Members of the Azalea Quilters Guild keep each other in stitches when they get together to quilt.

We do have fun, said member Barbara Perrault.

The guild started in 1983 with 12 members who met at Sandys Country Kitchen.

Marty Arrel and Louise Kindig came up with the idea. One of its main purposes was to get quilting started again. It was a lost art for many years, said Margaret Bloomquist.

Since it began, the guild has grown to 53 members from Brookings, Gold Beach, Crescent City, Klamath Falls and the Rogue River area.

They meet for a board meeting the first Monday of every month at the library at 1 p.m. They also meet the fourth Monday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Brookings Presbyterian Church to work on projects.

The oldest member is 80-year-old Bernice Hewitt and the youngest is 13-year-old Morgan Golding.

(The guild) is a place where members can go to express their talent and get with people who have a similar interest, said Carolyn Allen-McGuire, guild president.

We all learn from each other, she added.

Activities include basting for members personal projects, working on projects for bazaars and community donations, and giving scholarships.

The group provides a quilt for the chamber of commerce auction and a raffle quilt. Profits from the sale of raffle tickets go toward guild-sponsored workshops, activities and donations.

The quilt is raffled in May after the quilt show the guild holds each year at the Azalea Festival. Members usually attend all annual events such as bazaars and the home show.

In addition to working on quilts to be donated guild members have had several projects of their own. Darlene Woodward made six double wedding ring quilts several years ago under a deadline.

That was my most difficult job, she said. I quilt for others more than anything else, but if it has a deadline, I wont take it.

The guild does not do projects for individual community members.

Sometimes well ask at a meeting if anyone is interested, but we have too many of our own projects, Woodward said.

In addition to quilting, the guild also learns new techniques and information from teachers who conduct workshops.

Last fall, a teacher from England conducted a weekend quilting seminar, McGuire said.

Many of the guild members have been quilting for several years. Ruthie Mayer started quilting more often after her daughter passed away in 1991 and McGuire learned to quilt when she was 3.

Although many of the members are experienced quilters, people who want to learn to quilt are also welcome in the guild.

Non-quilters in the group come for the camaraderie. They have a lot of ideas and a lot of them get into quilting, McGuire said.

They just need to come and theyll learn what they need, she added.

Membership in the guild is open to anyone interested in quilting. Wed like to further quilting so its not a dying art, said Woodward.

Dues are $25 a year for adults and $12.50 for youths.

The guild next meets Monday, Nov. 26, for a work party from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Brookings Presbyterian Church, 540 Pacific Ave.

For information, call Woodward at (541) 469-2972.