GEMS 2019 Programs & Speaker Workshops

6:30 pm at St Paul Lutheran Church

1427 W Lake Avenue, Peoria, IL 61614

Gems Monthly Meetings:  Doors Unlock 5:30pm   

Relock:  6:45 pm Arrange to call a friend to let you in if you arrive after 6:45 pm.

You can leave at any time but the door will lock behind you.

Visitors: There is no charge for a first time visit to the Gems Meeting unless there is a posted non Member Fee for the Program. A visitor log will be maintained.  Subsequent visits will incur a $5 fee for a regular meeting / or the posted Visitor Fee for the program. If one chooses to become a member, all visitor fees paid in the calendar year will go towards the $30 Gems Membership 


2020 Programs and Special Events

Amy Lister  and Laurie Baker

Interested?  Questions?  Use the “Contact Us” 


January 8 – UFOs, WIPs, and PIGs

We’ve all got them and none of us want them. Join your fellow quilters as we commiserate about those pesky unfinished projects, works in progress, or projects in grocery bags. Let’s all learn from each other about what stops us from finishing and how to get them done. Please bring one or two of your unfinished projects and we’ll have a fun show and tell. A prize will be awarded for the oldest UFO!

February 5 – Quilting Hacks and Tips

We’ve lined up several members to share their best quilting hacks and tips, but we want to hear from you too! Do you use an unusual product for quilting? Have a clever trick for making a task easier or more efficient? What about storage tips? We want to hear them all. Sharing is caring!


March 4 – Special Event: Diane Murtha, “Accept the Challenge and Win a Prize”

Challenges are an excellent opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. Iowa quilter Diane Murtha has embraced challenges fully and encourages us to do the same and experience the joy and personal satisfaction that comes from entering one. She’ll share an informative and humorous perspective on her quilt challenge experiences, including a trunk and slide show. She’ll discuss what she’s learned from the various challenges, other ways to challenge yourself, sources of inspiration, and most importantly how challenges can expand your quilting skills and inspire all your quilting! Visit her website at to learn more. Non-member fee: $10

April 1 – Wool Art by Anna Repke from Anna Winnette

Chillicothe fiber artist Anna Repke has painted with everything from acrylic to oil to water paints but ultimately ended up making beautiful art with wool! She’ll take us through the process of making felted-wool art and share a trunk show of pictures with amazing texture and depth.

May 6 – Special Event: Kristin Vierra, “Evolution of an Accidental Quilter”

Award-winning longarm quilter Kris Vierra will give us a trunk show of her beautiful quilts while telling us about how she got into quilting, all the mistakes she made along the way, and the valuable lessons she learned. Non-member fee: $10

May 7, 9:00 am to 12:00 p.m – 1/2-Day Workshop with Kristin Vierra, “So I Got It Pieced So Now What?”
Members: $25 Non-members: $30
Location: St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1427 W. Lake Ave, Peoria

Everyone has gotten to the end of a quilt pattern and read with dread the words “quilt as desired.” What exactly does that mean? This class will talk about different ways to quilt your quilts. What quilting patterns complement piecework vs. appliqué, straight lines vs. curves. We will also discuss quilting density, which type of thread to use and ways to plan out your quilting with minimal marking. Please bring your trouble tops and we’ll try and talk about how to quilt as many as possible. $12 kit fee includes custom design grid and dry-erase marker
Supplies: paper and pencil

May 7, 1:00 to 4:00 – 1/2-Day Workshop with Kristin Vierra, “Easy Background Fillers for Machine Quilting
Members: $25 Non-members: $30
Location: St. Paul Lutheran Church

This class will cover a variety of background fillers to use in your machine quilting, including but not limited to pebbles, swirls, flames, flowers, feathers, and McTavishing. This class will be in a lecture format and is suitable for all intermediate/advanced domestic and longarm quilters. Numerous examples will be available to see designs as they look quilted.
Supplies: paper and pencil

June 3 – Antique Sewing Machines by Beth Rylander of Feed Mill Fabric and Quilting

July 1 – Bags, Bags, and More Bags by Laurie Schierer

Our very own Laurie Schierer will be discussing everything bags—and y’all know she’s made a LOT! She even recently released her first bag pattern! From favorite patterns to supplies and hardware to tips and tricks, Laurie will cover it all. And, of course, she’ll have lots of examples to share with us.

August 5 – Special Event: Jessica Plunkett, “Exploring Background Colors”

With so many colorful and vibrant fabrics on the market, why do we tend to stick to a handful of colors to use for our backgrounds. Be inspired to make your backgrounds using your favorite bold colors. Jessica will share three main ways to integrate more colors in quilt backgrounds, and she’ll bring lots of examples to share and inspire.

September 2 – Quilt Show Recap

October 7 – Gems 30th Anniversary Party

Let’s get together and celebrate! Whether you’ve been around for 30 years or 30 minutes, we’ll take a look at where we’ve been and talk about where we’re going. We’ve got lots of fun things planned for this evening, and yes, there will be cake! Don’t miss it!

November 4 – Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

December 2 – Gems Christmas Party