Material Girls History
The Material Girls Quilt Guild was started in September 1995 by Marion Deroian and Kathie Peloquin, both avid quilters. They decided to see if there would be enough interest in the surrounding community to support a quilt guild in this area. They put up posters in the local fabric store (Piece Goods) and also the local library to generate interest.
The first meeting was held on the second weekend in September at the Cortland House—who were kind enough to lend their meeting room. By the start of the meeting, there were 30 ladies in the meeting room all waiting to find out more about a quilting guild and wanting to join. Kathie and Marion spent time explaining what a quilting guild is and what the expectations were for the year. All 30 ladies there that night signed up, paid their dues for the year, and by the October meeting, we had 40 guild sisters and immediately had to find a new meeting location for the start of the September 1996 guild year.
We were very creative the first year trying to keep costs very low because of limited funds starting out. To keep the promise of guest speakers, we asked a couple of quilt shops to come and speak to our guild, but instead of payment to them, we asked them to bring some of their fabrics, notions, books and other supplies to sell. This gave our guild sisters a chance to learn about new products on the market for quilting and took care of topics for a couple of meetings. We also filled the meetings by doing demonstrations on techniques, like paper piecing, rotary cutting and others.
In 1996, the guild's second year, we started programs that guild members could participate in; block of the month and round robins. Community service projects were introduced and we made baby quilts for UMass Intensive Care Unit, donations to the Battered Women Shelter, donations to Ginny's Food/Clothing Pantry, and a heart quilt was donated to Leominster Hospital.
Our guild continued to grow and we changed our meeting place several times. Our home has been the Holy Family Church for the last several years. We continued with workshops once a month and of course, our road trips to shows and quilt shops. In September of 2002, under the leadership of Lynn Thibault, we held our first quilt show at the Plastic Museum in Leominster. It was a great success and it was decided that our guild would hold a quilt show every other year.
The guild has continued to remain active in charity causes both locally, nationally and abroad, creating quilts for the disadvantaged or ill children and adults, and crafting pillowcases, isolette blankets, and children's dresses for those in need. The spirit of generosity and kindness is alive among our members.
Members enjoy monthly meetings and workshops, and gather for monthly Open Sew dates, as well as Charity Sew programs. Our membership offers friendship, camaraderie and a shared love of quilting for all.