In January of 2005, a group of quilters gathered at the home of Shirley Bailey and decided to start a quilting club. The group dubbed their club DeKalb Quilters. The first meeting saw 22 in attendance and through word of mouth the ranks grew into the 40s over the years.
The original officers of the group were Linda Phillips, Faye Wilks, Harold Norris, Deanie Shankles, and Shirley Bailey. The current officers are; President Phyllis Shipman, Vice Presidents Beverly Culbreth and April Bowen, Secretary Monia Smith, and Treasurer Niki Hunter.
As with all social gatherings in 2020 and the first half of 2021 a constraint was placed on their monthly event and membership has waned. DeKalb Quilters are now extending an invitation to all quilters and all want-to-be quilters to come join them for fellowship, crafting, and to gain more knowledge and experience about this time-honored talent.
Meetings consist of the typical club procedures such as reports on members who are ill and a treasury report. The group reviews the minutes from the previous meeting and has a prayer. Time saving quilting tips are shared or demonstrated, for example, how starching a fabric before cutting it makes the process easier.
A drawing for a Fat Quarter is commonly held where everyone in the club brings their swatch of fabric and names are placed in a pot and the winner takes home the bundle of fabric. A Fat Quarter is a piece of fabric that measures 18” x 22”. Meetings also include Show-and-Tell, Brag-Time, lectures, demonstrations, and projects. Once a year the club has a swap-shop yard sale for club members where they trade or sell books, patterns, and more.
Projects have included making compartmentalized holders and bags for housing quilting supplies. Other projects have involved making quilts to hang on a wall for animal adoption agencies and the DeKalb Tourism Welcome Center. These quilts were themed and made with scenes depicting animals and local tourist landscapes. They have also made and donated quilts for the police department to use when rescuing a child.
The quilters would welcome donated fabric, however they only use 100-percent cotton for quilting. “We jokingly call ourselves Fabricholics,” said Beverly Culbreth. “Also fabric hoarders, all quilters have a section of their home where they have a little stockpile of fabric.” Several group members said they all have UFOs in their homes, “unfinished objects.”
The club meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Second Baptist Church in Fort Payne located at 1021 Grand Ave. NW. The meet and greet starts at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. For more information about DeKalb Quilters contact Phyllis Shipman 256-638-8263 or April Bowen 256-601-0481.
— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday and weekend editions.