After a few informal meetings to locate people interested in forming a quilt guild, about 25 women met in October 1984 and found enough enthusiasm and drive to form Pine Belt Quilters. Four of us volunteered to become the first officers and write bylaws and set up a plan for monthly meetings: Doris Aultman, president; Martha Ginn, vice president; Susan (Ryan) Kelley, secretary; and Gail Rowland, treasurer. One of our first goals was to hold a “real” quilt show, with judges and ribbons, so in 1985 we mounted a beautiful display at the Parish Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church.
Now our membership is around 150 and our monthly meetings have grown to adding three special interest groups which also meet monthly: Children’s Quilts, Boutique, and Workshops. We celebrated our 30th anniversary in October of 2014. In 1987 we began holding our quilt shows at the Jackie Dole Community Center in Downtown Hattiesburg until we outgrew this space and were invited to use Hattiesburg’s beautiful new convention center in 2008. In October of 2014, we held our 15th Biennial Fiber Art & Quilt Show at Lake Terrace Convention Center.