GEMS 2021 Programs & Speaker Workshops

6:30 pm at St Paul Lutheran Church

1427 W Lake Avenue, Peoria, IL 61614

Gems Monthly Meetings:  Doors Open at 5:30 pm


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 


2022 Programs and Special Events

Laurie Baker and Sue Krause

Interested?  Questions?  Use the “Contact Us” 

January 5: Stephanie Hackney (Zoom) Batting: What’s Inside Matters

Hobbs has manufactured high-quality quilt batting for hobbyist, commercial, art and show quilters since 1978. Stephanie Hackney, director of sales and marketing for Hobbs, will present a program that offers quilters and other creatives a chance to learn all about batting: what batting will give you the results you’re looking for; the pros and potential cons of each type; recommended battings for specific uses; proper use and care of battings and quilt; and tips and trick for best results. You might even WIN FREE BATTING!

February 2: Kristin Echols (Zoom) A Lesson in Every Quilt

Kristin will show us more than 40 of her quilts and describe the lessons she learned in making each one. Over half of the quilts were made using the quilt-as-you-go method, but she’ll also show other quilts and techniques she’s tried over the years, including the ugliest quilt she’s ever made! Join Kristin later in the month to learn the quilt-as-you-go technique while making a disappearing four-patch quilt that’s perfect for precuts.


Sign up at the December meeting or via Paypal on the Gems website ($1 additional fee when payment is made through Paypal)

February 11 and 12, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Zoom)
Disappearing 4-Patch Quilt-As-You-Go workshop with Kristin Echols (see website for photos) Members: $30
Non-members: $40

This large disappearing 4-patch block quilt will highlight your favorite layer cake or print fabrics. Each oversized block is quilted individually then joined together with a special sashing technique. You can even make the quilt reversible! This is a great way to quilt larger quilts in smaller, manageable sections. You will learn everything you need to complete your quilt during the two class sessions.

           Quilt Front                                         Quilt Back

March 2: Jan Doyle (Zoom)
Quilts and the Underground Railroad: Fact or Fiction?

Were quilts used in the Underground Railroad? Is it a compelling story or a historical fact? Jan Doyle of Wyse Works ( will share the known facts and discusses the folklore, and then you can decide.


April 6: Anna Repke

Wool Art

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 4

Story Hour

Bring your creative mind and a writing utensil because YOU will be part of the program tonight. Plan on a fun evening getting to know your fellow members while enjoying some yummy treats.


 June 1

Pillow Talk

Pillows are a quick way to refresh your décor without spending a lot of time and money. They’re also a great way to try a technique you may not be familiar with. We’ll talk about different pillow styles, how to achieve perfect corners, and different ways to make a pillow back. You’ll have a soft spot for these décor items by the end of the night!


July 6: Beth Rylander

Antique Sewing Machines

Do a little time traveling with Beth as she shows you how sewing machines have changed through the years, as well as some of the history behind them.


August 3

Game Night

It’s THE PRICE IS RIGHT, quilter’s version! Study up on your quilting knowledge, because it could make you and your team a winner. There will be prizes!


September 7

Quilt Show Wrap-Up


 October 5: Mary Kerr ($10 non-member fee)


Mary Kerr is an award-winning quilter, teacher, speaker, author, and quilt appraiser. She has been a professional in the quilt and fiber-arts industry for over 30 years and brings her depth of knowledge and joy to the quilting community. Join her as she shares her collection of quilts that feature modern quilts that were created using vintage textiles in new and exciting ways.


Sign up at an in-person meeting or via Paypal on the Gems website ($1 additional fee when payment is made through Paypal) or contact Laurie Baker at to pay by check via snail mail.

 October 6, 9:00 a.m. to 43:00 p.m.

Wonky Star: Improv with a Vintage Twist (photo can be found on Mary’s website under Services>Workshops)

Embrace the magic as you’re given permission to combine the love of vintage with a fun modern aesthetic. Work with vintage textiles to create a wonky star with lots of negative space for modern quilting designs. The workshop is packed full of tips for working with vintage fragments and ways to showcase these treasured pieces. Students are encouraged to bring their own vintage blocks and pieces or they may purchase a kit of their choice in class (pricing information to come at a later date). Finished sizes will vary.

Location: St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1427 W. Lake Ave., Peoria, IL

Members: $45

Non-members: $55


 November 2

Last-Minute Gift Ideas

As quilters, we want to make ALL the gifts, but time is always at a premium this time of the year and somehow we find ourselves empty handed at the eleventh hour. Never fear! This program will give you plenty of options for handmade gifts that will minimize the hurrying and scurrying and still give the recipients plenty to swoon over.


 December 7

Christmas Party

The information we have is yet to come,

But rest assured we’ll have some fun!

So keep an eye on this space and soon you will see,

What’s on the menu and who the entertainment will be.