Annie Ruth Davis, with the help of neighbor Jean Hallinan and friend Pat Prewett, started the Allatoona Quilters Guild in August 1982. On Tuesday, the group met at the Roberts School Community and Education Center in Acworth, where they’ve been meeting since 2005, for a banquet to recognize past presidents and members and to celebrate their three decades of quilting.
“It is absolutely wonderful to see this many quilters combined and working together … and stitching with love,” said Davis, who is originally form Acworth but moved to North Carolina to live with her youngest daughter in 2003.
The guild was started in a shop that also served as Davis’ small business, Allatoona Quilt Shop, in her backyard.
Davis, 69, spent about 30 minutes Tuesday talking about why she began quilting and how they started the guild, then showed off a number of the pieces she’s made since starting to quilt in the late 1970s.
“There’s lots and lots of talent in this group,” she told the group of nearly 75 women and one man.
The guild’s current president, Nancy Draheim of Kennesaw, has been quilting for 13 years and joined the group 12 years ago.
“I heard so many good things about the guild that I just had to join,” she said. “It’s an absolutely fantastic thing. We were just all really excited about the banquet.”
Draheim said she chose quilting as her artistic outlet because the pieces she makes can be passed down from generation to generation.
“It’s the most fantastic hobby that a woman can have,” she said.
The guild is also all about community service and supporting a number of charities throughout Cobb, she said.
Michelle Wyman, the group’s historian and a member since 1998, said they sew 75 quilts a year for the Acworth fire and police departments to give out to displaced families or children at DFCS, makes hundreds of pillow cases for ConKerr Cancer organization at Scottish Rite in Atlanta, participate with Shop with a Hero with law enforcement officers, donate quilts to the local women’s shelters and host annual retreats up to Red Top Mountain so members can learn new techniques.
Wyman, 54, has lived in Acworth since 1998 and joined the group around that same time after reading about them in a newspaper.
“I’ve been quilting since I was around 28,” she said. ‘I’ve always been interested in crafts, sewing and my grandmother was a bridal seamstress. Once you get hooked, you never stop.”
The Allatoona Quilters’ Guild meets between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Tuesday and includes nearly 100 active members between the ages of 40 and 80. Men and women are welcome. Anyone interested in joining the group can visit the organization’s website at www.aqguild.org or contact Tina Cline at (770) 529-0500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.