The South Bay Quilters Guild celebrated 30 years of quilting in September 2009! During the September, October, and November meetings, we listened to past President’s give us an historical overview of the first three decades of the Guild. The Presidents have provided their comments below, so please read on and enjoy a trip down memory lane.
by Lynn Crawford
by Helen Carson
It is nearly impossible to capture within a given short period of time the “second” decade of the guild. I have gathered my thoughts and shared them at a general membership meeting recently. I apologize, in advance, for any omissions or errors. We have had many members over the years and many events. I will capture only a small portion of them. Members like: Mary Jo Hill, Marilyn Davenport, Glenna Hoff, Loretta Tardiff, Ann Gibbs, Helen Ready, Marie Witte, Theo Long, Donna McCall, LuAnn Gaylord, Joan Dyer, Dianne Shiozaki and so many more.
I’ve been a member of the guild, since 1981 and have served on the board, quilt show committees and committees over the years. It was my pleasure to serve as President during the “second” decade from 1989 to 1991 (later to serve again as President from 2002 to 2004).
Many events occurred during this decade…
As with most non-profit organizations we have had our share of skips and bumps along the way, but with members like Sandy Forman (Treasurer) we organized our 501(C) status and moved forward. Today, we still use the “system” that long-time member and Quilt Show Treasurer, Lorraine DeLao developed. This is truly a compliment to her organizational skills.
Due to our membership growing by leaps and bounds, we had to make the difficult decision to close our membership for a couple years while at Sam Levy Adult School (1991).
During this decade, our guild became very involved in philanthropic projects in the South Bay, led by our Community Services Coordinator, Pat Casey. Pat connected with the Junior Blind of America (our first charity to receive cuddle quilts) and other charities in the area where our cuddle quilts embraced the children. We expanded our love of quilting to teaching children. One of those projects was at St. James School in Redondo Beach. We taught the boys and girls to hand stitch a nine-patch pillow. We all came away with many good memories of the young children and their enthusiasium to sew. We also collected canned foods and distributed them to local food banks. It was a high-light for our guild to be filmed by the “Simply Quilts” show during our quilt show set-up. The guild provided scholarships to fiber artist attending El Camino College in Torrance.
We enjoyed our first quilt show in the newly remodeled Torrance Cultural Arts Center in 1992. We also moved our monthly meetings to the Toyota Meeting Hall. This allowed us space to accommodate more members and so we re-opened the membership and continue to grow each year.
Sydne Yanko-Jongbloed (long time member and owner of Quilt Sails) became host to many members who regularly met for breakfast on Friday mornings at local restaurants and then went to her shop to stitch the day away. Many friendships developed over the years. We started “independent” sewing groups and organized bus trips to various quilting events. Sydne organized the Cabrillo Museum quilt that many of our members worked on. She offered “quilt challenges” …early bird sales (not that any of us needed a reason to buy more fabric) and hosted her “annual” show and tell (where we featured our latest creations.
We always encourage the “passing on” of our love of quilting to the next generation. Our membership includes many “mother and daughters” and also a “mother-in-law and daughter-in-law”. Barbara Wright and her daughter, Donna Kessler (both are charter members); Jo Stevens and her daughter, Judy Dore; Thelma Kelly and her daughter, Cindy Curran; Vlasta Yanko and her daughter, Sydne Yanko-Jongbloed; Carol Ann Llewelyn and her daughter, Allison Llewelyn; Stephania Bommarito and her daughter (one of our first Junior members), Michelle Bommarito; Olivia Carnahan and her daughter, Maureen Carnahan; and Dorothy Newkirk and her daughter-in-law, Charlotte Newkirk.
Members who served as President during the second decade are: Neva Buzze, Helen Carson, Mary Howland, Anna Clifton, Gerri Childress, Gaye Sunada, Pam Overton, Sue Glass, and Louise Carrey.
For me, being a member of the guild comes with a responsibility to the organization and the community. As an “all volunteer” organization it takes many hands to make everything operate successfully. So, I believe members should take an active role in the day-to-day operation. It’s a “win-win” situation, as I see it. We not only enjoy our love of quilting, we are surrounded by those who share the same interest. I made my first quilt at the age of seventeen with the guidance of my mother. As a quilter for forty-five years, I continue to learn and improve and look forward to what quilting will bring us in the future.
by Pam Overton
List of Past Presidents
compiled by Julie Limbach-Jones