According to Pat Lee, Historian

Although I can find no documentation, I do remember attending a quilt show and seminar held in 1983 at the Sheraton Hotel on Veterans Blvd., in Kenner, LA. This is where Marion gave me a list of ladies who might want to form a chapter. Thus, Cotton Pickin’ Quilters Guild was formed.

The organization was incorporated under Louisiana State Article of Incorporation issued January 17, 1984.

The association was organized after the 1982 National Quilting Association show at De La Salle High School in New Orleans as an outgrowth of the (NQA) as what was to be known as Region III, or the Gulf States Region.

“The purpose is to create, stimulate and perpetuate that art form brought to America by the colonists and which has spread to all corners of our country. Interest in our early heritage has continued to grow and Gulf States Quilting Association (GSQA) plans through its shows, seminars, lectures and workshops to continue to promote this growth.”

There seems to have been some problems with the NQA Regions. The GSQA board and NQA began questioning the usefulness of the regions. After some exchange of correspondence, in April of 1986 the National Quilting Association sent three representatives (Paul McDade, Vice President; Helen Thompson. Show Judges’ Chairperson; and Judy Elwood, Masters’ Guild Chairperson) to a board meeting of GSQA to exchange information about development of the regions and the communication problems that therein exist. The NQA called a meeting of the GSQA general membership for April 5, 1986 to discuss the matter. In September of 1986 NQA wrote to GSQA advising that they would divest itself of a structure for regions. Thus, GSQA became our own separate organization, but still a chapter of NQA.

GSQA Highlights – Fran Fletcher, Historian

  • 1984, GSQA published a book of 12 in blocks entered from members as original designs. Karen Alexander of Metairie was the winner of the logo contest & name of newsletter contest - QUILT TALK.

  • 1987 George Gier won the opportunity quilt. His wife Natalie was a member of Sunbeam and Fat Quarters both guilds established early in the history of the organization.

  • 1988 June Ryker came September 8-11 to teach the Curved Log Cabin Technique.

  • 1989 GSQA was officially designated NQA Chapter #440-LA. Jean Ray Lowry won Opportunity Quilt.

  • 1991 Yvonne Ganucheau won the donation quilt. Lotto Blocks was started and they sold for 50 cents per kit.

  • 1992 there was a Jean Kimball Workshop on Applique from October 9-13. The Madame Butterfly Opportunity quilt was won by Ryan Thibodaux Napoleonville, La.

  • The Winner of 1993 Opportunity Quilt was Joann LeBlanc.

  • 1994 the Marion Maerke Scholarship was awarded for the first time.

  • 1995 the Opportunity Quilt was won by Rita Norton.

  • 1996 was a busy year with two workshops Gabrielle Swain Workshops in January and Flavin Glover workshop in July. Then in 1997 a workshop was given by Gail Valentine.

  • 1998 saw the 15th year for seminar "A Gathering of Friends". It was with sorrow we saw the passing of founder Marion Maerke July 17 1919-Aug 2, 1998

  • 2001 was a busy year as we exceeded 1000 GSQA Members and GSQA launched the website. Charlotte Jackson won the Opportunity Quilt.

  • Jan 1, 2005 dues were increased to $20.00 Betty Salassi won the Opportunity Quilt that year.

  • 2008 we celebrated our 25th year with a party at seminar in Baton Rouge.

  • January 26 was exciting as GSQA hosted a Ricky Timms seminar in Kenner, La.

  • 2013 brought the Diamond Challenge Quilts. Michael Young won Viewer’s Choice & Therese Springer won Best Interpretation at the quilt show.

  • 2014 has been busy with Judy Niemeyer Classes in April and GSQA held our first official retreat in Utica Mississippi from September 5-7, 2014