February 3

We had a very successful guild board meeting at my house on Wednesday. The mood was positive and we got a lot of good suggestions. The discussions that arose made me curious about other guilds, non Massachusetts guilds, and I wanted to pose a few questions to my readers here...

1) What makes a good quilt guild?

2) Why do you want to belong to a guild, or if you don't, why not?

3) If you are in a guild, how do you/the guild organizers get other members to participate?

I could ask 10 more questions, and I might, depending on the response I get from the above 3. All comments and words of wisdom are welcome. Thank you~


SuzyQSparkles said...

I love the mosaic photo! What is it? A table / countertop?

Guilds... I joined my first (and only) guild about six years ago. No longer a member... moved away.

I've moved recently. I looked up all the local guilds online and put their meeting info on my Google Calendar. So. I know when they say they meet. Currently though, I haven't joined any because when I've got to meetings, I haven't been able to find them. So. points #1 & 2:

1) List your meeting and contact info online.
2) Make certain the online / printed / advertised meeting and contact info stays current.

When I went to guilds, it was for ideas, but also to meet people. I was involved in the Presidency of a 100+ guild in the Phoenix, Arizona area.

3) Fun programs with varied topics kept a good variety of people attending.
4) Time to talk and visit is also important.
5) Being open to new ideas is always good.

I've also started my own mini-groups, both in Arizona and now in Wyoming. What I look for in them is about 10-15 regular "members" with some sort of similar interest. We have met weekly and monthly, but no matter the schedule, I find it helps to:

6) Keep in touch online (though email, or better yet, something like a Yahoo! Group).
7) Be relaxed.

The smaller groups have been more of getting together to visit while working on your own ideas, although, occasionally, we'll share a skill or take a class together. The smaller groups are more fluid and informal, where as larger ones seem to be a little stricter.

That's all I can think of right now. If I come up with any more, I'll be sure to let you know!

SuzyQSparkles said...

8) ENTHUSIASM! It's contagious and critical to keeping a group going! Someone needs to have a vision for the group, or it just sort of fizzles out!

One of my favorite things about the Nimble Thimbles in Chandler, Arizona is there annual Birthday Tea, where "hats and gloves are required". Several people or teams volunteer to "host" a table. Then, they go to town decorating a table to seat 8 (so you need a volunteer per table). The whole table is decorated in a theme, they fetch the refreshments (provided by the guild) and serve the people at their table... lots of fun at the Annual Birthday Tea (held in May). :D

The Calico Cat said...

1. friendly - not too much "business." at the regular meetings. Have more than one option for meeting - day time for retirees, night time for workers - have special events (our of town teacher lectures) take place at night - it is a whole lot easier for a retiree to stay up late than it is for a worker to take off for quilting...

2. I moved & the guild was too cliqueish - it broke into 2 guilds before I joined.

3. Participation is not something that can be forced... Think about how many people visit your blog & never leave a comment... The best you can do is offer a lot of choices...

Kristy said...

Interesting questions... I have never belonged to a quilt guild, and I don't know why. I can see the appeal of the social support and inspiration, but I guess I focus more on finding that online (both through forums and just, say, browsing flickr photos). Probably not the best substitute in many ways, but one plus is that you can seek out which aspect of quilting is most interesting to you, rather than a more general meeting? Also, since I do a bunch of different crafts rather than focusing mainly on quilting, it probably doesn't occur to me to join (since I'm also not in a crochet circle or whatever else). Anyway, just offering more of an "outsider" perspective for you. :)

Sew Create It - Jane said...

I'm part of two quilting groups here in the UK. One is a Saturday meeting where we have sit and sew, demo tables (techniques and little patterns) a sales
table (a means for our members to sell off sewing related items..10% goes to the group), a merchant..usually a local shop, a raffle, and a used magazine box where members can donate their unwanted magazines and members can buy them for 25p. Then in the afternoon we have a speaker..sometimes a big name and sometimes a homegrown speaker.

The other is an evening meeting and they have a raffle, a speaker, and sometimes a few demo tables..depending on time. Both groups serve tea and coffee..which in my book is a must have.

I've just outlined briefly what we do, but if you want more info, please let me know.



Anonymous said...

I think that people join guilds for different reasons. a recent retiree may want commaderie that is missing now that they are not working. someone working or being a caretaker may want one night a month to relax for themselves. it is a chance to find friends who enjoy the same pasttime.
participation is often difficult because of this reason. people often think I cant organize a show or teach someone. I think if a guild has lots of what they call smaller groups called "bees" it is less formal and people are more inclined to share and participate.some really long lasting friendships are made this way.

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