Pine Belt Quilters Blog

Gee’s Bend Quilters at January Meeting

We started 2016 off with a good crowd of members and about a dozen visitors. Our new president, Connie Hitt, welcomed all, and Barb Peters gave the thought for the day. Martha Ginn introduced our speakers, Mary Ann Pettway and China Pettway, quilters from the Gee’s Bend Collective from Boykin, Alabama.

Mary Ann Pettway

Mary Ann Pettway

China Pettway

China Pettway

Gee’s Bend is a small black community made up primarily of descendants of slaves who remained in this isolated region, virtually cut off from the outside world through geography and poverty. There was little contact with the outside world because of their location in the bend of the Alabama River, sometimes without a ferry operating to the mainland. Throughout the years the residents made quilts for warmth from pieces of worn-out clothing, employing a free-form style of hand stitching and quilting into bold and colorful designs of their own choosing. Their quilts were primitive and colorful, usually in strips without the benefit of patterns and books, and the craft was passed down in families. In the late 1990s, the quilts were discovered by collectors who saw artistic beauty in them, resulting in an exhibit at the Houston Museum of Art, followed by an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York. A book was produced, a PBS documentary, and much publicity followed.

Mary Ann Pettway, seventh of 12 children, told of her love of singing and of quilting, saying “It’s not all about the quilts–it’s about Jesus.” She made her first quilt in 2005 after learning about the trips other quilters were making with a singing group. She began to be the manager of the collective in 2006 and helps other quilters have an outlet for selling their work. Some meet and work together; others work at home and bring in their pieces. All the quilting is done by hand.

China Pettway told of a hard life growing up in a family of 13 children who often went to bed hungry and woke up hungry. They picked cotton, raised vegetables, carried water from a spring up a hill to their house. She said they didn’t have adequate clothes and shoes and were often kept at home because of this. But she had such a hunger for education that she would sneak out the back door of the house and catch the school bus when she heard it coming. In spite of the poverty and isolation of a small community, both Mary Ann and China expressed deep gratitude to God for their blessings, saying they were happy and joyful.

Both women shared their deep religious faith as they sang: “I don’t want nobody to praise me when I’m gone; Give me my flowers while I yet live” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”

China and Mary Ann Pettway singing

China and Mary Ann Pettway singing

We helped them hold up and display some of their pieces, and at the break people got a closer look by handling the pieces on the table.

Jan-Gee-1 Jan-Gee-2 Jan-ViewGeesBend

Dianne McLendon called on everyone who had written a resolution in January of 2015 to report on their progress or lack thereof as she read the list. Many of the goals set had been reached. She introduced the Friendship Block, called Flower Pops, due in March, and gave kits to those wanting them.


Charitable Projects: We received 15 pillows, 17 small blankets, 18 scent pads, 22 walker totes, and six catheter covers. Mary Nell Magee reported that 10 children’s quilts had been turned in today and reminded us that kits with partially done quilts were available for quilters to take home and complete. After donating 160 quilts last month, we need to replenish our inventory.

Martha Ginn returned the quilts that were a part of the Tasha Tudor exhibit in downtown Hattiesburg and expressed the thanks and compliments of The Oddfellows Gallery for the display of the quilts. We heard that the quilts were a big hit and a marvelous addition to the Tasha Tudor artwork.

Workshop: Martha will teach the 4th Wednesday workshop (January 27th) on Color Bars: Free-Form Quiltmaking. She showed examples and had supply lists prepared.

Quilt Show October 7-8-9: Much early work has been done; the Information Page, Entry Form, and Categories are all available on the website under the Quilt Show tab. We will have printed copies at later meetings. The raffle quilt, Autumn Splendor, is well underway and should be completed by the February meeting for us to see. Kaye Christiansen has agreed to handle ticket sales; you will be hearing more soon. Remember, each member is responsible for at least 20 tickets. Many sell a hundred or more. It is quite easy–anyone who sees a picture is willing to buy tickets. We just have to show them! We have been told we will be able to have the Lakeview Room for judging. This will greatly help us move the schedule along, as well as reduce time quilts are held in bags during staging. Be thinking about what you will enter, and remember, there is a $3.00 discount per quilt for early entry. This will help us get our detailed catalog prepared.

We still need help in several areas, particularly preparing a hanging map. We will need everyone during the week of the show, so be sure to mark your calendars. We have to be out of Lake Terrace by 5:00 each day of preparation, by 7:00 the days of the show.

Membership Directory: Will be available at the February 10 regular meeting. Program for February is Pattern Drafting by Linda Flanders. Linda will also teach the 4th Wednesday workshop on Pattern Drafting two weeks later, on February 24.

Boutique: No boutique meeting in January. The February meeting will be on Thursday, February 4 in Choral Hall (note early date). Mary Nell Magee will lead the project for making an Ironing Tote/Pressing Pad. You can make one for yourself and one to sell in the boutique. A Supply list is on the website under the Guild Activities tab.

Courtesy Chair: Judy Byrd is the new courtesy chair. Please let her know of illness or special needs for a card from the group: 601-784-3049.


December Luncheon & Giving Quilts

Paula Jones and Helen Thornton led us in singing Joy to the World to open our December meeting. Our incoming president, Connie Hitt, entertained us by singing a quilters’ paraphrase of 12 Days of Christmas.

Connie Hitt

Connie Hitt singing

We traditionally make a quilt for our outgoing president; since Susie Jackson she has so little time for piecing, she requested we give her blocks of various sizes in earthtones and let her complete her quilt. Betty Allen collected these blocks and displayed them pinned to a sheet background. We are eager to see what masterpiece Susie will make of this interesting collection.

Blocks for Susie Jackson

Blocks for Susie Jackson


Mug Rugs

We exchanged mug rugs and were amazed at the clever creations! Everyone who made one received one chosen by random drawing.

We enjoyed sharing quilts and other gifts at this December meeting. We gave 160 children’s quilts to six agencies and two long tables covered with gifts for mothers and children at Domestic Abuse Family Shelter. Their new director, Sarah Holifield, accepted these gifts. In addition to the ones pictured below, we sent quilts to the Columbia Fire Department to be given to victims of the recent tornado there.

We meet all year and make children’s quilts, but no one works as hard and joyfully as our member Joe Bingham. He made 121 quilts and completed 40 more from tops turned in by others.

Leigh Ann Leonard, Forrest General

Leigh Ann Leonard, Forrest General

Joan Harper, Merit Health-Wesley

Joan Harper, Merit Health-Wesley

Riley Herrin and Ashton Thompson, Shafer Center

Riley Herrin and Ashton Thompson, Shafer Center

Shekera Smith, South MS Children's Center

Shekera Smith, South MS Children’s Center

Robert Hall, Marcus Smith, and Seth Barham, Hattiesburg Fire Department

Robert Hall, Marcus Smith, and Seth Barham, Hattiesburg Fire Department

Sarah Holifield, DAFS

Sarah Holifield, DAFS

After a delicious meal catered by Seasoned with Love, we had door prizes, Snippets, fat quarter drawing, and Show & Tell. Several quilts had been completed using the Bingo blocks from our last meeting.

Quilts made from Bingo Blocks

Quilts made from Bingo Blocks

Looking forward to another great year led by new officers Connie Hitt, president; Susie Jackson, vice president; Missy Lee, treasurer; Linda Flanders, secretary/newsletter; and Ellen Hall, secretary/membership. At our January 13 meeting we look forward to hearing speakers Mary Ann Pettway and China Pettway from the Gee’s Bend Quilters.

Quilt show coming October 7-8-9, 2016! It will be our 16th Biennial! Save the date.


Susan Cleveland Workshop

That bundle of energy Susan Cleveland was in Mississippi last week for three classes–in Hattiesburg, Brandon, and Columbus. She is known for her precision workmanship and the addition of colorful details and embellishments. She confessed that she didn’t like her free-motion quilting so she developed a style of using minimal quilting with heavy thread in large stitches, either by machine or by hand, to make her quilts stand out. She was here in 2010 teaching her Piping Hot Binding; this trip she shared her latest book,  Precision & Panache, which contains tips to increase accuracy, add prairie points, and decorative applique.


Screen showing buttonhole stitch applique

Susan sharing techniques

Susan sharing techniques


Quilting with heavy thread


Dramatic though simple quilting stitches


Susan’s Double Dresden Plate


November Meeting Playing Bingo!

We met on Veterans Day, November 11, and heard an inspiring tribute by Julie Radavich to those who have served and are serving to keep our country free. This includes one of our own members, Betty Moore. Paula Jones led us in singing “God Bless America.”Bingo1 Bingo2




Prize winners

Last month we were introduced to Fons & Porter’s plan for Quilters Bingo. We made our playing cards and paid $1.00 into the CQ fund to play. Instead of hearing B 13, G 55, N 40, Paula called out Red Paisley, Blue Batik, Yellow Dot, etc. We marked our cards with buttons or coins, and the cards will be made into quilts for Children’s Quilts. Prizes were given for Bingo winners. We had about 116 blocks/cards at the meeting, so these will make quite a few CQs.

Shapely Challenge: Dianne McLendon introduced the fifth and last step in our Shapely Challenge: each block must be made up of squares and concave and convex curves (such as in Drunkard’s Path and Orange Peel), pieced and not appliqued. We have four months to finish our project and show it at our March meeting for voting by the guild. “Finished” means sewing the top, adding batting and backing, quilting, finishing edges, adding label. If you plan to hang it, you will need to add the sleeve. (You do plan to hang it in our show October 7-8-9, don’t you??!!) See Step 5 of the Shapely Challenge on the Guild Activities tab for Dianne’s examples of the squares/Drunkard’s Path. The 2016-17 Challenge will begin in April of 2016.

Dianne also reminded us of the Mug Rug exchange for December. Definition of a mug rug is “an oversized coaster.” If you want to participate, make your mug rug(s) any size between 5″ x 5″ and  8″ x 8″–square, round, rectangular–any quilting technique.

The friendship blocks (Christmas Package) are due in December.

Donna Burges invited us to the VanCleve Quilt Bees show this weekend, Nov. 13-14, at the Library in VanCleve on Highway 57. Friday 9-5; Saturday 9-3.

Linda Basden showed simple stocking patterns for any who want to make stockings for DAFS. We traditionally give stockings and children’s toys and mothers’ personal items at the December meeting.

Charitable Activities: We received today 18 walker totes, 6 catheter bag covers, 55 pillows, 9 preemie blankets, and 17 mother’s scent pads.

Children’s Quilts: We will be giving our finished children’s quilts to several agencies next month; Mary Nell had quilt kits containing tops, batting, and backing for us to take home to complete for that meeting.

Joe Bingham has made two quilts, one from fabric left by Frances Graham, a former long-time member and excellent quilter, and another with fabric donated by Mary Ann Scruggs. These will be offered for sale by silent auction at the December meeting.

Nov.Bingham1 Nov.Bingham2

Snippets: Ellen Cox shared some bad news from Frixion pens. The manufacturer, Pilot, says they are not suitable to use on fabric because the ink will continue to reappear. The company has promised they are working on a reliable marking pen. Meanwhile, she offered this help: to remove stains, use Amodex; to remove graphite, use Lift Off 3. For members who want more basic instruction, Ellen recommended a book she recently bought, All Things Quilting, by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. She also highly recommended subscribing to their online program The Quilt Show for ongoing tips and information.

We voted to have a catered lunch for December rather than carry-in potluck. Several people will be asked to bring desserts. We had the fat quarter drawing, door prizes, and show-and-tell.

Sue Cleveland workshop: We have a full class of 20 for the Sue Cleveland workshop tomorrow.

It is important to get your dues paid by the December meeting so the membership booklet can be prepared. A membership form is on the Membership tab under Guild Activities–mail to Ellen Hall. See you next month.

Machine Embroidery at October Meeting

After Susie Jackson welcomed us, Aquilla King gave the thought for the day and Paula Jones led us in singing God Bless America. October is breast cancer awareness month; we were given pink ribbons, and Martha Ginn encouraged everyone to not only donate toward research but to personally offer prayers, assistance, and concrete help to patients by sending cards, cooking a meal, running an errand, caring for children, and any number of other acts which will encourage and help.

 by Ellen Cox

by Ellen Cox

Jo-Anne Evans, our program presenter, gave very useful information about embroidery machines and downloading and storing patterns from the Internet.She stressed the importance of the correct stabilizer, and said whether using soluble, removable, or leave-in, a minimum of two sheets should be used. Bobbin thread can be white, black, or matching top thread. There was great interest and lots of beautiful examples of our members’ use of these machines. A show of hands revealed that 39 of the members present owned one or more embroidery machines. Click on any image to enlarge.

Jo-Ann Evans

Jo-Ann Evans

Susie Jackson holding Mary Henderson's work; with Jo-Ann Evans

Susie Jackson holding Mary Henderson’s work; with Jo-Ann Evans

embroidered towels by Mary Henderson

embroidered towels by Mary Henderson

purse by Mary Henderson made from a placemat

purse by Mary Henderson made from a placemat

cutwork by Hulda Ingram

cutwork by Hulda Ingram

ornaments by Beth Shiyou

ornaments by Beth Shiyou

vest and ornament by Donna Smith

vest and ornament by Donna Smith

by Sally Henderson

quilt by Sally Henderson

Acting on the nominating committee’s slate of officers presented last month, we voted unanimously for the following group of officers for 2016-2017:

President—-Connie Hitt
Vice President—-Susie Jackson
Secretary/Newsletter—-Renee Dembowski
Secretary/Membership—-Ellen Hall
Treasurer—-Missy Lee

Susie reported on the success of Pine Belt Quilters’ participation in the Tasha Tudor exhibit at the Oddfellows Gallery in downtown Hattiesburg. Susie and Martha gave a lecture at the two-day symposium on “The Timelessness of Fabric” and showed many quilt examples. There are 12 quilts on display in the lobby of the Gallery; the exhibit runs through December. We were encouraged to visit this outstanding exhibit of 130 pieces of artwork by Tasha Tudor, along with examples of her children’s books and miniatures.

Dianne McLendon announced the next Friendship Block–Wrapped Up, shown here.

Friendship Block--Wrapped Up

Friendship Block–Wrapped Up

We named our raffle quilt Autumn Spice. It should be ready soon to be photographed so we can begin selling tickets. This is one of the main ways we finance our quilt show, and each member is expected to sell or purchase at least 20 tickets.

Paula Jones has planned a quilters Bingo game for our November meeting. A little homework is involved. She asked us to make a bingo card using the instructions from Fons and Porter Love of Quilting, pay $1.00 to play, and bring our fabric card and some buttons for a good time winning prizes. All proceeds will benefit our children’s quilt projects, and the “cards” can be made into quilts for children later.


Susie Jackson holding Paula Jones’ Bingo card

Here are the instructions for making your card: (P.S.  “dot” was omitted from the fabric categories; please add “dot” as a fabric category)

Oct-BingoInstrDecember swap: Dianne McLendon introduced a swap project for the December meeting. All who wish to join in are to make a “mug rug” and bring it gift-wrapped to swap. Mug rugs are extra large drink coasters or smaller versions of placemats that hold a cup of tea or coffee with room for a pastry or treat. Make yours any theme, colors, fabrics (not limited to Christmas), a little larger than 4×4. Make it 5×7, 6×6, maximum 8×8.

Charitable activities: Betty Herring said we need more walker totes; we had 12 plus 6 cathether covers, and these were given to FGH Hospice last week. We have ongoing requests from the hospitals, so let’s all try to make more of these. Betty Bingham said today we received 47 pillows to be distributed to Forrest General, Merit Health Wesley, and Columbia. Also 55 mom’s scent pads and 17 receiving blankets. Donna Crager showed some projects she was working on for the Boutique.

Snippets: Ellen Cox recommended a fusible thread called Charlotte’s Web from Superior Thread as being very useful.

Special Notice: We have an opportunity to learn from one of the quilt world’s best! Sue Cleveland will be in Hattiesburg for a class on Thursday, November 12. Cost is $40.00 and preregistration is required; space limited to 20 persons. If you have not signed up yet, contact Susie Jackson (see membership directory).

Speaking of membership directory–it is time to pay your dues for 2016. Please print a membership form and fill out it out and bring it with your $20.00 check to the November meeting. Our new membership chair, Ellen Hall, wants to get the 2016 directory prepared and distributed in January, so it is essential that dues be paid in November and December.


September 2015 Meeting

President Susie Jackson welcomed us to our September meeting, and JoAnn Kenney gave the thought for the day and prayer. Condolences were offered to our members Mary Daw and Linda Smith, sisters of Otha Mae Edwards, who passed away after her battle with cancer.

Martha Ginn brought a recommendation from the board that the bylaws be amended by the deletion of the sentence requiring officers being elected to be a member in good standing for three years. The motion passed unanimously.

Betty Allen presented from the nominating committee the following slate of officers for 2016-2017.

President Connie Hitt
Vice President Susie Jackson
Secretary/Newsletter Rene Dembowski
Membership Chair Ellen Hall
Treasurer Missy Lee

We will vote on these nominees at the October meeting. Thanks to the nominating committee for their dedication to this often difficult task: Betty Allen, Linda Flanders, Debbie Davis and Barb Peters.

Upcoming Event: The de Grummond Children’s Book Collection has recently acquired some of Tasha Tudor’s clothing and will host a Symposium on her life and work at Oddfellows Gallery on October 8-9. Tasha Tudor (1915-2008), a children’s illustrator, artist, gardener, and homemaker “had a love of things past and times rural” and raised her family in Vermont as one would have done in the 1830s. PBQ has been asked to present part of the program for this symposium by showing how fabric and clothing have evolved from the 1830s until the present time.

The Happy Quilters (a group from Petal) displayed a raffle quilt which they had prepared to benefit Blair Batson Hospital for Children. The quilt is in honor of Pat Routon’s granddaughter, Brantley Jack, who has had multiple surgeries at this hospital.

Batson Hosp Raffle Q

One of our former very talented members, Frances Graham, recently passed away. Some of her friends are conducting an estate sale of her fabric, blocks (both appliqued and pieced), books, kits (started tops with matching fabric and binding), and finished tops. The sale will take place October 2-3 at 2608 Clayton Place, Hattiesburg. Hours on Friday, October 2 are 1:00-5:00 p.m. and Saturday October 3 8:00-12:00 noon.

Friendship Blocks were won by Kathy Houseal, Anne Hindmarch, Barb Peters, and Frances Good.

Shapely Challenge Step 4: Dianne McLendon introduced Step 4 of our Shapely Challenge. This step will consist of making four 12” blocks with these three shapes: Squares, Half-Square Triangles(HSTs), and Tri-Recs (TRs). Examples of this TR shape will be on the Challenge tab under Guild Activities. The TR is also what Doreen Speckman called “Peaky and Spike,” and several companies have produced acrylic rulers to aid in cutting these shapes. It will help to draw these on graph paper to better understand how the blocks are constructed. A square that contains a triangle with two side triangles is a Tri-Rec. For instance, to create a triangle within a square as a portion of your quilt block, find the mid-point of the top of the square and draw lines down to both outer corners. The resulting center triangle is the “Tri” part, and the two outer triangles are the “Rec” part. Note that these Recs are mirror image and have to be cut with one reversed. Seam allowances must be added.

A good tutorial can be found here:

Drawing was held for the Blueberry Quilt, with proceeds going to our Children’s Quilts projects. Pat Routon was the lucky winner of this beautiful quilt. We appreciate all those who supported this effort by purchasing tickets.

Blueberry quilt winner PatRouton

Pat Routon won the Blueberry Quilt

Donna Burges told the group about Cheri Leffler’s books and patterns. Donna will teach needleturn applique at our workshop the last Wednesday of September. Cheri’s book Animal Parade can be found at for $26.99.

Membership/Charitable Activities: Currently we have 153 members. Today we received 12 walker totes, six catheter bag covers, 53 pillows, six preemie blankets, and 40 mother/baby scent pads. Children’s Quilts have kits prepared which need to be quilted and bound. Members were encouraged to take and finish these for our quilt sharing in December.

Quilt Kits MAScruggs

Mary Ann Scruggs takes a quilt kit to complete

Snippets: Dianne McLendon recommended a NEW toilet brush to get thread and snips off your flannel design board. Lint rollers have to have replacement strips added often.


Dianne McLendon demonstrates an alternative lint roller

Reminder of the Jackson quilt show this weekend; also the show by Magnolia Quilters of Orange Grove  October 23-24.

August Meeting and Confetti Quilts

President Susie Jackson welcomed us to our August meeting, and Faye Barlow brought the thought for the day.

Shirley Wiltshire showing her confetti quilt

Shirley Wiltshire showing her confetti quilt

Shirley Wiltshire presented a program on Confetti Quilts, giving information she had learned from Noriko Endo’s book Confetti Naturescapes: Quilting Impressionist Landscapes.  Rather than templates and carefully cut and joined pieces, this type of quilt uses tiny bits of cut-up fabric, thread, yarn, ribbon (see orange pieces between Shirley and Susie) to create a landscape or abstract. She showed slides of Noriko’s photo inspiration and the quilts made from the idea. Fabrics that are dyed rather than printed (so both sides look the same) work best, and they are slashed many times with the rotary cutter on a mat and stored by color. The tiny bits of color are then applied to a fabric or batting background just as paint is applied to a canvas, totally covering the background. This surface is then covered with a layer of tulle, pinned in place, and stitched closely to trap the fabric between the layers. Shirley will lead a workshop on this technique Wednesday, August 26. Shirley showed a quilt she had made after taking a class with Noriko, as well as quilts by Jackie Watkins, who combined the confetti technique with a twisted tree technique.

Shirley Wiltshire with Susie Jackson holding Jackie Watkins' confetti tree quilt

Shirley Wiltshire with Susie Jackson holding Jackie Watkins’ confetti tree quilt

Treasure Hunt: After the program, quilters shopped at two walls of tables covered in quilt-related items–magazines, fabric, magazines, patterns, magazines, thread, magazines, books, etc., and lots of people cleared out some storage space, while others took home treasures they wanted. Proceeds from two of the tables went to Children’s Quilts funds. We enjoy this once-a-year opportunity to pass on what we no longer use and pick up other items to take their place.

Boutique: Donna Crager showed a clever tote bag and invited quilters to come to her house in State Line where she would have the supplies needed for these. Participants will make two bags–one for the show Boutique, and one to keep. Donna encouraged everyone to be creating items for the Boutique; the leftover magazines will also be saved for this purpose.

Ellen Cox with Quilt Binding Express (note binding roll on ribbon)

Ellen Cox with Quilt Binding Express tool (note binding roll on ribbon)

Snippets: Ellen Cox advised us, when finished with a quilt top, to place all remaining fabrics together until the entire quilt is done. Preferably, go ahead and cut binding strips, even rolling them onto a cardboard tube. She also showed the June Tailor Quilt Binding Express binding tool that is handy for pressing binding without burning fingers. The slots handle 2″, 2-1/4″ and 2-1/2″ strips.

Benevolent Fund: We have given a quilt to Otha Mae Edwards, who has been battling cancer. Susie appointed a committee of Bonnie Bolt, Missy Lee, and Liane McCall to respond to special needs among our members; members donated $170 to start this fund.

Charitable Activities: We received three preemie blankets, 47 mothers’ scent pads, and 47 pillows today. Forrest General NICU unit has requested small “mothers’ scent pads” for mothers to share with their preemies to help with bonding. Linda Flanders, Renee Dembowski, Joyce Bohan, Martha Ginn, and Jennifer Courtney (NICU nurse) met recently and constructed four NICU isolette covers, plus about 20 flannel blankets from the remainder of the flannel. Jennifer had furnished the batting, flannel, and gray lining fabric for the isolette covers. She said that any size little pads and blankets are used in multiple ways. All materials were prewashed and dried hot for shrinkage.

2016 Quilt Show Update: Martha Ginn announced the VisitHattiesburg Challenge $250 purchase award theme: “Curious George visits de Grummond.” Kristen Brock from VisitHattiesburg said:

The de Grummond Children’s Literature collection located on USM’s campus is a hidden tourism gem and the sole repository of the original papers, manuscripts and illustrations of H.A. and Margret Rey, the creators of Curious George, among many other original pieces of children’s literature – the largest collection in the world. In 2016 Curious George will celebrate 75 years, and the de Grummond Collection will mark 50 years. We feel that this monumental year for both makes “Curious George visits de Grummond” an appropriate quilt theme.
We have permission to depict the de Grummund collection. We are making inquiries regarding Curious George copyright matters and will have more information available later.

Reminder of the Jackson Quilt Show: September 11-12-13, 2015, at the Mississippi Craft Center.

Hoffman Challenge Winners

Three of our Pine Belt Quilters had quilts juried into the 2015 Hoffman Challenge and their quilts will travel to shows during 2016. We are very proud of Jo-Ann Evans, Betty Bingham, and Joe Bingham! As you can see, this fabric was very challenging to work with.

Up, Up and Away by Jo-Ann Evans

Up, Up and Away by Jo-Ann Evans

Dragon by Betty Bingham

My Motley Dragon by Betty Bingham

Title by Joe Bingham

Front Panel of Judge’s Podiums by Joe Bingham


July Patriotic Meeting and Parade of Children’s Quilts

July2015Decorations July2015Decorations2

We had our own U.S. Independence Day celebration at our July 8 meeting, with patriotic table decorations, music and song. Guest Janice Shivers Loftin from Columbia provided a beautiful piano prelude; our member Connie Hitt sang “God Bless America,”  followed by our saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Connie Hitt gave the thought for the day, reminding us of the promises “ask and it shall be given you, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you,” with the admonition that our requests not outweigh our praise and thanksgiving. Gloria Green led us in a prayer of thankfulness for our great country and the freedoms we enjoy.

Barb Peters made the patriotic quilt shown on the stage. The blue/white quilt on the left is a fund-raiser for our Children’s Quilts projects. This helps with suppies we need for our quilts. The quilt is on display at The Stitchin’ Post in Hattiesburg, where tickets are available. Drawing will be at PBQ’s September 9 regular meeting.

Connie Hitt with Janice Shivers Loftin at the piano

Susie Jackson, Connie Hitt with Janice Shivers Loftin at the piano

Snippets: Ellen Cox shared some great advice she had learned from Angela Walters, a successful internationally known quilter:

Don’t compare your worst work with someone else’s best. It’s discouraging to compare with a famous person’s work!
Don’t point out your mistakes. If someone praises, just say thank you.
Remember the purpose of the work (for example, a quilt to comfort a child or loved one will be seen as wonderful by the recipient).
A Finished Quilt is better than a Perfect one.

Shapely Challenge: After a two-month interval, Dianne McLendon presented us with Step 3 in our Shapely Challenge. For this step, we will again create four 12″ blocks, using a combination of Squares, Half-Square Triangles, and Rectangles. In other words, all three shapes must appear in your blocks. For examples, see the Guild Activities tab, Shapely Challenge 2015-16.

We only had seven contestants in the Children’s Quilt Parade, but obviously many had been making quilts, because we gave away 123 quilts today. The winners’ quilts are pictured below. They received 3″ ribbons made by Linda Flanders, Susie Jackson, and Martha Ginn.

1st--Dianne McLendon; 2nd--Ellen Cox; 3rd--Betty Allen

1st–Dianne McLendon; 2nd–Ellen Cox; 3rd–Betty Allen


Winners’ ribbons made by Linda Flanders, Susie Jackson, Martha Ginn

Carlton Thornhill, from Foxworth, shared his experiences with us about being moved by the tornado devastation December 23, 2014, in the Highway 13 South area of Columbia. This residential area was already an area of need, and many lost everything they had. He organized meals and delivery immediately after the tragedy, and Christmas presents and household goods as the people were able to move back into structures. He has ongoing activities to meet needs and we plan to follow up with help later to these families.

Carlton Thornhill describing needs of tornado victims

Carlton Thornhill describing needs of tornado victims

It is always rewarding to present our quilts and to hear how they are used to comfort those who receive them. Today our guests were Terry Aaron, Hattiesburg Fire Department; Annie Jackson, South Mississippi Children’s Home; Riley Herrin, Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention; Leigh Ann Leonard, Forrest General Hospital; Joan Harper, Merit Health at Wesley; and Jeff McKenzie, Columbia Fire Department.


Some of our guests receiving quilts

Terry Aaron, Hattiesburg Fire Department

Terry Aaron, Hattiesburg Fire Department

Annie Jackson, South Mississippi Children's Home

Annie Jackson, South Mississippi Children’s Home

Riley Herrin, Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention

Riley Herrin, Shafer Center for Crisis Intervention


Leigh Ann Leonard, Forrest General Hospital

Jeff McKenzie, Columbia Fire  Department

Jeff McKenzie, Columbia Fire Department, with Susie Jackson

These guests told touching stories of frightened children being wrapped in a quilt, an assaulted college student clutching a quilt during a counseling session, and many other examples of the way our efforts can bring hope and joy to others.

June Meeting with Leslie Kiger

Our June meeting featured our Georgia member Leslie Kiger, who moved to St. Simons Island several years ago but remains active in our guild. In fact, she spends the week of the quilt show here to help with the show. She is a prize-winning quilter, whose topic was “What It Takes to Win.” But she quickly dispelled the notion that she had all those answers because she often attends quilt shows and thinks, “Why did that quilt win a ribbon?” and “Why did that quilt not win a ribbon?”

Leslie Kiger

Leslie Kiger

Leslie showed many slides and quilts and discussed their strong points. A few points are following.

Initial Visual Impact. Some factors include a unique setting, unusual fabric choices (she showed an example of a muted plaid in a face!). Does the overall design make a statement? Example: New York Beauty. Do the colors work together? Will the judge be bowled over? Sometimes heavy quilting can transform a simple design.
General Appearance. Clean, no odor, no pencil or other marks. Use a lint roller over entire front and back.
Backing. It should be flat and smooth and relate to the front.
Setting. Ordinary blocks put together in an unusual way (unique setting).
Fabrics. The same quilt pattern will look entirely different with different colors. Need a balance in scale (small prints/large prints; small blocks/large blocks).
Quilting. Is the quilting appropriate to the quilt? Is there too much? Too little?
Construction. Piecing should be consistent, with sharp points. Appliqué should be smooth with invisible stitches. Correct thread color is needed (a neutral gray will work often).
Finishing. Borders (if used) need to complement the quilt; be sure corners are square. Binding should be tight and filled; corners stitched.

Leslie recommended you have your quilts judged any time you have the opportunity. Learn from the comments. Your friends will always give you rave reviews, but you should get honest, critical feedback from trained judges for a more objective critique. Following her program for the entire guild, Leslie conducted an all-day workshop on making the Eldon quilt, a pattern from Laundry Basket Quilts. About 20 participants had a good learning experience in the class.

We had a full house for Leslie's program

We had a full house for Leslie’s program

Pathways Workshop results. Participants in last month’s Pathways Workshop by Martha Ginn made a good showing of their progress in class and afterward.

Barb, Suzannah, Susie, Dianne, Joyce, Betty, Missy, Elsie, Ellen, Joe

Barb, Suzannah, Susie, Dianne, Joyce, Betty, Missy, Elsie, Ellen, Joe

Barb, Suzannah, Susie, Dianne, Joyce, Betty, Missy, Elsie, Ellen, Joe

Barb, Suzannah, Susie, Dianne, Joyce, Betty, Missy, Elsie, Ellen, Joe

Charitable activities: There were 10 walker totes and six catheter bag covers turned in, along with 30 pillows and eight small blankets. Children’s Quilts will have the Parade of Quilts at the July meeting and distribute many finished quilts to various agencies.
Attend and/or help with the Blueberry Jubilee in Poplarville Saturday, June 13, with PBQ offering raffle quilt tickets for the Blueberry quilt, proceeds to benefit our Children’s Quilts efforts.
July Meeting/Luncheon. For our summer luncheon meeting on July 8, we will enjoy a catered barbeque meal rather than bringing in potluck dishes. We are great cooks and always have ample food, but we are taking a break and letting someone else do the meal prep this time. There will be pulled pork and chicken with all the trimmings for a cost of $7.00. You must have a reservation (contact Susie Jackson if you have not signed up yet). Be sure to bring your Children’s Quilt for donating. We will vote for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd by blind viewers’ choice ballot.

MQA events. June Workshop Gathering will be June 12-13 in Jackson; the Educational Seminar with Pat Sloan will be held next month in three locations (in Hattiesburg Monday-Tuesday, July 27-28). See the MQA website ( for sign-up information.
Snippets. Ellen Cox passed along a great tip for keeping up with a project during construction. If you are following a pattern or instructions in a recent magazine, prepare the pieces and lay them inside the magazine, taking the magazine to the sewing machine with you. This way you have everything together.
Member news. We have 155 members; Ruth Byrd is celebrating her 90th birthday on June 18! Good wishes to Shirley Glaab, Peggy Gable, and Kathy Houseal, rehabbing after surgery; Otha Mae Edwards dealing with shingles. Friendship blocks won by Gloria Green, Lois Womack, Kaye Christensen, Missy Lee, and Marietta Johnson.

June-Ruth Byrd-DSC04049

Ruth Byrd celebrates her 90th birthday June 18

Missy Lee and Marietta Johnson with Friendship Blocks

Missy Lee and Marietta Johnson with Friendship Blocks