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Thread: How to Start A Local Quilting Club - Not the Usual Question

  1. #1
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    I would love to participate in a local quilting club and I'm not asking about how to get one together. That's the easy part. What I'd like to know is what to do at the first meeting?
    What about subsequent meetings?
    I'm a quilter, but certainly not advanced and maybe not even intermediate so I'm not the one to be running things!
    And, I am a very undiciplined quilter. I make art quilts and lap quilts the way I want to, following no particular design.
    How do I get someone to take over leadership - I don't want to run it myself.
    Help!

  2. #2
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    I would suggest several options:

    1. Find a quilt guild to attend in your area.
    2. Find a guilt guild online. (QB)
    3. Find another quilter who is good at leadership and help them
    to start a group.
    4. Make a list of what you'd like a guilt group to offer so that
    you can know what you're looking for.
    5. Not be concerned with a local guilt guild or other quilters.

    Pam M

  3. #3
    Charity Quilter's Avatar
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    Excellent ideas Pam!!!

  4. #4
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Thanks, Pam. Would you mind clarifying a few things? (I'm a little dense!)

    Do you mean to find another quilt guild in my area instead of starting one? There are two that I know of, but they are a bit of a distance away. The closest one seems to focus on making little frou-frou projects from pricey kits they sell and these just aren't my cup of tea. I haven't been to the other, which is further away.

    As far as not being concerned with a local quilt guild or other quilters - I am essentially looking to befriend others who share my interest on a local level. I'd love to share ideas and techniques and enjoy the companionship of other quilters - so frankly I'd rather not forget about it! And that is the primary reason why I'm not terribly interested in an online guild. I have lots of quilting friends, but they've moved away and are scattered all over the country. It would be lovely to connect locally.

  5. #5
    Super Member SuzyQ's Avatar
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    Good luck on getting someone to take over leadership LOL. In any group I've ever been it .... if you had an idea you just volunteered I quickly learned to NEVER have an idea

    Susan

  6. #6
    Super Member leaha's Avatar
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    Krystya, I know what you mean by having hands on buddies, there is nothing like it. I would love to get some thing going here too. I started a guild back about 20 years ago, the first meeting, one gal showed up, second meeting she and another gal showed up, 3ed meeting we had 4 of us, it took us a year to get 8 of us to meet regular. But a year and a half later we gave our first quilt show, that little group has grown and they still give a show every year, and now are doing 2 shows a year. the one thing I would sugest is to make a mission statment and maybe post that so others will have an idea of what kind of group you are starting, and don't worry if it is slow to start. Just stick with it!
    PM me and I can give you ideas I did, that might help.

  7. #7
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milp04
    I would suggest several options:

    1. Find a quilt guild to attend in your area.
    2. Find a guilt guild online. (QB)
    3. Find another quilter who is good at leadership and help them
    to start a group.
    4. Make a list of what you'd like a guilt group to offer so that
    you can know what you're looking for.
    5. Not be concerned with a local guilt guild or other quilters.

    Pam M
    Hey Pam!! Was number 2 a Freudian slip??? hahahahaha
    Cuz, I'm guilty of being on here way too much :mrgreen:

  8. #8
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I was contacted or contacted a couple of women on this board that live in my area. We met, then all 3 of us met together. Then we invited more to attend. We decided early on 1) how often to meet, 2) whether we bring food (duh, of course we do!), 3) what we want to do, and 4) what the name of our group would be.

    So far we've taught more than quilting!!! All of us have quilted for some time, so we have taught how to make Christmas ornies out of fabric and how to make the folded star potholder. We always bring show and tell stuff. We're into our 3rd or 4th meeting. It's been a blast....meeting more people of like interests and getting out of the house. We've shared patterns, ideas, and encouragement.

    I say, go for it -- maybe put an ad in Craigslist or the newspaper or nickle ads....and open up your home to others. Oh, ours has gotten so big we've found a neutral place to have the meetings!!!!

  9. #9
    Charity Quilter's Avatar
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    I started out in the Spring of 2008. By Fall of 2008 I was ready to share my love of charity quilting with others and founded TCCQM. We are now in the Spring of 2011 and I have.....drum roll....please.......4 locals, including myself. Statewide, I have members that send quilts, fabric, batting etc...on a regular basis. Then I have members we never hear from.

    Locals meet in my home now....prior to that we met at the local library. As nice as that was because they had all the bells and whistles~~tables/chairs....it was hard on me loading up and unloading all of the supplies, fabric, batting, cutting boards, containers of supplies, sewing machine, ironing board, iron....then after class loading everything back up in the car and unloading at home.....whew....... I'm tired just thinking about it. . . . . .you get the picture.

    I went on craigs list looking for volunteers and local papers and word-of-mouth. You have to be persistant......DON'T give up! It is so rewarding in the end. We are not at the end, we are just beginning to bloom and to share our heartfelt love of charity quilting. I'll not stop until the Lord takes me home because it was Him that flooded my heart with compassion for making quilts for children in need/abused/neglected/and-or abandoned or sick!!!

    Charity Quilter Dar

  10. #10
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Dar, I'd love to incorporate charity quilts as one of the projects. A dear friend who moved away had a prayer/crochet group at our parish for years and they made lap blankets for the nursing home. I regularly make baby quilts for the right to life group and incorporate fabrics with Christian motifs. I don't think the ladies at church would be too open to quilting, unfortunately - old habits die hard. That's why I thought of having a general quilting group.
    There are a couple of locations that I know would be happy to accommodate us. There is a community center with class rooms and the local library. I know the woman who books activities and she's always looking for something new and interesting. Maybe we could start out with something simple like a strip quilt or simple BOM.
    I certainly have a big enough stash to start them off with! I'd like everyone to bring their own machine, but if people are just starting off, they might not have one that is portable. That's another consideration.
    Perhaps I can ask for lightweight ones on Freecycle?
    As for the leadership issue ... years ago I was involved in running everything under the sun - cub scouts, a community garden, beach clean up, etc. I still chuckle about getting involved with cub scouts. They told me it is "just an hour a week". Hahahaha! Not. The crafts and activities I did were so popular that the parents stayed to do them, too! And, of course, no one helped.

  11. #11
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krystyna
    I would love to participate in a local quilting club and I'm not asking about how to get one together. That's the easy part. What I'd like to know is what to do at the first meeting?
    What about subsequent meetings?
    I'm a quilter, but certainly not advanced and maybe not even intermediate so I'm not the one to be running things!
    And, I am a very undiciplined quilter. I make art quilts and lap quilts the way I want to, following no particular design.
    How do I get someone to take over leadership - I don't want to run it myself.
    Help!
    I started my own Patchwork Class here where I live for the same reason, the only other one near me was miles away and far too advanced. Although I have been only quilting for 6 years and would know way class myself as advanced, or advanced intermediate I felt I had a lot of information to impart.

    I was asked to head a crafts class at our local Age concern meeting and soon found that all the ladies, about a dozen, wanted to learn patchwork so that is what I started with. The class needed more time so where I live has a large residents lounge with kitchen and bathroom facilities, important.

    We now meet twice a week, about 6 - 7 hours in total and guess what my first tutorial was?

    How to setup, clean, and use their Sewing machines! They were such newbies some hadn't looked at them in decades now they are really good with their machines, but don't assume, in my lessons I had forgotten to show them how to wind a bobbin correctly and realised this when I saw one of the Ladies tying the cotton on to start filling it, duh my fault.

    You will need to be ready for complete novices, I just joined another group run by a well known quilter in my area and she was overwhelmed when she had 3 complete newbies in her first meeting and was grateful I was there.

    Don't worry about running it yourself as all quilters want is a get together, chat and get on with quilting, if you have newbies just go gently with them and start from basics, and I do mean basics they will soak up your information.

    I do wish you well in your endeavor as part of being a quilter is to be a good ambassador and spreading your knowledge.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Chickerson's Avatar
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    our guild meets twice a month. First meeting is business meeting, lunch, show and tell and a class. Second meeting is all about charity quilts. We have grown from 4 ladies to 47 ladies in 5 years. We do one fundraiser a year to earn money for our charity work and we participate as volunteers once a year for a local civil war muesum quilt show. We also host our own quilt shows in the community. As we have grown we elected officers and set up committees, I'm now the current Prez. But for a small group just getting together is the fun! I have 47 BFF's. Best wished to your success.

  13. #13
    Swap Hosts Krystyna's Avatar
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    Thank you all for these wonderful ideas! I'm feeling much more confident now. I just realized that my next door neighbor's mom is a quilter - she's awfully busy watching the g'kids but I'll ask her for some ideas and if she can get away to participate.
    Do you think days or evenings are best? At the moment I work at home (I make veils for a living) but I know when I did work outside the house by the time I got home, fixed dinner, etc. I was pooped and really not in the mood to go out.

  14. #14
    Charity Quilter's Avatar
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    Krystyna go where the LORD leads you. That is what I did and I am still listening.

    As far as fabric I went on craigs list and explained what our group does and that we were in need of cotton fabric and cotton batting. Just be careful and have someone go with you, meeting in a public place. It is a hit and miss thing, but we have been blessed repeatedly by generous people. Once I had a woman give me everything she owned concerning quilting:.....bolts of fabric, sewing machine, all quilt supplies, ironing board, you name it...see gave it to us. We were soooo blessed.

    As far as sewing machines, we've been donated a few of those also...some work, some do not....you have to be specific when asking for the sewing machines, or you will be bombarded with machines that do not work.

    My prayer for you is that God will supply all your needs....the knowledge, the way, the guidance and the direction for you. If there is anything I can do to help you may PM me.

    Dar

  15. #15
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    Do you have a LQS or a fabric store? Maybe, ask them if you can put a flyer up telling what you want to start with a contact number and see what interest you get.

  16. #16
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    If you don't want to start a formal group with rules and a business meeting etc. start real small. Post a notice at your local library, grocery store, senior center, your local quilt shop and even Joanns.
    I belong to two large guilds and one small "'Bee". The Bee is between 4 and 5 of us who are also members of one of the guilds. We meet twice a month in the back room of a local Bernina dealer. We usually each bring some handwork either quilt related or not. Yesterday I was crocheting an edge around a fleece blanket for Linus, another woman was embroidering some kitchen towels a third was doing some beading and the fourth was just looking at quilt magazines and chatting. After two hours of pleasant company we all went out to lunch together.
    The larger guild knows about our meetings and occasionally someone stops in for advice or just to see what we are up to. Most of the regulars are experienced quilters but we always learn something from each other. The shop where we meet is also a custom dress making and alterations business. 20 years ago I worked for them. The employees there are always eager to answer any sewing related questions we might have and of course are more than willing to sell us anything we might need.
    We have no rules or formal agenda. The shop owner has asked us several times if we are interested in teaching quilting classes at the shop. So far we have resisted.
    Just another alternative to a formal group.

  17. #17
    Member jjtripletmom's Avatar
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    Wow. I am happy just to squeeze in a little time to quilt during my week. God bless those of you that can have the free time to be able to get together with other quilters! I don't want to rush away with time I have with my children as I know it will be gone soon enough. But, someday. :)

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