HISTORY OF THE
Joplin Area
TOWN & COUNTRY QUILTERS

In the early 80's Betty Bridges ran a quilt shop in Webb City Missouri. She offered all types of quilting classes and had a large clientele. When she closed the shop, she invited several customers to her home to discuss forming a monthly meeting of interested quilters. Approximately twelve members continued meeting in each other's homes for a salad luncheon and to learn more about quilting. Betty continued to lead the group presenting a new quilt block monthly for the members to make, ending up with a sampler quilt.

After several months the group decided to come up with a name and elect officers. October 1985 was the first official meeting of the Joplin Area Town & Country Quilters at Betty Bridges farm near Purdy. They continued meeting, and annually in October they would have a quilt show for showcasing their work. Local quilt clubs were also invited to bring their quilts to show. After four years it was decided to change the show to every other year.

The Joplin Area Town & Country Quilters made a quilt every year that served as a fundraiser for the group. In 1991, the donation quilt was accepted to the National Quilt Show in Paducah, Kentucky. The pattern, "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight" was made in shades of green with a cream background. Additionally, each year a group or charity was selected to support. Quilting supplies were given to area nursing homes for residents interested in quilting, and quilting books were purchased and donated to the Webb City Library. As the membership numbers increased, the guild outgrew meeting in homes, and has met at various locations over the years. Current members are grateful to be meeting at the Peace Lutheran Church on North St. Louis in Joplin Missouri.