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Thread: went to first guild meeting, felt like an intruder - what would you do?

  1. #101
    Senior Member Aunt Doggie's Avatar
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    Wish you were closer so we could start a guild!
    I went to my first American Sewing Guild meeting 2 years ago, and I still feel like an "outsider"!
    Have always wondered if it is because I am ONLY 53???
    Just decided to stop going, as I am tired of being the only "friendly one"!

    That is reason I haven't tried the local quilt meetings...

    If you ever move to Illinois, we can start our own!

    Signed, "shunned in Chicago!" :lol:

  2. #102
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    Most quilt guilds meet September to May or June. The June, July and August meetings, if there are any meetings, are not really representative of the full guild. I belong to a few guilds, and sometimes it takes a while to make your own place in each guild. Also, note that big guilds have a wider representation of different kinds of members -- quilt enthusiasts (quilt and fabric lovers/admirers) to expert quilters; people who work and barely get any time to quilt, to people who spend several hours a day quilting. A larger quilt guild usually has more guest speakers, big show and tell, bus trips, and retreat, so these are other advantages of big guilds. Usually meetings at big guilds have an agenda so it is easy to attend meetings and see what they have and listen and blend right in. I would go as a guest a few times to several guilds and then decide. Quilters are usually very friendly, but there are some that may be a little intimidating. Give yourself a chance because most guild memberships are not that expensive and a great way for socializing. Go to quiltguilds.com to find guilds in your state and check out their web site, which usually tells about their membership and visitor policy.

  3. #103
    Super Member Teresa 54's Avatar
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    There are no excuses for rudeness.
    Get on your high horse and give them something to talk about. Quilters love dolls - bring some in to show and tell.

  4. #104
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebraK
    Write them off. I'm a big believer in first impressions if it involves a whole group. Life is too short to try to fit in with a group who made you feel that way right off the bat. You seem like a very nice person, I can't fathom why they weren't more welcoming.
    rude is rude. no one here knows anyone else, yet we welcome everyone and help out in any way we can. and we number in the what? .....hundreds? thousands?
    if there are so few of them and they can't spend a few moments to say hello, then are you sure you want their company? i say trust your instincts. they're not good enough for you.

    maybe your friend would like to meet once or twice a month just the two of you, and you can tell her why.

  5. #105
    Senior Member Pickle's Avatar
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    I felt the same way. I love to quilt and I am happy with what I do but when I went to the guild meeting I felt like there is a lot more to know than I know. I think we just get intimidated by all the beautiful work. I have to admit though that I did not go back, I didn't feel I fit.
    But then again that could be my problem.
    Maybe this is TMI

  6. #106
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I absolutely do not belive that all the different guilds are all rude and unwelcoming. Quilters are without a doubt the kindest, friendliest people there are.

  7. #107
    Super Member Teresa 54's Avatar
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    I moved from NYC to PA - no one stuck out like me-I was determined to make some quiltig friends,I was purposly oblivious to them at the beginning, so for me it was do or die. 16 years later - I have some really close quilting friends-they are great and well worth the effort to get to know them.

  8. #108
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    I had been thinking about joining a quit guild in my area. Now I'm not so sure. Usually I just browse through this web page and read everyones comments, suggestions, and so on. BUT this time it got my goat, for lack of a better phrase, and felt I had to reply. First of all I don't feel that you should have to keep going back in order to be accepted wasting your time and money. Are we grownups or not. Personaly they don't deserve you. Find another friendlier group.

  9. #109
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    Hi, I'm new to the forum. When I lived in MA I had some bad experiences with guilds so I hesitated before joining a guild when I moved to FL. Guess I've been lucky, ecause I found a great group. They are very much into making community or charity quilts and are very friendly and very willing to share tips, patterns, etc.

  10. #110
    Senior Member kwilter's Avatar
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    I, too have found the groups I visited to be tight and formidable so did not ever join. I asked a few people in one group if they used EQ5 and the answer was "e-e-e-e-e-e-wwwwww." End of story.

    On the other hand, EVERY SINGLE PERSON on this board is all I ever hoped for! My questions are answered, inspiration is provided, camaraderie abounds through its participants around the world. I am disabled and this board is all I ever need, thanks to all!

  11. #111
    Super Member Teresa 54's Avatar
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    I agree with wilter all I need is right here!

  12. #112
    Lucille A's Avatar
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    I have participated in 2 guilds in my life. I have never felt like an intruder in any of them. But then, I may be one of the few. I don't know where you live, but if you can find another Guild close by you might try them

    When I moved back to my old home town, there was not a Guild. I ran an ad in the little free paper, and advertised for some quilting buddies, and started my own little group. We eventually started our own little Guild with a day meeting.

    Most quilters are lovely people. Keep trying. So far as quilts go--any quilt is beautiful--even this nightmare I created at a class.

  13. #113

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    I had the same experience. So I tried joining in more - helping at the quilt show and even the program chair. Needless to say, I don't belong any longer.

  14. #114
    Lucille A's Avatar
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    I really hate to here about these bad experiences. Just keep trying.

  15. #115
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    I'm a member of 4 guilds (one doesn't meet very often or nearby, so I haven't gone to a meeting - just paid dues - it's a statewide guild that's in trouble but put on a great show 2 years ago). I have not had an issue with any of them - but I don't know that all my acquaintances can say that.

    I am a rather outgoing person, so I'll just chat people up when I feel the need to. Don't be put off by one group that may not be welcoming - keep looking for a group that will be friendly and accomodating. I'm sure there's one near you.

  16. #116
    Member janerjul's Avatar
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    I agree with trying it twice then stay or leave by what your gut tells you. I joined a group last December that has met at our local HS every Wednesday for 10+ years. The oldest member is 81 and I was the younster at 50ish; all welcomed me and since 3 other youngsters have joined. Search for a group that you feel confortable as your time is too valuable to spend with those that make you feel less than good.

  17. #117
    Lucille A's Avatar
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    Amen

  18. #118
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    Give it another try. I belong to a large guild(220+) and a smaller quilting group(25ish). In the larger group we have made a point this yr to take new members that come before the meeting/program starts around and introduce them to different people in hopes that someone will take them under their wing. When I first joined I knew two members but did not know them well. So I helped with our quilt show raffle quilt and got to know a lot of the quilters that way. Sometimes you have to make an effort to get to know them. And yes I agree there are cliques. I have 3 really good friends in the two groups and we do a lot of things together but also try to include others as well.

  19. #119
    Super Member QuiltQtrs's Avatar
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    Please post photos of your dolls .... some of us are probably interested in making a purchase!

  20. #120
    Senior Member fancifrock's Avatar
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    I know exactly how you feel. The quilt store I go to has a Block of the Month program that I decided to join so that I could get back into quilting after retiring. I also thought it would be a good opportunity to meet people who were interested in quilting. No such luck. I have been going every month since January and still no one speaks or bothers. Their show and tell items are just beautiful and I would never think of bringing mine to show. I do all my quilting by hand and they are seem to have all these fancy quilting machines etc and boy I wouldn't even try to measure up to their work. I must say I do learn something new every month but that is it

  21. #121
    mtquilter09's Avatar
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    Hang in there I joined our local guild in Jan. and some of them are still a little clicky but I keep going and the more that I am there the more people talk to me. As for the show and tell I felt the same way--didn't want to bring in my simple rag quilt that I had made but DH told me to show it maybe I would inspire someone else that was afraid to show--now we have a show and tell for beginning, intermediate and advanced just takes one person to stand up for the many--I also told them the night I showed my quilt that they needed to be more welcoming to the new people--kind of put them in their place and since then it has been better

  22. #122
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    There are some embroidery guilds that meet here in NH too. I have gone to my local one up here in the Lakes Region and have been welcomed there. This group seems to believe that any kind of hand sewing is a-okay.
    Our quilt guild has our new members wear a certain colored ribbon (yellow, I think) on their nametags for their first year of membership and strongly encourages veteran members to reach out and welcome them.

  23. #123
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    talk to your friend about it. because people are different, the groups they form are different. there may be an explanation for their apparent cold shoulders that turns out to make sense.

    consider going one more time and then trust your instincts. if they don't lure you into the fold it will be their loss. you still have us. ;-)
    good advice!
    one time is not enough to know. Otherwise outgoing ppl can often be shy the first time around someone.
    I get that anxiety and just plough through it by opening my mousie mouth and letting 'fly' ;-)
    (I haven't always been this way...but i discovered, the most seemingly aloof, are often, just intimidated and welcome an icebreaker!) :XD:
    yup, if your instincts tell you...just no chemistry...you know we're already friendly! :thumbup:

  24. #124
    Senior Member quilting.addict's Avatar
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    ok, here's one more opinion. I belong to 3 guilds. The one in SC is over 100 members, but I joined when they were getting ready for a quilt show and I did a lot of volunteering. Got me familiar with a smaller group of hard workers. Love that group and still try to drive up 2.5 hrs once or twice a year for a meeting. In GA I belong to a large group 150 members and walk around feeling like an invisible woman. Then I asked were there any small bee groups. I got to be part of a brand new one of six ladies who are very artsy. Now I have that mtg, and when I go to guild, I know those girls well!! My little guild of 35 is wonderful. Very friendly right from the start... shop around and do not settle for warm snooty bodies!
    Jeannie in GA

  25. #125
    Junior Member Cathleen Colson's Avatar
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    Our guild has over 300 members, about 150 attend the monthly meeting. We have a "hostess" position who greets visitors and new members, shows them around, introduces them to some people with similar interests. We have at least a dozen small quilt groups associated with the guild and hold a social every year to help form more groups, add members to existing groups. I belong to the charity quilt group at the south end of the county (another one meets in the north) and love to get together with the 7-8 other members twice a month to make charity quilts or to cut "kits" for tops for other guild members to sew together for us. We gave away 170 quilts last year!

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