Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Founding of Enchanted Quilters

Although there was talk of forming a quilt group as early as 1981 in association with the Enchanted Needle, a fabric and needlework shop founded by Millie and Tammy Cowan in 1976, it wasn't until 1984 that a formal group coalesced. EQ was begun by members of the Senior Center for the express purpose of making a raffle quilt to help the Lopez Seniors earn money to establish a new meeting place.

The group successfully raised $2,000 and decided to continue meeting. Those first members were (as seen in photo in the column to your left): Marge Gradl, Gladys Alexander, Francis Currier (in back), Bertha Kurutz, Wini Alexander, Edith Schwendeman, (Harold Schendeman in back), Charlotte Lamoureaux, Bernadette Butler and Ernestine Moffitt. Millie Gilllespie and Millie Cowan were among the first members also but are not shown in this photo.

Millie Cowan was the owner and founder of the Enchanted Needle. The group chose the name Enchanted Quilters because of their great appreciation for Millie's shop. See more history about the founding of Millie's shop in a later post.

Enchanted Quilters Host Inter-Island Gathering

There is nothing like a quilt gathering for good food, good fun and beautiful artwork! Rinky-Dink Doll dropped by for a visit too. She is one of quilt artist Barbara Groves' many playful explorations.

Saturday March 28 (2009) was the 2nd inter-island gathering hosted by Enchanted Quilters of Lopez Island. Our speaker, Barbara Groves of LaConner, WA, wowed us all with a retrospective of her many years wielding a threaded needle.

The talented Barbara Groves who also comes with a great sense of humor!

Title: With Apologies to Picasso: Blue Woman on a Red Day with Cats

Title: Life is Not All Black and White

(Please note as you view these photos: the quilts hanging on the wall are not made by Barbara Groves but rather by members of Enchanted Quilters.)

Title: Tipsy Houses & Staggering Stars (class sample)

One can definitely see the influence of Barbara's previous artistic training...painting. Her color sense is intuitive and powerful. In addition to sharing her own personal quilts, Barbara told us stories about some of the "round robin" quilt groups she has participated in and shared some of those quilts also, plus two of the dolls the group has made. What a challenge –– to make a doll in a round-robin!  

"Esther' was created by a group of five fiber artists.

Karen Alexander
Historian for Enchanted Quilters of Lopez Island

PS: You can read more of my quilt research by clicking here.

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