Everyone's comments about guilds have been interesting to read. I have had a positive and a negative experience.
In VA I belongs to Quilter's Unlimited. http://www.quiltersunlimited.org/index.htm It is a HUGE guild with over 1000 memebers, so it is divided into 12 chapters. There were day and night meetings on different days of the week, in different locations and each chapter was totally different. The chapter that I belonged to met on Tuesday mornings-the first week of the month was a business meeting, the third Tuesday was a program meeting, the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays were sit-and-sew. There was show and tell every week. They had guest speakers, block of the month activities, classes, demos, workshops, retreats, and bus trips to area quilt shows, etc. Everyone was really supportive and willing to help. I found that the more I attended and met people, the more fun I had and the more I got out of it. It was a great group of ladies and I had a good experience. The guild even has a big non-juried quilt show every year and all the quilts in it belong to guild members-they have LOTS of vendors, too-it is a fun show.
So, when I moved to GA I knew I wanted to find a guild to meet fellow quilters, make new friends and have that same companionship I had in VA. My closest guild was 30 miles away, but I joined and attended the once a month meetings. There were about 75 members and most of the ladies were in their 70s and 80s (no offense to anyone here :D ). They had all been friends for years, were very set in their ways, and did not care about sharing their love of quilting with "an outsider". Even though I did not feel very welcome, I decided to keep attending (we have retired here and I need to make the most of this) and even volunteered for a job with their upcoming quilt show. When some family problems arose and I was not able to attend meetings for several months in a row, no one called to find out why and when I returned, no one even noticed I had been gone. I found this very disheartening because they spent part of every meeting talking about this person and the other's health, etc. I finally gave up and quit.
That is why I turned to this message board. You are now my guild. We may not go on retreats together, but the show and tell is great and you cannot beat the support.
Still, I would encourage anyone to try a guild, if they have the opportunity. Most quilters are wonderful and would welcome you with open arms.