Our Purpose

We are tall, short, skinny, pleasantly plump; we laugh, we cry, and we dream. Some of us like traditional, others like modern, improvisational, artsy fartsy, and some of us prefer to fly by the seat of our pants. Who are we? What do we do? We are quilters! We make quilts: we sew, we rip, and we sew again. Eventually, we get it just like we want it. We teach, we learn, and we always give a part of ourselves to others. That is why we do what we do.

–Maggie Cooper

ellis county quilters guild show and tell

Our first Show and Tell

Our Future

Looking back over the last 21 years, I am amazed at how much we have accomplished and how far we have come.

Many thanks to the “visionary group” – Trudy, Debbie, Jean, Kathleen, Pat, and others who decided to see if anyone in Ellis County was interested in starting a guild. These women were teachers, bus drivers, shop owners, and more. Women with full time jobs and families who had a passion for quilting and wanted to share. I know they weren’t expecting the enthusiastic response they received that first meeting night! I heard by word-of-mouth and showed up even though I didn’t know anyone. But by the end of that night, I belonged to a local guild! No more driving long distances to another city. I could get involved in all the activities. What can I do? Where do I go? When do we start?

Donation quilts, workshops, community service projects, technique demonstrations, secret sister surprises, block of the month projects, and quilt shows were just the beginning. New friendships were formed. New ideas explored.

The guild has grown and moved to the Waxahachie Bible Church for meetings. We have planned 17 quilt shows over the years. We have supported large and small organizations with money or sewn items. Members have passed away and members have retired and moved to different cities and states.

We keep in touch through social media and quilt retreats. We survived the Covid shutdown through Zoom meetings and small groups getting together. We had Show and Tell on Facebook when we couldn’t meet in person!

Now in 2023-2024, we have an updated website, an Instagram page, mini-groups within the guild, and more ideas in the planning stage. Thanks so much to the visionaries, Quilts ‘n More shop (now retired), new members, and more board members who work hard!  What will happen as we move forward?

–Cindy Garris, Past President and Charter Member

ellis county quilting programs

Program – How to Prepare a Quilt Top for Quilting

Our Beginning / Past

At some point during the year 2002, a friend of mine asked me if we were going to start a quilt guild. I told her no, but also that I thought we needed one. The next thing I knew, Debbie Wolf and I sat in a Chinese restaurant, Bobo China, in Duncanville, and began plans to start a quilt guild. Debbie was making notes on napkins. About halfway through the plans, Debbie looked up at me across the table and said, “Why don’t you do this, and I will take notes?” In other words, she wanted me to lead the meeting. As a schoolteacher, I was not afraid to speak in front of a group, so I agreed. We made the plans, had a meeting place, and started getting the word out. We were going to meet at Quilts ‘n More’s classroom on the fourth Monday night in January.

On opening night, we had about 50 to 60 or more people crammed into the classroom area designed for about 30 people. We were almost in a state of panic and started calling our husbands to bring us more chairs. It was obvious we were going to need a bigger place. At our first meeting, we voted on the name, Creative Quilters Guild of Ellis County, and had people sign up to volunteer to hold an office.

The following Saturday, February 1, was First Saturday at Quilts ‘n More, and on our way there, the space shuttle, Columbia, exploded on reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. That Saturday we began the hunt for a bigger place. Quilts ‘n More’s classroom would not be big enough. Those who had signed up to help met at my house a week or so later and we developed a slate of officers. People had volunteered to take an office according to their expertise. Patsy Allison, Pat Bradford, Cindy Garris, Belinda Gideon, Vanya Worley, Debbie Wolf, Carmen Partlow, Pam Rumsey, Victoria Spears, JoAnn Spriggs, Debbie Tribble, Rita Watson, and Marilyn Weber were the first officers. Debbie Wolf had found St. Paul’s church in Waxahachie as a meeting place. They were moving into a new building and would allow us to meet there if we made them a raffle quilt.

Our first meeting in February at the new place had to be cancelled because of an ice storm that was moving in. We met for the first time at St. Paul’s church in March. Jean McKinney and Kathleen Allen did the program. We had a workshop early in June at the Waxahachie Public Library to make the buzz saw quilt for St. Paul’s church. In July we helped with our first quilt show, in Midlothian, at the new Midlothian Conference Center, which included vendors and a mini quilt silent auction for charity. The guild continued to grow and at the end of the second year, I started the tradition of “passing the needle.” As president I had never received a gavel, so I didn’t have one to pass on to the new president. Since this was a sewing group, I decided I would “pass the needle” to the incoming president. Thus began the tradition of “passing the needle.” And as they say, “The rest is history.”

–Trudy Coker, Charter President

one of our first quilt guild meetings

One of our first meetings