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President's Message

May 2024

Quilt Day – Saturday, May 18 – In Person and on Zoom
Washtenaw Community College Morris Lawrence Building. Doors open at 8:30 and the meeting begins at 9:15 (Zoom invitations will be emailed on May 16. Zoom sign in begins at 9:00a.)
At our next GAAQG Quilt Day on Saturday May 18, our speaker will be Robin Koehler. Her lecture is titled “How Hard Can It Be.” Intriguing, for sure. Learn more about Robin on the website Workshops page. Through my many years as a GAAQG member, there is one thing I can be sure of: I will be awed and inspired by the quilt day lecture. We may sometimes tell ourselves, “I’ll never be able to do that,” but it never fails that a talented speaker’s words and work plant a seed of possibility. Most of our speakers learned about quilting from people who remain anonymous to us, but who gently supported their choices.
There are many quilting artists to inspire us personally and creatively. We have all been reminded of this by the recent passing of Faith Ringgold, art quilter, children’s book author, and advocate for Black people and women in the artworld. Many of you have quilting heroes who have helped you in your personal journey of self-expression. We each have our own creative path in the world, and it can take us to surprising places. Remember that any of us can be a role model for another member, so be kind, constructive, and encouraging wherever your quilting journey takes you and whoever you meet along the way.
The May 18 meeting will also include an Opportunity Table, inspiring Show and Tell of SafeHouse quilts and other member creations, including a slide show of the Book Club quilt challenge entries for the Quilt Show.
2024 Workshops:  The next round of workshops and speakers will be shown at the quilt day meeting. For a sneak peek, go to our website Workshops page. Members can register beginning June 1 for the rest of the year. We will open these workshops to the public on July 1.
Fabric Sale: The Guild Fabric Sale will be held on May 18 following the lecture and Quilt Day meeting. We have had some lovely donations, including deceased member Judy Thornton’s entire stash. Several members (as well as non-members) have been doing their Spring cleaning which has rounded out the inventory nicely. Come ready to shop! As always, fabric is sold by volume and proceeds from the sale support our SafeHouse quilt-making activities such as the purchase of batting, labels, etc. We are often able to make a direct monetary donation to SafeHouse as well. You know what you have put in your bag, so it is up to you to donate generously! Need more information? See our recent blog post or contact Roberta Myyra at
2024 Quilt Show – Saturday July 27 and Sunday July 28
As of May 1, we have nearly 200 quilts entered for the main show and more than 50 quilts in the Special Exhibits show. It truly IS our time to shine! Thank you for offering your beautiful work! If you have not yet signed up for volunteer slots for the show, please do so soon. Liz is looking for three or four people who own large vehicles and who would be willing to transport stuff from the storage unit before the show and then back to the unit on Sunday evening. We have some 10-foot-long rods, so a vehicle large enough to accommodate those would be especially appreciated. Please contact Liz if you can (Yes, transportation counts as volunteer hours.) If you have ambiance items to offer for the show, please let us know at Quilt Show flyers will be available at the May Quilt Day. Take as many as you can distribute to appropriate locations or meetings.
Gift Shop: A very popular feature of the Quilt Show is the Gift Shop where a wide variety of items made by Guild members are for sale. Shoppers are delighted to find so many wonderful things at such reasonable prices and the proceeds help to defray the cost of putting on the Show. Members’ donations will be accepted at the May Quilt Day meeting.
Please check out our GAAQG website for additional information about the guild via the links included here and so much more. If you are not currently a member, you can join the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild on our website (there are links to join at the top of every page). We would love to have you!
Marge Venema,
GAAQG President

March 2024

Our March Quilt Weekend is approaching quickly. There will be a lot going on that weekend. I hope you are planning to incorporate some or all the GAAQG activities into your plans. Jane Clark, our Programs VP, will be at the podium more than usual on Quilt Day. She has offered to be there in my place since I will be where I would have normally described as a warmer location. From what I hear, that is not the case this year. Who knew? (70 degrees in Michigan in March?) I should have stayed home and done all the GAAQG activities in person. But, not to worry, I will still be giving an opening presentation.

March Quilt Day – Saturday, March 16 (in person and on Zoom) – WCC Morris Lawrence Building. Doors open at 8:30 and the meeting begins at 9:15  (Zoom invitations will be emailed on March 14. Sign in at 9:00a)
Speaker: Our speaker will be Deborah Boschert and her lecture is entitled “Exploring Art Quilt Collage” See more information about Deborah by following the links for her Face Book and Instagram.Demo: Quilting Tools and Techniques: The Latest and The Greatest.  Non-members can purchase a $10 lecture ticket to attend in-person or via Zoom on our website storeIf you are taking one of her classes, the Quilt Day Meeting and lecture are included at no extra charge.
Demo: Whether you’re new to quilting or have years of experience, there are always tools and techniques to make your quilting easier and more fun. Lynn Aleman and Carol Makielski, both long-time quilters, will share many of their favorite (and unusual) tools and ideas before and after the meeting. Bring paper and pen, and your phone/camera, as you’re sure to leave with lots of great ideas.
Vendor: Our vendor for Saturday will be something a bit different. a scissor sharpening event. The Roaming Stone has agreed to do their thing at the Morris Lawrence Building (see their tent outside). Be sure to bring your scissors (or even knives or gardening shears) with you on the 16th. What could be simpler?  Drop your items off before the meeting and pick them up after. Their prices are: Straight Edge Knife $7 Serrated Knife $7 Scissors $10 (excludes hair/grooming shears) Hedge Shears $10. They use Square for payment (debit or credit cards) and do not accept cash for the safety of their sharpeners.
Book Quilt Challenge: It’s time to see what our members have come up with in response to The Book Club Quilt Challenge. There will be a slide show of the entries and you will be able to view most of them at the meeting. Please send the photos of your creations by March 13to Amy Hammer so she can put together a slide presentation for Quilt Day.
Batting for Members’ SafeHouse Quilts: We have restocked our batting supply and will have lots of batts available on March Quilt Day. Many of our members make multiple SafeHouse quilts each year, and we are happy to be able to supply 70” x 90” batts for these quilts. Please let Lynne Bryant know how many you need by March 14 at and pick them up before the meeting. Any unclaimed at the end of the meeting will go to those who have not preordered.
SafeHouse Sew-In – March 16 following Quilt Day Meeting
There will be an in-person Sew-In for SafeHouse Center on Saturday afternoon following our Quilt Day meeting, after a short break for lunch. It will be in Morris-Lawrence Room 105/120, and you can bring your sewing machine and supplies to the room before the meeting. The Cut-Ups have been working hard to make sure there will be plenty of kits available for you to choose from, or you are welcome to bring your own project to work on. There are many other ways to participate: you might want to iron for others, but this only works if there are a lot of people sewing; or you could work on cutting scrap fabric (provided or use your own) into 2 1/2” strips or squares of various sizes to be used in SafeHouse quilts; or work with one or two other people on putting together a kit (this might be the most fun). So, bring your lunch, your sewing supplies, and a willingness to work with the group to see what we can put together for SafeHouse! Stay all afternoon (until 4:00), or for just an hour, or just join us for lunch. It is a great way to get to know your fellow Quilt Guild members!
GAAQG Upcoming Activities
Workshops – March 15, 16 and 17 and May 17 & 19 (in-person only)
There are still openings in all three of our March and both May workshops. You won’t want to miss out on these opportunities. Learn something new! Sew with your friends!  
In March, we welcome Deborah Boschert who will be visiting from Texas to present three workshops. The first on March 15th is called “Original Art Quilt Collage-Personal Symbols.” Her Saturday lecture is called “Exploring Art Quilt Collage” and after the Saturday meeting, she will teach “Head, Heart & Hand – Developing Your Creative Voice.” Then on Sunday, March 17th she will teach “Graphic Landscape Fabric Collage.” Deborah is a well-known, respected instructor who can get you excited about your quilting. Those who took her classes at QU a few years ago raved about her! Learn more details, see the supply lists, and register on our website Workshops page (open to both members and non-members).
Our upcoming workshops for May are with Robin Koehler who comes to us from Florida. Her business name is ”Nestlings by Robin” and you can also check out her blog, Instagram and Facebook pages (links are on her website). For our guild membership who asked for traditional style quilting, Robin is that and more. She will present two workshops: Friday, May 17th called “Bounce” is a paper pieced quilt. The pattern is included with the workshop. Her lecture is called “How Hard Can It Be?”, and her Sunday, May 19th workshop is called “Flora Fauna ~ Not all Quilts are Flat,” which is a 3-D take on quilting. Learn a variety of techniques while enjoying the company of friends at these in-person workshops. Robin has a lot to share with us and is a popular instructor. See our Workshops website page to learn more, see the supply lists, and register (open to both members and non-members).
Fabric Sale – May 18 (following Quilt Day Meeting – Morris Lawrence Atrium)
Our Annual Fabric Sale has raised a lot of money in past years to cover the costs our guild incurs to support our SafeHouse activities (batting, labels, kits, etc.) and additional funds raised beyond our costs are donated to SafeHouse.  Fabric is sold by quantity (small, medium, and large bags full) so the savings are amazing!  Members get the first opportunity until noon, and after that the public is welcome to purchase. We hope you have spent some time going through your stash and collecting fabrics you may love but know you won’t use, so bring them to the March Quilt Day. Other members will put them to good use for SafeHouse or personal quilts. For more information, contact Roberta Myyra at
GAAQG Guild Retreat for Members – June 28-30, 2024, with June 27 option
Many of our members have already signed up for our June Guild Quilting Retreat at Creative Passions Retreat Center in Chesaning, MI but there are only 4 spots left. The deadline to register and pay the $85 deposit is Friday, March 29. Call the Retreat Center (989-845-2159) Mon-Fri between 9a-4p to pay your credit card deposit by phone (or you can mail your check and registration form, so they receive it by March 30). To register, fill out the Registration Form on our website Member Page (login required) where there is also additional retreat information. Contact Lynne Bryant at with any questions.
Please check out our GAAQG website for additional information about the guild via the links included here and so much more. If you are not currently a member, you can join the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild on our website (there are links at the top of every page). We would love to have you!
Marge Venema
GAAQG President

January 2024

Message from the GAAQG President  January 2024
Happy New Year! What a dull month January is, especially in our part of the country.  Good thing we are sewists and can retreat to our sewing studios and be inspired and creative.  The new year is such a good time to concentrate on our love of quilting and creating.  Do you tend to evaluate your stash or start a long-planned project to celebrate the new year? It’s a wonderful way to overcome and embrace the winter doldrums.  Enjoy your gift of the love of sewing/creating. Warmer weather and other commitments will be here before you know it.
January Quilt Weekends (Zoom meetings only) 

Workshops (via Zoom) Friday, January 19, and Sunday, January 28 – NOTE Date Change
What a great way to begin 2024. Valerie Goodwin is our January workshop instructor via Zoom.  Our dates for the workshops are Friday, January 19th for “Get in the Zone, Go Zen” and Sunday, January 28th for “Favorite Places.”  All the information, including supply lists, are included on the Workshops website page. Space is currently available in both these workshops, and they have been opened to the public, so do not wait long to register!  Both members (requires login) and non-members can register by clicking on the appropriate tab on the Workshops page.

This will be a personal approach as you will select your own map before the workshop. As always, feel free to alter/change/edit to your liking.  Look for a blog posting that will come out soon.

Valerie is a very accomplished quilter. She has been a Quilt Show judge since 2015, and has won numerous awards, with the most recent being The Quilt Japan Prize at the Quilt National Exhibit.  Valerie taught architectural design for about 22 years and fiber art workshops for over 10 years. These interests go hand in hand and help inform each other. Her pieces are interesting with layers of materials to get the look she is interested in.

Quilt Day (via Zoom) Saturday, January 20
Valerie will also be giving a lecture on Saturday, January 20th, titled “Mapping: A Narrative with Paint and Thread. Our January 20th meeting will include Show & Tell.

Liz Rodriguiz will put together a slideshow of the quilt photos we share. Since there will be no in-person Show & Tell, please send your photos and a brief text (2-3 sentences) to showandtell@gaaqg.comby January 11, 2024. This show will include the pictures submitted since the last slideshow. Please include the names of anyone who worked on the quilt. Show us all those Christmas quilts and gifts.
Online Sew-In for Members – Saturday, January 13, 9 am to 12 noon
Our first 2024 Online Sew-in will be on January 13. Now that all our Christmas projects are finished, lol, or put away for a review next year, we can all start fresh and optimistic. Sewing many new ideas, pretty fabrics, and lots of time to put them together is a joy in itself.

This is a very relaxing Zoom meeting where we get to know each other and trade ideas and helpful hints. Try it once. You aren’t committed to staying online the whole three hours, so just drop in.

Lynne Bryant has attempted to schedule this meeting by using the Passcode instead of the waiting room. A Zoom link will be sent to all members on January 11 so check your email.
GAAQG Guild Retreat – June 28-30, 2024, with June 27 option
I know that it seems like a long way from now, but we are in the planning phase for our 2024 Guild Retreat. We will be placing information about the facility and the retreat on our GAAQG website member’s page. It will be held again at the Creative Passions Retreat Center in Chesaning MI. This is a perfect space for a large gathering of our members. Roberta Myyra will organize the food and Susan Morrison will organize games.

Lynne Bryant sent an email to everyone who has already signed up. If you think you signed up but did not get an email, contact

There is still room at the retreat for any member who would like to attend. If there are openings after all the interested members have signed up, we may be able to open spaces for non-members.
The cost is $165.00 for Friday, June 28 through Sunday, June 30 with a $30 option to arrive on Thursday evening, June 27. Typically, we meet at a local restaurant for dinner and arrive at the center at 8:00 pm, where local high school students will help us unload our cars.The first payment of $85.00 is due on March 30, 2024.
Please check out our GAAQG website for more information about the guild, including the topics I have covered in this letter and so much more. If you are not currently a member, you can join the Greater Ann Arbor Quilt Guild on our website (there are links at the top of every page).  We would love to have you!
Marge Venema
GAAQG President