The history of INMQ as written by Karen Brown, professional machine quilter since 1994:
Inland Northwest Machine Quilters (INMQ) had its first meeting in February 2001 with approximately 45 quilters in attendance. They came from Wenatchee, WA, Sandpoint/Bonners Ferry, ID, Coeur d’Alene, ID and the general Spokane area. I contacted everyone I knew that was doing machine quilting and invited them to an organizational meeting.
My intention was to help local quilters gain more education in machine quilting. I had been to Machine Quilter’s Showcase (MQS) every year since it first started in 1997 and taken lots of classes. I knew that not everyone could do that and I wanted to provide a bit of that education and enthusiasm in my own local area.
The group met twice a year for the first couple of years. I encouraged smaller groups to meet in between our general meetings. The Sandpoint/Bonners Ferry group and a group from Wenatchee did meet, but that did not happen in the Spokane area.
As we became a little more organized, we elected our first officers. This group developed a Mission Statement and the Bylaws.
The group first started collecting membership dues in 2006-7. At that time in order to build up the treasury, we also charged a fee to hear the speaker. This was dropped in 2008 and the membership dues still remain at $20/year, collected in November for the following year.
At the annual Washington State Quilter’s show in October of every year, INMQ awards a ribbon in each quilt category for “Best Machine Quilting” and also a ribbon for “Best of Show Machine Quilting.” This was started in 2008 and the judging is done by INMQ members. Beginning in 2009 we have had a vendor booth at this show to sell our book of quilting patterns developed by the members and also to recruit new members to the group.
Below is a list of the speakers/teachers we have had present to our group:
Debbie Trevino, Jodi Beamish, Shannon Hicks. Pam Clarke. Karen Brown, Sally Terry, Jamie Wallen, Cindy Roth, Kim Stostenberg, Dianna Phillips, Myrna Ficken, Sharon Schamber, and Lisa Calle.
INMQ has emerged as a great venue for machine quilters to share their passion for quilting with their peers. It has also grown into something that I could have never imagined from that first meeting in my living room! Thank you to everyone that has served as a Board member of this group to bring us this far and Thank you to everyone that will serve in the future.