2004 - 2005 Events

The 2004–2005 season was terrific. If you missed any of the meetings or events, take a look down this page. We were busy, we had fun, and we learned a lot from our fellow memebers and several outstanding visiting speakers. Pictures of the many beautiful creations that were shown at the meetings throughout the year can be seen on the Show & Tell page.

The 2005–2006 season will begin on September 10, 2005. Have a great summer!

July 2005

Cathie Hoover and Jacqueline JohnsonAlthough the guild doesn't meet as a group during July and August, several avid quilters met for a two-day vest workshop with Cathie Hoover. Cathie brought several of her vests to class, each more beautiful than the last. She measured each class member, and over the next two days the class learned all the ins and outs of creating a wearable art vest — from pattern, to color choices, to piping, and appliqué.

Cathie Hoover has an easy teaching manner. She is lighthearted, fun and quick. A look here, a coment there and she turns a so-so fabric choice into something vibrant, or conversely, something subtle. To find out more about Cathie, and to see examples of her stunning work, visit her website: www.CathieHooverStudios.com.

Thank you to Susan Mendoza for the photograph and for reporting on the retreat, and to Jacqui Johnson (on the right in the photo) for posing with Cathie.

June 2005

Mary anne CiccotelliSpeaker Mary Anne Ciccotelli shared the story of her family's quilting legacy. Mary Anne grew up in Idaho, was educated in Utah and has quilted all her life. She inherited her love of quilting from the quilters in her family who came before her, and she is passing on the family legacy to her daughters and granddaughter. Her quilts were beautiful. Currently Mary Anne teaches quilting classes in her home studio, the Pelham Art Center, Pins and Needles, and The City Quilter. She also strives to keep the love of quilting alive and well by teaching children's sewing classes on a weekly basis in her studio.

Jennifer BigelowThe final meeting of the year was packed with other activities, including a book sale, members' flea market, and bake sale. Beth Pile and Michael Fung with the Friendship QuiltThe guild's Friendship Quilt, pictured left, was raffled off by the quilt designer/maker Beth Pile with the help of Michael Fung.

Thank you to Betty Chen and Kitty Squire for the photography!




May 2005

Speaker Lisa Chipetine is passionate about art quilting, and we were so happy that she shared her enthusiasm and vision with us at our May meeting. An art quilt is: three layers of anything – put together anywhere, anyhow – that is original in design and concept. Lisa gave us a wonderful history of the development of the art quilt, and shared pointers on creating a great art quilt. We learned that our art quilts should have immediate visual impact, shuld be given a great name, and should convey a strong personal statement.

We are pleased that Empire Quilters will be a sponsor of the Studio Art Quilt Associates Trunk Show that will be touring to several upcoming quilt shows in the U.S. and Europe.

For more information about Lisa, and to see examples of her work, visit her website: www.threadplay.com. For more information about the Studio Art Quilt Associates, see their website: www.saqa.com

April 2005

The month started with a bus trip to the 18th annual Quilters' Heritage Celebration in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The weather was soggy, but it didn't dampen our spirits. The quilts were stunning, there were many interesting vendors, and visiting the Lancaster area is always a good start to the spring. We all came away anxious to try out some of the new ideas, new tools, and new fabric that we gathered at the show. Next year's show is scheduled for April 6-9, 2006. Although that is the same weekend as our April guild meeting, we may be taking another bus trip, so plan ahead! For more information on the Quilters' Heritage shows, see www.qhconline.com

Irma Gail HatcherIrma Gail Hatcher was the featured speaker at the April meeting. She is a talented, inspiring, and entertaining speaker. Although Irma Gail is one of the foremost quilters in the country, she, too, was once a beginner! It was wonderful to hear about her journey from First Quilt, to confident expert. Like all of us, she had to learn about stitches, points, sizing and design. She shared ten important design elements that we can all use to make our quilts more interesting, more dynamic, and more satisfying. We each came away with several ideas to help us with our next project.

WorkshopWe were fortunate to have Irma Gail Hatcher give a workshop the day following the guild meeting. Appliqué design and technique was never so much fun. Many thanks to Irma Gail for sharing her approach, techniques and enthusiasm with us.

Irma Gail has has taught for many years, and has published several books — each one of them a treasure. Learn more about her at www.irmagailhatcher.com.



Rhona TriggsRhona Triggs was the April Quilter of the Month. Before Rhona found sewing and quilting she was sent by her mother to the Museum of Modern Art in order to learn pottery. During elementary school Rhona began learning how to sew, yet she continued her pottery, until she went college. After college Rhona purchased an original Dover book about quilting and began her first quilt some time during the 1970’s. In the 1980’s she learned about Empire Quilters.

During the fall of 1994 Rhona met Catherine Smith who became her teacher and mentor. Together the two made two quilts – the second quilt was an appliqué for which they both won first place for appliquéing. Her quilts were shown in Central Park, John Jay College, and Prospect Park.

Many thanks to Rhona for sharing her work with us! See more examples of her quilts on the Quilter of the Month page.

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March 2005

The month started off with a bus load of Empire Quilters headed to The Quilt Fest of New Jersey. The quilts were beautiful, the merchants were plentiful and enthusiastic, and spending a day with fellow quilters was a true pleasure. Next year's show is scheduled for the same weekend — the first weekend in March — and it's not too early to mark your calendar. Thank you to Franziska Riede for organizing such a good trip.

Elizabeth Rosenberg was simply delightful. Her quilt creations are beautiful, and her ability to translate what she sees in the world into her quilting was eye-opening.

Elizabeth illustrated how good quilts force our eyes to keep moving all over the quilt — from center to edge and back again — coming to rest and linger at various calm places in the artwork. She accomplishes this in her work with her use of the flowing line. She discussed how to combine flowing, diagonal and straight lines to create a work with both motion and rest.

Elizabeth's website (www.InventingTradition.com) has many examples of her work, and is well worth a visit. We were so pleased to see many of her famous quilts first hand, including African Ladies, Fat Ladies series, Strawberry Fields Forever, and her Seasonal Rain series, to mention just a few.

Benedicte Caneill was our featured Quilter of the Month. Benedicte grew up in Toulouse, France where her grandmother began to teach her hand embroidery. In high school she took drawing and painting courses. As time went by, Benedicte began to pursue a career in science. She first began as a botanist and then she became a biology teacher.

Benedicte CaneillDuring the Spring of 2001 she become fascinated with fabrics, notions, patterns, color, paints, dyes, new techniques and a great variety of media. She has recently taught classes at The Happy Quilter (Valley Cottage, NY) in embellishment, embroidery and painting on fabric.

See more examples of her work on the Quilter of the Month page. Thank you, Benedicte, for sharing your work with us!

The Basket Weaving Workshop with guild member Anna Faustino was a sold-out success! We hope Anna will return with more workshops.

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February 2005

February was Charity Month at Empire Quilters. We dedicated our entire meeting day to finishing as many quilts as possible for the various charities that the guild supports. It's quite amazing what can be accomplished by a group of willing and hard-working quilters. For more information about the charities that the guild supports, and to see more pictures of the day, visit the Service Report page. If you didn't attend this year's group sew-in, plan to join us next year. An extra pair of hands — and scissors — can always be put to good use.


January 2005

Author, artist and lecturer Lisa Shepard introduced us to the fascinating world of African textiles. In addition to quilts, Lisa uses African fabric in pillows, placemats, bags, and wall-hangings. She challenged us to use the colors we love, and then challenged us again to use colors we don't love — yet — but will come to love as we work with them. Our quilting palette can — and should be! — vast.


Lisa Shepard will return to Empire Quilters later this year to conduct a workshop. The guild is collecting names of people interested (so we can schedule an appropriate date). Let us know (email info@empirequilters.net) if you are interested. You can learn more about Lisa and her work on her website: www.culturedexpressions.com

raffle quiltCongratulations to lucky winner Helen Repsted from Howard Beech, Queens! Helen is a quilter with our neighboring Brooklyn Quilt Guild, and is the photographer for their Show & Tell. We were all getting very attached to the quilt as it followed the guild around from activity to activity and we're looking forward to starting the next raffle quilt. Thank you to Michael Fung for drawing the winning ticket! Thanks to all guild members who helped create this quilt, and to every person who sold (or purchased!) tickets. We especially thank the following individuals for their efforts: Paula Kenney, and Kitty Squire for heading the ticket sales, Lauren Smetko for the machine quilting, Kitty Squier, Alice Brody, Betty Chen, Sylvia Hughes, Paula Kenney, Anna Krassy, Dawn Rhodes, Marie Annoual, Liz Burpee, Mary Butler, Sandra Cain, Anna Lega, and Veronique Milliez, for their work in completing the assembly of the quilt top. And last— but certainly not least — to every guild member who submitted one of the blocks — over 200 blocks — that were created for this project.

Lee Ebs (pictured right) was our featured Quilter of the Month, and she shared some of her beautiful and fun work! Be sure to see some of her pieces on the Quilter of the Month page.

Lee has a long history with Empire Quilters. She has served as Newsletter Editor, taught a Focus Group on redwork embroidery, made many charity quilts, and hosted many of Empire Quilters' speakers. She is currently teaching quilting to the blind at "Viscones" and is our guild Secretary. We are very fortunate to have such a talented and gracious person in our guild.



December 2004

Our Fund-Raiser was not only a success, but it was fun! Our celebrity auctioneer John McCall (pictured right) was charming and persuasive.

We owe thanks to a great many companies and individuals for their generous donations, and to all the volunteers who helped make the day run smoothly. To see pictures from the event, and review the list of donors, see the Fund-Raiser page. Special thanks to Barbara Hull for her many hours of work to get the event off the ground, and to Michael Greenberg for running the event! They exemplified the the true spirit of the Empire Quilters with their hard work, enthusiasm, patience and sense of humor.

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November 2004

The November meeting featured a presentation by quilt artist, author and instructor Linda Poole. Linda's trips to Turkey and that country's tilework inspired her many beautiful creations. She took us along on her journeys with a terrific slide show. We, too, were able to see the incredible Iznik tiles in their native setting. There were, indeed, quilting patterns everywhere! Many of us were inspired by the tulips and carnations in the various tiles, and we were all challenged to find the quilting patterns in our own neighborhoods and our own traditions. What a delightful afternoon! If you missed the program, you will want to look at Linda's book Turkish Delights to Appliqué.

In the November workshop, the lucky attendees learned some of Linda Poole's glue stick appliqué method and her bended bias techniques. The workshop was based on Linda's newest book: Bended Bias Appliqué. If you missed the fabulous workshop, check out her book to learn some of her amazing techniques for embellishment. Find out more about Linda Poole at www.lindampoole.com.

Pamela Leonard Wexler was the guild's Quilter of the Month. She is pictured here with one of her amazing quilts. Pam learned to sew as a teenager and worked in the theater department costume workshop at college. She took up quilting in 1981, joined Empire Quilters in 1987 and has been thrilled to win several ribbons in Empire's past shows.

A confirmed “Janiac,” Pam is in her second year of Dear Jane classes, is working on her sixteenth Dear Jane quilt, and does alterations to support her quilting habit – some quilters do do buttons.

Pam does excellent handwork — as was evident in the many quilts she shared with the guild during the November meeting. For more examples of her work, see the Quilter of the Month page.


October 2004

Anthony HowleyThe October meeting featured a presentation by Anthony Howley, OTR Hand Specialist at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, NYU Medical Center, New York. Mr. Howley spoke about the types of injuries that are common to quilters, and gave hints and advice about how to avoid such injuries. He had samples of several types of wrist, hand and finger splints that can help quilters if the various joints need a rest, or need time to heal. He also encouraged the group to be sure to see their doctor if they are experiencing pain, as the treatments can vary greatly from person to person.

Part of his presentation focused on risk factors for injuries, and the whole room was quite dismayed to see "coffee" on the list! But Mr. Howley explained that caffeine can be one of the many factors that contribute to vascular and circulation problems. Those problems, in turn, can make a person prone to hand injuries.

Mr. Howley talked about the importance of posture, and positioning of our hands and feet. There were several questions about foot pedals and the best position for those. He stressed that whatever chair we used for our work should be fully adjustable, and that we should take advantage of that ability. We should be sure to take the time to adjust the height, the arms, and the back rest to fit our personal needs.

Other aids were mentioned, including tilt tables for sewing machines, so that we aren't bending or reaching in awkward positions, tools with large grips, and frames that don't require us to work with our arms too far from our body.

After his presentation, Mr. Howley took many questions from the group, and he stayed to talk to individuals long after the program part of the meeting. The guild extends a special thanks to Anthony Howley, the Rusk Institute and NYU Medical Center for this lively, informative and pertinent presentation! For more information about the Rusk Institute, see their website: www.med.nyu.edu/rusk.

Some of the tips that were talked about at the end of the presentation include:

The book RX for Quilters: Stitcher-Friendly Advice for Every Body, by Susan Delaney-Mech and Annie Nelson was mentioned as a useful reference book. The Empire Quilters library will soon have a copy available for check-out.


Susan LouisSusan Louis (pictured right) was the guild's Quilter of the Month. A member of the guild since 1991, she was also our President from 1995 to 1999. A constant Empire Quilters booster and volunteer for charitable and craft-promoting efforts (she currently runs our raffle together with Judy Isaacs), this pro also teaches quilting at all levels — in the public schools, at senior organizations, and to folks in the mainstream communities.

Susan showed several of her stunning quilts at the October meeting, answered questions about her techniques, and was an overall inspiration to all of us. Thank you, Susan! You can see more examples of her work on the Quilter of the Month page.


Empire Quilters at American Folk Art MuseumMembers of the Empire Quilters participated in quilting demonstrations on Saturday, October 2, 2004 at the American Folk Art Museum. This event was part of the museum's Quilt Weekend in honor of Cuesta Benberry, and was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our beautiful artform. It was also a perfect occasion to meet fellow quilters and soon-to-be fellow quilters. The guild's newly completed raffle quilt was on display, and tickets sold briskly.

Several other area 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. A great time was had by all! For more information about the American Folk Art Museum, see their website: www.folkartmuseum.org


The raffle quilt made a beautiful backdrop to the Empire Quilters worktable.

The worktable was covered with beautiful works-in-progress
and surrounded by busy quilters.


September 2004

The September program and workshop featured the inspirational Cathie Hoover. She gave us a tour of her extensive collection of quilts and wearables in her program titled A Truly Moo-ving Experience, then presented a workshop on Machine Reverse Appliqué. Cathie Hoover is best known to the guilds of California where she travels and teaches regularly. A perpetually in-motion teacher and lecturer, Cathie has shared her skills and techniques all over the American and European quilting communities. She is Co-Editor of the magazine American Quilter, and is active with AQS Houston, Bernina Fashion Show, and is the quilt artist in residence at Empty Spools at Asilomar, California. Our guild president, Sylvia Zeveloff, attends Asilomar each year. Find out more about Cathie Hoover at www.cathiehooverstudios.com

Raffle QuiltThe recently-completed Raffle Quilt (pictured left) was shown to the guild at the September meeting. The stunning quilt is the result of many hours of work by many guild members. It was machine quilted by Lauren Smetko, and is to be raffled in January, 2005.

The guild sponsored a bus trip to the National Quilt Extravaganza in Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania. This annual show draws hundreds of quilters, and is an opportunity to visit vendors, and feast your eyes on many incredible creations. If you missed the trip this year, mark your calendar for next year. Next year's show is slated for September 15–18, 2005. You can see more about this event on their website: www.quiltfest.com




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