The History of Quilters Anonymous
The idea of creating a quilting group arose in 1977, when 22 like-minded women informally met at the Edmonds Pancake House. Quilters Anonymous (QA) was formally established in 1979 with the election of Patti Price and Jonni Fosmo as co-Presidents. Meetings were held at the Pancake House until 1980, and in several locations from then on, until the guild found its current meeting place – Ronald United Methodist Church in Shoreline.
Quilters Anonymous is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization whose purpose is to share the love and knowledge of all aspects of quilting and related items, and to provide education and quilting-related community service. In fact, our community service record dates back to 1984, when the Preemie quilt program started with University Hospital’s Neonatal Unit. It was then expanded to include Kirkland’s Evergreen Hospital’s Neonatal Unit and to date QA has made 10,000+ preemie quilts. Other charities include: Atlantic Street Center, Children’s Hospital (Seattle), Camp Erin, Fisher House, U of W Medical Center, Evergreen Hospice, Madigan Hospital, and nursing homes throughout greater Seattle.
The early days of QA established the pattern of two meetings per month (Day and Evening), including social hour, a business section, guest speakers and show-and-tell by members. Today we continue to meet the 2nd Wednesday of the month (the ‘Day’ monthly meeting) and the preceding Tuesday (the ‘Evening’ meeting). Membership fluctuates around 500 members pulling from the Puget Sound Basin and beyond.
Ten satellite groups were quickly formed with the idea of pursuing similar interests or special techniques in a smaller setting. There are 37 satellite groups today, with new ones added each year. Joining a small group keeps members in touch with QA, gives them a feeling of community, as well as offering them the chance to make long-term friendships.
The first QA Retreat was held in Spring of 1986 in Granite Falls. Today, QA holds two annual retreats (Spring and Fall) at Camp Huston, in Gold Bar. Members may attend from 1 to 5 days for full days of sewing, relaxing and camaraderie. These events are extremely popular, with around 90 attendees.
More recently, QA started organizing Day Camps as a means to offer members the opportunity to learn new techniques from their peers.
The initial 5-page monthly Newsletter has expanded to a 20 plus page document full of news about members, past and upcoming QA events, and future quilting events and displays in the area. Our website https://www.quiltersanonymous.org/ is the place to go to find all QA related information on the Internet. The QA guild is also on Facebook both as a page for the public and a group open to QA members.
In addition, today QA’s extensive Library offers over 1000 quilting books, magazines, DVDs and templates for members use.
Quilters Anonymous held its first public Quilt Show in 1981. The show was a success and the guild repeated the tradition every year since then. We currently hold the show at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe towards mid-March, an event the public looks forward to each year.
The popularity of quilting continues to rise reflected by more guilds forming, new magazines, quilt shops and on-line quilt sites. Quilters Anonymous will continue carrying on the traditions that those 22 women started in 1977, by adding new ideas and fostering quilters to carry on its traditions.