Airing of the Quilts – NE Iowa Quilt Guild

Airing out the Quilts

The Northeast Iowa Quilt Guild in collaboration with Hay Days is hosting “Airing out the Quilts” Event on June 12th from 1 pm to 6 pm. Quilts will be on display in the Monona Living Faith United Methodist Church. Quilts will be shared by guild members, the hosting church members and former guild members from this area.  A rummage sale of sewing items will be on site as well. Church ladies will be providing refreshments.

Featuring some of our former members will make this event extra special. The following is just a bit of information shared by four of these amazing quilters.

Sheryl Mielke

Sheryl Mielke shared her love of quilting that started when she was laid off her job. At the time she used fabric from skirts and found a pattern book at the local dime store. Guild was important in teaching skills. Some that helped her were Linda Cook, Glenda Henkes, and Betty Ball. She started out with nine patch blocks and moved on to Ohio Stars, Texas Stars and Bargellos. The best part of the Guild were friendships and the teaching programs.

Sonja Sersland

Sonja Sersland learned to sew from her mother and home economics classes in school. Then sewing was making clothes for herself and later for her children. Glenda Henkes and Betty Ball were influential in getting Sonja quilting. Her hand quilting is beautiful. Guild at that time did special block exchanges and gave blocks for birthdays. Teaching how to put blocks together, seeing what others were making and the fellowship with fellow quilters were some of the best parts of belonging to the guild.

Diane Philphott

Diane Philphott learned how to sew at age 9 when she joined 4-H, sewing clothes. Quilting came later when taking classes with Betty Ball. Diane also hand quilts her projects. She likes to make quilts with big stars or big pieces which show off the hand stitching. Diane really enjoyed when others in the Guild showed what they had made.

Betty Ball

Betty Ball, now almost 90, has shared her love of quilting with many people over the years. She started sewing rags on her mom’s treadle sewing machine. She was so little that she had to stand to move the peddle as she taught herself to sew. She, to this day loves scrappy quilts with small pieces and many colors not one to throw away bits and pieces of fabric. When Betty was quilting it would take about 3 months to piece and hand quilt her projects. Her aunt, which she called “the cat’s meow” of quilters got her started with quilting. Betty started sewing on feed sacks and over the years has gotten a big stash of fabric. In earlier years on the farm Betty would work all day on the tractor, make supper and then quilt until 3 in the morning. According to Betty quilting is addictive. I like to think she has a deep passion for it. She really liked getting new ideas from others at Guild. And she said working in groups always seemed to make her better at her talent of quilting.

The Northeast Iowa Quilt Guild is a group that love to sew quilts and come from our Northeast Iowa area including Prairie du Chien, north to Waukon and New Albin, west to Elgin and Fayette, south to Guttenburg and Elkader.

In addition to the June 12th Quilt Event, the Guild is hosting one in the New Albin area on July 10th, Decorah in August, and Elgin in September. Look for information about these upcoming events on the Guild Facebook page.