what you do.” This is good advice when we are faced with an ever-widening array of styles, techniques, and methods.


Teresa with one of her early traditional quilts

Going modern

Going modern

Mama Ann’s denim/crochet quilt

Drawing was held on the Raffle Quilt made by Elle Gill for Children’s Quilts. The winner was Amanda Soljan of Grand Bay, AL. The proceeds will be used for ordering batting.

Shirley Wiltshire showed pictures of gift tags, luggage tags, and postcards—her suggestion for boutique items this month. The Friendship blocks were won by Dorothy Williamson. Betty Bingham announced that the library has some new books.

Modern Classics Challenge: Dianne McLendon distributed the last group of block designs for this Challenge. The complete list is published (Guild Activities/2017 Modern Classics Challenge). The finished quilts are due at the December meeting.

Charitable activities: Today we received 26 pillows, 26 baby blankets, 70 mother pads, 16 walker totes, and 10 catheter bag covers. There are kits available to take home for Children’s Quilts.

Snippets: Ellen Cox said she had seen several helpful hints on Sewing with Nancy, such as using a pool noodle to roll quilts on for storage, which avoids wrinkling. Another tip was to sharpen needles on a steel wool pad.

Nominating Committee Report: Dianne McLendon announced the nominating committee’s slate of officers for two-year terms beginning in 2018. We expressed our appreciation for retiring president Connie Hitt and newsletter editor Linda Flanders. Connie had served two years, and Linda had written our newsletters for six years. Dianne, Ellen, and Missy are continuing in their positions. The proposed slate, to be voted on at October meeting:

  • President – Margie Hancock
  • Vice President – Dianne McLendon 
  • Secretary-Membership – Ellen Hall 
  • Secretary-Newsletter – Jo Ellen Carr
  • Treasurer – Missy Lee 

Next month’s meeting will be a program by Cynthia England, best of show winner in Houston in the fall of 2016. She will speak at the Wednesday meeting and lead a workshop the following day.

August Meeting–Christmas Quilts

Frances Good made a tall Christmas tree wall hanging for the Silent Auction at the 2016 show which was the real hit of the auction. She was asked to show this for the August meeting. She said the pattern was called Tall Trim the Tree, a Little Bit More by Cindi Edgerton at Sew Thankful. For the program, Frances asked members to bring their Christmas quilts. What a beautiful trunk show this was, with several people sharing their Christmas pieces. 


Mary Nell had children’s quilt kits (tops/batting/backings) for members to take home to finish. She said 14 completed quilts were turned in today and she invited all to come to CQ workdays on the first Tuesdays. We had donated 38 pillows, 26 blankets, 57 mother pads, 17 walker totes, and 6 catheter bag covers. We will have a Walker Tote cutting day on August 23. We have plenty of fabric but Betty Herring needs help cutting pieces.

Snippet: Dianne told about a product called Take Hold (that can be found at Walmart) to use while machine quilting instead of wearing rubberized gloves. With gloves, you can’t thread a needle or move pins, but Take Hold will help your hands move the quilt easily with no residue or tacky feeling.

Programs/Workshops coming up: We preregistered for Teresa Pino’s Graffiti Quilting/Inktense Pencils workshop that follows the September meeting. Susie Jackson is handling this and needs a firm count so Teresa can prepare the quilt sandwiches. 

Our October program/workshop is by Cynthia England (Best of Show winner in Houston 2016). We filled the class and started a waiting list. Contact person is Susie Jackson. 

Reminder: Vicksburg Old Man River Quiltfest August 22-26.

AccuQuilt Special Offer

We received the following email from AccuQuilt. In case you are considering buying one of these, this is a free shipping offer:

This is Stephanie from AccuQuilt! To show our appreciation for quilting guilds, we are offering an exclusive promotion! We are inviting your members to take advantage of our FREE SHIPPING promotional code “GUILD2017.” This code will allow you to receive free shipping with no minimum purchase.

Not only are we offering this free promotional code, we also have more than 700 free patterns on our website! We would love to have you share this information on your website to make it easy for your guild members to find our free and helpful resources.

Here are the links:

AccuQuilt Homepage:

Free AccuQuilt Patterns:


Once you have published the information, let us know and we will mark you down as a participating guild.

Happy Quilting! 

Stephanie Hughes

Outreach Coordinator at AccuQuilt

8843 South 137th Circle Omaha, NE 68138 


July Children’s Quilts Gifts

Tables full of Children’s Quilts

Another successful children’s quilt give-away! At our July meeting we had representatives from seven agencies select quilts and describe their activities and how our quilts are used to comfort children. Mary Nell said we gave 202 quilts today. CQ group meets the first Tuesdays of every month. If you cannot attend, you may work on your own or finish tops that we have in our closet.

WDAM reporter Jac Bedrossian was there and took lots of video for a Good News segment that aired on the 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 newscasts that evening, as well as WLOX. She sent this message: Thank you for inviting us! Here’s a link to the story:

 In our parade of Children’s Quilts, the winners were: Betty Allen, Kathy Houseal, and  Jamie Martin (grandson of Jo Ellen Carr). Winners were awarded sewing supplies, and Jamie was particularly pleased to have his very own magnetic pin cushion and other items!

Winning quilts by Betty Allen, Kathy Houseal, Jamie Martin

Barbara Cline, MQA’s Educational Seminar teacher for 2017, taught one day in Hattiesburg; the class was small but very enthusiastic over their Cookie Cutter quilt projects. We’ll look forward to seeing these finished pieces later.

August meeting will feature Christmas quilts in the program led by Frances Good. Rather than the announced tree wall hanging workshop listed in our directory, the August 23 workshop will be working on Boutique projects with Shirley Wiltshire and Frances Good. Make plans to come and create some neat items.

June speaker and workshops–Carolyn Kimble

Carolyn Kimble from Moss Point presented our June program on her beautiful applique quilts. Well, she also does other types, but applique is definitely her favorite technique. She stitches memories of special times and events into her work. Carolyn taught an applique class on the two following days after the meeting, using a pattern she had designed. Her “My Barn Quilt” won a blue ribbon and Viewers’ Choice as well as a judges’ special award in our 2016 show. The Baltimore Album quilt pictured below was a Best of Show winner in our 2014 show. 

Beth Ferrier’s “My Small World” pattern

“My Barn Quilt” from the 2003 Piecemakers Calendar patterns

Following Carolyn’s presentation, we had a live auction for some items that had been donated to the guild. Our Treasure Hunt tables were filled with interesting treasures that went from one quilter’s closet to another’s.

Mary Nell Magee encouraged everyone to bring a children’s quilt for the Parade of Quilts at the July meeting. We will have representatives from children’s service agencies at the meeting to receive these quilts, followed by a catered barbecue luncheon. If you did not make your lunch reservation at the June meeting, please contact Connie Hitt and select either chicken or pulled pork. Connie needs an accurate count to order the food. 

PBQ will host one of the days (Tuesday, July 18) of the MQA Educational Seminar with Barbara Cline called Cookie Cutter Workshop. Learn to make a block which is featured in Barbara’s book, “Amazingly Simple Triangle Stars.” This triangle block is easy to sew, but can transform countless intricate designs when you experiment with color and value. Be sure to sign up.  MQA Educational Seminar 2017

Also, the Old Man River Quilt Fest will be held in Vicksburg August 22-26. This is a quilt show and classes with well-known teachers. Be sure to support this show by entering your quilts. Kay Elliott plans to hold their shows on odd-numbered years while PBQ holds shows on even numbered years. This will give Mississippi a large show every year. 

April and May Meetings

Martha Ginn, Ellen Hall, Dianne McLendon

APRIL: Our April meeting was a forum of four experienced quilters fielding questions which had been submitted at the previous meeting. Tina Dickens moderated and posed the questions to Martha Ginn, Ellen Cox, Ella Lucas, and Jo-Ann Evans. Questions such as “Do you prewash your fabric?” “Where do you get your inspiration?” “What size should children’s quilts be?” “Which kind of fusible do you use?” were asked. The prewash question had the most variety of opinions, from “always” to “never” to “depends on how it is to be used.” All in all, much information was tossed about, with additional input from the audience.

Susie Jackson and Dianne McLendon led the workshop on Donuts & Coffee, demonstrating a clever little block made from lots of scraps. The block appears to be round with a hole in it, but all the seams are straight. It was a fun day making these pesky little blocks–accuracy was essential to make the pattern fit. Good practice even for experienced stitchers.

MAY: Our May meeting brought a long-awaited special treat. Kathy McNeil from Tulalip, WA, was our guest speaker with “Tips, Tricks and Stories” from her award-winning quilts. She had won two major awards at the AQS show in Paducah the previous month and was able to display these quilts along with many others. We had seen pictures of many of her works in magazines, but seeing them in person was an exciting pleasure. We had a large crowd in the room, and you could have heard a pin drop as Kathy spoke and showed slides of her quilt journey and described some of the techniques she uses on her masterpieces. Most of her quilts are based on her photographs, and she explained how to determine what is a good picture and how to crop and adapt to get the best design for your quilts. 

The Best of the Northwest

Celtic Fox

The following day after the meeting, 22 eager quilters met for an all-day workshop with Kathy. We had pre-ordered her patterns in order to bring our supplies and fabrics needed to create our quilts. We had six patterns from which to choose, and the Blue Heron was the most popular, with several seascapes, winter scenes, lighthouses and waterfalls also being made. Kathy described fusible applique as well as hand-stitched applique using Rosa Rojas’ Apliquick tools. For an intricate scene, Kathy works in units rather than trying to stitch each small piece onto the large background.  She also uses a plastic laminate sheet overlay to help with placement of the units onto the background.

Kathy’s husband Bruce was with her and took care of the pattern/tools table so she could spend all her time with students. As you can see, there was a lot of interest. We hope to see lots of Kathy’s patterns made into quilts soon. Visit her website for more information, pictures, and patterns:        

Our guild is fortunate to be able to bring in guest speakers and workshop teachers of this calibre. Thanks to our program chairs Susie Jackson and Dianne McLendon! And we have more to look forward to. In June Carolyn Kimble, Viewers’ Choice winner in our 2016 show, will be our guest. Get ready for more beautiful applique.

Kathy and Bruce McNeil


March Meeting and Fractured Workshop

We met March 8 and after president Connie Hitt welcomed a room full of members and a few guests, Lois Mills read the humorous rules for GRITS–Girls Raised In The South. 

Betty Allen’s Star for workshop

Our program was by Betty Allen on How to Make a Ho-Hum Quilt Fabulous. Betty showed many examples of children’s quilts which she had made from some drab green fabric she was given. She used large squares or strips for the tops but cheered up these quilts by the addition of some appliqued frogs or other critters. Sometimes huge flowers were appliqued on over the background. Jo-Ann Evans also showed some examples of how to make simple quilts using cute children’s fabric.  

There were enough Friendship blocks to turned in for two drawings. The lucky recipients were Betty Moore and Lois Womack. Missy Lee showed a finished quilt she made from the Friendship Flower Pop blocks she had received several months ago.

Charitable Projects: Today we received 26 quilts plus 6 tops, 51 pillows, 21 blankets, 54 mother pads, 36 walker totes and 19 catheter bag covers. Betty Herring reported that FGH Hospice had called asking for more walker totes, and that she had made some and delivered there. We have given all finished children’s quilts to tornado victims we have heard about, so we have no quilts on hand for our July give away. Members are encouraged to be working on these.

Jo-Ann Evans’ easy CQ

Jo-Ann Evans’ jelly roll quilt with cat silhouettes



Snippets: Ellen Cox said she read in Kiplinger Magazine that staying busy and keeping mentally stimulated was recommended for healthy living and that quilting was one of 70 ways listed! Kiplinger is a well-known financial advice magazine.

Ellen also told about a neat trick she learned in Marilyn Rose’s February Fractured Quilt Workshop. Marilyn asked each person to bring a long piece of fabric as a way to transport strips from the cutting table to the machine. The strips were laid out on this long piece and the piece was then rolled up, leaving the strips hanging out the top and bottom of the roll. This roll could then be carried easily, or even tossed on the floor without the strips becoming dislodged. See this in the four pictures below from the workshop. Marilyn demonstrated this with Martha’s roll and everyone got a huge laugh out of the horror on Martha’s face. (Glad to be entertaining.)

Betty will lead a workshop on her Ho-Hum to Fabulous topic on March 22 at 9:00 in Choral Hall, teaching the star pattern shown in her quilts above. These will make great children’s quilts and it is hoped that several will be donated from this workshop. 

Martha Ginn cutting strips, laying them on the long piece of fabric

Marilyn rolling up Martha’s strips

Anne Esteve with her strip roll

Linda Flanders sewing her strips in order

February Meeting with Marilyn Rose; Quilt Show Theme Announced

Marilyn Rose from Ridgeland was our speaker for the February meeting as well as for the workshop. Marilyn has researched the beginnings of “fractured” quilts and added her own innovations, which she shared freely. She began by using repeats of fabric and then saw the ease and beauty of working with identical panels. This tip she gave at the workshop was a huge help for keeping strips in order while sewing, and I can see using it on many projects. She had us bring an extra piece of fabric (about the length of a towel) to lay out our strips on. After placing all the strips that were to be sewn in order, we rolled the strip up from the right to the left, making a roll with fabric hanging out the top and bottom. As we join piece 1 to piece 2, all the rest are safely tucked away under the edge of the roll. Unroll to get piece 3 and continue. The beauty of this is that pieces can stay in order from the cutting table to the sewing machine, or even if taking the project home from a workshop. 

We voted on a theme for our 2018 quilt show:  CELEBRATE MISSISSIPPI. With 2017 being our state’s 200th anniversary year, we should have many ideas to depict as we celebrate our state.

The Hattiesburg Arts Council SEW WHAT? exhibit was enjoyed by many, and it has been rewarding to hear comments. The exhibit will end Wednesday, March 1, and participants can receive their quilts at the March 8 meeting. Thanks to all who made this a successful event.  Here are a few more pictures from the exhibit.

Linda Basden

Vivian Plummer

Suzannah Patterson’s garment; Marietta Johnson’s quilt in background

Jo-Ann Evans

Vivian Plummer

Missy Lee

Joe Bingham

Betty Bingham