In 1979, Barbara Swenson, who had recently moved to Lilburn, Ga. from Kansas, approached Liz Parham, owner of the Sew Easy Fabric Shop at Lilburn Crossing; about the possibility of teaching sampler quilt classes in the shop. These classes brought together many people interested in quilting. A desire grew for an organization where the interest in quilting could continue to be shared after classes were completed. The Gwinnett QuiIters’ Guild (GQG) is the result of that desire.
The first meeting of the GQG was held at City Hall in Lilburn, Ga. on October 21, 1980. There were nine people present at the first meeting all of which served on the board: Chick Clark (President), Barbara Barefield, Diana Davis (Newsletter Editor), Juanita McGarrity, Pat Martinchich, Cherie Mason (Secretary/Treasurer), Marion Nicholson, Liz Parham and Barbara Swenson.
Barbara Swenson was bestowed a lifetime membership in recognition and appreciation for her efforts in the formation of the group.
During the first year the logo “Hands All Around ” block was selected in a contest won by Chick Clark since hers was the only entry. The first year also brought the first fund raising project. A quilt was raffled at Lilburn Daze earning $630 and started a long tradition. By the end of the year there were 15 members.
The second year brought the first Christmas luncheon and Birthday party. By the end of the year, membership increased to 35 members.
In the third year the membership reached 50 and a waiting list began. During this year the by-laws were adopted. As a fund raiser, the Guild printed a collection of recipes gathered from the membership and was sold to members.
In the fourth year the membership drive was resumed and reached 54 members. The Guild had its first workshop taught by a national speaker. Mildred Locke of Bell Buckle, Tennessee taught a Trapunto workshop. Mildred Locke at age 89 died November 1. 2008. She taught the Art of Fine Quilting Making to over 1,000 students during the fifteen year span.
In 1986, the Gwinnett Quilters’ Guild were featured in Quilt magazine Winter issue in an article entitled ” Quilting Together with the Gwinnett Quilters“. The article showcased the historical formation of the Guild, as well as the current fund raisers, community service projects, and guest speakers.
(Year slogan “Where Friendship Abounds”, Theme colors, Year of Nonprofit status, Year of Incorporation status)
In September of 2000, the Gwinnett Quilters’ Guild moved to its current meeting place at the Cannon United Methodist Church in Snellville. In 2001 the Guild published their third cookbook including recipes not only of guild members but also of nationally known Quilters.
Original history by Juanita S. McGarrity. Revised and Edited by Shirley Weaver May 2016