Back in 2002, a group of women headed by Joan Lucas, gathered frequently to sew, knit, quilt, and craft together. They began to wonder if there was enough interest among local crafters to form a quilt guild. Posters placed around the community, advertising, and word-of-mouth among friends soon showed that it was time to formally create a guild, and by May of 2003 there were 32 women who officially formed the Lake Oconee Quilt Guild.
Because there was no initial funding to hire professional speakers, board members took turns teaching a program at each meeting focusing on a particular basic technique. Occasionally a quilt shop owner would present a program at no charge in exchange for selling their fabrics at discount prices. As the guild grew, they were always looking for ideas and would often visit other guilds which resulted in adding features like the raffle table, library, and Bee groups.
By 2007, the Raffle Quilt was introduced as a fundraiser, and the following year brought the guild's first annual Challenge quilt. Each meeting saw beautiful quilts displayed by members during Show & Tell time. Then, in 2008, the guild's first quilt show was held and the community was invited to view the many quilts on display.
The 2008-2009 year was packed with quilting activity among it's 81 members. Charity quilts were made for Circle of Love as well as Project Linus, and 130 quilts were donated to Alliance for Smiles. The first "aMAYzing Auction" was held in May 2009 that began a semi-annual guild event from which proceeds went toward providing future programs.
Since those early days the Lake Oconee Quilt Guild has thrived with talented quilters who have been willing to share their knowledge and skill with not only each other, but also with the community. We are proud to have among our membership national award-winning quilters and professional quilt instructors. Today the guild has 100 members and continues to meet the first Tuesday of each month, September through June.