As you read
on our home page, Red River Quilters is a non-profit organization. We were formed in March of 1983 to:
• Promote the appreciation and
preservation of quilts
• Encourage the art of quilting
• Foster charitable endeavors
• Provide a forum for quilters and quilt
lovers to share their common interest in the art of quilting
based in the Shreveport/Bossier City area of Northwest Louisiana with many
members hailing from the extended Ark-La-Tex region. Typically our membership numbers at least 225
by the end of each fiscal year (which runs from July to June).
Quilters began as a group of friends kicking around the idea of forming a guild
in the area. These ladies were named Pat
Birmingham, Louise Cooke, Thelma Green, Gloria Ingram, Alice Pearce and Pam
Pelletier. Pat located a meeting room at
the Pierre-Bossier Mall, booked a meeting date and started spreading the word
through fabric stores, quilt shops, the Extension Homemakers and the local
1983 was the big day. That evening 42
ladies arrived to talk about quilts. The
next thing you knew, officers were elected (Pat Birmingham – President, Thelma
Green – Vice President & Louise Cooke – Secretary) and the Barnwell Center
was secured as a regular meeting place.
Red River Quilters was off and running!
As is true
today, the purpose of these early gatherings was to appreciate & preserve
quilts. It was decided the meetings were
to be educational and entertaining while providing a place for fellowship and
sharing. Rust and grey were chosen as
the official guild colors. Bylaws were
composed and tax-exempt status was obtained.
An afternoon meeting was added in August of 1983 as evening meetings
were not convenient for everyone.
Tributaries began to form in 1984, giving members opportunities to share
their love of quilting – and desserts! - in smaller, less formal groups.
of 1985 Red River Quilters hosted “Spring Thing”, the forerunner of what is now
our annual quilt show. This was a
seminar held at the Isle of Capri Hotel in Bossier City. “Spring Thing” evolved into “QuiltFest” which
was the basis of the Quilt Show held the first weekend of the Red River Revel
Arts Festival every October. That’s a
lot of years coordinating quilt entries, special exhibits and vendors!
Even in the
early days Red River Quilters reached out to help the local community. The first such project was the making of
stuffed animals for children at the Northwest State School at Christmas. Other organizations benefitting from the
compassion of the Red River Quilters have included Holy Angels School,
Shriners’ Hospital, Providence House, the YWCA Family Violence Shelter, the
American Red Cross, Festival of Trees, the Cara Center and LSU hospital.
firm foundation the guild has evolved to a group of about 250 members. We still have both an afternoon and evening
meeting on the first Monday of each month.
Tributaries continue to meet regularly, several of which date back to
1984. The quilt show is still an annual
event. We have quite a list of service
projects. And, of course, we continue to
nurture the love of quilting!