Peace River Quilters' Guild, Inc

A Florida Not For Profit Organization


The History Of The Peace River Quilters' Guild, Inc

Peace River Quilters' Guild came about through a chance meeting of ladies viewing a quilt show at the Port Charlotte Cultural Center in August of 1987. Exchanging names and phone numbers, they formed a small group which began meeting at the Punta Gorda Women's Club.

The Peace River Quilters' Guild was formally organized and the first official meeting was conducted in October 1987. Much growth occurred in the years that followed. The first quilt show, held in 1990 at the Women's Club was very successful. In 1992 the show was moved to the Charlotte County Memorial Auditorium, enjoying even greater attendance.

In 1993 the Peace River Quilters' Guild became incorporated. Subsequently, the biennial shows became known as the “Southwest Florida Quilt Festival”. Members decided to make the 1996 show a judged contest. Each successive show has continued to exceed expectations. The biennial shows were changed to odd numbered years to lower the competition with many other regional shows happening on the same schedule.

Education is a primary focus of the Guild purpose and in 1997 the Peace River Quilters' Guild conducted their first quilters' retreat. It was hailed as a smashing success and each subsequent retreat has contributed to our members' growth and enrichment. We have also been privileged to engage many national teachers for special workshops and lectures.

By December, 1997, the guild had grown to a point requiring relocation of the weekly meetings to Church of the Good Shepherd in Punta Gorda.

In the summer of 2004, the guild applied for and received tax-exempt status with the IRS. We are now designated as a 501(c)(4) corporation. That is in addition to our being a Florida not-for-profit corporation. The members annually donate more than 300 quilts to children, the elderly, and Veterans as well as donate monies to the local food banks.

In 2005 and 2007, the quilt shows were held at the Harold Avenue Recreation Center, because the Charlotte County Auditorium had been destroyed by Hurricane Charley in 2004. The 2009, 2011 and 2013 shows were held at the new Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda. The show was renamed to “Peace River Quilt Festival” to avoid confusion with another group who adopted our previous name for their show.

In 2010, the guild moved to its current location at Faith Lutheran Church, 4005 Palm Dr, Punta Gorda, which offers better lighting, parking, and storage facilities, as well as more space for our ever-increasing library materials.

The guild continues to attract new members and promote the art of quilting through classes, retreats, workshops and lectures. The Peace River Quilters' Guild is a growing and lively group, swelling to a membership exceeding 300 in 2009. We expect to have more wonderful and enriching times in the future.