Des Moines Area Quilters Guild
In This Issue
Upcoming 2011 Workshops
Newcomers Meetings
Adopt a Speaker
Community Service
Spring Retreat
Memorial for Barb Snuggs
Appreciation Gifts
2011 All Guild Challenge
Membership Renewal
Thank Yous
Quick Links

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Upcoming Program


At our next guild meeting on Tuesday, January 25, we welcome Sue Spargo.   Sue was born in Zambia and received her education and trained to be a nurse in South Africa.  She then moved to England where the shift between two very different cultures and environments continues to influence her designs.  In 1989 she moved again, this time to the United States.  She has lived in Connecticut, Tennessee, Utah, and now Ohio.  These experiences combined to create in her a love of 'primitive art' which is portrayed in her quilting designs.


The topic of her afternoon lecture will be "Finding Your Creativity."  The evening lecture is titled "Travel Journals."

Guild meetings are held at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the West Des Moines United Methodist Church at 8th & Grand, in West  Des Moines 



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Workshop Registration and Class Supply Lists 
Download a PDF of the workshop registration form and print:  
Workshop Registration


Flower Basket Supply List


Board Members & Committee Chairs
Download a PDF with contact information for board members and committee

Financial Statement
Download a PDF of the Financial Statement

Financial Statement


 Newsletter Issues
Piecetime News
January 2011

We were notified of a change after the Piecetime Programs was e-mailed to everyone last week.  There will be NO Crazy Quilt Marathon at the Iowa State Historical Museum on February 5. They are now looking at possibly doing the marathon in October.



Happy New Year!


It's hard to believe we are starting a new year again!  I hope everyone had great holidays and time to spend with family and friends.  The December Tea was a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas Season for me.  Great Friends, Laughter, Wonderful Treats, Review of Accomplishments, Beautiful Quilts, Kick-off for 2011, and just Lots of Fun! 


I have been working with the President's Challenge Quilts today and how awesome it is to see them through a camera lens.  All 10 entries were outstanding and so inspirational.  It shows that as quilters we keep our eyes sharp on the surroundings around us from Granddaughters entranced with snow falling outside the window, tatted snowflakes, building snowmen, and observing our Iowa wildlife and natural surroundings.  I have taken pictures of all 10 which we will include in the February newsletter and also on the website.  The 8 finalists for the AQS entry are Anita Gogerty, Barb Riggs, Judy D'Iapico, Mildred Agena, Jan Hall, Lynn Randall, Bridgett Lottman, and Pat Weber.  I would love to have all who entered send me a short description of what inspired their quilts, the methods or classes they used, and a little bit about their quilting background (I was very excited a new member took the plunge and entered--what a great show of strength!). 


The board had their first meeting of the year and what a great year we are going to have based on discussions we had.  As last year, this board isn't letting any snow melt or grass grow under their feet.  I am not going to take away others' thunder but we did get a glimpse at an example of the 2011 Quilt Show challenge and the Festival of Trees quilts being completed.  Both are fantastic and will be a treat for you to see.  We went through the budget and once that is final we will be publishing it for your review.  Many THANKS to Carolyn Eliason for hosting us at her home and to Gerry Hingst for having details ready for the 2011 budget discussion.    As always, please call a board member if you have any questions or concerns.   


THANKS for everything you do for the Guild.  It would not be the same without you. Be sure to invite your friends--we have great speakers and it is a great time of sharing.  I look forward to seeing you in January with Sue Spargo. 


Diane Thiese---President


2011 President's Challenge


The 2011 President's Challenge is "Uffda".  For those of you who are not Norwegian or a Norwegian "Want-A-Be" here is the Wikipedia definition:

"Uff da is often used in the Upper Midwest as a term for sensory overload. It can be used as an expression of surprise, astonishment, exhaustion, relief and sometimes dismay."


I will have more examples as we go through the year!  Coming from Decorah, we have a lot of fun with this term and hope you will to!


The rules for the challenge are as follows:

*  Finished quilt size: 40"x30" (horizontal).

*  The quilt may be pieced, appliqued, painted, stenciled, or embellished in any manner

*  The finished quilt must consist of three layers.

*  The quilt must be constructed and quilted by one person.

*  Quilts must be finished (quilted and bound) and hung at the December 2010 Tea, where guild members will vote for the top eight to be entered into the AQS Ultimate Guild Challenge.  


Upcoming 2011 Workshops  

The mission of the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild is to stimulate an interest in quilts and quilt making, educating its members, and provide for the inter-change of information.  (Adopted -- September 20, 2003).


Happy New Year!  Hopefully your new year is shaping up to be one of your best quilting years ever.  We have a great slate of teachers lined up to assist you in trying new techniques or perhaps to fine tune skills you already possess.   All workshops currently have room for additional  participants so please  look over the classes listed below and sign up to reserve your spot now, especially for the January and February workshops.  You may mail, email ,or call in your reservation.  And of course, we will be taking reservations at our meetings on Tuesdays.  Val Russell's email is or phone Val at 641-447-2411.


January's Workshop will be held at West Des Moines Christian Church at 4501 Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines.  To get there from Interstate 35, exit at Mills Civic Parkway, exit 70.  Turn east onto Mills Civic Parkway and drive about .9 of a mile.  The West Des Moines Christian Church will be on the north side of Mills Civic Parkway.   We will meet in Building #3 which is the one closest to Prairie Life Fitness.


Sue Spargo  

Wednesday, January 26 (9am - 4pm) -- ALTERED TEXTURE FLOWER BASKET -- Uses hand dyed wools.  Add embellishments to give it personality. You will need to stitch a little appliqué down before class so you will need to pick up the $32 kit at the Guild meeting before the class so some work can be done prior to class.   If you are interested in this workshop, send in the registration information as soon as possible.  I will be in Des Moines Tuesday, the 18th,  Thursday, the 20th, and Friday the 21st and will bring your kit with me so you can work on it ahead of time.


Thursday, January 27 (9am - 4pm) -- TWO BIRDS FROM MAGNOLIA -- The workshop will focus on the two birds block of Sue's Magnolia quilt.  She uses hand dyed wools for many of her quilts.  Requires a $32 kit (this is NOT the same as Wednesday's class kit). 

Elsie Campbell

Wednesday, February 23 (9am - 4pm) -- FUN WITH FLOWERS -- Turn scraps into an appliquéd floral medallion wall quilt. Paper-backed fusible webbing makes it easy.  Your imagination makes it beautiful.  Fun With Flowers supply list:  

Thursday, February 24  (9am - 4pm) -- SEEING STARS?!!!

-- Piece perfect stars with pointers from Elsie. She shares secrets for preventing belly-button centers and pin-wheeling points. From cutting and stitching to pressing and setting in triangles and squares, this class covers it all!  Seeing Stars supply list


Rose Hughes  
Wednesday, March 23 (9am - 4pm) -- DOUBLE- QUILT APPLIQUE -- In this workshop you will learn two machine applique techniques that are not only easy to achieve but will open new doors to your creativity.

Thursday, March 24 (9am - 4pm) -- WHAT's ON TOP? EMBELLISHMENT!  -- In this class we'll explore the varied and delightfully creative forms embellishments can take in our work, and how you can use them to add drama, whimsy, character and sparkle to your quilts.



Wendy Butler Berns  

Wednesday, April 27 (9am - 4pm) -- CREATING CAPTIVATING COLORFUL QUILTS -- Begin to take the mystery out of confusing fabric choices. Develop confidence in choosing fabrics and understanding more about color dynamics.  This is a technique and project based class..


Thursday, April 28 (9am - 4pm) -- CAPTIVATING CONE FLOWER -- Learn the process of creating simple pictorial quilts from a photograph or picture.



Karen Eckmeier  

Wednesday, May 25 (9am - 4pm) -- ACCIDENTAL LANDSCAPES: BEACHES -- Here is an introduction to creating landscapes "accidentally" using Karen's layered topstitching technique. These little beach scenes are quick and easy to make, no templates, no fuss -- just free form rotary cutting and topstitched edges. Personalize your beach by adding collage details like a dune fence, beach grass, shells, sailboats, beach chairs, umbrellas, lighthouses, photo transfers, etc.


Thursday, May 26 (9am - 4pm) -- HAPPY VILLAGES/ FABRIC COLLAGE -- Explore the freedom of fabric collage! No seams to piece or match, no lines to trace ... Just free form cutting of step and window shapes. Step by step your little village will magically come to life.


Nancy Prince  

Wednesday, June 29 (9am - 4pm) -- THREAD PAINTED LANDSCAPES -- Introduces two thread painting techniques.  You will learn how simple thread painting is. A zigzag or straight stitch are the only stitches necessary to create amazing thread painted designs. No artistic skill is needed so come join us for a day full of fun. Simple designs have been selected to boost your confidence right away. 


Thursday, June 30 (9am - 4pm) -- SHADING AND BLENDING WITH THREAD -- This workshop will introduce you to a simple way of blending and shading with thread. The process might seem complicated, but Nancy's step-by-step approach will show you how choosing the correct thread colors and the color-coded design makes thread painting the design a snap. It's easy and way too much fun!! 


Joanie Zeier Poole  

Wednesday, July 27 (9am - 4pm) --  CHOOSING, ADAPTING, AND USING QUILTING DESIGNS --

Plan for a day of fun and discovery creating your own quilting designs with Joanie's easy paper template method! Using simple tools and skills from the art world, learn to manipulate almost any image, including stencils and paper patterns, to fill the quilt top with perfectly coordinating squares, triangles and multi-sized borders. Prior to class, each student constructs a small quilt top that is used to demonstrate how various spaces are divided and filled and to show a variety of marking procedures. All experience levels, any quilting technique --no machines required.  Material fee of $3.00 to be collected in class.

Thursday, July 28 (9am - 4pm) -- IVY WREATH REFINED FREE-MOTION -- In the tradition of the great wholecloth quilts, transform a solid piece of fabric into a work of beauty using the graceful Ivy Wreath design created especially for this class. Focus on refined free-motion techniques using the basic elements of Heirloom Machine Quilting: curvilinear motifs, grids, and stippling. Class includes information on essential supplies, machine set-up, marking, basting, navigating the design, plus time to begin stitching this beautiful project.  Requires:  $6.00 pattern and either the Ivory Sateen kit $22.00 or Willow Radiance kit $25.00.  Must be ordered in advance as students need to prewash, starch, and mark their projects before class.   


Anita Shackelford  
Wednesday, October 26 (9am - 4pm) -- BRODERIE PERSE APPLIQUE -- Take inspiration from a special fabric and design a chintz appliqué block in a style that is traditional or today. Practice both blind stitch and blanket stitch edges.  
Thursday, October 27 (9am - 4pm) -- SPRING BOUQUET -- Create a bouquet of carnation, wildflowers and lily-of-the-valley tied with a bow. Techniques covered are corded stems, stuffed appliqué, two types of ruching, free-form berries and lily-of-the-valley, unit-appliqué ribbon and embroidery embellishment.  
Newcomers Meetings 

The Newcomers Program for January will be held on Tuesday, January 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Urbandale Library. Barb Smalley will present a program on the history of quilting and Amish quilts.

Remember to bring any projects you are currently working on. We will try to cover any issues you may be having on a current project. If you have any questions, please call Barb at 515-279-2651.    
Barb Smalley, Vice President
Adopt A Speaker

Our new Adopt a Speaker program has been received with enthusiasm but there are still two speakers waiting to be adopted.  They are: Elsie Campbell in February and Joanie Zeier Poole in July.  


If you or your small group would like to serve as a hostess to either of these speakers, please consider adopting her while she is here for the guild programs and workshops.   Both of these speakers will be driving here.   This means that you or members of your small group will be responsible for checking with the speaker at their hotel to find out if they need transportation to the guild for their program or to and from the workshops.  Lodging has already been arranged for the speakers


Additionally, the hostess will take the speaker to dinner and lunches.  Traditionally, the speakers have been taken to Paradise Pizza for dinner with the board and other interested members between the afternoon meeting and evening meeting of the guild.   Except for this dinner, the hostess will be free to arrange all lunches and dinners for the speaker while she is here.


If you or your small group wish to adopt one of the speakers above, please contact Val Russell at or 641-447-2411.
Community Service

Deanna Wilson and I are looking forward to serving on the Community Service area of the DMAQG. I personally would like to say a huge thank you to Joan Rotert for serving with me last year. I enjoyed working with her--Joan has a kind heart who shares her many talents in a positive caring way.


2010 was a very productive year. Total donations for the year were: 1157 Placemats, 330 Quilts, 76 Clothing Protectors, 420 Pillowcases, 120 Pounds of Toiletries' and 29 Pounds of Pop Tabs. Donations were made to Meals on Wheels, Broadlawns Pediatrics, Lutheran Hospital Children's Behavioral Unit, New Directions Shelter, Beacon of Life, House of Mercy, St. Joseph's Family Shelter, Taylor House, Bidwell Riverside, Children's and Families of Iowa Violence Center, Calvin Community AL Unit, Legacy Pointe, West Des Moines Human Services, ConKerr Cancer and the Ronald McDonald House. In addition, 48 students participated in the 2 Kids Classes held at the libraries and 253 Quilts were made at the State Fair Sew In. We applaud everyone who helped our community with your sewing skills and provided things to those in need.


Top donors for the year were treated to a luncheon held in their honor on Saturday December 11th. Total donations and donors in the categories were; Margaret Simons 309 placemats, Helen Smith 21 crib/lap quilts, Shirley Loeffler, Kathy Russi and Rod Turner each made 3 twin/larger quilts, Mildred Agena 17 clothing protectors, and Jan Hetzel 45 pillowcases. Thanks again for all your donations!


Community Sewing Day

For those who like to plan ahead, our first Community Sewing day will be Monday, April 18th from 9-4 at the Urbandale Public Library. Sign up will begin at the February meeting.


Carolyn Eliason, Chair Community Service


Spring Retreat


Join us March 17-20 for the Guild's spring retreat at Camp Wesley Woods.  Registration opens January 15 and the form can be found on the Guild's website by clicking here.  You can also register at the guild meetings in January or February.  Registration for housing is on a first-come, first serve basis so register early.  


Gayla Wasson will be giving table massages at the retreat. The cost for a 30 minute massage is $30.  Please contact Gayla directly to schedule your massage time by calling her at home 641-755-4499 or cell phone 515-360-3454 or by e-mail at


If you have any questions, please call Margaret Simons at 256-0077 or Arda Mathern at 266-4223. We look forward to seeing you at the retreat. 


Arda and Margaret


The following items were left behind at the Fall Retreat:


     electric cord for a sewing machine
     wooden stileto

If any of these items belong to you, please check at the Retreat table at the January guild meeting or call Arda Mathern at 266-4223 or Margaret Simons at 256-0077. 


Memorial for Barb Snuggs


As you are all aware, Barb Snuggs, 2010 Quilt Show co-chair, passed away early this winter. For her Appreciation Gift as a retiring Board Member, Barb had requested signed hatchet blocks using batik fabric.


We would like to honor Barb's memory by asking that you donate a signed hatchet block using batik fabric of any color. We have a member who has volunteered to make the donated blocks into a quilt. The quilt will be displayed at the 2011 quilt show and then will be given to Barb's family. Barb loved the quilt show and would be pleased that her quilt will be seen by so many others.


Please consider taking a few minutes to make a block in honor of Barb. You can bring your completed block to the January or February meetings and drop it off at the Community Service table. Thanks in advance for your contributions.


Directions for 4" finished hatchet block:

Cut the following for each block:

Background - one 4 1/2" square

Accent fabric - two 2 1/2" squares

Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the wrong side of each of the accent squares. Place one on a corner of the background square. Sew on the drawn line. Square up. Repeat on the opposite corner. Use a permanent marker to sign your block.


Appreciation Gifts for Retiring Board Members 

If you have not already done so and would like to thank the retiring board members for serving on the board, please bring a fat quarter or hatchet block to the January meeting.


The retiring board members and their choices for thank-you gifts are:


Missie Carpenter, Treasurer -- fat quarters of Jo Morton type reproduction (not her brand only) fabrics


Pat Hjelmeland, Corresponding Secretary -- either hatchet block or a fat quarter in a black and white print. 


Peggy Kirk, Program Chair -- signed hatchet block using batiks


Julia Shires, Quilt Show Co-Chair -- fat quarter of the giver's choice


Beth Hromyak, Retreat Co-Chair -- fat quarter in either white, light cream, or yellow

Lisa Flyr, Retreat Co-Chair -- fat quarter in aqua or lime green


Joan Rotert, Community Service -- fat quarter in blues


Barb Nelson, Librarian -- donate 2 yard cuts to State Fair Kid's Sewing project


Mary Martin, Librarian - fat quarters of reproduction fabrics


Carolyn Freeland, Director at Large - does not wish to receive any fabric 


2011 All Guild Challenge--Trying Something New 

Historically, there has been a Quilt Show Challenge in which individuals purchased a 'challenge' kit with a small amount of several fabrics and would then create a 'challenge quilt' using 2 or more of those fabrics.


The Directors at Large, Quilt Show Co-Chairs, and Community Services Committees would like to try something different in 2011. Rather than members creating individual challenge quilts, this year's challenge will be a group or 'community' challenge project for our entire guild consistent with the theme of this year's quilt show which is "A Community of Quilts and Quilters". 


The 2011 Quilt Show Challenge will be for the DMAQG to make 150 patriotic quilts by the time of the quilt show, with the quilts being donated to the residents of the Veterans Home in Des Moines. (Several of the Veterans Homes in Iowa have been closed and consolidated to Marshalltown or Des Moines). We want to have a quilt to give to every veteran living at the Des Moines Veterans Home, with the timing of donating the quilts being between our show and Veterans Day in November. All of these quilts will be displayed at the show.  None of the quilts will be entered in the show but they will be displayed at the show, similar to how the kids charity quilts were displayed last year. We'll soon provide more detail about this challenge and the process for turning in your completed patriotic quilts.


The quilts should be no smaller than 48" x 60" and go up to twin size (approximately 60" x 90"). This 48" x 60" minimum size ensures the quilt is long enough to cover the lap and legs and wide enough to tuck in around legs or across the bed. We ask that the quilts be some combination of red, white, blue, and/or gold. Because these quilts will be used and laundered in an industrial manner (probably hot water), it's important to prewash or thoroughly test your fabric for colorfastness. When you select the fabrics to use in your veterans' quilt, keep in mind that 90-95% of the residents are men.


To help some of you get started, we will: (1) have a number of pre-cut kits available for simple quilt patterns, and (2) have directions for 4 or 5 simple quilt designs available for members. Members can also use whatever other quilt pattern they'd like. We encourage members to work together to create a patriotic quilt in keeping with the 'community of quilters' show theme. Consider working with a couple of members you don't know to make a veteran's quilt: you will expand your 'community of quilters' and you will be recognizing the service of veterans.


We realize 150 quilts sounds like a large number. But, if every 3 members worked together to make a quilt, we would exceed our 150 quilt goal.  The staff at the Veterans Home is very excited about this project and the quilts will be so appreciated by the veterans who receive them. Together, we can say 'thank you' to 150 or more veterans this year!  


Membership Renewal 

If you have not yet renewed your Guild membership, please consider doing so. The membership form can be found by clicking here. We will also have forms available at the January meeting.


Thank Yous 


From Keith Snuggs:

I can't tell you how much Barb loved all of you quilt gals--there's way too many of you to thank for the wonderful thoughts and outpouring of love.  Please pass on my thanks to the quilt guild.  Keith 



Remember to check out the DMAQG website for information such as upcoming quilt shows and other events taking place around the area, newsletter archive, as well as other useful information.