Gather the first Wednesday of the month with new and old friends to share your love of quilting. While the meeting format may vary, we always have a short business meeting, a break for refreshments, a program to learn tips and techniques, and a “show and tell” so members can share their projects and experiences.
workshops, retreats, and education
Besides the monthly programs at meetings, we hold regular mini-workshops and retreats where members can get together and practice or learn a new technique in quilting. Much of the time, we draw on our own members to share their skills for these events. During a year when we do not have a quilt show, we sponsor a regionally or nationally known quilting teacher to teach a class and display their work in a “trunk show”.
MCQA holds a large, regional quilt show every other year, known as “Autumn Comforts”, which is the major fundraiser for our guild. The first show was held in 1980 at Marquette Senior High School and featured approximately 50 quilts draped over tables and other furniture. In 1982, the show moved to a hotel banquet room where all quilts were hung.
What a difference 35 years makes! We now rent exhibition space at Northern Michigan University’s University Center and routinely feature hundreds of finished quilts and quilted items, judged and non-judged, in more than 20 categories from around the Upper Peninsula. We have numerous vendors, demos, special exhibits, a silent auction, door prizes, a bed-turning of antique quilts, and of course, the drawing for our raffle quilt.
Our next show will be at the University Center, Saturday October 19 & 20, 2019. We are planning an expanded selection of vendors and will feature a judged MCQA guild challenge for members only, themed “Celestial Lights”. Feeling inspired? Become an MCQA member today!
MCQA quilters make and donate quilts to our community in a variety of ongoing charity projects. One is quilts for Bay Cliff Health Camp. Bay Cliff is a summer resident camp for disabled children located in Marquette County, and MCQA provides quilts for campers. The charity quilt coordinator prepares instructions and makes available our stash of donated fabric and batting for members to take home and sew together the tops. They are then finished either at a bee or by individuals at home. Since the younger campers get to take their quilts home at the end of the season, there are replacement quilts made every year. Similar quilts are provided for other local charitable organizations, such as Trillium House residential hospice and Harbor House domestic abuse shelter. We also make mini-quilts, known as “Teddy Bear Quilts”, to wrap around new teddy bears and other stuffed critters to gift to children at Christmas (shown in photo at left). Baby quilts are made by MCQA members for the local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to wrap the tiniest members of our community in love.
library and newsletter
The MCQA has a private library of quilting books of all kinds, and subscribes to a wide selection of magazines such as QuiltFolk, Block from Missouri Star Quilt Company, Quilting Arts, Fons & Porter publications, and many more. All are available for free checkout to our members. We also have a lively monthly newsletter filled with MCQA news, tips, techniques, and minutes of monthly meetings. We also receive monthly news from our “sister guild” in lower Michigan, the Thunder Bay Quilt Guild.
bees and friendship groups
In addition to guild-organized workshops, MCQA has many special interest Bees and Friendship Groups. These are composed of small groups of members and non-members who have a niche quilting interest they want to explore, such as art quilts or modern quilts, or who live outside the city in Chocolay or Gwinn. Group members want more quilting companionship, support, and/or challenge than a monthly meeting provides. These groups meet as their schedules allow, usually more frequently than the monthly meeting. Bees and Friendship Groups operate independently from MCQA, but the members often bring their projects to the regular meetings and share them with the rest of the guild. Join the MCQA and find your “tribe”!