I think, JMHO, that some of the older quilters feel threatened by the young quilters. Young quilters learn faster than older quilters do. They can work faster. They don't know the rules (I know, there are no rules) so they do something unconventional and it's so cool and it scares some of the older quilters - maybe makes them feel they are being replaced. I have seen some quilts made by a young quilter in my nearby town and WOW!!! She is so great!!! I want to ask her how she thinks some of her ideas up. I could see where certain people would feel threatened by her and gossip about her and make her feel unwelcome in any group. She's outspoken and self assured and usually that comes with age. I like to see that in a young person. I wish I would have been as brave as she is when I was her age. Oh, what I could have accomplished in my life!
And people are always threatened by newcomers of any age. What if they are better than us? There is a pecking order in a clique and a new person interrupts that pecking order. They don't know the rules (I know, there are no rules) in the clique.
That is what I think it is about. A young person - a new person! Threatened!! JMHO! I don't belong to any groups. I am best friends with the owner of my LQS and on Tuesdays it's free quilting in the classroom, but I have never gone because there is a certain group that goes and the owner is working in the store. So I would be left out of conversations and feel uncomfortable. And I hate to feel uncomfortable. So, I sew alone.
I have a very good friend here on the board and my mentor is here on the board. I have a few friends online. I know it's not in person, but it's better than nothing. And I love my friend here on the board! We are so much alike. We do the same BOMs, like quilt kits and fabric lines, etc. We visit almost every day. And no cliques!!