More about Yakima Valley Quilters’ Guild
The early years! (‘pieced’ together from Newsletters #1-39—the first ten years-
thanks to Past-President Diane Poulin)
In early 1983, thirty three women whose homes were in Naches, Wapato, Toppenish, Yakima and Moxee City
met together with the purpose of continuing the traditions, culture and history of quilting and sharing ideas and
quilts. Yakima Valley Quilters’ Guild was formed!
Karen English, the first President, wrote in May 1983 Newsletter #1 “Greetings...I have high hopes for our new
guild...each of you have skills and talents that can help our guild be a success. We need your ideas and
suggestions...please read the By-Laws; they will be discussed and adopted at the first meeting in June.”
*There was a day group and a night group.
*They started a library and at meetings began giving reports on the newest quilting books.
*They started the newsletter—and just like today there was a deadline for submitting information.
By September1983, “NEW LOGO...after much debate we finally have a new logo. Thanks to Hazel Behar for
her suggestion of a fruit basket to represent our Yakima Valley Quilters’ Guild. After debating about it, it was decided
to just use the basket as the fruit were a little more difficult than some members could do and the basket is beautiful
in and of itself so a plain pieced and appliqued basket it is.”
It was important to the women to stay connected with the world of quilting as some attended out of town
quilt shows and conferences and enthusiastically shared at meetings. In every newsletter, there was information
about all these events, far and wide.
Participation in the Central Washington State Fair began the fall of 1983; and every day throughout the Fair,
in the Modern Living Building, the women hand-quilted a member’s quilt.
These enterprising women read an article about the Congregational Church Women’s Fellowship in South
Glastonbury, Connecticut titled “Creating Your Own Special Quilt Show”. They discussed it. They set a date—
June 22-24, 1984. It happened! The rest is history!
By December 1983, there were 49 members. By-Laws had been adopted. The Treasurer reported $67.19 in
the checking account and $233.90 in the savings account. The first election had been held.
The 1984 quilt show was named “A Collection of Country Quilts—Quilts I; next year will be Quilts II; in 1986
Quilts III, etc.” 1984 show details included: admission $1; exhibitors badge so they can come and go as they wish for
without them we would have no show; quilt raffle tickets $1 each; won’t be able to get insurance for the quilts unless
they are appraised beforehand; all members will wear muslin self-made aprons with basket logo on the bib; and
posters and publicity post cards were printed.
Yakima Valley Quilters’ Guild was well established.
The content of the first ten year’s newsletters was much the same as the first year with different and new active
members, different elected officers, new books published, the newest quilt patterns printed, quilt show information
that seemed to grow, other quilt shows and conferences attended, and newsletter advertisers included Fiddle Sticks.
MORE ‘pieces’ of interest!
* “’Quilters’ Quips...News to Quilt by’” was the title of newsletter published in March 1984. Roberta Caffrey, in her
president’s message said, “We’ve had growing pains, but we have come a long way.”
*Yakima Valley Museum and Allied Arts now were included in the activities.
*They made and gave quilts to Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in Seattle.
*They began money making projects like Mini Raffle Quilts.
*Featured artist at the Quilt Show was instituted.
*They held the first Guild Christmas Party-a potluck at the Cascade Gas Co meeting room.
*Some tuned in weekly to Channel 47 KYVE for ‘Lap Quilting’ with Georgia Bonestead.
*As of April 1993, there were 27 members. (“The rest is history” not yet discovered by press time.)
*Presidents: 1983-Karen English; 1984-Roberta Caffrey; 1985-Donna Gamble; 1986-Donna Gamble; 1987-Betty
Neumeyer; 1988-Gail Klingele; 1989-Gail Klingele; 1990-Vicke Jensen/Gail Klingele; 1991-Betty Neumeyer;
1992-Gail Klingele; 1993-Judy West.
Yakima Valley Quilters’ Guild----The Best is yet to Come! We are “Jewels of Quilting”
Written for 40 th Celebration, July 19, 2023
Read at 40 th Celebration, July 19, 2023 by YVQG Member Carol Meier.
Lennardine Henry member since 1988 and Past President shared and
Linda Lortie member since 1993 shared their memories of YVQG.