NCN History

North Coast Needlers History
This article is part of a series to be presented throughout 2005 to commemorate North Coast Needlers’ 20th Anniversary year.

How We Came To Be                                                       by Susan Haviland
In the fall of 1983, a small band of quilters joined together through the Westlake Recreation Department's Adult Education, to take a class appropriately titled, "Quilt Guild".  As we met one another, we discovered an exciting, larger network of other quilting enthusiasts.  The classes were held on the third Monday of the month at Parkside Junior High School in Westlake and were conducted by Kathy Rickard, a former quilt shop owner from Kansas City.  Scheduling was often a problem due to school closings and we were shuffled from room to room within the school.  On one particular evening, our group met in a biology room and worked on our projects at lab tables.  With the termination of the class and school year, there was a strong desire to keep our group together and strive toward the goal of forming a strong and active quilting guild.
In June of 1984, the residential location of Sandi Luther's shop, Hoops 'N' Hollers, provided our group with a new meeting place.  Several new faces from the shop joined together with our class group.  "It’s twelve o'clock and do you know where your quilter is?" was a question often pondered by spouses and family members.  They had only to look in Sandi's basement where the time of night was often forgotten.  The same schedule of meeting on the third Monday of each month was followed.  An agenda of topics was established for each meeting.  Karen Ballash and Mary Ann Goory took on leadership and organizational roles to unify and assist our budding new quilt group in its growth.  Possible names for our group were discussed and the name, "Northcoast Needlers", was first introduced and soon after became our official name.  In those early days, we went by  "Northcoast" as one word and later changed this to our present day two words, "North Coast".  The change was made so that our name would better fit the initials “NCN”--- North Coast Needlers.
When Hoops 'N' Hollers moved into its Lorain Road shop in North Olmsted in July of 1985, our group moved too.  Publicity for the shop's opening and for our group brought more new faces to our first meeting in the shop in August.  Our first fund raising activity was a raffle for a purchased Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt that hung in Hoop 'N' Hollers in conjunction with the grand opening.  Later that December, a lucky winner was drawn and notified by telephone.
At our September 16th 1985 meeting, a constitution and by-Laws modeled after those of a sister guild, Keep Us In Stitches, were introduced.  Karen Ballash and Mary Ann Goory led our group in a discussion of the articles and changes were made.  Later that evening, those in attendance approved and adopted our new constitution and by-laws.  Committees were formed with members volunteering to serve on them, and annual dues of $12 were first collected.  North Coast Needlers became an established operating quilt guild at that meeting and this is why September 16, 1985 is our guild’s official “date of birth”.
After our October 1985 meeting, it became apparent that our new guild had outgrown our meeting space in Hoops ‘N’ Hollers and we moved to a conference room in the library of Westlake High School for November and December.  Our newsletter, The Scrapbag, premiered that November.  Nancy Plain was the very first Editor who composed and typed our then, one and a half page-long first issue.  No officers were elected for the 1985-86 year as it was decided that guild members needed time to get to know one another better.  Karen Ballash served as acting President and Mary Ann Goory served as Secretary-Treasurer during that time.  Our guild roster dated November 29, 1985, listed twenty-four members and new members continued to join from January to August of 1986.  In January of 1986, North Coast Needlers moved to the large meeting room of the newly built Porter Public Library that was to be our home for many years.
North Coast Needlers has ten original members from our 1985-86 year who have been in our guild for all of these past twenty years; they remain members on our present 2004-05 roster.  Four of these ladies are truly founding members, as they were active in the pre-NCN groups that met from 1983 to 1985, and they played significant roles in helping to establish our guild.  These ladies are:
    Mary Ann Goory, founding member        Joined September 16, 1985
    Susan Haviland, founding member          Joined September 16, 1985
    Gail Radke, founding member                 Joined September 16, 1985
    Meg Tew, founding member                    Joined September 16, 1985
    Susan Knight                                           Joined November 18, 1985
    Helen Cake                                             Joined February 11, 1986
    Gloria Shollenberger                              Joined March 11, 1986
    Maryann Stanley                                    Joined March 11, 1986
    Gini Baldi                                              Joined April 8, 1986
    Peggy Deierhoi                                     Joined April 8, 1986

Our Logo

At the December 1987 general meeting of North Coast Needlers, a challenge contest was announced to guild members to create a design for an official guild logo.  At our February 1988 meeting, drawings of mostly block designs were put on display and voted on by members.  Then-member, Annabelle Keller, a quilting and fabric-craft teacher and designer, had her design selected as the winner.  She was awarded a $20 gift certificate and a place in NCN history.  Today, Annabelle still resides in Lakewood and has remained active in quilting and craft design with several projects published in national magazines throughout the years.  Annabelle’s four-symbol design in white, green, blues and gold borders relates to North Coast Needlers in the following ways:

Spool   -    represents NCN's first guild-made
                  rafflequilt, “Scrapbag Spinning Spools”.
Tree     -    represents the Emerald Necklace
                  MetroParks that surround us.   
Sailboat –  represents Lake Erie and our north coast.
Ohio Star – represents the fact that we are an Ohio
                   founded and based guild.

After our new logo was selected, Mary Ann Goory drafted a 12-inch block pattern that was published as the-block-of-the-month in our April 1988 issue of The Scrapbag.  Mary Ann also gave an instructional talk at the meeting on how to piece the block.  Many guild members made blocks and eight of them were incorporated into hostess aprons that were sewn in early 1989 for our very first quilt show that April.  Constructing the aprons was great fun as a committee worked in Gloria Shollenberger’s Home Economics sewing room at Westlake High School.  For some, it was our first hands-on experience at using a serger machine.

The majority of logo blocks made by members were incorporated into our guild banner that is used at special functions.  In 1990, Virginia Pence and former-member, Terri Shipacasse, pieced ten blocks around a white center embroidered with “NCN”.  Our banner was proudly used for the first time to welcome visitors to our display in the Law House at Century Village during “In Celebration of Quilts” in May of 1990.


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