Kingston Heirloom Quilters

established in 1979

Creating Tomorrow's Heirlooms

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About The Kingston Heirloom Quilters
"learning, sharing and working together"

A group, not a guild, Kingston Heirloom Quilters was established in 1979 by graduate students of quilting classes taught jointly by Margaret Rhodes and Diane Berry. Their two level program endorsed the principles of traditional quiltmaking, every stitch by hand, every aspect of the craft executed with care and accuracy. It was a learning and sharing experience that the students did not want to end. Directed by our former teachers, we worked together on group quilts, learning to build them one step at a time, and being ever open to that unpredictable effect that would lift them a little above the ordinary. We try the latest trends and techniques, then return to our greatest joy, the making of Masterpiece Quilts.

We gather twice each month in rented space. Originally, membership in Kingston Heirloom Quilters was restricted to former students of the Rhodes/Berry quilting course, but after a few years, these classes were disbanded as directing the group took up most of our leader's time. On KHQ's fifth Anniversary, that membership restriction was lifted so that our group could continue to grow and thrive. And that it did. Throughout the next decade we had, occasionally, to decline applications for membership when our numbers exceeded sixty, the maximum allowed for our space.

The Kingston Heirloom Quilters have acquired a reputation for fine workmanship. Our quiltmaking skills have developed through working together on more than twenty group quilts that the members have produced during the past two decades. Each and every one has provided us with valuable learning experience. All are unique, and most of them simply evolved as we worked on them, one stage at a time.

In the early years, our former teachers actively directed the group and kept a sharp eye on the quality of our work, offering suggestions and one-on-one help to anyone having difficulty. We also learned from the shared experiences of other members working on their own quilts. Much of this was acquired during lunch hour "critiques" when we would all participate in the search for a solution to one another's quiltmaking dilemmas. But it was the group quilts that taught us the most. We strove, always, to do what was best for the quilt, without being swayed by personal preference.

As a "not for profit" group, fundraising is not a mandate. However we have raised inexcess of $30,000 for local charities through raffling six of these quilts. Four of our quilts are included in the Heritage Quilt Collection of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

Several of our group quilts, as well as those of our members have been juried into major shows and featured in magazines, both in Canada and the USA. The International Round Robin Millennium Quilt Project included the Canadian Quilt "Maple Leaves in Autumn", made by the Kingston Heirloom Quilters. It was chosen to be featured on the souvenir pins of the "Quilt Week Yokohama 2000" in Japan. The collection travelled to Japan where 90,000 people attend this three day show.

Send questions and comments to: khq at quiltskingston.org
Last modified by dhh: August 16, 2007