Our Guild History
          Jean Johnson and Ione Knopp started a little quilt group back in 1982. The original meeting location was
  in Jean's home in Ellenton.  As the members increased, meetings were held at Jean's Quilting Cabin, later
    known as Quilter's Haven and More.  The Guild was chartered by the National Quilters Association in 1983.
       The first officers were President  Jean Johnson, Co-President Ione Knopp,  Secretary June Short, and
  Treasurer Betty Chennault.
           The first guild meeting was held in March 1983, and they had the first Quilt Show that month at the
    County Fairgrounds in Palmetto.  A newsletter, "Manatee Patchworkers Chatter", was delivered in April.  The
    Guild renamed the newsletter "Patchwords" with its debut that May, along with the manatee as the logo for the
    Manatee Patchworkers.
           By 1984 there were 65 members, meeting in the evenings at the Courtyard.
           Our Guild today absolutely follows the pattern of those early years.  There were workshops, quilt shows,
    guest speakers, classes and cottage groups.  We are continuing the vision of those early founding members.
           As we approach 150 members, we enjoy the many aspects of the Guild that were begun all those years

    A few facts and firsts....
    •        Our first quilt show had a profit of $1,000.
    •        Georgia Bonesteel was a speaker in October 1984.  Each ticket was $5.00.
    •        Dues began at $12.00 for the year.
    •        July 1988--first Fat Quarter Raffle, "Novelty Prints".
    •        Patchworkers in 1989 created a Children's Handprint Quilt to be hung in the Wiggins Store Museum,
                   604 15th Street E., Bradenton.  Handprints of children were traced for a 6' x 6' quilt.        
    •        In 1990 Guild membership topped 100 with 102 members.
    •        Kaye Wood was a featured speaker at the 1991 quilt show.
    •        Our manatee logo "Patches"  has changed over the years.  Our current "Patches" debuted in 1993.
    •        The first Guild retreat was held on August 8 and 9, 1997.

Quilt Show Names Over the Years
1984--A Piece of Times
1985--A Star is Born
1986--The Pleasure is Ours
1988--Heart & Home
1989--Today's Treasures
1990--Among the Lilies
1991--Yesterday's Lessons - Tomorrow's Treasures
1992--Quilts of Pioneer Days
1994--For Heaven's Sake
1996--Scrap Magic
1998--Anniversary Rose
2000--Fall Fantasy
2002--A Quilter's Odyssey
2004--Reach for the Stars
2006--Keep the World in Stitches
2008--Quilting to the Rhythm of Life
2010--QuiltFest 2010
2012--Quilting by the River
2014 --Suncoast Quilt Expo
2016--Suncoast Quilt Expo