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Thread: Guilds in new york

  1. #1
    Super Member brookemarie19's Avatar
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    I am looking into joining a guild but was wondering if anyone had been to the guilds in either Norwich or greene ny? I just dont know what I should really look for in a guild and worry that there might be some clique issues that I might want to try to avoid. Thank you guys for any help you can give me.

  2. #2
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    Hi Brooke,

    This is VERY LONG.

    I belong to a couple of different guilt guilds. I have found that each group has it's own personality. With that said, if you can afford to, I would join as many as you can. Attend the meetings over the course of a year. Then after attending several meetings in each group you can better determine which guild(s) where you want to keep your membership.

    I personally would never make a decision with just attending one meeting. Not every meeting will be the same in the same group for many different reasons, so attend as many as possible. It is good advice to plan to be at the meeting a half-hour early as often as possible. This allows for unexpected delays of all types. It also allows you plenty of time so that you can be relaxed. It allows for time to observe everyone and talk with other members. I have found that typically everyone tends to want to hurry home at the end of the meeting, or there may be a time limit for leaving the room. There may be some guilds that meet in the morning then go as a group, those who can, to have lunch and socialize. Other may meet in the afternoon, others in the evening, during the week or a weekend day, it all depends on the group.

    I have also changed which guilds I attended from year to year due to changing life events and schedules. I do try to keep up with the guilds I don't currently attend.

    Some guilds also have workshops and retreats. These are opportunites to get to know the members as there is more time together. Retreats can be a time set aside to either get a project started or finished or both. Some members take hand work, others don't get to sew so much as they may find helping others what they like to do, others just talk, and talk, and talk some more and find they don't get so much sewing completed. But fun is had by all for sure!

    Each guild typically sets up a schedule of meeting topics for the year. They should give you a copy of the yearly schedule, along with any guild outline of rules and a copy of the membership. This may be given to you in printed form as well as be sure to request to have this sent to you electronically. At the very least, be sure to get a phone number and email from one of the leaders or board members. Find out if they have a website. Ask how they contact members in case of meeting cancellation, especially for bad weather months. As you get to know members in each group you will be able to find where you feel most comfortable.

    One particular guild in my area is quite large. They decided several years ago to have at least one major quilting teacher during each year. The teacher generally puts on a trunk show for the guild, then has additional workshops which can be attended (for a fee). The trunk shows can be attended by non-members for a fee. The workshops are filled first by members of the guild, then opened to outside membership, if any additional slots are available. For this reason a membership in this guild can be a very useful investment.

    We also have a local guild that has an open sewing time every Sunday afternoon at a local hospital. They meet in a section of the cafeteria set aside for hospital staff. Since the staff is reduced on weekends there is plenty of room to setup and spread out to work. This is a great time to build friendships. Some of these weekly times are set aside to work on charity quilts by some of the members.

    There is another local guild that meets monthly in a room at a local church. The church has allowed the guild to have a locking cupboard in the room to keep supplies for monthly sewing meetings. Instead of paying for room rental, each year the group makes a guilt, sometimes two, as a group, then the quilt is raffled off by the church to the community. The funds for the raffle pay for the use of the room for the year. The raffle has typically brought more funds to the church than the cost of room rental would bring, so it's been a win-win situation for all.
    The material for the guilt has typically been donated by several members who have quite the stash. They have typically made scrappy quilts, some have had a color theme. It has surprisingly happened though that a guild member has won the raffle.....more than once! No, the raffle was not rigged.

    Another different guild, makes a yearly guilt or two, as a group at one of our monthly meeting programs, to raffle with tickets sold by the membership. The proceeds are then given one or more local outreach programs. The guild discussed and voted as a group which cause or programs it wanted to support.

    Another guilt guild is know for it's "Make It, Take It" nights.
    Some of these M-It, T-It nights have turned into group workshops or how-to nights as a meeting program.
    This has helped to build the membership.

    A different group started as a result of a store's BOM program. When the store closed the attendees for the BOM kept meeting and formed a quilting group.

    One particular time I was attending an ongoing monthly BOM class over several months. This BOM was in a town over an hour's drive away. Please note that I was not the only out-of-towner that attended these classes. One woman had a three hour drive but she also had family in town that she came to see each month. The BOM was held with different classes several days of the month at multiple store locations of a fabric chain store. So over the course of several months I ended up going to each of the stores. This was to get in all of the classes while working around my very busy schedule at the time. I even drove in a snow storm to get to my BOM class! It was for quilting, so I just HAD to be there. Fortunately the morning class was cancelled, as I was still driving to get there, but I had plenty of time for the afternoon class. For the return drive, I had rested while getting a bite to eat, and the roads were much better returning home. I returned home safely before dark. Oh what we do for our quilting enjoyment.

    Please know that if you are a new quilter that everyone started out not knowing anything. Some started early in their life, others later. Some work slow, some fast. If you don't know, then ask questions. If you have a question about a technique, then that may be an opportunity for someone in the guild to provide a "How-To" segment or meeting program. If you don't feel like asking a question in front of the whole group, then ask someone. If you're not satisfied with the answer, then ask someone else. Typically there are several members that are good at being the teacher type.

    Typically every guild has "Show and Tell" at every meeting. S&T does not have to be for totally finished projects. Some members will show a project from month to month as they are working on their project. This can inspire someone else to want to work on the same or similar project. Working together can help to be accountable and to stay on track. We all want to see other's projects. They tend to inspire us!

    Also I have tried to approach other new members to help make them feel welcome. This has helped in forming new friendships in each of these groups. If there is a local shop hop, ask a new member or anyone if they'd like to "hop" together. Some guilds have members that meet together in someone's home for group sewing time. Try to get in the habit of introducing yourself and talking to one new person in each group each meeting. Before long you'll have formed new contacts and friendships in each group.

    I have found that enjoyment and excitement in quilting will grow any group's membership. Get the membership to help at each meeting. Be sure to help leave the room as clean as before the meeting. One guild has to return the chairs and sometimes the tables to the storage area. Another just returns the room to the original setup.

    One particular guild is fortunate to have a large kitchen next to each of the two rooms that are used. Some months the meeting is in the smaller room, other times in the larger room, depending on if each room has been requested by another group. Each month, several members have signed up to bring the refreshments for the groups. Two different months, a summer picnic theme and the holiday meeting, the entire membership brings for the meeting. Watch out, when taking great dishes, you'll be asked to share the recipe!

    I know this has been quite lengthy but I just wanted to share my experiences and thoughts with you and I hope it helps as you look for a guilting guild. If you don't find a group to your liking think about starting a new group. Sometimes groups grow out of just two people getting together, then asking another and another and then over time you've got a new guilting group.

    I'm also hoping that guilting groups will help to grow those who enjoy guilting. It is important that we pass on this quilting gift to the younger generation. One particular women works with a group of college girls. They make fleece blankets for Project Linus. The college group sets their goal for the number of quilts they plan to make. Their group and goal is growing bigger year by year. I think they want to out-do the outcome of the year before. In this process, the love of quilting and helping others is being instilled in many younger quilters. Members of her quilt guild help to sew on the quilt labels so that every quilt has a label before giving to Project Linus.

    Quilting is not just for girls. Be sure to encourage the boys of your families. Making a quilt can start for them as a group project, so that all are encouraged to participate. You may need to do a one-on-one project with some boys. Have them to help, with your direction in each step of the quilt making process, from quilt design selection, colors and fabrics, and sewing, to the final quilt sandwich process. Their quilts can start out by being just tied. As their sewing skills improve, they can tackle larger and more complicated projects. Share with them some of our male quilt experts and their work. Let them be creative in their way, even if it's not what you would do or would like, it's their quilt, so let them!

    These times become teaching opportunities. A time to encourage math, color theory, hand-eye co-ordination, patience, planning, time management, etc. Help them to see designs in other places, like tiles on the floor. Designs can be found everywhere when you start to look.

    This can also be a time to instill doing for others. Start with letting them make a qult for themselves, then for someone else, then for themselves, etc. Start the spark of creation and then stand back..watch the children grow!

    Good Luck, enjoy the journey of guilting.

    Pam M

  3. #3
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    Brooke,

    I know there is a great LQS in Norwich and there is also a shop in Greene too. Did you ask at either shop about guilds? I'm sure there must be a few in the area. Let us know how you make out.

    Irish

  4. #4
    Super Member brookemarie19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishNY
    Brooke,

    I know there is a great LQS in Norwich and there is also a shop in Greene too. Did you ask at either shop about guilds? I'm sure there must be a few in the area. Let us know how you make out.

    Irish
    I was actually at sew nice this evening doing my first block of the month and totally forgot a out asking as I was so excited that she taught us a little about paper piecing tonight. We just did a simple p
    Two fabric piece with it but she explained it so well. I will have to ask b
    Her next time I go in as I plan on a trip up there again soon

    I hope to find the one in green also so I can see what they have at he store there

  5. #5
    Super Member brookemarie19's Avatar
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    Mil. Thank you so much for your input. Unfortunately I missed this months as they meet the first Thursday of each month so I will just have to wait until next Month to try them out

  6. #6
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    I've never been to the Creative Threads location in Greene but I have visited the one in Binghamton. It's a nice shop.

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