The Garden State Quilters Guild was formed
To provide communication among quilt makers, novice to expert
To support the growth of quilt making as an art form in New Jersey
To engage in charitable quilt making projects
The Garden State Quilters was founded in 1981 by Eileen Cecelia, Judy Dales, Gail Hausler, Alice Head, Amy Helfrick, Barbara O’Malley and Sue Rodgers. They were all teachers who wanted to gather to share the love of quilting. Since then the guild has grown to more than 250 members. We are of varying levels of quilting experience and of diverse cultural and career backgrounds. This variety of experience allows us to enlighten and inspire each other as we practice our art and craft.
Recently, one of our founders passed. Below is her obituary.
Thank you, Judy Dales, for all you gave to the quilting world and us as a group.
Judy Boyd Dales, 76, died peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022.
Over the years, her passion for quilt making grew into a celebrated body of work and a rewarding career as a professional artist and teacher. She traveled extensively, lecturing and teaching her craft to countless thousands of students over her 40-year career, and she developed lifelong friendships with the people she met from all over the world.
She was known for the clarity of her artistic vision, as well as her magnificent use of color and signature curved designs, which are considered highly innovative in the world of fiber art. Her work has won numerous awards, including the Great American Quilt Contest, celebrating the centennial of the Statue of Liberty, and two of her pieces were chosen as part of the “100 Best Quilts of the 20th Century” by a panel of experts in the fiber field.
Her quilts are exhibited in numerous private, corporate and museum collections, including the White House Permanent Craft Collection in Washington, D.C., the National Quilt Museum and the Shelburne Museum. They can also be viewed at judydales.com
— excerpt from her obituary in the Greensboro, VT, News & Citizen.
The guild meets from September to June on the second Monday of the month except October which is held on the third Monday.
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Welcome to Garden State Quilters and thank you for joining. Our guild was established in 1981 by seven women and has grown ever since. It offers our members a place to socialize, learn new skills, polish existing ones and share with one another our quilt creations and our love of quilting. It also offers an opportunity to make quilts for those in need of comfort.
Below is an overview of the Guild’s many activities and events. We encourage you to participate in as many as your time permits. Please feel free to contact the Board Members or Committee Heads if you have any questions, would like more information, or would like to join a committee. Their contact information is listed in the newsletter and on the website.
Block of the Month
The members in charge provide instructions for a quilt block that is either an original design or a published one. They provide an example at the meeting and members can choose to make one for the following month. Everyone who brings in a block gets a chance to win all the blocks for that month.
At the beginning of each meeting, a quilt book is raffled off to the members. The person in charge circulates among the members before the meeting begins, selling raffle tickets for $1.00 each.
Each year the committee challenges the guild with a project. The details are provided at the September meeting. The finished quilts are brought to the Strawberry Supper in June. If appropriate, prizes are awarded.
Drop and Shop Market Place
Members drop off cotton quilting grade fabric and notions they no longer need. These items are collected by the committee. They are presented at the September and June meetings. For a small donation to the guild, you can take home just the fabric or notion you may have been looking for.
Yes, Garden State Quilters has a Facebook page. If you are a member of Facebook, friend us.
Each year the committee chooses a quilt design and gives out instructions and a piece of focus fabric to be used in each of the blocks that will make up the quilt. Members who choose to participate contribute $5.00 to cover the costs of batting, backing and quilting, as well as some scraps from their own fabric stash. Members complete and turn in their blocks between October and December. The committee then assembles them into the finished quilt. For each block turned in (members may make multiple blocks), quilters receive an entry ticket to the raffle, which is held during the Strawberry Supper in June.
This committee takes care of refreshments served during our meetings. The guild provides coffee and other beverages. The members bring sweet or savory snacks to the meetings. Each month a reminder is sent to the membership letting members know, according to the first letter of their last name, which part of the alphabet is requested to bring in refreshments for that meeting.
The committee solicits quilting fabrics, notions, patterns, thread, etc. from various sources such as manufacturers, shop owners, and members. At the January meeting, in a tricky-tray format, members buy raffle tickets to take a chance on winning the prizes.
We have a very large selection of books, old and new that you are free to borrow. There is a list of the books on the website. You can contact our librarian if there is a specific book you would like to borrow. Otherwise, feel free to browse through the ones she brings to the meetings.
This is published every other month and includes lots of information of interest to the membership, including updates and reports about guild activities. Members are invited to make contributions including information about their quilting achievements, local quilting events or “new tips” to share with the membership. The newsletter chairs also send out an “eblast” before each meeting, reminding members about what is happening and which section of the alphabet is invited to bring in refreshments. These are important messages. If you do not have an email address, please find a friend who will keep you informed about what is going on.
Programs and Workshops
Four or five speakers are invited each year to speak to the guild at the monthly meeting and usually teach a workshop the following day. Many of the speakers are nationally known. The workshops are a great way to improve your quilting skills, learn a new technique, and interact with other guild members in a small setting.
This event takes place every other year. Members are invited to submit their quilts for hanging in the show. It is a guild project in which every member is encouraged to participate. There are many jobs that need to be done for a successful show. It is a fundraiser but, most importantly, a way to showcase what Garden State Quilters is all about. There are vendors, refreshments, a boutique, members’ quilts for sale, demonstrations, etc.
This is an important fundraiser for the guild. The committee in charge designs a quilt. Members make the blocks or parts that go into the quilt. The committee assembles it and has it quilted. Then ticket booklets are distributed to members who are expected to sell as many tickets as possible. Members also sell tickets at quilt shows and other events and locations. The committee manages the sale of the tickets, keeps track of them, and takes charge of the quilt. It is raffled off during the Quilt Show.
The committee chooses a type of fabric each month, for example, fabric with stars on it. Members bring in a fat quarter of cotton quilting grade fabric of the designated type and are given a chance to win all the fabrics brought in that month.
Show and Tell
Members are encouraged to bring in quilts they have made to show to the guild members and to briefly tell their story. Pictures are taken and then posted on the website with the member’s permission. When there is a scheduled speaker, members are requested to bring in only one quilt.
This takes place at the June meeting. Members provide an appetizer, main course, or dessert to share with the group. The type of food to be brought in is determined by the first letter of your last name and is designated ahead of time. Members bring in their challenge quilt projects and the friendship quilt is raffled off.
Sunshine is the group of members that coordinates the charitable efforts of the guild. Quilts of various sizes (baby, lap, and larger) are made and delivered to local organizations such as Veterans’ Homes in NJ, Habitat for Humanity, the Jersey Shore NICU, Job Haines Home, and the North Jersey Elks Developmental Disabilities Agency. Single quilts are also donated to charitable organizations for fundraising raffles and auctions.
In conjunction with this committee, quilting bees are held once a month on Wednesdays usually a week or so after each general meeting. There is a task for everyone! Some volunteers cut kits, some piece (the committee is happy to supply patterns), some machine-quilt tops, and some bind. Quilts are completed as needed. The finished quilts are then distributed to those in need. Donated tops are welcome.
Participation in the bees provides an opportunity to become familiar with other guild members in a more intimate setting. In addition, it is a time and place to brush up on one’s skills and to ask for advice with questions or problems.
Bring a sewing machine, thread, scissors, and/or cutting mat, rotary cutter, and ruler.
At the time of this writing, we are in need of members who are willing to machine quilt some of our smaller quilts on domestic machines. It is a great way to practice and learn additional skills.
Ways to Get Involved:
Make a kit from supplies or from an unfinished project from home
Sign out one of the committee’s quilts and work on it at home
Attend the December guild meeting run by the Sunshine Committee
Attend a monthly quilt bee
Make a donation of fabric yardage or a quilt and inform the committee
PLEASE JOIN US!
Gardenstatequiltersguild.com is the place to visit to get information about the guild. Here you will find the membership list, show and tell pictures, programs and workshop information, minutes of the Board meetings, quilt show updates and lots of other information. Check it out.