Focus Groups

Focus groups generally meet in the mornings before the general meetings. They are wonderful opportunities to get to know your fellow guild members while you learn a new technique. We have many gifted quilters in the guild, and we are grateful that they are willing to share their expertise.


We are always open to new ideas and new groups, so please let us know if you wish to lead a focus group on any quilting-related topic. Beth Pile will be organizing the focus groups starting in September. Contact Gretchen via contact us if you have questions or suggestions. 

Past focus group topics have included Crazy Quilting, Fabric Postcards, Working With Silk, Quilted Tote Bags, Quilt-As-You-Go, Paper Piecing, Hand Quilting, Hand Appliqué, Embellishments, Color for Quilters, and Needle Felting — to list just a few.


Note … Focus groups are open to all members of Empire Quilters.


Focus Groups

JUNE 2018 Focus Group : Wonkey Houses made popular by Twisted Sister Quilter Jamie Fingal.  Please bring scissors, pins, glue, small pieces of brightly colored fabric for the houses, a 14" square of fabric for the backgroupn and some green fabric to cover the bottom half of the background piece as well as some blue fabric to cover the top half.  Gretchen will have a pattern, samples and some fabric to use.  This group meets at 10:30am. 
General Information

These are hands-on focus groups so bring your supplies and fabric and get ready to create.  Each meeting will begin wth a brief demonstration/video followed by instructions (if needed) and Q & A.  Then we'll get down to the business of having fun and actually playing with fabric.  All of our creations will be small, so the amount of fabric needed will be small.  We may not finish each creation but you will be well on your way.
General Supplies Needed: Scissors, Pins, Regular Needle, Thread coordinated with fabric or white and fabrics as stated above.
Leader:  Gretchen Peacock



Ongoing Focus Groups

Charity Coach and Chat

We meet at 11 am to plan and produce simple quilts for summer camps.  Our aim with this group is to develop confidence and encourage camaraderie - and of course have some quilts for charity at the end of the year.  All members are welcome.

STITCH AND FLIP SNOWBALLS!  For instructions click HERE

Long-standing members, please contact Claire and let her know if you would like to help by attending one or more of these Charity Coach and Chat sessions to teach a technique or to answer questions from newer quilters.

Newer quilters: During these sessions, you will learn how to plan, cut, sew, and finish your charity quilt, as well as make other items like holiday stockings and teddy bears.



Each month Tina and/or Nancy will be showing members ways to do the next month's BOM. 11:00 am. 


Elm Creek Quilt Blocks [ongoing focus group]

This popular focus group — based on the Elm Creek books by Jennifer Chiaverini — will continue during the 2015–2016 guild season.

Here is a link to past blocks for the Elm Creek Quilt Group if you want to catch up or if your notes are incomplete.


If you have any questions, contact Lisa Kehrle or Lisa Belle.





Drawstring Bag Instructions:

At a previous Coach and Chat, Lee Ebs did a demo about cloth bags: how to put them together and the suggested measurements.  These are the bags we stuff with the Christmas donations for the shelters we support.  The bags are great because they can be re-used for many purposes.  The the supply list and the instructions are below:

Drawstring: 24” of shoelaces,
cord, grosgrain ribbon, etc.

Fabric: 18” square or 9 X
36” of any sturdy fabric.  Measurement
need not be exact.  If fabric is plain, embellish it with applique, embroidery, couching,
bobbin-work, rickrack, etc.  Avoid beads,
sequins, anything glued on which may come off easily.

Side: Back-tack, stitch 1¼ inch.  Tie
off.  Skip 1 inch.  Back-tack then stitch remaining side seam.

seam (if using  (9 X 36” fabric):  Back-tack, stitch entire side seam, tie off.

Back-tack, stitch entire bottom seam, tie off.

 Top:  Turn under ⅛”, stitch. 
(Can serge instead.  Can skip this
step if using selvedge here.)  Turn under
another inch and topstitch.

Use safety pin or other tool to pull through opening.  Tie knot near each end of drawstring.

Halfway around from drawstring’s opening, zigzag back & forth over it to
prevent string from pulling out.


These sessions are open to all members and guests.




Previous Focus Groups

February 2018 :February's workshop is a winter scene. 

OCTOBER 2016: Weaving a Pumpkin Wall Hanging.  Four fabrics for background, 2 pieces 12" by 8" and 2 pieces 10" by 8").  Four fabrics for the pumpkin (each piece 8" square).

For details of the focus groups that took place during previous seasons, visit the various Guild Archives pages.


One of our focus groups hard at work.