Our History


Early in 1991, Ardith Winters, an enthusiastic quilter, offered some quilting classes to be held at Riordan Hall. These classes resulted in many new excited quilters, eager to learn more. Friendships grew and it was decided to form a “Club.” They decided to call themselves the Bella Vista Calico Cut-Ups Quilt Guild, with Ardith leading the group and Margeann Ahnquist as her assistant. When Ardith was out of the Village and Margeann found other commitments interfered, Betty Schmidt took over the reigns, keeping the group together, meeting regularly, and teaching each other as the group grew.

In the fall of 1992, Betty Schmidt insisted she be relieved of her duties, resulting in the first elected group of officers.

Mary Pumphrey was the 1993 President, and by the end of the year, the Guild had a total of 77 members.

In October of 1996, the Guild had its very first Quilt Show at the Boys and Girls Club in Bentonville. Mary Pumphrey and Dorothy Day were Co-Chairpersons of the successful show.

In 1997, with 149 members, we had outgrown our meeting room at Riordan Hall, and moved to Sengel Hall, the large fellowship hall at St. Theodore’s Episcopal Church.

In 1998, we had our second successful Quilt Show. Linda Hurt was the Chairwoman. Our donation quilt was a fantastic fund raiser.

In 1999, two “work days” produced 80+ quilts for charity.

In 2000, a third superb Quilt Show was held. The donation quilt was such a great fundraiser that we were able to give $1,500 each to the Bella Vista Library and the Village House and add to our education fund.

In 2001, about 100 charity quilts were made at the “work days.”

Our fourth Quilt Show was held at Riordan Hall in October 2002.

In 2003, we had many wonderful speakers and workshops. Charm Squares were started and the Block of the Month was a wonderful Christmas quilt. The Fifth Monday workdays made a total of 104 quilts and 45 tote bags that were given to various charities. A quilt was made for the Bella Vista Animal Shelter for them to use as a fundraiser donation quilt. This year our Guild hosted the Regional Quilt Congress. For the second year in a row, we participated in the Holiday Fantasy by decorating a tree.

In 2004, we were blessed to have speakers and workshops that presented us with new information, motivation and challenges. This year’s Block of the Month was a Mystery Garden Wall Hanging. The Challenge theme was “Up, Up, and Away.” Many participated in the Charm Squares exchange. The “Secret Sisters” were active all year long. The Fifth Monday workdays made a total of 72 quilts, and 47 new member fabric folders, and 35 tote bags were given to the Women’s and Children’s Shelter. Thirteen small groups were active within our Guild. We hosted a “Quilt Turning” fundraiser and gave The Village House, Bella Vista Library and our guild’s Educational Fund each $550. Our donation quilt was completed for the 2005 Quilt Show.

We received 37 new members in 2005 and had 64 visitors at our meetings during the year. The block of the month was a Mystery Wall Hanging. The Challenge for the year was 16” pillow covers which were given to Restoration Village. In 2005, the Fifth Monday Workday quilters produced 124 quilts which were donated to area charities and hurricane victims. The highlight of our fourth Quilt Show was a drawing for a beautiful donation quilt. The Quilt Show was held in September and brought in $3,150 which was donated to The Bella Vista Library and The Village House. Secret Sisters, Charm Squares exchange and small groups rounded out our Guild activities for the year. A new website was instituted and can be accessed at www.calicocutups.org for up-to-the-minute news about the Guild.

We ended 2006 with 206 members. Thirty-four new members joined throughout the year and we had 79 visitors at our meetings. We saved hundreds of dollars by making the monthly newsletter available on our website each month (www. Calicocutups.org) and only mailing it to those without Internet access. The resulting quilts from our block of the month Mystery Quilt were shown at our January 2007 meeting. The Challenge for the year was a 12” by 36” holiday table runner. The fifth Monday Workday quilters produced 120 quilts which were donated to the Sunshine School, Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross, area hospitals and the Women’s Shelter. They also produced 4 totes and 15 new member bags. We contributed 18 quilts plus 339 blocks to the Quilts of Valor project for wounded soldiers coming out of ICU in Germany and received recognition for our contribution of cancer turbans to NARTI.

One of the greatest moments of our 2007 year was when we exceeded making and sending 100 Quilts of Valor to wounded service personnel overseas and in the United States. Our other projects did well, also. Our third Thursday workdays met at Village Quilting and supplied over 200 quilts to area shelters, police and fire departments, Habitat for Humanity homes and other area charities. We also made cancer turbans again this year. Our Block of the Month was variations on the card trick pattern with members showing their finished (or nearly finished) projects at our January 2008 meeting. The Challenge was to make a 22” square wall hanging from a bag of unusual (a nice way of saying ugly) fabric. We hosted a successful Card Party as a fundraiser early in the year and began working in earnest on the Quilt Show scheduled for April 2008. We added 43 new members, ending the year with 207 members and a move to a new meeting place — First United Methodist Church of Bella Vista. Donna Roche was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for her inspiring leadership of the Quilts of Valor effort in NW Arkansas.

“Spring into Quilting” was the theme of our successful 2008 Quilt Show, with 80 of our members volunteering to help make it possible. We had 467 paid attendees and raised (after expenses) over $7,600. Best of Show went to our own Mary Pumphrey. Our accomplishments for the year included 269 donation quilts and 305 Quilts of Valor. The Challenge theme was “A Tisket, A Tasket Basket”. Our Block of the Month was red/white/blue “Star Thangled Banner” blocks. Maggie Gorishek received the Certificate of Appreciation for her tireless efforts in sewing for charity.

In 2009 the block of the month emphasis was using different techniques; “Out of the Box” Challenge focused on trying something new with method/pattern/or fabric. We mourned the loss of 2 members: Edie Idleman, and Linda McKenzie. Besides national speakers/classes, some of our “own” presented fabulous programs! Along with Nytetyme Quilters, Calico Cut-Ups hosted Quilt Congress with 300 participants. Some of our members began planning next year’s Quilt Show. The year ended with 484 Quilts of Valor since 2006 (plus presentation pillowcases, cooling neck scarves) sent from our region since the inception of the nat’l program, to wounded service-people in Iraq, Afghanistan and wounded being treated at the Fayetteville VA Hospital). Our Fall Luncheon hosted a group from Grove OK Quilt Guild and we brought canned goods to be donated to local food banks. Several new small groups were formed. By year end, local charities (including Habitat for Humanity) were the recipient of 377 comfort quilts (plus turbans, pillowcases and tote bags). The Calico Cut-Ups Certificate of Appreciation was given to Anita Bootz for her energetic efforts to lead members in the production of hundreds of donation quilts.

The theme for 2010 was UFO/USO’s. Participating members reported 1,890 UFO/USO’s — 767 were completed during the year! Several officers attended the Heartland Quilt Network annual meeting in Kansas City. BOM was an Arkansas theme, and the Challenge was quilted Christmas stockings. The board agreed to take necessary steps to incorporate and seek 501(c)3 status, which was accomplished by year’s end. A 1/2-yard Fabric exchange was held at each meeting. Books in the guild library were entered into a software program that can be accessed by guild members. Our quilt show, Ozark Memories, was in April. Besides participating in Quilts of Valor, 320 comfort quilts and 610 pillow cases were made and donated to charity. Three wreaths were made and entered in the “Wreaths for Charity” display at Riordan Hall. Pat Coppola was awarded The Calico Cut-Ups Certificate of Appreciation for her generosity in letting us use her quilt shop sewing room for our charity projects.

“The Year of Education” was the 2011 emphasis, with demonstrations of various techniques and tools held prior to each guild meeting. Calico Cut-Ups celebrated its 20th anniversary with a High Tea Anniversary Party at our May meeting. Members dressed up, were served finger sandwiches and real tea in china cups by the guild’s Past Presidents, followed with a history of the guild by Ardith Wharry. Block of the Month was various forms of applique and the Challenge was a seasonally-themed wall hanging. Over 300 quilts were made and donated to charities by guild members and small groups. Quilts of Valor were made and sent to our troops. Our November luncheon included 17 members of our ‘sister’ guild, Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, attending. In August, the guild had a sewing machine fair with vendors of various types of machines demonstrating them to our members. Many interesting speakers enlightened and inspired us during the year. Plans for our 2012 quilt show, “There’s No Place Like Home” started, with an Opportunity Quilt, Wall Hanging and Table Runner completed and touring to sell tickets. We lost one member this year, Shawna Peterson, daughter of Caroline Searls, and ended the year with 186 members.

2012 was the year of “Coming Home”, highlighting volunteerism; each member was challenged to assist with or make one Donation Quilt and one Quilt of Valor during the year. Most members met the challenge and many made a few each month! In addition to our “regulars”, we started donating quilts to two new groups: Bentonville Manor Nursing Home and Elizabeth Richardson Center. Our donations exceeded 270 quilts this year; our Quilts of Valor program has completed and sent or delivered a similar number of quilts to wounded soldiers overseas, local veterans and the Veterans Hospital in Fayetteville. Small groups were very active with many new groups forming: Sewing for Charity, Mini Masterpiecers, Calico New Bees, Go Getters and Mod Monets. We had our successful quilt show in April, “There’s No Place like Home” which had a record attendance of over 600 people. We donated$1,000 each to Bella Vista Animal Shelter, Bella Vista Courtesy Van and Village House from proceeds of ticket sales for our opportunity quilt, wall hanging and table topper. Monthly meetings averaged over 100 members who enjoyed many interesting presentations. Our wonderful luncheons were hosted by our members from Iowa (May) and Minnesota (Nov.). We honored Yvonne Perry with a Certificate of Appreciation for her work of embroidering all the labels for our Donation Quilts. Many members volunteered in the most amazing ways for the various projects that were completed in 2012!

2013, “Traditions, Old & New” found us with basically the same Board Members as 2012 but with the official addition of an Assistant to the First Vice President position.  This position assists the First Vice President with her membership duties and is in training to fill the First Vice President position the following year.  The guild invited members of our sister guild, “Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees”, to our May Luncheon (instead of the usual November Luncheon) which was hosted by our members from Illinois.  We had a successful field trip to Brookfield in May and a new activity, “Quilt Olympics” was held in November.  Many strip quilts were completed for donation during the meeting while members competed for fastest times making half square triangles and flying geese.  Our beloved Scrap Bag Editor, Lynda Hutfles, moved back to Kansas and Carol Bourque stepped into her place without hesitation.  Membership reached 183 this year.  The Opportunity Quilt, Wall Hanging and Table Topper for 2014’s quilt show were all completed and members paid for their ticket packets as they picked them up for the first time.  Annual dues will increase to $25 with no half year discount beginning with 2014.  Over 300 quilts, pillowcases, tag alongs and fleece blankets were donated to 12 organizations and over 200 Quilts of Valor were completed and distributed this year. 2017 The year started with Stash for Cash and Ruler Demos. Many members brought their unused items to sell. It was decided more time was needed to shop and visit on this day. February 20 meeting, Grace was out of the state attending to her mother’s estate and Laurie did a great job filling in. Members demonstrated various quilting techniques. Before the meeting the workshop was Fidget Quilts and Pillowcase Dresses. The vendor was Gentry Quilts, Gentry AR. February 23 – 26 was the guild’s first annual quilt retreat with Bittersweet Quilt Shop, near Joplin, MO. March 27 meeting, Laurie filled in again for Grace. The program was Wonderful World of Wool presented by Brenda Patterson, Whistlestop Wool, Joplin, MO. The workshop before the meeting was Beginning Wool Applique. Our vendor was The Sewing Shop, Springdale, AR. April 24 Grace was back. The program was Binding presented by Jane Bromberg. The workshop before the meeting was Finishing Up! A great class on different bindings. The vendor was Sew n Sew Quilt Shop, Pea Ridge, AR. May 22 May luncheon at 11:30. Program Laura Ingalls Wilder: Wisconsin to Missouri by Judy Wampler. Luncheon was a potluck. Lots of yummy foods. The vendor was Sharpening on Site of NWA. June 26 Laurie filled in again as Grace was out of state. Program was Sixty Degrees of Inspiration by Kelly Ashton. A workshop before the meeting was Tumbling Blocks. The vendor was Kelly Ashton. July 17. The date was changed due to building availability. The program was Basic Maintenance for your Sewing Machine by Raymond Hill. The workshop was Basic Sewing Machine Repair by Raymond Hill. The vendor was Bittersweet Quilts, Joplin, MO. August 28 Program Alice McElwain presented Crazy Quilts. The workshop before the meeting was Crazy Quilts. Vendor was Country House Quilting, Pea Ridge, AR. September 25 Program Tree of Life by Trisch Price. The vendor was Trisch Price. The 6 hour Tree of Life workshop was on September 26. October 23 Barn Quilts Across the Midwest by Suzi Parron. The workshop was before the meeting – Barn Quilt Painting. The vendor was Sew in Heaven,Fayetteville, AR. November – No meeting. December 11. The date was changed to avoid conflict with Christmas. Guild Christmas party catered by Papa Mikes and installation of 2018 officers. 2017 was the first year for Kid’s Kamp. We had 2 sisters make their first quilts as well as making tissue holders. Special Projects donated 129 quilts to the following organizations – 12 quilts to Bella Vista Village House, 27 quilts to Child Advocacy, 9 quilts to Habitat for Humanity, 9 quilts to Pathfinders, 58 quilts to Children’s Shelter, 14 quilts to Ronald McDonald House and 29 pillowcases to Ronald McDonald House. Small group, Silver Needles, made 31 comfort quilts for paramedic firemen to distribute in crisis situations. They also made 7 full size quilts for the firemen’s beds at the new Fire Station #4 in Bella Vista. Small group, Thoughtful Symbols, made 17 quilts for the Ozark Guidance Group Therapeutic Day Treatment program. Calico Cut-Ups ended the year with 149 members. This was a very sad year for the guild. We lost 3 of our members. In June, we lost our secretary, Barb Vaz. Barb was a fairly new quilter, but was the first on to step up when we needed something done. Delores Sernett was known for her beautiful baby quilts she brought for show and tell. And Barb Thorson was a wonderful quilter. She could look at a quilt and go home and make it. She belonged to Silver Needles for years and was a long-time member of the guild. They will truly be missed.