We learn from our past
The Black Hills Quilters Guild was established on March 17, 1977 with 21 charter members, of which two are still members. The membership now numbers about 275.
There were two quilt shows held under the direction of a local quilt shop before the Guild was officially established. In September 1977, the new Guild took over the responsibilities of hosting the quilt show and displayed about 100 quilts. The show now displays between 400-500 quilted items every year. Some of our quilters have won awards in other quilt shows across the country.
Community Outreach has been an important purpose of the guild nearly from the beginning. The Project Warmth group was started in 1985 to provide quilts for a family that lost their home in a fire. Twenty-eight quilts were given away during 1988. Shortly after that, the hospital asked the guild to provide quilts for Pediatrics and Newborns for parents who did not have a blanket to wrap around their child to take them home. Now this effort has grown to provide quilts for Women Against Violence Inc. (WAVI), Black Hills Children's Home, families receiving Habitat for Humanity Homes, as well as other community needs. During the last year about 400 quilts have been given away. During the quilt show, the guild sponsors a silent auction of small quilted objects to support the Hospice of the Hills (as of 2013, over $20,000 has been raised for this worthy cause).
Education has also been an important purpose of the guild. In the early years, retreats were held infrequently but they have been offered annually since about 1990. Instructors over the years have included many nationally known teachers such as Marsha McCluskey, Judy Mathieson, Klaudeen Hansen, Jinny Beyer, Ellie Sienkiewicz, Karen Kay Buckley, and Bill Kerr. The retreat is now a regular event lasting for three days, usually held around the end of September or first of October. The guild supports a lending library available to the members which has grown to include over 500 books, stencils, an Accuquilt GO! Cutter and dies, CD's and Videos.
Besides the shows, the outreach and the education, the BHQG provides a variety of social activities throughout the year which provide the perfect environment for friendships to grow. Learning, working, and playing together cultivate the friendships born of a common interest in quilting.