Country Lane Quilters 25 Year Anniversary Program

Country Lane Quilters 25 year Anniversary Celebration

October 4, 2014 at Square Butte Hall

Guideline notes for Linda MacKay- Anniversary committee chair and emcee

Welcome: Today we are celebrating the 25 year anniversary of the Country Lane Quilters Guild. What an accomplishment! We celebrate our Millarville community, the community of quilters, and us individually as we have grown in our expertise, joy, and charity of quilting. We are here because of our passions for quilting fun, fellowship, food, and fabric! This is kind of our theme for this year’s celebration.

Ordinarily, I would just 'wing it' with being your emcee, but for this special gathering to celebrate historical events, I have made some notes to refer to. I really don't want to forget any activity or event that has been important to our growth as quilters, community participants and charity advocates.

In 1996 I was interviewed by the Western Wheel at our third Guild Gathering. What I said then, still applies today for our meetings, workshops, and other get others. "In our own small way, we celebrate the art of quilting as well as provide quilters with a forum to share their lives and artistic expression through their quilts." We also celebrate the tradition of quilting and the love and generosity that our quilters give to others in the community by gifting time, fabric, expertise, and energy to a variety of causes. This was one small way that the guild was advertised and recognized locally.

The feedback we have received from individuals and groups that have been recipients over the years has been meaningful and touching. Often we are brought to tears as we hear about the impact our gifts of quilts have made to the young, the sick, to those dyeing, to those needing a lift, to those in despair, to the elderly needing a wheelchair quilt or photo name quilt, to those receiving a special placemat for meals on wheels. The list is numerous and the displays around you today will show you a subset of the various charities we have contributed to in the past.

We are also proud of those members who show their quilts, take outside classes to increase their expertise and help to inspire us with their creativity.

Shortly you will have time to wander through the displays and read the accompanying text and look at quilts and photos. Enjoy this time to reflect on the history, meaning, accomplishments and sisterhood of this guild.

We also have on display a few of the guild quilts , and some of the challenges or group projects we have done over the years such as the Millennium quilt, box top challenge,border challenge, brown bag challenge, 1000 pyramid quilt, centennial quilt, brand quilt, quilt banners, and others.

Today we will start with what we do best- visiting and chatting while we have coffee and also admire quilts.

We also have this year’s challenge quilts to vote on, and our current program director Mary Ann Watson will describe these and the voting procedures to you. After that, your current president Deb Solc has a few announcements. And then you are free to vote, look around, visit, have coffee, and of course admire the quilts and feel proud that you are a part of this talented and caring Guild. I will call you back for a group photo no later than 10:35.

Mary Ann describes the challenges and voting procedure.
Deb announcements

10:35 group photos. We can email a copy to everyone instead of using everyone's camera. Let's try to make this a five minute job and everyone pay attention and listen to how Mary Ann plans to take the photo.

10:45. Program Begins with Anniversary Cake made by Dorothy Kusmiski. - As you know, Dorothy is also an accomplished baker and cook, and has baked a special cake for us today. When I first moved to the area, Dorothy wrote a regular article and provided recipes in a community Library mail out. I thought we could sing Happy Anniversary to us to the tune of Happy Birthday and Sandra Bull will lead us in singing. So we will sing, and then you can obtain your cake and quickly refresh your coffee, and come back to your seats to enjoy your cake and we can begin our program.

10:55 Program continues. We are really here today because of a group of community women who shared friendship and community and a love of quilting twenty five years ago. We are blessed to have several of our founding members with us today. In 1989, these women started to meet in the Millarville School in the library section. I moved to the Millarville area that year and got to meet these women in 1990. I remember how friendly and welcoming they were and I soon joined up and met with Doreen Chalmers in her home who had a huge collection of quilt patterns and information to give me. Wow! Was I impressed that they had already done so much!!

Your founding members are: Nita Foster, Wendy Ashbacher, Doreen Chalmers, Pearl Laycraft, Catherine Laycraft, Iris Jackson, Cathie Scatterty, Lois Papworth, and Sheila Kerr. We honour all of our founding members and present those in attendance with a special plaque and gift. I'd like to ask a couple of other long time community members Sandra Bull and Mary Ann Watson to hand out the plaques. So if I could have Pearl Laycraft, Cathie Scatterty, Iris Jackson, and Catherine Laycraft come up, that would be great.

As I describe a few things about each founding member, it is just a glimpse of them as seen through my eyes and is woefully incomplete. We could have an entire program on just these women and what they have done in the guild and for the guild. But today we will just touch on a few things I remember.

Pearl, you have provided wisdom and continuity and fabulous poems over the years to the guild. We also know you love to piece with the colour blue!!! More importantly, you have also been instrumental to the charity efforts of the guild in the past and perhaps that is the most meaningful legacy you will leave with this guild. You personify the calm, loving, giving woman we all want to grow up to be. And in the early years, when you were postmistress, I remember occasionally receiving some guild news delivered by you. That was so 'country', so 'Millarville' and so 'Pearl'!

Cathie, you have always been a friendly face willing to laugh with others and at yourself with the many fun happenings you have been involved in. Your laugh is infectious!! Also, you have been willing to try new methods and have been involved in just about every activity the guild has initiated, from charity days, to retreats, to bus trips, to workshops. Cathie was the one that discovered our sister guild by the same name in Portage la Prairie. Cathie has been a can- do volunteer that always does her part and more. The list goes on, but I have to say, your friendliness and laugh and welcoming ways have been major positive impacts on the guild. That is what I remember most about you. And now that I have had a chance to work with you on this committee, I have again witnessed your willingness to do what needs to be done, your organization and your kind ways. Now you will really have a swelled head and not fit into your quilted vest!!!
I hope to hear more of this story later!!!

Iris, when I think of you, I think of this excited woman who loves to quilt and gets things done!!! You have been amazing with your productivity at times and you embraced various techniques and patterns with such a dizzying gusto, we all loved to see your show and tell!!! Iris was also the instigator behind the guild pin which she designed in 1991 and which also became the design of our name tags and first banner. I also remember the star sampler quilt project you designed for the guild in 1997- it was wildly successful and we have you to thank for that. Iris also came up with an amazing assortment of wood slats, clamps and hanging devices for our quilt shows and gatherings. It was a wonder to behold our quilts hanging back to back at two heights so all could be seen. Thank you so much for sharing your love of quilting with us over the years and we hope your travelling schedule allows for you to come back soon!! We miss you!

Catherine, you have been involved in so many activities with the guild over the years- partly on your own and partly through your mom. I always loved to hear how you and your mom would get together to finish a charity quilt or other project. It has been so great to witness this mother/ daughter relationship and watch it grow and be enhanced by quilting together. You are also known for the mystery quilts you designed for the guild. Participation was high when Catherine designed another fun mystery for us to solve!!! You are an organized and prolific quilter. Whatever you were involved in, we always knew you had a handle on it and that things would proceed smoothly. It has been great to see your array of traditional and your creative quilts over the years. Thank you, Catherine.

Sadly, Nita Foster and Doreen Chalmers have passed away- they both had major impacts on the guild. Wendy Ashbacher and Sheila Kerr couldn't join us today, with regret, and we were not able to contact Lois Papworth.

Before we proceed further, I'd like to introduce you to your organizing committee for this event. Please stand- Marry Etta Tutty, Betty Ann Rietze, Fern Ward, Pearl Laycraft, Cathie Scatterty, and Mary Ann Watson. We kind of seconded Mary Ann in August much to her surprise! I have to say my job was fairly easy because I had a committee willing to work and meet and get things done. They were a dream team, for sure!!! It is easy to have things come together when you have a respectful, willing attitude. Thank you, thank you ladies!!!! They really deserve applause for handling everything from lunch decisions, decor, mug rug quilts, tablecloths, program planning and setup, etc.

Others have also helped out with this event and if we really thought about it, probably half the guild could also stand up....because that is the kind of group we are- a can- do, willing to help each other out kind of group. Janice, Caroline, and Margaret helped Mary Etta with the beautiful mug rugs and Janice laid out our invitation and itinerary, Dorothy made the anniversary cake, Deb Solc came to meetings and facilitated input from the executive, Heather helped with the founding member certificate, Jackie helped out with logistics at a meeting, Loretta compiled our charity stats into a nice large chart, Pauline was behind the scenes accepting money,.... It is a problem when one starts to name names because one is sure to have missed someone. Who have I missed? I am old enough to be forgetful!!!

And I know several others of you will be helping with the cleanup, the list of contributions goes on!!!

We also honour and thank all of the women that have held executive positions over the years. And all of the countless hours that have gone into programs, trips, and everything running smoothly. Most of us have helped out in some fashion, which is what it takes to have a vibrant and strong guild.

To celebrate and reward us, let's take time to have some Prize Draws for fabric packets- I have to tell you here that my husband Tom thought he had an excellent Country idea on how we could spice things up and determine winners by having a Chicken Dump. I didn't know what this was and he explained we would all get a number and have a chicken coop with numbered squares on the floor and whatever number the chicken pooped on would be the winner......I respectfully declined his idea! Fern will make a few draws using a less messy approach.

We would now like to showcase a few of our guild quilts. I am going to mix it up between charity quilts and other guild quilts.

Cathie, could you talk a little bit about the kindergarten quilt, it's origin, and what it has meant to the kids at Millarville school?

Catherine Laycraft, could you tell us a bit about the first quilt the guild made, the 1000 pyramid quilt?

The Brand quilt was sent back to us for today by Wendy Ashbacher. It unfolded for Harvest Festival in1993 and was hung at the race track for several years. Catherine, can you also tell us a little bit about this quilt, where the idea came from and any other brief history?

The Harvest Festival was a juried quilt show we held in 1994 at the MacKay Place and it was a huge event with a large participation within the guild and outside. We had many sponsors and prizes and the prettiest fabric braided ribbons I have ever seen at any quilt show. They were awarded to the best of over a hundred entries. It was very successful but was a huge undertaking we decided to only undertake once!! Some of the quilts from that quilt show are here today. Does anyone have any stories they wish to share on the Harvest Festival Quilt show?

The Centennial quilt was completed in 2007 to celebrate the Millarville and Priddis Fair's 100 year centennial. There was a journal that travelled with the quilt where each contributor wrote about her block and its significance to the Fair and Community and included any challenges or stories while making the block. Can someone tell us more about this project? Who initiated it, any stories? I remember trying to determine layout of the various blocks, and solving issues at Sheila’s and it certainly was a challenge with so many quilters involved!

Millennium quilt- Linda MacKay initiated this guild project and organized the exchange of fat quarters. All participants were encouraged to make an original quilt which they would keep using any technique but incorporating all of the fabrics somewhere on the front. Afterwards, all participants received a binder with a photo and description of everyone’s quilt. It was our way to bring in the new Millennium -year 2000.

The inherited Antique star quilt was raffled and won by Barb Miller. How did we end up with this quilt? Also, the Sisterhood of the Travelling Quilt- who can tell us about this?

Quilts for special people- Over the years, we have provided Hundreds of quilts to various charities and causes. These include quilts to the Children's Hospital, Women's Shelter, Foothills Hospice, Placemats for Meals on Wheels, Heart pillows for the Foothills Hospital, Arthritis society, the Diabetes Foundation, Makeup bags for Inn from the Cold, neo-natal quilts for the Foothills Hospital, photo name quilts for local Extended Care facilities, Jeans quilts for Camp Quality( children with cancer). Judy Powell, or anyone, do you have anything in general you would want to say or have any special comments or stories you may wish to share? Pearl, any comments on the Photo Name quilts for the Extended Care?

Comfort quilts- Sandra Bull and others will fill us in a bit on this guild initiative. But before they do, I have to say I was blessed to be able to gift one of these quilts to Brian Friesen the year before he died and he used it regularly and treasured it so much. He was one of many recipients who were overcome with emotion when they received a handmade quilt from our local guild. It spoke to him of community love and that he was remembered in the midst of his cancer battle. We were there for him and we were on his side.

My neighbor Jackie also received one- she is battling her cancer again- not good news. But when she received a quilt from the guild in the fall also in colours that happened to be perfect for her decor and also from women she didn't know, she was, in her words 'gobsmacked'. She was so overcome with emotion that her new community would reach out to her in such a dramatic and comforting way. I am so proud to be part of a guild that is so generous with their time and expertise in so many ways. Pearl, Sandra, Judy, I am sure you have other such stories.

We have done Challenge quilts like the Miniature quilt, pizza box, border challenge, fractured quarters, brown bag, box top label challenge, Row challenge, etc Does anyone have any comments or stories to tell on these?

Or how about Stories from workshops or scrap weekends? I wasn't here, but I am told there is a story involving Judy and a wonder under demo. Also there is a purple scrap story involving Dorothy Kuzmiski and the not so innocent Donna Kendall!

More prize draws.

We've had retreats and tours - most organized by Barb Miller over the years. We started out at St. Anne ranch in Trochu, a fun venue but very cold and draughty in the winter. I remember sleeping with Sheila Niles in the bridal suite one year and she said it was the first time she had slept with someone other than Bill! We had a good laugh over that. Another year, I remember the cold drafts through the upstairs windows so badly that we could see our breath!! Any other stories from St. Anne ranch?? Cathie, any comments about your vest project? (Vest turned inside out over and over again providing consternation, and then belly laughs as we realized she had sewn an extra seam closed!)
Then we changed venues to North Bow retreat centre and I am told there were many challenging times there with respect to access. Anyone care to comment on North Bow adventures?

Guild gatherings- our first one was in 1992 and was held at the Church house with the Chinook Country Quilters. To date, we have had 19 guild gatherings and had several themes and a number of different guilds we have invited. Some years we have honoured various members with a Quilter of Distinction designation. To date, our ‘Quilters of distinction' were Nita Foster, followed by Sheila Niles , Linda Mackay, Fern Ward, Cathie Scatterty, and Alice Schweiger. It's a varied list and indicates we are a guild of diverse talents and focuses as we respect the traditionalist and the artist, and all those in between. There is room for all in our blended group of talents and characters!!! Are there any stories from our guild gatherings?

Poem by Pearl. There is so much more we currently are involved in and have done, and if we have time we can talk about them, but right now I would like to call on our resident poet Pearl Laycraft who has written another poem for us and is gifting us with this precious memory by reciting her own poem and providing us with our own copies to take home.

Other guild activities:
Heritage Park
Bus trips And Shop Hops-Barb, or anyone else- any stories?
Being held up at the border?
Quilt raffles
Mystery quilt weekends
Guest speakers and guest workshops
Guild member speakers and workshops
Quilting show and tell and dessert at Redwood Meadows
We've had regular newsletters in the past thrilling us with guild tips and happenings.
We've had secret sisters within the guild to celebrate each other's birthdays.
Guild Banners- we have three of them- they have been updated every few years and each one records a certain period of time with respect to membership and showcases techniques and fabrics popular at the time.
Accomplishments of Guild members- published in books, pieces exhibited locally, across Canada and internationally.
Accomplishments of Guild members in just getting a quarter inch seam or a perfect triangle, or finishing that UFO!
We sponsor classes at the Millarville and Priddis Annual Fair

Reminder to vote on challenges.

More prize draws.

Cathie Scatterty has arranged for us to have a beautiful luncheon which was prepared by local chef Tim Baby and we are really looking forward to this. Before we line up for the meal, Betty Ann will say Grace.
Founding members, wherever you are sitting please start, followed by this years executive. And the rest of us can fill in.

More Prize Draws

Results of the current guild challenges- Mary Ann to report

Show and tell- your quilts Then and Now.
I'll start to give you an indication of how you might want to talk about your work.

And if you brought a favourite project, show it to us and tell us why it is your favourite.

Prize draw for flowers on table- whoever has birthday closest to today's date.

Draw for small antique quilt and wood stand- Draw between founding members only.

Remaining prize draws for Patterns, quilt puzzle, more fabric.

Closing- thank you to all for attending our celebration, and thank you in advance for helping with the cleanup. Mary Ann will guide us on what needs doing.

Respectfully submitted,
With a cutting edge, In stitches, Linda MacKay

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