IN THE BEGINNING
1989 is believed to be the year nineteen
quilters began meeting in the Fellowship Hall of the Niceville
Presbyterian Church. These same quilters would become
Charter members. Prior to that time, a small group- of
like-minded ladies gathered on a regular basis in the home
of Charlene Compton, deciding among themselves what
they wanted to teach each other. Making Christmas
ornaments, coasters, wall hangings and sharing quilt
patterns kept them energized, bonding this ever-expanding
group until Charlene’s home space became inadequate for their growing numbers. They chose the name “Southern Comforters”. Some would say a clever twist on a geographic location and quilting goals. One member threatened to leave if the name was adopted, complaining the inference to a brand of alcoholic beverage was NOT suitable to the art of quilting.
These nineteen members found a new name, which then suited the majority of those present. Thus “Flying Needles” came into existence.
Naturally, Charlene Compton became the first President. Ann Kuehnel filled the office of Secretary. Treasurer was Garnet Smith. Linda Burkhart and Bev Schroeder shared Program Chairmanship. By December 1990, thirty-eight dues- paying members at day, at that very moment, I gathered once a month to celebrate their passion with the quilted surface. Meetings were rather informal. Sharing what we knew about our art was enthusiastic, colorful and informative. Doris Olig and her helper, Esther Palmer, distributed the first newsletter in February 1991. Annual dues were $10.00, and if you wanted a newsletter, you paid an additional $3.00. Upcoming quilt show listings throughout the region were distributed, along with delicious recipes, directions for quilt patterns, and the upcoming meeting information. Those early newsletters are part of our guild history notebooks and make for very informative reading today.
It didn’t take long before professional quilters were invited to give workshops to those interested members. Dee Ann Powell, Dixie Haywood, Eileen Gudmundson, and Flavin Glover were some of our early guests. Many of us maintain the results of those workshops. Show and Tell is always a highly anticipated segment of our monthly meetings - - - a color-filled, textural feast for our eyes.
Early history is related here as best as can be remembered by Alice Bounds and Gloria Thomas, both charter members.
Flying Needles Quilt Guild, Inc.