Stitching Art

Quilters by the Sea preserves the art of quilting

Jennifer Sheargold007

If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that it is great to have hobbies and activities that keep us entertained and fulfilled when we are not necessarily able to get together with others. While some hobbies require immense talent and others are hard to teach, some hobbies, like quilting, can be for anyone with a desire to learn. Quilters by the Sea (QBTS) is a guild of members, formed in 1982, that support each other as well as the community in which they reside. JENNIFER SHEARGOLD is the president.

“I became interested in sewing at the age of nine or 10,” says Sheargold. “My mother liked to sew, and we decided to work on a quilt together. In 1984, I took a beginner quilting class and completed my first full-sized quilt. I enjoyed the social interaction while learning about the art of quilting and was hooked.”

She says that over the years her skills as a quilter, and understanding of color and composition, have continued to improve.

QBTS Guild of Wilmington is celebrating forty years as a Quilt Guild. The organization began when it used to meet at a local quilt shop called Calico Quilts and was encouraged to meet there by the quilt shop owner, PENNY LONG.

After Penny, CATHERINE DURKIN, and MARGIE ROUSE applied to become a nonprofit Quilt Guild, the rest they say is history.

“For the first ten years or so, it was a group of about twenty members and has now grown to about 150. The guild’s purpose is to ‘benefit and educate all persons interested in preserving, continuing and advancing the art of quilting.’”

The group currently meets at First Christian Church, 2035 Oleander Drive.

Untitled Design

The way the Guild gives back is quite extraordinary. “Guild members make charity quilts for the neonatal unit at the hospital, quilts for hospice patients, foster children, victims of domestic abuse and a house-themed quilt is made for each new owner of a Habitat for Humanity home,” says Sheargold.

The organization provides an environment that gives opportunities for quilters of all levels to improve their skills and interact with other quilters.

“Our members are often inspired by other projects and learn new techniques from other members and through our programs and workshops,” she says. “It’s a very social activity, and we have small groups that get together on a regular basis. The guild provides a way for people to use their gifts to serve their community by making charity quilts.”

The workshops run throughout the year and are open to anyone. “We plan and organize workshops to teach both beginners and advanced techniques, have monthly programs given by local and national instructors, as well as socials for guild members and guests,” says Sheargold.

Visitors are welcome and do not have to be a guild member to attend our programs. The group also has displays of quilts at a variety of venues over the years.

“We recently had fiber art quilts with sea-life themed display at Ft. Fisher Aquarium and art quilts using Depression Era fabrics at the Latimer House Museum,” Sheargold says.

With so many members, a strong leadership team is essential. “Our leadership team includes eight board members, president, VP, treasurer, secretary, membership chair and three Members at large,” says Sheargold. “Our vice president schedules speakers for programs and workshops. The Members at Large help keep the board aware of the desires of the membership and assist with special projects. Our members are from all walks of life, including the medical field, educators, engineers, administrators…you name it! Anyone who is interested in quilting is welcome to join us.”

Upcoming Events:

August 15, 9 a.m.
Creating Architecture Quilts Workshop with Rachel Derstine
6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington

August 16, 10 a.m.
Monthly Meeting “Artful Couching: Texture and Definition” with speaker Rachel Derstine
2035 Oleander Drive, Wilmington

To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to

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Categories: Culture