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Please Tell me about your very first guild meeting ...

Please Tell me about your very first guild meeting ...

Old 01-25-2021, 12:12 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NoCal
Posts: 266

My sister-in-law was a member of a large guild and loved it, so I sent in my application and check for the first year's dues, knowing we'd have a great time together. Almost immediately I was bombarded with e-mails telling me I had to join a committee, sign up to work at the annual quilt show, attend the weekend sew-alongs for charity, etc., etc., etc. I'm an introvert, so demands like this are unsettling! My sister-in-law couldn't attend for awhile and I didn't want to face the hordes on my own. As it turned out, I never did attend, and I'm my own happy guild of one.
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Old 01-25-2021, 12:57 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 1,761

I first joined a quilt guild shortly after learning to quilt (at about age 23). The main meeting was nice - show and tell, and I brought and showed the small wall hanging I was working on hand quilting. After the meeting was disappointing - it was a social time and nobody invited me into their circle and I didn't feel comfortable breaking in. At the next meeting, I was told that all members were expected to work at the upcoming show that was only two weeks away. At the time, I was working long hours and also taking a graduate course in the evening that had a lot of homework. I felt this expectation was sprung on me at the (relatively) last minute and it felt unfair. I still felt unwelcome during the social portion at the end of the meeting. I think I might have gone to one or two more meetings before I stopped going altogether and did not renew my membership after that.

Several decades later, in fall of 2019, I decided to try joining another quilt guild. This one felt much more welcoming. The people who sat next to me during the main part of the meeting introduced themselves and chatted nicely. One nice thing the guild did was have a small gathering in early December with all the new members (about 7 of us) with the officers at the club at one of their houses. We each brought a show and tell item and talked about how we started sewing and quilting. The officers each talked about how they had gotten involved with running the guild - clearly the intention was to get new members to consider get involved with running the guild at some point, but there was no pressure to do anything right away. I volunteered to work some shifts at the guild's show in the spring, and had a nice time chatting with other guild members, especially when taking a break in the kitchen.

I think any guild that wants to have new members join and get involved would be wise to think about how to make new members feel welcome. Having someone assigned to introduce new comers to some other members would be one way to approach the issue. If nobody is responsible for actively welcoming and chatting with new members it can end up with nobody doing it and driving away new members who would be wonderful assets to the guild.
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:05 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southern USA
Posts: 14,739

The guild I'm in now is so friendly the visitors get a standing ovation, first in line at snack time and people saying come sit by us. We make sure of it. Too many have been there and felt the awkwardness. We may be in danger of running them off with too much welcome. LOL
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Old 01-25-2021, 04:07 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southern USA
Posts: 14,739

The frame around my car license plate says I Love Quilting. DH does not like to drive my car at all.
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:23 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Virginia
Posts: 176

The first time I attended a guild meeting was the last. It was way over-organized -- too much so for my comfort level. Very nice people, but I realized I am simply not a "joiner." Now I belong to a small group that meets in my home. It's a wonderful sisterhood, not so regimented, and very comfortable.
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Old 01-25-2021, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 34

Same experience going in, but the difference is that I took a stick of dynamite (figuratively speaking, of course) and blew my way in. I can't say that there were ever any close friends for me in the group, except for my best friend forever, nor in the much smaller guild 20 or so miles away. Part of the reason was probably that most of the members were older and had known each other for a hundred years and really had no room for anyone else. Still, the workshops and the sew days and the show and tell were fun and there was enough socializing to make the two hour meeting once a month worth the time and effort.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:18 PM
Super Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Chula Vista CA
Posts: 7,193

I was involved with a Guild that was held at a church. It was a once a month meeting on a Saturday. It started at 9 am and ended at 3. Basically you came and sewed all day. We had all age groups, and if you wanted to know how to do something there was always someone there that knew. Once a year we made Project Linus quilts from kits that someone in the Guild put together. We all brought food to share for lunch, and had show and tell during lunch. Every so often something would be new in the quilting world and someone would present it to the group. But as time went on my Saturdays became too busy and I stopped going. Must admit I am not much of a joiner either.
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Old 01-26-2021, 05:14 AM
Senior Member
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: USA
Posts: 677

Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
The frame around my car license plate says I Love Quilting. DH does not like to drive my car at all.
I've threatened to put car eyelashes on my SUV to keep my husband from driving it. . . .
Attached Thumbnails eyelashes.jpg  
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:26 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 676

I went to a guild meeting in 1996. I sat crocheting a baby blanket and visiting with the woman next to me. I was crocheting because I'd just had a fire and lost my sewing machine and all supplies. I joined that night. The woman had spread the word and the next meeting they had 2 boxes of donated supplies - everything - thread, scissors, fabric, rulers, books! It was a beautiful surprise!

I tend to be introverted too. If you want to meet friends the best thing is to sign up to join a small group. The guild "bee" person will note which groups are accepting new members or help you connect with other newcomers to form a group. I have made lifelong friends this way. If your guild doesn't do this - run an ad in the newsletter and ask if others want to join you. Currently my group can't meet in person but we do a zoom sew along every Monday.

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