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The Guild began with an invitation circulated in January 1981 to attend the first organizational meeting for a new Iowa City area quilters' group named "Quilting for Fun. Intended to be "an informal group of people of all ages and interests" ranging from "absolute beginners to the more advanced quilters and even to quilting instructors," the organizers saw it as a "place to meet new friends, to learn or pass along new techniques, or just to get out for the evening." Twenty-one individuals joined as members in the first month. A year later in February 1982 their ranks had more than doubled to 46 members.

Some twelve years later, in October 1993, Guild members voted to change the name of the organization to "Old Capitol Quilters Guild." Evidently a possible change had been discussed for some time and arose again as the group began planning their first show (scheduled to be held in June 1995). At the time of the name change in 1993, the Guild had more than 100 members.

NOTE: We will be adding to this History Section on the website as we celebrate the Guild's 40th anniversary during the 2020-2021 membership year. Please watch for more in months to come and be sure to view the short feature articles published monthly in the Guild's newsletter and posted on the website that offer up interesting events, personal stories, or nuggets of inspiration. Some will highlight how much things have changed, while others will show how much is still the same.

"Members Remember" 
A video oral history of the Old Capitol Quilters Guild

Watch this 37 minute video now on YouTube 


We created this video to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Guild in 2021. It "premiered" during the December 13, 2020, monthly guild meeting, held via Zoom.

We asked all current members who have belonged to the Guild for 25 years or more to sit for interviews and 15 agreed to participate. Two of them were among the founders of the organization in  January1981: Jo Betts and Nancy Granner. The others included Helen Dietrich, Diedre Fleener, Jean Hospodarsky, Trish Kosa, Ruth Langehough, Verlaine Schlueter Ockenfels, Mary Ott, Meredith Sewell, Connie Smith, Jude Stahmer, Sally Strah, Lauren Tiffany, and Beth Yeates. Pam Ehrhardt conducted the interviews and edited the video, Meredith Sewell created the graphics, and Vicki Walch provided text and technical support.

Video Oral History
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