A Message from our GAAQG President

Jan 2021 – President’s Message

Announcing In-person and Virtual Events Planned for 2021

By Susan Schwandt

January 2021

Looking Forward—A New President, In-person, and Virtual Meetings

Thankfully year 2020 is in our taillights and the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild accelerated into the New Year on a positive note. Lynne Bryant has volunteered to serve as President! Lynne has prior experience as the president of Great Lakes Heritage Quilters, Treasurer for our GAAQG Quilt Show and in countless volunteer roles. We held our presidential election during the Saturday, January 16 Quilt Day Zoom meeting.

Here’s a link to the Contacts page on our website where you’ll find the list of 2021 board officers and committee chairs, so you’ll know who to contact for what and how to reach them: https://www.gaaqg.com/about/contact-us/.

The pandemic calls for planning flexibility, so as of this writing, 2021 lectures and workshops were virtual in January, March, and May. GAAQG will offer a hybrid combination of in-person and virtual events for the remainder of the year. Debbie Maddy’s fabulous indigo fabric dyeing lecture was virtual and we decided to delay her indigo dyeing classes until further notice due to the cancellation of all external activities and events at Washtenaw Community College.

We’re planning for an in-person Quilt Show in 2022, chaired by Lori Rhode, and we intend to have Quilt University in 2023, assuming we can locate a chairperson(s).

All future January Quilt Day meetings and classes will be held virtually, given the unpredictable, potentially hazardous winter driving conditions.

Stay informed! Check the gaaqg.com website and read the President’s announcement emails for updates.

GAAQG Small Groups Update

Pat Weber, our Small Groups and Zoom Account Coordinator, has updated the list of Small Groups on the website (look for Small Groups under the ‘Resources’ section of the Member Only menu). Several small groups are accepting new members. You must be a GAAQG member to access the Small Groups list. If you have a particular interest (obsession?) and would like to form a small group, please contact Pat Weber. Lucinda Herring and Juliana Cerra have started a new small group: Orphan Blocks Rejuvenated.

Virtual Activities Update

GAAQG members are really rockin’ virtual activities and are enthusiastically planning more fun, interactive learning opportunities this year. Henya Rachmiel’s Book Club is going strong, and we’ll continue to schedule Virtual Quilt-A-Longs, SafeHouse Sew-In events and more fun activities.

This will be my last message to all of you as your President. Serving you has been such a rich, personally rewarding experience and I’ve made many new friends along the way. Thank you to our members, guests, board members, committee chairs and volunteers who keep the guild cruising along. Our outgoing board members will always have my respect and admiration for persevering through a pandemic year. Please thank local businesses and quilt shops for supporting our guild. I’m so proud to be an active member of our GAAQG community!

If you have questions, please send them to president@gaaqg.com.

Wishing you a New Year of boundless creativity and quilty fun!

Susan Schwandt


Nov 2020 – President’s Message

By Susan Schwandt

Nov 3, 2020

From Maria Shell to Lyric Kinard—GAAQG Year-end Happenings

Remember that old saying “spring forward, fall back” reminding us to reset our clocks for Daylight Savings Time?  As I was resetting a few clocks, I thought about this saying and, once again, my heart filled with pride toward the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild and all that we’ve accomplished together in this rollercoaster year. We’ve been springing forward all year long and have never fallen back, and we have even more fun happenings planned for the rest of this year.

Saturday November, 21 Quilt Day Meeting

Maria Shell is our guest lecturer for the November Quilt Day meeting! Maria works with community groups across the US and she will share her heartwarming experiences through her lecture, “Building Community Through Quilts.”  GAAQG members –please watch for an email with instructions on how to join the Zoom Quilt Day meeting. Maria’s Friday and Sunday classes are full, but you can contact programs@gaaqg.com in case there are last-minute cancellations

During the November Quilt Day meeting, we’ll reveal the Viewer’s Choice winners from our “Celebrate the Quilt FROM HOME” online Quilt Show. Barbara Niess-May, executive director, SafeHouse Center will be our special guest and we’ll share the final fundraising results from the Quilt Show and “Threads of Love” auction.  Please note:  although our online Quilt Show ended on October 31, you can still view all the quilts by going to the ‘Our Work’ section of the website.

GAAQG members—Please watch for and read an important business email on Nov. 11. The GAAQG board will request your approval of several GAAQG Bylaws changes, including moving the Annual Business Meeting to the Nov. Quilt Day meeting (rather than January). You’ll also be asked to approve electronic voting for the new slate of board officers. With your approval, during the proposed Nov. Annual Business meeting, we will formally nominate our 2021 slate of board officers and call for an electronic acceptance vote from the membership. By moving the annual meeting to November, this would give incoming officers more time to learn their responsibilities so they can hit the ground running in January 2021.

BONUS! New Special Events Added in December—Lyric Kinard FREE Lecture

GAAQG and the Village Square Quilters (a New York guild) partnered to present Lyric Kinard’s virtual lecture, “The Elements of Art for Every Quilter” on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 12:00 pm. Please click here for a description.

But wait! The news gets even better! Lyric’s lecture will be FREE FOR GAAQG MEMBERS! We have 50 spots available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  You must register to attend Lyric’s lecture. Log in with your member ID and password and go to the Members Only 2020 Guild Workshops Store. Or, you can look for the ‘instant purchase’ icon on the Membership Resources webpage that will link directly to the online store. Read about Lyric and see her artwork at  lyrickinard.com.

Register for Lyric Kinard’s Apli-Punto to Go: fusible reverse appliqué with trapunto class

Painlessly create beautiful designs with intricate detail, perfect for quilts, wearables, borders or accents. Long flowing, curly borders or pictures with the sharpest points and thinnest lines imaginable are possible with Lyric’s easy method using fusible web. Give your design that extra punch with the added dimension of trapunto…. without all the slitting and stuffing! Bonus: it’s super easy to create two images at the same time, one positive and one negative.

In Lyric’s Apli-Punto to Go class, you will learn:

  • What kind of patterns will work for this technique
  • How to do reverse fusible appliqué
  • Different ways for transferring your pattern to cloth
  • How to use fusible web
  • How to create a faux-trapunto effect
  • Hints for quilting your finished top
  • How this technique can be used for upcycling clothing and wearable art

Register here for the class directly through Lyric Kinard (not the GAAQG online store).

Cost: $35.00, includes two days access to full online collection of videos and written instructions

Class format: Three hours live with Lyric via Zoom

Date and time: Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 10 am – 1 pm

Please contact Lyric Kinard for specific questions about her workshop.

Thank you all, and I’m looking forward to seeing you on November 21!

Stay safe, stay well and let’s stay connected!

Susan Schwandt



Sept 2020 President’s Message

By Susan Schwandt
Sept 2020

GAAQG is Zooming Full Speed Ahead

This year’s challenges called for fluidity and flexibility, and the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild successfully met our challenges head on! Instead of dwelling what we can’t do during this pandemic, we focused on what we CAN DO and Zoomed full speed ahead! The success of our online Quilt Show exceeded all expectations. We’re hosting great teachers and workshops this fall. Join the fun!

Have you visited our online Celebrate the Quilt FROM HOME quilt show?  Now is the perfect time to take a break from politics and relish in the dazzling quilts. Vote for your favorite in the Viewer’s Choice awards! 

Please continue to promote the quilt show on social media and share the link with family and friends—even people in other countries can view the quilt show!

We’re raising money for Ann Arbor’s SafeHouse Center through voluntary contributions. The public can purchase beautiful, twin-sized quilts in the SafeHouse Quilts for Sale slideshow gallery. Half of the quilts are already sold! Don’t miss your chance to buy a lovely quilt made and generously donated by talented GAAQG members. Best of all, 100 percent of the proceeds benefit SafeHouse Center.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR AND SET YOUR PHONE ALARM: Saturday, September 19 Quilt Day Meeting via Zoom!

Yes —GAAQG has switched from GoToMeeting to Zoom for our online meetings and we’ll kick off our Zoom meeting with a lecture from Ellen Lindner.  Members will get Zoom meeting details in an email ahead of the Quilt Day meeting.

What do 750 pins, window screening and paint have in common? Guest lecturer Ellen Lindner has used them all in creative ways as she’s making quilts. Watch her amazing account (confession?) of some of the wackiest things she’s done over the years, some of them successful and some of them…well… Ellen will share why even the unsuccessful ones are useful and why she fearlessly embraces experimentation—and you can, too!

We’re bringing back the ever-popular Show and Tell and debuting the 2021 slate of GAAQG board officers.

Show and Tell is always one of the best parts of GAAQG meetings. So that lots of folks can participate in Show and Tell at the September Quilt Day meeting, we’ll feature a slide show of our members’ quilting projects.

To participate in Show and Tell:

  • Take a picture of your completed project or work in progress
  • Write up 3-4 brief sentences about your project
  • Send these materials to: showandtell@gaaqg.com
  • Deadline: 4 pm, Wednesday, September 16—no exceptions!

Remember, you must be a GAAQG member to participate in Quilt Day meetings, so renew your membership today or join the guild!  We have more than 250 members!

Public Registration Open for Ellen Lindner’s September Workshops

GAAQG’s fall classes are virtual! Workshops registration is open to the public! By signing up for online classes, you can learn from home and be close to your stash and all your supplies, savor a “front row” seat for all the teacher’s demos, and you won’t have to haul your equipment to class! You’ll still have quality one-on-one time with the instructor, get your questions answered and socialize with friends.

Members: login to the Members page to get the discounted GAAQG member price.

Ellen Lindner will present ‘Floral Improv’ on September 18 and ‘Double Reverse Applique’ on September 20. For more information on Ellen’s classes and to register: https://www.gaaqg.com/our-events/workshops/

The Floral Improv class will give your artistic skills a boost while making a quick project. Learn how to make a variety of flowers with no patterns and use those flowers to create a dynamic composition. Ellen’s pointers guarantee a quilty masterpiece. BONUS! You’ll learn a quick technique to finish your quilt with no hand sewing!

Ellen’s raw-edge applique technique is amazingly accurate. Her tricks for staying organized will ensure productive and frustration-free class time.

Adult Fabric Face Masks Needed for SafeHouse Center

SafeHouse Center could use about 160 masks to get them through this fall and winter. Please make and donate adult-size fabric face masks. The Center has plenty of children’s face masks. You can either deliver the masks to SafeHouse Center or contact president@gaaqg.com to arrange a pickup.

Thank you!

Stay Well, Stay Safe and Stay Connected to GAAQG!

Susan Schwandt

July 2019 President’s Message

By Susan Schwandt
July 2019

July is a star-spangled month for the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild and the soaring summer temperatures aren’t the only thing that’s hot!

As we celebrate all things patriotic, it’s a great time to appreciate the art of April Anue Shipp, our featured Quilt Day lecturer. April has participated in quilt projects such as: The Diversity Quilt for the University of Michigan and The Detroit 300th Anniversary Underground Railroad Quilt, which she donated to The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Her largest quilt to date, Strange Fruit: A Century of Lynching and Murder, took three years to complete and was dedicated to Ida B. Wells, Billie Holiday and Laura Nelson a female lynch victim. In 2014 April traveled to South Africa, visiting Cape Town and Johannesburg, as part of the Conscience of the Human Spirit: The Life of Nelson Mandela Quilt Exhibit; a tribute by Quilt Artists from South Africa and the United States curated by Marsha MacDowell and Carolyn L. Mazloomi.

This lecture follows the business meeting on Quilt Day, July 20.

Members and nonmembers alike—we have a number of our Quilt University classes available. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from some of the hottest, world-class teachers coming to Ann Arbor on July 26-28. If you’re looking for new techniques or just a mini-summer vacation, we would love to have you join us.  We will accept class registrations up to the event but lunch registrations will close on July 15. If taking a class isn’t your cup of tea, you can register for a fun-filled day of SafeHouse sewing.

Sellers are pricing and preparing gently used items—and our never-used items we previously purchased with the best of intentions—for the Guild Garage Sale following the July meeting. Buyers will find great deals on quilting and crafting items. The proceeds support our quilt guild and SafeHouse Center charitable projects.

Thanks to GAAQG Member Patrice Smith and SafeHouse Development Director Deborah Kern, we’ll also debut our three gorgeous raffle quilts! Tickets will be sold for $5 each, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to SafeHouse Center. Recent funding cuts have increased the need for private support. SafeHouse Center must now privately raise 70 percent of its annual operating costs. Now, more than ever, your support is needed! One in four women is a survivor. Please join us in making a positive difference in the lives of survivors and their children. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

At the July meeting, we will start identifying new guild board members for 2020.  Both the Treasurer, Pat Timberlake-Turk and the VP of Membership, Janet Rost, have reached their term limits. Please thank Laura Sheets for her willingness to serve as our new VP of Membership! The guild must operate with a full board, so the Treasurer position needs to be filled. Serving on the board is a great way to support the guild and make new quilting friends. Although these jobs require some time commitment, board-level positions are rewarding and fun. Please consider joining the board! I have a job description for the Treasurer’s position. If you’re interested, please contact me at president@gaaqg.com.

Enjoy your summer and remember attending QU classes is a great way to beat the heat while basking in the glow of some of the hottest teachers in the world of quilting.


Susan Schwandt

President, GAAQG

May 2019 President’s Message

WHEW! Winter sure took its time releasing its icy grip, but the rewards of spring are finally here! There is a robin’s nest on my patio, and I enjoy watching the Robinson family tend to their babies while working on my spring-themed quilts.With the arrival of spring, comes our guild’s eagerly anticipated May Quilt Day activities. The Friday, May 17 Lynn Harris Tiny Piecing class is full, but openings are available in Lynn’s Sunday, May 19 class, Intuitive Piecing With Solids.

You are all invited to enjoy the Lynn Carson Harris Saturday, May 18  Quilt Day lecture, “Do it for the Process.” Lynn’s expertise is in creating improvisational quilt blocks and sewing tiny blocks. Studying antique quilts taught Lynn how to work intuitively to create improvisational blocks. Attending retreats at the late Gwen Marston’s Beaver Island home gave her the insight and confidence to enjoy making non-pattern pieced quilts. Learn more about Lynn by reading Raylene Kruger’s blog post. This lecture follows the business meeting on Quilt Day.

We have openings for quilting superstar Kimberly Einmo’s classes in September. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from an award-winning AQS teacher, author and designer! You’d pay much more for her classes taught elsewhere. Register now: https://www.gaaqg.com/our-events/workshops/. Members should register through the Members only section of the website to get the discounted Member pricing. 

In the spirit of new spring projects, the guild is hosting a Fabric Sale at the May Quilt Day Meeting. Members donate yardage and all sales benefit the guild and SafeHouse Center. Fabric sales are based on the size bag (quart, gallon, or larger) you can fill with all your “new treasures.” Please note we can only accept cash or checks – no credit cards! The sale will start at the end of the guild meeting after Show & Tell and is open to the general public. Quilt day admission for visitors is $10.00.

Did you know that GAAQG has an extensive Library of quilt-related books listed in searchable software called “Library Thing”? Anyone can view the list of books, but only GAAQG active members may borrow them.  Log in and follow the tutorial to learn how to borrow books. Library Thing is very simple to use, just go to our website, click on Resources, then Library: https://www.gaaqg.com/resources/library/.

Registration is now open to the public for Quilt University (July 26-28) featuring an all-star lineup of teachers: Victoria Findlay Wolfe, Susan Purney Mark, Shannon Brinkley, Debbie Grifka and Michelle Dobrin. Class information is available at: Quilt University. There is currently space in all classes, but some classes are filling rapidly.

Nonmembers, please use this link to the public registration page for further information and to register for Quilting University classes: https://www.gaaqg.com/our-events/quilt-university/.Members should register through the Members only section of the website to get the discounted Member pricing. 

‘See you all at our May Quilt Day meeting!
Warm regards,
Susan Schwandt