Pine Belt Quilters Blog

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


SEW WHAT? Exhibit, February 2017

The Hattiesburg Arts Council sponsored a textile art exhibit and presentation at the Hattiesburg Cultural Center February 4, 2017. USM vocalists Cymon Davis and Angelica Sewer sang to open the program, followed by the featured speaker, Janice Hunter from Atlanta, who told about her African-inspired story quilts. Martha Ginn shared some history of Pine Belt Quilters and their 30 quilts on display. USM Apparel Construction and Design speakers displayed and described costumes for the Theatre Department. After trying to post my pictures, I am going to take an easier way out and refer you where there are far better pictures than mine: Go to Martha Ginn’s Facebook page as well as Hattiesburg Arts Council’s. There are excellent pictures there!

Janice Hunter

Martha Ginn

Ellen Hall

Joe Bingham


New Year/New Commitment

We started the New Year off by welcoming a roomful of members and a few guests. Barb Peters gave the “thought for the day” by talking about the word commitment. She reminded us of how we are committed to (for example) our pets, our church, the environment, our quilting, and our guild, encouraging us to be committed to PBQ. What a great thought to begin 2017!

Martha Ginn reported on the plans for the Hattiesburg Arts Council’s project SEW WHAT! The hands-on projects with students has been cancelled, and the event will be the Saturday, February 4 story quilts speaker Janice Hunter from Atlanta, and the opening of the month-long quilt exhibit at the Cultural Center. All who want to submit quilts for this exhibit need to get their quilts to Martha by January 31 for jurying by the Arts Council on February 1.

Fourteen members had perfect attendance in 2016; Margie Hancock’s name was drawn from these 14 and was awarded a $25 gift certificate from The Stitchin’ Post. Congratulations to all who were committed to PBQ in 2016.

20170113_122437Dianne McLendon introduced our Modern Classics Color Challenge for 2017. She said the challenge was designed to expand our skills and bring us into the Modern Quilt Movement. There is no fee for this challenge and no fabric given; participants will choose their color palette by drawing three crayons from a paper bag. Dianne will hand out three traditional block designs each month through September for us to transform into a modern version. Complete instructions are on the Modern Classics Color Challenge 2017 tab under Guild Activities  (here). The reveal date will be at the December meeting.

Square-in-SquareWorkshop: The January 25 workshop will be “A New Kind of Square in a Square” by Suzannah Patterson. She had a handout of supplies. If you didn’t sign up, call Suzannah.

Charitable activities: Turned in today: 19 pillows, 15 blankets, 25 mother pads, 12 walker totes, 6 catheter bag covers. Mary Nell Magee reminded us that CQ workers have cut and prepared “quilt kits” of strips or squares or yardage for people to take home and complete. Some are tops and backs with batting, ready for quilting. If you cannot attend CQ first Tuesdays, she always has work we can take home to complete and return.

Betty Bingham has cleaned up and organized our library to make books easy to find and borrow. This is a great resource and we appreciate Betty’s looking after it and rolling it into our meetings.

Snippets: Ellen Cox said that we sometimes wind up with blocks that don’t fit or match and we are reluctant to throw these away. She suggested they can be cut up and reassembled into other quilts. This little quilt uses these cut out sections as sashing for embroidered blocks.


Ellen Hall will have the Handbook ready at the February meeting. If you haven’t paid your dues or responded to Ellen’s inquiries, you won’t be in the printed book. Please help us get our handbook complete.

Reminder of MQA Spring Gathering in Brandon February 17-18. The program will celebrate MQA’s 25th anniversary and will recognize charter members and former presidents. We are proud that seven of these presidents are members of Pine Belt Quilters: Martha Ginn, Ollie Jean Lane, Ellen Hall, Ella Lucas, Mary Nell Magee, Shirley Wiltshire, and Marietta Johnson. Details of the Gathering can be found in the January 2017 newsletter on MQA’s website:

See you at the next meeting–February 8—featuring Fractured Quilts by Marilyn Rose from Ridgeland. Marilyn will teach a Fractured Quilts Workshop on February 22.

December Quilts and Travel Poster Challenge

Our last meeting of 2016 started off with our president Connie Hitt inspiring us with Psalm 23.


Rebekah Stark Johnson and Alehandro Wooten of Hattiesburg Arts Council

Special visitors were Rebekah Stark Johnson, executive director of Hattiesburg Arts Council, and her assistant, Alehandro Wooten, who told us of an exciting event—SEW WHAT!–they are planning February 4, 6 and 7, 2017. SEW WHAT! will feature a quilt exhibit and interactive activities to introduce students to sewing by hand and by machine. PBQ members are invited to display their quilts during February and also to help with the hands-on activities February 6 and 7. Please sign up with Martha Ginn.


The reveal of the Travel Poster Challenge was exciting to see. Thirteen members completed the challenge and the pieces were displayed. The winners were chosen by paper ballot. What a difficult decision with so many excellent pieces! Winners were 1st Tina Dickens, 2nd Betty Allen, 3rd (tie) Jo-Ann Evans and Linda Flanders.

Completed Travel Poster Challenge quilts

Completed Travel Poster Challenge Quilts


Makers of Travel Poster Challenge Quilts


Mon Musiette from WDAM filming at the meeting

Charitable activities: Figures for today and the year include 52 (394 year) pillows, 14 (160) blankets, 35 (188) mother pads, 14 (220) walker totes and 6 (104) catheter bag covers. Today we gave 75 Christmas stockings, 174 children’s quilts. Our July quilts totaled 180. Appreciation was expressed to Joe Bingham, who made or completed 150 children’s quilts during 2016. 

174 Children's Quilts

174 Children’s Quilts

75 Christmas Stockings and Gifts

75 Christmas Stockings and Gifts

Annie Jackson described the new name and services rendered by Canopy Children’s Services (formerly called South Mississippi Children’s Services). Having “Mississippi” in the name led people to think it was a state agency receiving state funding, so the name change clarifies that it is a private agency and depends on contributions. She said they temporarily house children from abused or emergency situations, setting up school enrollment, tutoring, and medical visits and helping make good memories to replace some sad ones.

Forrest General Hospital representative Leigh Ann Leonard, manager of nursery and NICU, accepted quilts for FGH. Joan Harper, volunteer at Merit Health Wesley is retiring and introduced Howard Franklin, administrator of the Transitional Care Unit, who took quilts to share there. Riley Herrin from the Shafer Center again spoke of the comfort quilts provided her clients. HFD firemen reminded us of some safety measures we can take; they got an emergency call and missed lunch, but quilts were delivered to the office for them to distribute where needed.

Agency Representatives to receive quilts

Agency Representatives to receive quilts

Several of our members helped Sue Eddy from Vancleave in her efforts to furnish quilts for victims of flooding in Louisiana by taking the quilts home to add bindings. Anne Esteve reported that 210 quilts were sent to Baton Rouge, and 76 quilts were being sent to fire victims in the Gatlinburg area. 

A delicious lunch of roast beef, broiled chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, fruit salad, dessert and rolls was provided by Seasoned with Love.

Our officers have an exciting 2017 planned for us! Be sure to renew your dues with Ellen Hall so she can complete the membership handbook.