2006 - 2007 Events Archive

Welcome to the archives of Empire Quilters! We had a great year — with a great quilt show, many wonderful speakers, workshops, focus groups, and quilting activities. Enjoy this summary of activities. We invite you to participate in our guild activities..

June 2007

Thank you to ace guest reporter Anna Foss for these meeting notes!

This month's program speaker Margaret Cohen — a.k.a. stand-up quilt comic! — shared many of her quilts with a very appreciative audience. She likes to work by hand, piecing and quilting; only those quilts destined for her daughter-in-law are machine sewn. Margaret works from a comfy chair with the quilt spread over a card table. No frame, no hoop, no lap. She likes red and white and bold, vibrant colors, and uses Low Loft Fairfield and Mountain Mist batting. Margared doesn’t like peach or pastels but they managed to wangle their way into a few quilts anyway. Margaret has a very basic artist’s way of quilting: first she makes the quilt and then reads the directions afterwards.

Some of Margaret's large repertoire of quilts include: A replicated full-size 1933 World’s Fair Quilt in red and white 2-inch squares; a Dancing Log Cabin quilt on which a judge commented that "they’re all doing the same step and your appliqué needs improvement." Margaret’s reaction was, how would they know it needs improvement when they haven’t seen any of my other work. For her daughter’s wedding, she made a seven-foot square huppah; bright Grandmother’s Flower Garden; Triple Irish Chain with black background; half braidstar; garbage can quilt. Her Old Maid’s Puzzle won a $5 cash award for hand piecing and hand quilting (could they spare it??—ed.).

In 1989 one of Margaret Cohen's quilts was being considered for the Paducah show and calendar; she was asked for a second slide. However, the slide she sent was of another quilt that they liked even better and which earned her two ribbons. Was she proud of her efforts? “I walked around like Mrs. Astor’s pet horse!”

Margaret surprisingly had not slept underneath a quilt until a visit to Nantucket when she roomed with a quilt teacher; the hotel lost power and to keep warm she slept under a quilt for the first time. She didn’t realize quilts were made for sleeping under because when she was learning English, she was told to look words up in order to learn their meaning. She had trouble learning what quilt meant but obviously learned the meaning and now translates the word beautifully.

Before the main business portion of the meeting the room was already buzzing with activity. There was a workshop led by Lorraine Keller where participants learned to make tiny blocks with folded fabric (some samples are pictured here).

And a focus group on Painting on Fabric was given by guild member Anna Faustino.

There were many other activities and news items at the meeting:

We saw a beautiful quilt called Sweet Cherries My Way by member Joyce Morici Fischer. Joyce's qulit is pictured here. It received an Honorable Mention in the Medium Size Wall Quilt Category at the recent Eastern Long Island Quilt Show.

Apple Quilt blocks (for seed money quilt for 2009 show) are due in by August 15, 2007, any design.

It was announced that there will be two focus groups for clothing in the fall: one jacket construction and embellishment and the other decorating and camouflaging t-shirts and sweat shirts (so don’t toss the t-shirt with the chocolate custard drip!).

CHELSEA NOW newspaper had an article on quilting and a Japanese quilting magazine that featured Empire Quilters 2007 Urban Inspirationsshow (one of three articles on New York and quilting).

There was a nice collection of Patriotic Stars turned in for the Block of the Month project (pictured here, right). If you didn't get your block in the instuctions are still posted on the June Block of the Month page.

A special event of the afternoon was an auction of approximately 500 cotton squares brought in by guild member Diane Rubenstein. One lucky winner now has a lot of work to do!

A report about the upcoming summer trip to the Lowell Quilt Festival was presented. The trip is full, but trip coordinator Aleeda Crawley is keeping a waiting list, so if you are interested contact Aleeda. (via email: acquiltsy@yahoo.com). There was some discussion about other possible trips that the guild might want to organize, including trips to major show destinations like Paducah and Houston.

And finally guild president Jennifer Bigelow gave a hearty THANK YOU to this year's officers and committee members. It was an incredibly busy year — and a very successful year, thanks to the efforts of so many of our guild members.

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May 2007

The first event of this month was a sold-out workshop led by the talented and popular Empire Quilters member Anna Faustino. Anna showed an enthusiastic group of attendees how to execute her unique circle weaving technique. We saw some finished projects at the May guild meeting (see the Show & Tell section), and hope to see more in the coming months.




The May guild meeting day was a very busy an fun day. In the morning there was a workshop led by Lynda Pool Priouleau — and a very different workshop it was! We built houses. Yes, three-dimensional houses out of fabric. We hope to see some finished construction projects at future meetings.

At the same time, there were two focus groups happening. Janet Randolph held the concluding group meeting on creating Attic Window quilts. Janet is a terrific teacher, and always manages to bring out the best work from everyone. It was such a treat to see so many attic window quilts at Show & Tell.

And June Calender held a workshop on the various ways to represent weather effects in our work. June showed lots of examples to a very attentive group. Thank you to Janet and June for giving us ways to expand our quilting techniques!

The general meeting began with an important discussion about the future of the guild. Due to many factors — including a hefty raise in the rent at F.I.T. — the board requested an increase in membership dues. It was agreed to raise the regular dues to $45/year ($30/year for seniors). We also raised the meeting guest fee to $10 ($5 for seniors). Other business was also addressed including funding for the guild library, the membership dues rebate for members who volunteered at the show, and the election of next year's officers and committee chairs. Members can read details about these topics in the minutes of the meeting. Those minutes are included with the board meeting minutes (see the Committees page.

We were then treated to a sprecial presentation by our guest lecturer Lynda Pool Prioleau. Linda really knows how to use all sorts of materials in her work. We saw three-dimensional houses and whole neighborhoods, and fortune cookies, and quilts made with various "found" objects. Linda encouraged us to not throw anything away. Although we quilters tend to keep everything anyway, Linda exapnded our views as to the kinds of things we can use in our work. Linda's quilts were colorful, and very unique. We came away with some great ideas of how to observe what's around us, and how to express those observations and our perceptions in our work.

To learn more about Lynda Pool Prioleau visit her website: www.matlyndesigns.com

After the speaker's presentation, the guild activities continued with a display of a few of the many quilts that were turned in to the Service Committee. Many thanks to all the guild members who's generosity matches their talent. There are so many people in need in our area, and a handmade quilt goes a long way in providing comfort and encouragement. We collect quilts for charity at every meeting, so keep up the good work!

We were treated to a beautiful collection of quilts during the Show & Tell portion of the meeting. Our guild members never lack in creativity and talent. Be sure to visit the Show & Tell page to see pictures of the quilts shown.

Our Quilter of the Month was Teresa Vega — and we have been anxiously awaiting this opportunity to see many of Teresa's works all in one place at one time. Teresa is extremely talented. Her quilts are each a personal expression of spiritual meaning and special human relationships. Be sure to view pictures of these works on Teresa's Quilter of the Month page.

Then it was on to the Block of the Month drawing. Marian Webber was the lucky winner of the May Flower Block of the Month. If you didn't have time to make a block this month, the pattern is still available here on the website (on the Block of the Month page). This activity is a great way to practice your quilting techniques on a different block each month — without the commitment to an entire quilt. We encourage all members to participate.

Ligaya Siachongco and Jane Broaddus reminded everyone about the June Thimble Challenge. They showed several examples of fun, personalized thimbles. The instructions can be found on the FAQ / How-To's page. Be sure to make your thimble for the exchange next month! Ligaya and Jane hinted at a pin challenge for September. Stay tuned! …

Then it was on to the raffles and the scrap table. Thank you to everyone who brought in such terrific prizes for our raffle. These raffle ticket sales provide much needed funds to support our guild's on-going activities (plus the lucky winners go home with some very nice prizes!)


Following the meeting, an important focus group was held to kick off the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Quilt project. Diane Rode Schneck demonstrated the needle-turn appliqué method that will be used, and blocks were distributed to members. Those blocks will be completed and turned in at the June meeting, and then it will be on to quilt assembly and quilting. This is an exciting project, and yet another way in which the guild is participating in the cultural and historical activities of our wonderful community — the City of New York!

The Dyckman Farmhouse Museum's quilt was too old and fragile to display to the public, so the museum requested that Empire Quilters help them re-produce the quilt, and we were happy to assist. Below is a picture of a block from the old quilt, and a sample block for the new quilt-in-progress.


To learn more about the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, visit their website: www.dyckmanfarmhouse.org or — better yet! — visit the museum.

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April 2007

Our April guild meeting was a relaxing and fun time of celebrating the success of our recent quilt show. The morning began with two busy focus groups. Janet Randolph taught a group of eager learners some of the secrets of making Attic Window quilts, and Shirley Levine continued her instruction of hand appliqué to a dedicated group.



At the business meeting we heard an initial report of the Quilt Show from President Jennifer Bigelow. The overall impression from show visitors was that it was a great show! We had visitors from many U.S. states as well as Australia, Japan and Germany. Reporters from QuiltersTV attended — we'll post a link to their show as soon as it airs.

Because of the tremendous positive feedback (and the fact that the show was well-attended), the board voted today to begin preparations for a quilt show in March 2009. If you want to participate in the early preparation stages — please speak up! We're especially in need of an overall Show Chairman (or Co-Chairs).

After the show report, it was on to a fun time of Quilt-O! People filled their cards with buttons or pennies or candy pieces, and runners were kept busy checking winners and distributing prizes. The grand prize was a huge basket of fat quarters.

During a break between game rounds, we were treated to a wonderful presentation by Quilter of the Month June Calender (left). Be sure to see the pictures of her works on her Quilter of the Month page.

There was no Show & Tell this month (it must be we were all too tired from finishing our show quilts!) but Betty Chen glady brought her award-winning show quilt Hexagons or Diamonds so that we could all get another close look at that amazing piece.

Be sure to order your Show Catalog CD (for more information about ordering see the ›Order Information page). The catalog is scheduled to ship at the end of this month. You will be able to see every quilt in the show — all in beautiful detail. The price goes up in May, so order yours before the end of the month.

More Quilt-O rounds followed the presentations, and then we had the drawing for the 50/50 raffle. Lynette Baker (pictured left) was the lucky (and happy!) winner. Thank you to all of you who purchased chances to win.

And yes … there was still more! The library table was busy before the meeting and during the breaks between Quilt-O rounds. If you haven't visited the library be sure to make a point of it in the coming months.

Jane Broaddus and Ligaya Siachongco presented the final Challenge to the guild for this season: a Fabric Thimble. Bring in a decorated fabric thimble to the June meeting, and go home with a different decorated fabric thimble!

›› View/Print Thimble Instructions (PDF format )‹‹

We also had many quilts turned in to our service committee to be distributed to the charitable organizations that we support, and we had our popular (and full!) share table following the meeting.

There were only a few participants in the Block of the Month this month. If you were saving pieces in your stash for next month, now is the time to get started on the May Flower Fantasy. Refer to the Block of the Month page for instructions.

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March 2007

What a month! Our 2007 Urban Inspirations Quilt Show was held March 24–25, 2007 at Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.). The quilts were fabulous, the attendees enthusiastic, and guild members were helpful, energetic and proud. Congratulations to everyone who participated. Our vendors were happy (as were their customers!), our boutique was constantly busy, and the speakers were inspiring.

Jacqueline Johnson There were many happy raffle prize winners, and we were all extramely pleased when our Raffle Quilt found a new home with Jacqueline Johnson (pictured here). Congratulations, Jacqueline! Watch the 2007 Show Page for updates about the show — and pictures of the quilts and activities — as they are posted.

But there's even more! …

Our March guild meeting was held March 10, 2007. In addition to being show quilt judging day, it was the guild's annual Charity Day, and we gathered to make as many quilts as possible for the various chairites that the guild supports. We are incredibly pleased and proud to report that we made 120 quilts in one day! Pictures of those quilts appear on the 2007 Charity Quilts page. Be sure to take a look at them. There are so many quilts that will comfort some needy person. As we all know, there's nothing quite like a handmade quilt to provide warmth and to let someone know that we care.

You can see some of our workers in action on the 2006–2007 Service Report page.

Watch for the date of our next Charity Sewing Day. We'll post that on the calendar as soon as we know when that is. If you want to get started on your next project for our charities, consult the main Service page of this website for ideas, suggestions, and guidelines. And we'll see you at our next Charity Day.

The month started off with a bus trip to the Quilt Fest of New Jersey. This annual excursion is a great way to end the long cold gray winter and get reved up for spring. Quilts, fabric, vendors, fabric, colors, fabric, friends … a great outing! Mark your calendars for next year: the show dates are February 28 – March 2, 2008.

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February 2007

Our February meeting took place on February 10, 2007. The day started bright and early with two popular focus groups. Shirley Levine taught a group on Hand Appliqué, and Jane Broaddus had people busy learning how to do Needle Felting. Both groups had a great time.

Some of the needle felting creations.

The business part of the meeting was filled with important announcements. Trip coordinator Aleeda Crawley talked about three trips that are in the planning stages: a trip in March to the Quilt Fest of New Jersey, an overnight trip in April to Quilters Heritage in Lancaster, PA, and a trip that will take place this coming August to the Lowell Quilt Festival in Lowell, MA. This is planned as an overnight trip with stops at two famous stores between New York City and Lowell. Members were encouraged to let Aleeda know if they are interested in the trips so that plans can be finalized, and the proper size bus can be reserved. (Or email info@empirequilters.net and your message will be forwarded to Aleeda.)

We had a thorough report about the upcoming 2007 Urban Inspirations Quilt Show. Show chairman Larry Gifford spoke about the budget, volunteer coordinator Leila Lieberman told members that there were still openings for volunteers, Pat Decker encouraged everyone to place a Happy Anniversary! notice in the program, and President Jennifer Bigelow announced that a CD Catalog of the show will be available. Kitty Squire announced that the fabric for the quilt backdrops was delivered this week. Next week several volunteers will be busy cutting and sewing and folding and stacking and storing those backdrops. It was also announced that quilt judging will take place over two days in March, instead of the one day as originally planned. This is because we had such a great number of quilts submitted for judging.

Guild member Diane Rubenstein gave an update on a project she is coordinating involving the collection of textured 6" blocks that can be used for an Alzheimer's quilt project. More information about that project can be found on the guild Yahoo! group.

And speaking of the Yahoo! group … Yahoo! Group Moderator Michael Greenberg encouraged members to join the group so that they can be kept up-to-date about guild happenings via email notices, and generally share information beween guild meetings. Information on how to join that group can be found on the FAQ / How-To's page. This is a very exciting opportunity for the guild, and we'd like as many members as possible in the group. Please take a few minutes and go through the signup steps. If you aren't familiary (yet!) with Yahoo! groups, this is the perfect "first group" for you.

Mary Butler talked about upcoming workshops, and gave an update about the quilt that will be constructed by the guild for the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum. Kits and instructions for that quilt will be distributed at the April guild meeting.

After the busy business portion of the meeting, we were treated to a fabulous and colorful presentation by Jeri Riggs. Jeri showed many of her famous quilts, and shared their stories and talked about her creative process. She encouraged us to keep notes about our creative process, and to use whatever methods we are most comfortable with to create our quilts. Jeri is amazingly talented, and her colorful presentation was just what we needed in this month of cold, gray weather.

To learn more about Jeri and to see examples of her work, visit her website: www.jeririggs.com



We received a terrific collection of Blocks of the Month. The February Hot Heart was quite a hit. The blocks that were contriubted are pictured here (left.) Congratulations to Carmen Caldeiro who was the lucky winner of all the blocks. Instructions for the block can be found on the Block of the Month page.

The Guild Library once again did brisk business this month. Be sure to check out the new Library page on this website. The library's entire collection is listed by both title and author. You can view those lists, or print a .pdf. This is a great service! Many thanks to our hard working Library Committee for putting this together.

Guild member Linda Miller was our vendor this month. She had a beautiful collection of fabrics from Japan.

At another table members were busy turning in show quilt raffle tickets. The raffle tickets are easy to sell, since our quilt is so stunning. Tickets are still available if you need them, so let Paula Kenney know if you've run out.

Several people turned in some bautiful quilts to the Service Committee. (We collect those every month, so keep them coming!)

Judy Doenias was our Quilter of the Month. Judy is one of the best quilt teachers around. When there was a show of hands of people who have taken classes with her, a sea of hands went up in the room. So many of us are grateful to her for her patient teaching, her enthusiastic love our our artform, and her inspiring examples of fabulous quilts. We were so pleased to see a sampling of her vast collection of works.

Pictures of the quilts she showed can be found on Judy's Quilter of the Month page.


We had some beautiful Show & Tell items this month, and our Monthly Raffle was once again popular and fun. Several people went home with some great gifts. That was followed by the monthly fun frenzy at the Scrap Table.

After all of these terrific activities, there was a focus group run by Susan Louis on Finishing Your Quilt. Susan is another of our members equally talented as both a quilter and a teacher. She showed a group how to do bindings, and talked about quilt sleeves.

What a great meeting! Next month promises to be equally exciting. March 10, 2007 is our annual Charity Quilting Day.

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January 2007

The guild met at F.I.T. on January 13, 2007. The room was packed with atendees, but everyone was much quieter than usual because speaker Cassandra Thoreson's presentation on the history of Welsh quilting was fascinating. We all paid close attention. We learned that the earliest whole cloth quilts were made entirely of wool. The Welsh farmers had sheep, so wool was available and plentiful, and that's what they used. The top of the quilt was wool, the backing was wool, and even the batting was wool. Yes, they were heavy! The earliest known quilts were simple and geometric, and because of the thickness, the quilting is in high relief and very visible. The examples that we saw throughout the presentation were amazing.

Cassandra took us through history as more cotton came into use, and as the quilting styles changed over time. We heard about quilt marking, and itinerant quilters, and the quilt education classes that were organized in the 1920s.

Summarizing the lecture isn't possible here — each tidbit was important. But if you ever have a chance to hear Cassandra Thoreson speak or teach a class, we advise you to jump at the chance. We are grateful to her for spending the day with Empire Quilters and for sharing her fabulous collection of antique Welsh whole cloth quilts.


If you want to learn more about the topic, Cassandra suggested visiting the following website: www.jen-jones.com, and looking up the writer/educator Mavis Fitzrandolph.

We had three focus groups today, each well-attended and well-received. Shirley Levine taught needle-turn appliqué, and Susan Louis taught quilt bindings. These groups were so popular that they are being held again in February. The third focus group was about the Members' Boutique at the upcoming quilt show. Leaders Beth Pile and Gail Lefton talked about Boutique procedures in detail, and began scheduling time slots for volunteer workers.

Several charity quilts were handed in, and so were many of our quilt show submission forms. Yes — the show is only a few weeks away now! Show chairman Larry Gifford handed out posters for members to take and put up in their neighborhoods, and Pat Decker encouraged all of us to submit a Happy Anniversary! advertisement in the show program.

Sylvia Zeveloff (left) was the January Quilter of the Month. Sylvia is a past president of Empire Quilters, and her quilts are all stunning. Sylvia has a great sense of color, and her quilts exemplify her adventurous and free spirit. To see the quilts that she showed, visit her Quilter of the Month page. We also had a great collection of Show & Tell items at the meeting.

No meeting is complete without our monthly raffle! Thank you to Michael Fung for helping to draw the winning tickets. Once again we had some terrific prizes — thanks to many generous members.

And there's more! The library table was once again a very busy spot. The library committee brings a great selection of materials to each meeting. If you want to know what is available (and even reserve a book), visit the Library Page.

Vendor Sue's Fabric World had some great items available for purchase, and it looked like many guild members were taking advantage of that opportunity.

A visit to the scrap/share tables rounded out our meeting day. If you haven't yet joined in the frenzy, give it a try sometime. You might find just the right fabric to finish your current project. And remember to bring your leftover fabric. Other members will find a use for your leftovers. Many charity quilts are made from these pieces.

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December 2006

Miles of magazines and miles of fabric — at least it seemed that way at the Holiday sale during our December guild meeting. The atmosphere was festive and we were all able to find some terrific additions to our fabric stash and reference library. When we needed a break to admire our purchases and count our remaining money, there were delicious (and very sweet!) goodies brought in by our members to keep up our energy.

The guild received donations of fabric and books from several sources. They helped make this day possible, and we're very grateful. We're looking forward to seeing much of the fabric re-appear at our Charity Work Day and in Charity Quilts.

We're also grateful to our members for their generous purchases and to the members who helped set-up, and sell, and cleanup. All in all it was a model joint effort for the guild and for our art of quilting.


We saw some fun and festive holiday items during the Show & Tell portion of the meeting, and we were all charmed by the results of the Pin Cushion Challenge designed and coordinated by Jane Broaddus and Ligaya Siachongco. We're certainly looking forward to our next challenge from this creative team.

The pin cushion pictured left is one of the many examples that were brought in. This one generated a lot of interest. It was made from a pattern called Little Mouse Needle and Thread Keeper, available for purchase from www.artfabricstudio.com.

During the business meeting we heard a delightful thank you note from our November speaker Linda Cantrell. She thoroughly enjoyed her time with us, and ended her message with the declaration "I Love New York!"

It is now about three months until our quilt show, and some important dates were reviewed:

There will be a focus group in January after the guild meeting on quilt binding — something we can all use help with.

After the initial flurry of the fabric sale started to dissipate, many members gathered at one end of the room and started working on making our show ribbons.


The beautiful ribbons were designed by guild member Natalie Garfinkle. Natalie and Mary Butler had packets all made up with the ribbon ingredients and instructions so that many members could participate.

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November 2006

The highlight of our general guild meeting on November 11, 2006, was a very entertaining lecture by Linda Cantrell. Linda is a fabulous appliqué quilt artist, and also has one of the most entertaining presentations you'll ever experience. We laughed through her history of Sun Bonnet Sue's life, the description of her Foundation Piecing workshop, and the captions for her Halloween quilt. She showed many of her famous pieces, and we were able to see them up close after her presentation.


A surprise auction was held at the meeting. Guild member Rhona Triggs generously donated her incredible collection of beads to the guild. Rhona has been collecting these treasures for many years during her travels all over the world. Lucky member Carolyn Gottfried took home the treasures. Thank you Rhona — we know it wasn't easy to let go of this fabulous collection (but now you have room to get new treasures!) And thank you, too, to all the bidders!

Anna Faustino was our Quilter of the Month. It was a real treat to see so many of her pieces all at one sitting. We all paid close attention as Anna described her original techniques for the quilts, and also shared stories about each piece. Anna has been quilting a relatively short time — but what an incredible output! We can't wait to see more of her amazing work. You can see pictures of the quilts that Anna shared on her Quilter of the Month page. You can also visit her personal website: www.newtechquilts.com



Show & Tell participation was stellar again this month. In addition to quilts of all sizes, colors and techniques, we also saw decorated baseball caps, quilted jewelry and a special vest purchased recently in Uzbekistan. Visit the November Show & Tell page for pictures.

There were several participants in the Block of the Month. Diane Collier was the lucky winner of all the blocks.

We had two popular focus groups this month. Leila Lieberman taught paper piecing to a group of enthusiastic and studious quilters (look for intricately-pieced works to be shown soon!), and Beth Pile continued discussions about the Members' Boutique for the upcoming show. Beth showed a work-in-progress Holiday Table Runner (pictured right) to help get members thinking about various items that can be made for the Boutique for the Show.





And speaking of the Show! — Show Chairman Larry Gifford announced the good news that we've expanded our space for the show. We will have more space for quilts, and more space for vendors. The Show Committee and Guild Board of Directors thought long and hard about this expansion of the show because it will mean more work for all of us. But we are taking that chance because we are confident that the quality of our work will be a draw to many visitors. We continue to have interest from vendors and from guilds outside of New York City who want to bring bus loads of atendees.

Guild members were urged to sell those raffle tickets and to help spread the word about the show. We know you are already working on your quilt, but please also begin planning your attendance at the event, and think about the ways that you will want to help. Contact Leila Lieberman to volunteer.

We had sixteen lucky winners this month for the monthly raffles. Prizes included fabric, and books, a guild tote-bag, and a mini-iron. Thank you to all the donors and the ticket-buyers.

Our Charity Committee was busy this month collecting quilts, labeling them, and distributing them to people to deliver to the various charities that we support.

The Library was also very active this month. If you haven't visited the Library table yet, make a point to do so at an upcoming meeting. We have a wonderful collection of reference materials.

Jane Broaddus showed some more samples of (adorable!) pin cushions to inspire the membership to participate in the December pin cushion challenge. Bring those hand-made pin cushions to the December meeting, and you will be able to participate in the exchange.

Last — but never least! — the scrap table was busy again this month. Bring your quilting scraps — you never know who might be looking for just that piece. And you, too, may find that one little something that you've been searching for.

On Sunday, November 12, 2006, several guild members were fortunate to spend the day at a workshop led by Linda Cantrell learning her appliqué techniques.

This month started off with a favorite outing — a fabric shopping trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania on November 4, 2006. Our shoppers boarded a bus at 7:15 am (on a Saturday!), and returned about 12 hours later. Stops in the Lancaster area included:

From our Reporter-on-the-Scene: “Thirty eager quilters left for Pennsylvania at 7:15 AM and we returned tired, but fabric and food laden at almost 9:00 pm.  We hit Sauder's first — long lines but great bargains. Our stop at Bird In Hand was especially fun because they carry a large selection of different fabrics. As trip leader, Bird in Hand gave me a gift of seven fat quarters which I will put into the November monthly raffle. And at Intercourse, PA we hit Zook's (Sauder's twin shop), The Old Country Store — which in addition to fabrics, books, notions and gifts had in their upstairs museum, a magnificent collection of contemporary quilts. Finally we wandered around the Kitchen Kettle Village, where I saw members of our group enjoying, popcorn, ice cream, jams, jellies and all and types of delicious food. While we did not figure out how much fabric was bought, I did not see a single person with less than three large bags and there were at least five or six rolling suitcases getting off the bus.”

A brochure was available prior to the trip: Lancaster Brochure (.pdf format). If you missed this trip, be sure to be on the lookout for future expeditions. It is a great time to build your sash — and your guild friendships. Thank yous go to Aleeda Crawley and Sylvia Hughes for their work toward making this trip a big success.

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October 2006

Empire Quilters participated in quilting demonstrations on Saturday, October 7, 2006 at the American Folk Art Museum. This annual event was part of the museum's Quilt Weekend, and was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our beautiful art form. It was also a perfect occasion to meet fellow quilters and soon-to-be fellow quilters. The guild's stunning raffle quilt was on display, and flyers about our upcoming Urban inspirations quilt show were available.

Several other quilting guilds also participated in the event, making it a great time to connect with fellow quilters from all over the greater New York City area. Thank you to all who participated. If you missed this fun day, mark your calendars for next year. The next quilting weekend at the American Folk Art Museum will be October 6–7, 2007. For more information about the American Folk Art Museum, see their website: www.folkartmuseum.org

Our meeting day started early with a hand quilting workshop led by Cassandra Thoreson. Hand quilting is relaxing and rewarding, and is a skill that can be learned at any time in your quilting progress, and can always be improved. Cassandra is a wonderful teacher and the workshop was a great success. Look for more hand quilted work to appear in Show and Tell in the coming months.

Cassandra will be the speaker at our January 13, 2007 meeting. Her presentation will about Welsh Whole Cloth quilting. Watch for more information, and be sure to attend!


Harriet B. Schiffer was our featured speaker, and the colors of the fabrics she presented was matched by her bubbling personality. She began her talk by acknowledging the elders in our gathering, and then presented a fascinating overview of the political geography of the African continent. Her enthusiasm for the people and culture of West Africa was truly contagious. Harriet brought trunkloads of samples of various types of cloth, and we all got to see the brilliant colors and feel the complex textures. It was a real treat!

After a thorough orientation, several guild members were lucky enough to model some of the clothing made from Kente cloth and other African fabrics. You can see what fun we all had!


Betty, Jane and Friends by Pamela Leonard WexlerThe excitement continued as Quilter of the Month Pamela Leonard Wexler showed off some of her amazing Dear Jane quilts. One of them is pictured here, and there are many more on her Quilter of the Month page. If you haven't yet started a Dear Jane quilt, you just might dive in after seeing what Pam has done. Great work!

Thank you, too, to everyone who brought quilts for Show & Tell. You can see the quilts on the October Show & Tell page.

After the speaker, we had a surprise auction of a terrific button collection that had been donated to the guild. Treasures like this benefit everyone: the items find a new happy home, the guild makes some money to enable us to keep up our charitable and educational work, and the donor gets a charitable tax donation. So keep you ears tuned to any friends, neighbors or colleagues who may have items to donate to the guild.

There was good participation in the Block of the Month, and Leila Lieberman was the lucky winner of all the blocks. The block was the Railroad block (pictured left). The instructions for this block, as well as the November blocks, Two Trees can be found on the Block of the Month page.

It's exciting to watch the blocks gradually appear for our 2009 Raffle Quilt! The theme is The Big Apple Quilt and blocks are being accepted that have an apple theme. A small sampling of the blocks is pictured here (right). Be sure to add your block!

One of our sister guilds, Village Squares Quilters Guild based in White Plains, New York, brought their raffle quilt to our meeting and offered tickets for sale to our members. The quilt, Square Dance, pictured here, is bright, and exquisitely executed. Many of our guild members snapped up chances to win. We were happy to assist the Village Squares Quilters in their endeavor, and we wish them luck with their upcoming quilt show.

The meeting wrapped up with our traditional raffle. This month we had 12 lucky winners of some great prizes! And of course — last, but not least — we had the SCRAP TABLE SCRAMBLE!

Thank you to everyone who attended for helping to make this meeting such a fun success. See you again next month!

On Sunday, October 15, 2006, the day following the general meeting, our quilting activities continued. A group of people attended a workshop led by Jeri Riggs on Fabric Journaling. Participants received hints and tips for ways to express their personal thoughts, activities, and daily musings with fabric in a journal. To learn more about Jeri Riggs visit her website: www.jeririggs.com

Another group of Empire Quilters members demonstrated quilting on the porch of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in northern Manhattan. The museum was part of Uptown Treasures, a day of Art, Music, History, and Family Fun in Washington Heights and Inwood, and quilting demonstrations took place on the porch of the farmhouse.

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September 2006

Our newest season got off to a great start at our September 9, 2006 meeting. Guild President Jennifer Bigelow was happy to welcome a room full of enthusiastic quilters.


Throughout the summer the quilt show committee was hard at work and we saw some of the results at this meeting. We each received a packet of information about our upcoming quilt show — including quilt entry rules and forms, detailed description of the submission process, and entry forms for the Members' Boutique.

Also in the packet were raffle tickets for the stunning All Around The Town quilt. Tickets are $1.00 each, or in books of 6 tickets for $5.00. The guild is asking members to try to sell at least five books of tickets. If you didn't pick up your packet of information at the meeting, the packets will be available again at the October 14, 2006 meeting. Contact Paula Kenney (pictured right), if you have any questions about the raffle tickets or the packets.


Eugenia Barnes entertained us while encouraging us to participate in the quilt show. She spoke in depth about the judging process, and was reassuring to those of us who were hesitant to have our quilts judged. We are fortunate to have Eugenia as one of the judges at our upcoming show. She has many years of experience — and many stories about those experiences (some of us couldn't stop laughing at her amazing examples and annecdotes!). She put us completely at ease, and at the same time sparked our enthusiasm and confidence in our own quilting. Her more serious advice to us was regarding the protection of our work through insurance policies, and by documenting the creation of our work from start to finish with notes, pictures and samples.

Eugenia distributed a handout at the meeting entitled A Point of View: Judging. That handout is available here in .pdf format: ›› A Point of View: Judging ‹‹

Lee Ebs talked to the group about the plans for the 2009 Raffle Quilt — yes, that's right — 2009! The Big Apple Quilt will have an apple theme and members are requested to start making blocks. There is no set pattern or color. Create a rectangle or square block in any color that says Apple to you. Your squares or rectangles should have unfinished sides of 4½" or 6½" or 8½."

Other exciting happenings are on the agenda for the upcoming season. Aleeda Crawley talked about the various bus trips that are planned and in the works. The first trip of the season is scheduled Saturday, November 4, 2006. We're going fabric shopping! This is a day trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and people are signing up (with enthusiasm). Other trips in the planning stages include the Quilt Fest of New Jersey in March 2007 and the Quilters Heritage Celebration in Lancaster in April 2007. Stay tuned for information about these (and other) trips.

Quilter of the Month Diane Rode Schneck shared just a small sampling of her incredibly vast and varied collection. Many of us have taken classes with Diane, and because of those classes our quilting is better and our enjoyment of quilting has increased. You can see the quilts she shared with us on her Quilter of the Month page.

In other news, Mary Butler talked with the guild about an exciting project at the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in northern Manhattan. The museum — a jewel of a place in Manhattan — needs to have a quilt reproduced, and the guild will be working on the project over the next year. We, as a guild, will be creating a replica of one of their appliqué quilts. All sewing will be done by hand. This project is still in the planning stages, but let Mary know if you are interested in participating. More information will be available in the coming months. Meanwhile, if you want to know a little about the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum, visit the museum (it's a very nice outing!) or their website: www.dyckmanfarmhouse.org.

The New York City themed postcard challenge was very successful and the different interpretations of the city were colorful and fun. Diane Rode Schneck won the drawing (and a nice prize!). The postcards will be back at the October meeting, so be sure to take a look at them. A few examples of the cards are pictured below (left), but you really need to see the entire collection!

And the Block of the Month is also off to a good start. Mary Ferry won the Shooting Star blocks this month. Some of the blocks are pictured below (right). This fun activity is a great way to flex your quilting muscles. Participate! Check the Block of the Month page for instructions.


Our members were busy with other projects over the summer, too. Don't miss a visit to the Show & Tell page to see some terrific work.

All in all this was a great meeting with smiles all around. Below, left, are Membership Committee members Emma Green and Maggie Williamson handling meeting check-in with their normal warmth and efficiency. And Pat Decker is pictured (below, right) with an able helper during the raffle drawings — always a popular meeting activity.


Please join us for future meetings. We love sharing our passion for quilting.

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