2nd half of 2020 Meetings & Programs Update

Meetings and Programs:

  • In-person meetings canceled through November 2020.  
    • In alignment with current direction from the State of Michigan, BRQG has canceled in-person meetings, workshops and retreats through November 2020.   Details of electronic programming follow.  
    • We look forward to resuming our in-person meeting schedule at our new meeting home at Tiara Yachts at the beginning of 2021!
  • August 17 meeting–your Guild will host Nancy Roelfsma via Zoom on Monday, August 17.  Her program, “Why We Quilt”, including a trunk show, will be available via Zoom. 
    •  We will send out an invitation to the membership three days before the event (Friday, August 14) by our email list. 
    • The daytime workshop, “Paper Piecing Basics” has been canceled.
  • August 28 Tile Backgrounds Workshop, to be rescheduled–Barb Bredemeier has contacted participants to advise that this workshop will be rescheduled when we are able to meet safely.
  • September 21 meeting–this scheduled in-person meeting will be replaced by a presentation delivered via Facebook Live, hosted by Betsy Muir and Kris Kennedy.  (If you’re not already, now is a great time to become amember of the group, Big Red Quilters Guild, on Facebook. .)  
    • Theme–“Simply Scrappy September” in honor of the by-product of all this quilting we are doing!  We will focus on techniques to organize scraps for optimum usefulness and will demonstrate a project that we can all enjoy using during our increased “stay at home” time!  It also makes a great gift!  
    • Nora Slikkers will be our special guest and will share her special tips on this pressing problem/opportunity!
    • The interview and demonstration will be LIVE in the Big Red Quilters’ Guild Facebook page at 7 pm, 9/21/2020 and will be available there afterward; a link to the recorded material will be provided by email after the event so that everyone can have access regardless of Facebook user status.
  • September 22-24 retreat–the planned retreat will be rescheduled to March (dates TBD).  More information on this to come.  
  • Future meeting dates–we are planning to host a Facebook LIVE event at least monthly during this time (on our regularly scheduled meeting dates), to include interviews, projects, tips and tricks, and other topics of interest!  If you have ideas or things you would like to share in this way, reply back to this email and we’ll get working on it!

Registration for 2021:

  • It’s time to renew your membership to Big Red Quilters’ Guild!  
    • Dues for the 2020-2021 membership year, commencing October 1, 2020, have been reduced to $10 to acknowledge the challenges of these times, to each of you personally and as a Guild in delivering the membership year we all planned on!  
    • We plan to resume normal meeting cadence and programming content in January.
    • We will continue to do our best to provide content and engagement via electronic means wherever and whenever possible during this uncertain time!  We are all in this together!
  • Membership form is available on the website (click here).  Return the form with your check to Karen Keip.
  • Gift Basket–Members returning their membership forms and dues, postmarked by October 1, 2020, will be entered in a drawing for an amazing gift basket that is being assembled by your Board!  You’ll want a chance to win this!!!!

President’s Note:
Friends, I pray this message finds all of you safe, healthy, and at peace. Isn’t it wonderful we have quilting to keep us grounded during these times?  By the look of our  Quarantine Quilt Gallery, you all have been VERY busy!  Please keep the pictures coming!
I look forward to the day when we can all gather safely. Until then, Sew On!!
Betsy Muir

Big Red Quilters Guild

This entry was posted on August 8, 2020, in News.

2020 July 20 meeting minutes

BRQG Meeting July 20, 2020

Betsy Muir opened the July Big Red Quilt Guild meeting in Tiara Yachts’ conference room on July 20, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. for members in attendance and those participating via Zoom. Two visitors were introduced. Betsy thanked Nora and Barb Slikkers for providing our new meeting place, and Kris Kennedy for operating the equipment for our Zoom aspect of tonight’s meeting. Betsy also thanked Barb Bredemeier, Lorelle Eberly, and Ruth Borg for providing treats for the group.

Kris Kennedy has received 110 houses now for our Village quilt. Kathy Ryzenga received about a dozen charity quilts from members tonight.

Nora Slikkers, one of our program co-chairs, introduced Denniele Bohannon from Harrisonville, Missouri, our presenter of tonight’s program: Forty Years in the Making. Denniele discussed finding that quilting has become her therapy, especially during stressful times. First, she showed her grandmother’s nine-patch quilt, an inspiration for Denniele’s own quilts. She proceeded to display and discuss her wide variety of quilts, from her first-born son’s baby quilt, her first hand quilting work which she learned at her church’s quilting group, and on through many quilts she has designed and pieced over forty years. She discussed patterns, fabrics, and machine quilting, both custom and overall designs.

Nora Slikkers thanked Denniele for her program and indicated there were a few spots left in the workshop class Tuesday, July 21, for Denniele’s quilt Celebrate!

After a brief break for refreshments, several members participated in Show and Tell. Kris took pictures which will be posted on the BRQG website.

A drawing for several door prizes was held. Members were reminded that our August 17 program will be a presentation by Nancy Roelfsmema from Grand Rapids. August 28 is the date for our next workshop, The Tiled Background, led by Barb Bredemeier and Janet Haines. The meeting ended at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lorelle Eberly, Secretary

BRQG News from Membership Chair

Checking in with reminders for July activities–see below.  
Important Note:  We’re all in this together!  In accordance with State of Michigan requirements, facemasks/coverings will be required to attend the in-person meeting and workshop.  Our new meeting space at Tiara Yachts is comfortable and large; seating/workspaces will reflect social distancing.  If you have any reservations about attending in-person, we understand and invite you to take advantage of the Zoom option!  We hope you will be with us in any case!
Until then, 
July 20–first in-person meeting since February (!)

  • Who:  Denniele Bohannon
    • author, Where Poppies Grow:  Quilts and Projects Honoring Those Who Served in World War I.
  • What:  general meeting and program, “Forty Years in the Making” with Denielle Bohannon.
  • When:  Monday, July 20, 6:30 p.m., program at 7
  • Where:  
    • in-person–Tiara Yachts, 725 E 40th St., Holland
    • via Zoom–contact Betsy Muir for Zoom invite,
  • Why:  A chance to reconnect with your Guild, in-person or via Zoom!

July 21–workshop

  • Who:  Denniele Bohannon
  • What:  “Celebrate”.  
    • A machine-pieced workshop using templates (provided by Denniele) and a rotary cutter.  Denniele reminds us that the appearance is more difficult than reality!  One must be willing to follow instructions to do something new with very interesting results!
    • use form attached to send registration and fee to Nora Slikker for both in-person and Zoom attendance.
  • When:  Tuesday, July 21, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Where:
    • in-person–Tiara Yachts, 725 E 40th St., Holland
    • via Zoom–contact Betsy Muir for Zoom invite,
  • Why:  because learning new things is fun!

Quarantine Quilt Gallery is LIVE!

  • Have a project you’d like to share?  Send photos to Janet Haines ; include “BRQG Quarantine Gallery” in the subject line.  
  • Note that you can click on any picture to open up a slideshow without the text on the photo. 

Charity Quilts–Kathy Ryzenga will be collecting Quilts for our charity partners, Project Linus and Mannasseh project.  

Village Quilt–Kris Kennedy has received 95 house blocks (see attached photo).  We need ~40 more to make the original 132-block quilt.  The instructions were included in the last several emails; contact me if you need them re-sent.

Big Red Quilters’ Guild Village Quilt
This entry was posted on July 11, 2020, in News.


Greetings fellow Big Red Quarantine Quilters!  
We hope that this finds you well and enjoying (as you can) this time of staying home a bit more!  We hope that it has renewed your love of fabrics and quilting and  that you’re all ready for new content from your Big Red Quilters Guild!  Following is an update on meetings and programming.  At the end are two questions to help us gauge interest and comfort in gathering in July.  If you would be so kind as to respond to these questions, it will help guide us as we prepare to meet.
Meetings.  The Board met today, and based on most recent direction from the State of Michigan, we are canceling our June 15, in-person meeting.  That said, we are looking forward to the following meeting activity:

  • Monday, June 8, 3 pm–Facebook Live demonstrations by Betsy Muir and Kris Kennedy.  
    • Rug demonstration.  Betsy will demonstrate a jelly roll rug technique that results in a rectangular rug, and 
    • Village Challenge.  Kris will demonstrate the House block for our Guild’s Village challenge, 
  • BOTEOM Lost and Found.  Finally, Betsy and Kris will host a “Block of the Every Other Month” Lost and Found Gallery!  We have blocks left behind at our last meeting (could that possibly be February???) that need to be returned to their rightful creators.  You won’t want to miss this!
  • If you’re not already, now is a great time to become a member of the group, Big Red Quilters Guild, on Facebook!
  • July 20, 6:30 pm–“Forty Years In the Making” program with Denielle Bohannon 
    • author, Where Poppies Grow : Quilts and Projects Honoring Those Who Served in World War I.
  • July 21–“Celebrate” workshop with Denielle Bohannon 
    • More information on the program and workshop will arrive by email in the next few days!
    • Both the Monday meeting/lecture and Tuesday workshop will be held at our new location at Tiara Yachts, 725 E 40th Street, Holland.  
    • We will follow all guidance provided by the State of Michigan regarding the safety and comfort of our members.
  • Your Program Committee is hard at work finalizing programming for remainder 2020 to include as much content as originally planned as possible!  More to come on that!
BRQG Village is growing!

Pulsecheck.  In an effort to gauge how we can best put our programming forward, please send an email to by Monday, June 1, and let us know your interest in joining us for the July meeting and/or workshop.  We will plan to adhere to all guidance provided for meetings by the State of Michigan.  Additionally, we are working to provide the Monday meeting/lecture via Facebook Live.  

  • Meeting and lecture Monday, July 20 (“Forty Years In the Making” program with Denielle Bohannon)–we plan to share our meeting via Facebook Live in addition to meeting in person (Choose one)

a) yes, I would plan to attend the meeting and lecture
b) no, I would not plan to attend the meeting and lecture, but would join online
c) no, I would not plan to attend the meeting and lecture this time

  • Workshop Tuesday July 21 “Celebrate” workshop with Denielle Bohannon (Choose one)

a) yes, I would plan to attend the all-day workshop
b) no, I would not plan to attend the all-day workshop

Quarantine Quilting Pandemic Project Portfolio
!  We know you’ve been busy, so Janet Haines, our webmaster, is going to help us create a gallery on our Guild website.  Send a picture of projects you’d like to share along with a description (for example:  name of the piece, basics of the project, inspiration, recipient–the sorts of thing that tell the story of your quilt!)  We will post photos as we receive them!
Thank you for reading–I look forward to hearing back from you on the Pulsecheck questions and Quarantine Quilting Pandemic Project Portfolio soon!!
Bridget Morel
Membership ChairBig Red Quilters’ Guild

This entry was posted on May 31, 2020, in News.

BRQG Programs Update

Dear Quilters, We would like you to be aware of the following programming that has been cancelled or rescheduled as noted due to MI stay-at-home orders:

March 23       Deborah Richmond – Lecture –  “Best Quilters Tools & Gadgets” – will be rescheduled 

Mar 24-26      Retreat…… Move to September

April 20         School House – cancelled for now, will reschedule as time allows

April 28         Tile Background Class  (Barb Bredemier and Janet Haines) – will be rescheduled

May 18          Airing of The Quilts & Finger Food Buffet – cancelled

The following programming is pending future direction from state agencies:  

June 15/16     Denniele Bohannon – Lecture – “Forty Years in the Making” Workshop – “Celebrate”

July 20          Laureen Searing – “Joy of Sharing” lecture and trunk show

Aug 17-18      Nancy Roelfsmema –  Lecture – “Why We Quilt”
Workshop – Paper Piecing Basics 9-3

Sept 21         Sew In 1-9 pm in Lodge

Sept 22-24     RETREAT

Oct 19-20      Coleen Merte – Lecture/Trunk Show
Workshop: Pink Grapefruit (making curves quickly & easily without piecing)

Nov 16           Sew-In – Holiday Project “Make & Take” and Finger Food Buffet

Dec               No Meeting

This entry was posted on May 5, 2020, in News.

BRQG Update

Greetings to you all,

Betsy Muir, President, and the Board of the Big Red Quilters Guild wanted to let you know that our April and May meetings and activities are cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.  This includes the Tiled Backgrounds workshop scheduled for Tuesday, April 28.  The Board will make a decision regarding future meetings in early May based on public health guidance.
  • If you’d like to look forward, we are hopeful that June 15 will bring us together for a meeting with speaker Denniele Bohannon (Where The Poppies Grow) presenting a program, “Forty Years in the Making.”
  • We will advise on spring program and workshop rescheduling at a later date.
In the meantime, continue to reach out and connect with your fellow quilters from a distance!  While we don’t have opportunities to gather in-person, every contact you make means so much!  At the same time that we reach out to each other, know that any sewing that you might be doing for the Coronavirus crisis, (masks and scrub caps, gowns … more masks) is making a difference!
  • If you are sewing for the crisis, it might be interesting to keep track of numbers of items you make.  We’ll put out a call for numbers when things calm down and make a total for the Guild.
  • If you are interested in sewing for the cause, there is a Facebook Group, West Michigan OSMS – COVID-19 Open Source Medical Supplies, which is helping connect the talents of makers with requests from hospitals and nursing homes, including Spectrum and Holland hospitals.  They are presently seeking individuals to sew masks, surgical scrub caps and gowns.  On their Facebook page, volunteers are asked to complete a form including how can you help.  If sewing, you are asked:  what you are interested in sewing, whether you need materials, whether you would be interested in pick up or delivery of materials or products.  After completing the form, patterns and instructions are available as well as drop-off locations and delivery information.
    • The Facebook group is pretty active, so it creates the atmosphere of working together!  While not the same as a retreat or Sew-In, it definitely helps to create a feeling of community.

Know that we’re missing you all…the camaraderie, the learning, the fun…but that we will all benefit from Staying Home and Staying Safe!

Take care!
Bridget Morel

Membership Chair

Big Red Quilters’ Guild


This entry was posted on April 8, 2020, in News.

Block of the Every Other Month


The times are uncertain…looking for “what’s next” is a daily (or hourly!) event.  Never have we found ourselves with so much “discretionary” time!  Or at least it may feel like that…or it may not…this experience is different for everyone, I suspect!  🤔
The purpose of this email is to send along the next steps of the BOEOM Challenge so you can take advantage of the time you might have, whenever you have it. IMPORTANT NOTE:  Even though we might be able to work ahead, completed blocks and final project end date remains the same as originally planned–October.
Attached, please find the instructions for the two remaining blocks as well as photographs of Betsy’s blocks.  We’ll get these up on the website soon as well!  I’ll also include the links for these online just to make sure everyone has access (we don’t need any additional technical issues, do we?  🙄)
Sending hugs to you all…the virtual kind…along with prayers for everyone’s health and safety.  Take care…more to come soon!
Links to blocks:
Link to the BRQG Challenge are on the Guild’s website:

Membership Chair

Big Red Quilters’ Guild
This entry was posted on March 31, 2020, in News.

Mask Making Opportunities and a Note!

Dear Quilting Friends,

I hope that this email finds you and yours doing well in these trying times.  I’m writing to let you know of an opportunity to share our energies with the larger West Michigan community.  I suspect you’ve heard about making masks to help in the fight against the COVID-19, and you may already be working on this cause for a local hospital or other caregiving entity.
Both Holland Hospital and Spectrum Health are accepting handmade masks, per information offered on their websites.  We would invite you to consider this opportunity as a chance to contribute to the cause (and possibly make a dent in that stash… 😉).
Note that fabrics should be pre-washed before assembly, as we are uncertain how the masks will be sterilized/sanitized for use (read:  it likely will include moisture and heat!)  Following is information from each hospital organization, including the link to their “how-to-help” page for COVID-19 as well as a link to the instructions for their preferred pattern.
A closing thought as we consider the days and weeks ahead…and the uncertainty in all of this:  how blessed we are to have a hobby that consumes us, a hobby that we can share with others, and a hobby that produces articles that are at once beautiful and useful.  We can express ourselves and connect with the recipient or admirer alike.  It’s a gift to have quilting in our lives always, but maybe, especially, in times of challenge.  First Lady Grace Coolidge is credited with the below saying…if you haven’t seen it, perhaps it will nudge you to appreciate quilting just a bit more!

“Everyone should be taught to
sew, not merely for the sake of
making something, but as an
accomplishment which may prove
a stabilizer in time of
perplexity or distress.

Many a time when I need to hold
myself firmly, I have taken up a
needle – a sewing needle, some
knitting needles, or a crochet
hook. Whatever its form or
purpose, it often proved to

be as the needle
of a compass,
keeping me to the course.”

– First Lady Grace Coolidge


Sending our very best for your comfort and productivity (!) in the days ahead.  We’re thinking of you!

Bridget Morel

Membership Chair

Big Red Quilters’ Guild


This entry was posted on March 25, 2020, in News.

2020 February 18 – Meeting show n tell

Our meeting concluded with show n tell and a showing of charity quilts.  Several members brought in quilts.


Bridget’s Jane Sassaman design from last fall’s workshop.


Another design from a scrappy workshop.


A practice orphan piece from Vicky Gray that Bridget completed.


Kris’ Maple Leaf quilt.  Unique in that it was completed in record time, which purchase of fabric and pattern in mid-to-late January and quilted in time for this meeting! 


Anne’s Linus quilt made from an adorable panel.


A charity quilt top made by Deb from a friend’s practice squares! Those orphan blocks can be put to good use and look great together!


Another Charity quilt made from practice squares.  Great job, Deb!

And that concludes our February meeting pictures.  Hope to see you at the next meeting!

2020 February 18 – Meeting Program Photos – Part Three

Sally Leep was our third presenter in the “Artists Among Us” program. She is very precise and works with great details. Perfection is her mantra.


A baby quilt inspired by an Aunt’s quilt made with polyester/cotton blend.


A baby quilt made for her son Billie – he received this quilt when he was 32! Congrats to Sally for a finish, even if it was a tad late! 


Mrs. Lincoln’s quilt made as a challenge with her Paducah friends.


Jacob’s Garden 


The back of the next quilt. Even the backs get attention sometimes!


The smaller quilt was made with the scraps cut off of all the corners of the larger quilt! No scrap gets away!


Above the Tree Line quilt – tiny 1 inch squares.


A Kim Diehl design made by Sally to celebrate her retirement after 35 years at Herman Miller.


Bright Light – made with a cake walk plus cake layer cuts of fabric from Paducha. 


And of course a quilt from the scraps of Bright Light!


My Long Winter.  Gorgeous quilt!


Katelyn’s doll quilt


Tiled background quilt made at the BRQG class last year. 


Sally loves christmas quilts! She has made one for each of her grandchildren. Unbelievable applique!


Another of Sally’s Christmas quilts.  She said this was the most challenging she has ever done. I believe it! The picture just doesn’t do it justice.