Spinning Spools Quilt Guild...A brief history

By Sally Garrett Dingley, Waterloo

01 Feb 2008

            DeKalb County, Indiana, has always had seamstresses and many of them were closet quilters, enjoying the art and craft of fine handwork.  They honed their skills, mostly in private homes,  parlor corners, and kitchen tables and other isolated locations.  A fortunate few had the luxury of a “sewing room..”  Some neighboring women met in each other’s homes or a township center for fellowship.

            A public spark of renewed interest in quilting occurred during the period leading to the nation’s bi-centennial in 1976. Word began to reach DeKalb County women of national quilt shows and regional conferences. And there were some who knew or remembered Marie Daugherty Webster, nationally known quilt designer who made her first quilt at age 50.  She was born 1859 in Wabash IN.  She married George Webster and spent most of her married life in Marion IN.  She died at age 97 on 29 Aug 1956 after nearly half a century of designing and selling quilt patterns and related items.  Her home in Marion is now a museum and the headquarters of the “Quilters Hall of Fame” museum.

             A glance at the calendar reminded many DeKalb County residents that their own.  sesquicentennial would take place in 1987.  A quick trip to the dictionary revealed that sesquicentennial translated into 150 years.  Time was growing short!  In autumn 1985 Roxanne Fike and Loiseen Brewer held an impromptu meeting of their creative minds and agreed the county’s quilters needed to get organized.  Flyers were circulated.  They contacted quilters they knew and placed invitations in the local newspapers.

            Twenty-eight attended the first meeting 22 Jan 1986.  Officers elected that first meeting were: Roxanne Fike, president; Jo Ann Owens, vice-president, Sharon Garman, treasurer; and Loiseen Brewer, secretary.  The spinning spools quilt block was selected as the guild’s logo.

            During the next decade the Spinning Spools were busy.  Several of them worked with other quilters and historians to produce a Registry of Indiana Quilters and their Quilts. DeKalb County being one of the official registry sites.

            The guild members conceived, designed, and completed a DeKalb County Sesquicentennial Quilt which now hangs in the courthouse in Auburn.  Artists and craftswomen who produced the quilt included Ellen Stucky, Loiseen Brewer, Doris Hamman, Lina Zerkle, Louise Sellers, Sharon Wisner, Jo Ann Owens, Ronda Starkey, Veronica Schlosser, Nila Sink, Sharon Garman, Sue Rohy, Dawn Lang, Marge Shook, Shirley Johnson, Meredith Storer, Thais Heinzerling, Mary Ellen Stepp, Sue Stepp, Betty Hamman, Mary Jo Schrader, with the center panel designed and completed by Roxanne Fike.

            Once this project was finished, the guild committed itself to sponsorship of a local exhibit of a nationally touring quilt show honoring the centennial of the Statue of Liberty.  Since that momentous success, the guild settled into a steady period of growth, holding regular monthly meetings, participating in the annual RSVP quilt show during ADC Festival Days, the domestic arts department during the annual DeKalb County Free Fall Fair, and other events both locally and statewide.

            Field trips to national shows, special summer bus trips to quilting communities and fabric shops, holding workshops, quilting demos and participating in the annual Quilt Gathering; these are just a few of the activities that keep the members active.

            Local originations that Spinning Spools sponsors with hand made quilts are; Relay for Life, St. Martin’s Health Care and DeKalb County Christmas Bureau.

            The guild is pleased to sponsor this first “Home of the Classics Quilt Show” to celebrate our twenty-first anniversary and honor our deceased members who made our guild successful.   Join us August 29-31, 2008 at NATMUS, behind the ACD Museum building.  For details write to Spinning Spools, P.O. Box 386, Auburn IN 46706 or contact us on the Internet at http://SpinningSpools.FikeWorks.com

            Guest designers and instructors, a juried sow with prizes and awards, workshops and demonstrations are planned as well as a special preview block party.  The guild meets on the second Wednesday of each month at the United Methodist Church in Auburn at 9:15 a.m.  Guests and visitors are always welcome.



Copyright © 2009 [FikeWorks.com and Matt Fike]. All rights reserved. 
Revised: February 08, 2009 by M. Fike