In February 1991, a group of five women who shared the common interest of quilting met in a home near Port Sydney. By September 1991, the group had decided on a name~ The Pine Tree Quilters and became a guild. The group met on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month.
This group of 5 continued to meet in each other’s homes until membership grew too large to do this. They began meeting at local churches, Rowanwood Retirement Home and the Bracebridge Villa. Today we meet on the second Thursday at the Bracebridge Arena.
In 1992, each member made a block depicting “What Muskoka Means to Me” which was made into the Guild quilt “Muskoka Reflections”. This is the quilt shown below. Click Here for a list of the blocks and who made them.
In January 1996, the “Cuddle Quilt” programme began. We make and donate small quilts to Interval House in Bracebridge. These quilts are given to children as they arrive at this safe house. The Guild members have also donated several quilts to “Quilt For A Cure” and a kidney dialysis camp near Dorset. In 2007, we expanded our Cuddle Quilt programme to include the new Chrysalis House in Huntsville and we also began making and selling fabric postcards to support this group.
Our first newsletter was circulated in June 1997. In 2001, we developed our constitution and by-laws which govern the conduct of the business of the Guild. We currently have about 150 members from communities all around the Muskoka region.
The Pine Tree Quilters held their first quilt show in 1991 and then another in 1992 at Makepeace Studio in Port Sydney. The quilt show in 1996 was named “Collaborations” and it was held in conjunction with the Pioneer Power Show in Bracebridge. Successful shows, “Collaborations II” in 1999 and “Collaborations III” in 2002 followed. “Collaborations IV” was held in 2005 at the Gravenhurst Arena. In 2007, we renamed the show to “The Muskoka Quilt Show”. This show is now held at the Bracebridge Fairgrounds. This is a members show only. A new quilt show is held once every 3 years at a location in Muskoka.
Over the years, the group has had many guest speakers, trunk shows, workshops, block-of-the-month projects, friendship blocks, challenges, round robins, etc. Every September we make “Resolutions”, an incentive to finish a project by June of the following year and are shown at our traditional June potluck meeting. If you do not finish your resolution, you must hand over a fat quarter.
We have an extensive library now and a lot of very knowledgeable members who enjoy sharing and laughter. There are a growing number of “satellite groups”, which are small focus groups who meet outside the guild
February 2016 is the 25th anniversary of the guild.