Sunday, February 14, 2021

February 6, 2021, Meeting Highlights


Former President Dagmar Theodore emceed our February meeting in Brooke Stambersky’s absence. 

Contact Information – in regard to being directed to any member herein, please find contact information in the GMQG 2020 Directory and/or use our guild email 

Thanks again to the Modern Quilt Guild ( for the use of their Zoom account.  At the end of March, we will reassess whether to move forward with meeting in person or hybrid meetings in person combined with Zoom.

If any member would like a recording of today's meeting, please email Dana Blasi within 14 days of the meeting date and she will send it to you.

Our next meeting will be held on Saturday, March 6, 2021, from 1 to 3 p.m.  Log on between 12:50 and 1:00 p.m. to visit prior to the start of the meeting.  Members will receive an email notice containing the Zoom meeting code and password prior to the meeting.


Nancy deJong has been in touch with St. Giles who said they will begin allowing groups back into their facilities late March/early April.


We welcomed 35 members to our February Zoom meeting.  


Today we welcomed Susan Rink as our new Social Media Chair.  She will be spearheading the GMQG presence on Instagram and Facebook, as well as managing Show & Share with a new look via PowerPoint.

MARCH 6th - Member Participation:
Rita asked us to dust off one of our favorite quilting books for our March 6th Membership meeting program.  Think about which book you have come to love and enjoy, and prepare to share a little about it as well as show any quilts you have made from the book. 

APRIL 3rd - Speaker and Workshop:

For the April 3rd Membership meeting program, we will have Maria Shell coming to us virtually from Alaska.  Her presentation will be on “Building Community Through Quilts.”  Immediately following the guild meeting she will conduct a virtual workshop on “Making Prints Out of Solids.”  The fee for the workshop is $25.00.  Contact us at to sign up by PayPal invoice or by check payable to GMQG.

If anyone has any ideas or things they'd like to see presented or has taken a class they'd like to share, please contact Rita.  This is your guild and we need you to speak up to let us know what you're thinking.  Modern quilt guilds are posting what they are doing virtually on Facebook and Instagram, and we are open to hearing examples of the "new normal" of meeting online.  Learning keeps us young!


Quilting by Men – Men doing “Women’s Work” -  A Presentation by Travis Seward.
In 1992 the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum (“RMQM”) held its first show featuring quilts made by men called “Man Made,” novel at the time because quilting had been considered women's work and few men were known to quilt.  Since then, more men have emerged and are participating in the art and craft of quilting.  In 2022, the RMQM will hold its 16th bi-annual show of quilts made by men. 

To highlight periodically not knowing where they fit in, Travis wove in a parody U-Tube, “Quilting Anonymous,” a humorous look at men quilting in secret.  Stereotypes and changing societal roles aside, men quilt for the same reasons women do - it’s relaxing, therapeutic, they learned from their grandmother, mother, or sister, they enjoy the process of making something useful, it’s a challenge, they like the math and structure, to make money, or they just want to make something pretty.  

Travis included historical background of men’s roles in quilting.  Over 100 years ago, Egyptologist Jackson Gaston Maspero excavated an Egyptian tomb from its 21st dynasty in which a leather tent/quilt was found from 1069 B.C.  These tents/room dividers containing intricate designs, often heavily appliqued, are not dissimilar from those of quilts and are typical of the area.  Throughout history, Egyptian men have been the makers of these tents and continue to dominate the tentmaking industry today.

Men typically were the ones conducting business in the textile or tailoring businesses in pre-colonial Britain and Europe.  In colonial America, however, women dominated the sewing arts.

Travis recommended going online to see the American Folk Arts Museum’s September 2017 - January 2018 exhibition entitled “War and Pieced:  The Annette Gero Collection of Quilts from Military Fabrics” to see British soldiers’ wartime quilts from the 18th and 19th centuries.  “It was the first in the United States to showcase complex geometric quilts made exclusively by men using richly dyed wools from British military and dress uniforms.  They were once termed, “Soldiers quilts” or “Crimean quilts.” 

In the 1930s, the Kansas City Star Newspaper provided a reader service through which patterns could be ordered for a dime and made quilting books available to order.  One of the providers of that service was Hubert ver Mehren’s Home Arts Studio, (see our March 2020 Meeting Highlights for more on Home Arts Studio) and his patterns came under the heading of “Bettina.”  It is possible Mehren either didn’t want his name to be associated with women’s work, or thought women might be turned off by a man inserting himself into what was regarded as a woman’s domain.  Interestingly, many of his intricate quilt patterns look quite modern. 

Some male quilters who are well known today include Ricky Timms, David Taylor, Luke Haynes, Molli Sparkles, and Jimmy McBride.  In 2010 Joe Cunningham wrote the groundbreaking book, “Men and the Art of Quilting,” published by the American Quilters Society, which focuses on 30 men and contains a few patterns.  Included in the book are Bob Adams, Jack Brockette, Scott Hansen, and Michael James, the Leader of the Art Quilt Movement, to name a few. 

Ricky Timms, a former concert pianist who was recognized as one of the 30 most distinguished quilters in the world, began quilting when he inherited his grandmother’s Kenmore sewing machine in 1991.  Though awkward for him initially, he was so welcomed at his first quilt guild meeting and thereafter, he soon abandoned giving credence to the gender of quilters and quickly began feeling a part of a community of creative individuals who hope to create something for the enjoyment of themselves and others. 

Rob Appel, formerly of Man Sewing acquired by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. who is now on his own as, is known for his exuberance and positive personality and his own unique approach to making quilts.  Matthew Boudreaux, Mr. Domestic, is another big personality who is a self-described sewist, crafter, teacher, speaker, designer, advocate, firm anti-racist, LGPTQIA+, and “best of all, Helena’s dad.”  Peter Byrne came to fame because he took best of show at QuiltCon last year (2019).  Peter is also a really new quilter.  He began in 2017 in Toronto, didn’t know what he was doing, fell in love with it, and said he just wants to be a master of whatever he does.  He does something he calls "hover quilting" using stick glue to hold pieces together, stitching edges down with a 1/8” seam, and leaving the edges raw. 

There are 2.3 thousand men in the Men Who Quilt group and many men who have risen to fame in the quilting world, but there are thousands who fly under the radar who just enjoy sitting down to quilt and create, finding joy in the art of quilting.  These men are just as diverse as any other group – single, married, partnered, gay, straight.  Travis says to be inspired by everyone out there regardless of their lifestyle, station in life, or gender, and look to our capacity for love and joy in what we do as quilters. 

Our many thanks to Travis Seward for his engaging and eye-opening presentation on Men in Quilting! 


While you can join GMQG at any time, MQG has extended the deadline to March 1st to join GMQG and also get access to the MQG website with its plethora of free webinars, patterns, challenges, and the latest from QuiltCon throughout 2021. 

As many of you know, we have a new option to pay annual dues ($50) electronically through our charitable account with PayPal in addition to paying by check.  If you haven’t yet had a chance to join or re-up, please contact Treasurer Cindy Lange to either request to pay via PayPal invoice (which will come directly from PayPal) or to arrange to send a check to Cindy’s address made out to the order of Greenville Modern Quilt Guild.



In addition to our current charity program providing comfort “Quilts for Kids” for the Julie Valentine Center, Jill Erickson introduced us to Tummy Time (“TT”) quilts.  TT quilts (36” x 36”) are made for newborns in the Greenville Hospital System’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program.  The nurse home-visiting program serves underprivileged mothers/families from the early stages of pregnancy through to 3 years after giving birth.  The Greenville program was started in 1977 and locally serves 100-150 babies a year.  The program is national now and is a proven process leading to less neglect and abuse, fewer parental convictions, and children being better prepared for nursery school.  The quilts provide a good clean place to put baby on its stomach to encourage lifting its head.  Jill said last year she facilitated giving them about 40 quilts and the families are overjoyed upon receipt. 


Please go to the Quilt Quark Gallery on our blog to see the beautiful quilts made for Show & Share.

 > Jill Erickson presented three Tummy Time (“TT”) quilts on behalf of a member who wishes to remain anonymous:  1) Hashtags, 2) Teddy Bear, and 3) Three Whales.  Thank you Anonymous!


> Susan Rink made two lively philanthropy quilts for the Julie Valentine Center including a Variation of the “Autumn Blossoms” pattern by A Bright Corner and “Magical Squares” from a pattern in Quiltmaker Magazine.  Both were beautifully quilted by our own Rita Sassone.

Thanks to all our quilters for their Show & Shares!  Please continue to share your quilts with us by emailing photos either to or to Secretary Dana Blasi.  Please take note:  if you are sending photos for Show & Share any later than 2 days prior to the membership meeting, please send them directly to Dana.  Inexplicably, we have experienced not receiving your photos in time for the meeting when sent to our Gmail up to 2 days prior to the meeting.

Thank you for cropping your photos before emailing them to us (but if you’re unable, we’ll happily do it).  You may also post your photos on our Instagram and Facebook page but please take note, we have no means to automatically transfer photos from IG/FB to our blog (yet... stay tuned).


The next Sew-In is on hold at the moment.  Further updates will be forthcoming.


We are looking for volunteers to participate in a new subcommittee to review procedures for adding classified ads to our blog for members to sell their quilty items and for quilt related businesses to advertise on the blog, in the Directory, and on our social media.  We have lots of ideas and examples and simply need someone to help organize it all.  Contact Brooke Stambersky to participate.


Should you have any books checked out from the GMQG Library, please contact Darleen Sanford to arrange to return them or have them picked up.


.  Gees Bend Retreats is going to open up registration in April 2021 for the next retreat to occur in 2022.  For further information, contact past attendees Faye Jones or Rita Sassone and/or go to geesbendquilting retreats dot com and sign up to be notified.  We are told it fills up fast.
.  Check out the GMQG Instagram account at @greenvillemqg (#greenvillemqg).
.  Skillshare dot com has a myriad of inexpensive classes to take.
.  If members come across a link or other information they would like to share, they may forward it to President Brooke Stambersky to be shared at the next meeting.

See you next month!

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