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

  1. #126
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    My rule of thumb when I go to anything new is to go three times. To give it a fair chance. Then if I still do not feel welcome, then I find a new group then I feel that I gave it a fair chance, and it just was not a good fit for me. Sometimes the members are feeling you out also to see if you are a good fit for their group. Go to your local fabric stores and put up some fliers and see if some other sewers have similar interests to yours and start your own group. You will be surprised. It will grow quickly. Give it a chance. Quiltin Queenie

  2. #127
    Lucille A's Avatar
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    God, I hate to see these kind of Posts!!!! Tell you what, move to Dayton, Texas and join our group!!!!

  3. #128

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    Yes, the same happened to me, after a year it was still the same, it was a waste of my time and money.
    The quilts they make are like unbelievable and I felt so out of place. I will never join again.
    Keep up the good work and send me some pictures of your dolls I just love them

  4. #129
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    I made a friend on this board and she and I are going to meet at a guild meeting tonight. I have never been to one before. I probably wouldn't go at all if I had to go alone. I will let you know how it goes. I would give the guild one more chance then find another group.

  5. #130
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    Go Back!!!ask questions about the "Bees". These are sub groups in a quild who do special types of quilting. These gals will be more accomodating. Most quilds have a 3 times limit before joining. If the guild has a service Bee that does quilts for charity work, women's shelters, or nursing homes they always want new people and they are very easy to get to know. They take beginners all the time and it gives them an opportunity to learn without competeing with the "professional" quilters. I sew with my service bee and I sew with a group from another guild in their bee. It has been great. All you have to do is volunteer for one thing and you will be "best" friends with everyone.

  6. #131
    Fox
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    The guild idea was a bad one for me as well. On the fourth meeting a "founder" of the guilt presented a program and it seemed as though she used "When we started this..." almost every other sentence, and it was with a sneer each time. She was a complete stranger to me; she hadn't been to the other meetings I'd attended. When she stopped at our table I realized that I physically pulled away from her. My friend and I both decided that that was the deciding factor. We had not been spoken to at any meeting, except this one, and then it had a negative connotation. I been guild shy ever since.

  7. #132
    Junior Member josi49's Avatar
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    I had just the opposite experience; too many and too friendly. I did join at the first meeting and have been a member for over 5 years. I'm in Florida so in the winter we have around 100 in attendance; in the summer we are lucky to have 25 present. My suggestion is to watch what the gals are working on and try to get into a conversation with one doing something that would interest you. Also, do they have lectures/classes for education; a library for you to check out books. There are lots of advantages of a guild, just make sure you find one that's really got activities going on that interest you.

  8. #133
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille A
    God, I hate to see these kind of Posts!!!! Tell you what, move to Dayton, Texas and join our group!!!!
    Will ya let guys join, too? ;-)

  9. #134
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    Yes, have. I joined a quilt guild as a new quilter and was very keen about the whole thing. The VERY first thing that I hand quilted, the leader told me I had done it all wrong and that I would have to redo it. Didn't take that advice! And while it took me more than a year to finally accept that I was not going to get any encouragement from that group, I have since joined a group that is absolutely awesome! Hang in there, you will find a group that is worth joining.

  10. #135
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    I would go back again a few more times. People are diffrent. Some people find it hard to talk to someone they don't know while others find it really easy. Some people need someone to come in between their little twosome or threesome so by going a few more times they will get to know you and you will better be able to assess the group. Go to the other guild also with the same itinerary and see where you feel the most comfortable. Maybe you will join both or maybe none but at least you would have given it a honest try.
    Good luck.

  11. #136
    RDM
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    My 1st guild experience was similar-it had HUGE membership.
    Does this guild have a new member intro, try talking to members about what the guild offers, check out their library, etc. Our guild now announces visitors and has special people to welcome them, then intro them to others. My current guild I went on their retreat first so got to know members over 3-4 days before even going to a meeting-it was great. Visit several area guilds before joining if you can. I bet you have much you could share on techniques learned creating your fiber art. Discussing your dolls and how you came to do them could be a conversation starter. Don't give up, it takes time to develop friendships.

  12. #137
    Senior Member sew_southern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter1
    Ditto, that's wht I left my guild. I was a member for 4 yeras and nobody ever called to ask where I was. Their loss, I would have been a great asset.
    I was a member of one for 2 years, only 2-3 people talked to me, others acted as if I had something contagious, and they never called when I didn't renew my membership. Some guilds just don't care to have newcomers in their already established group.

  13. #138
    Senior Member Quiltntime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfli19
    The odd thing is there were only ten people there and I would have thought there would be more comradery than side conversations.

    There is another one that has a larger number of members that I may check out as well.
    Maybe, that's why there were only 10 people there. Visitors felt like they were intruders too.

    A friend of mine went to a Senior Ctr. quilt group, and she was treated the same way. They're not all like that, just try the larger group. I'm sure you will enjoy it, if you feel welcomed.

  14. #139
    Senior Member Chatfield's Avatar
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    That's too bad but I know the feeling. I have thought about starting a little quilting club on my own but not real sure how to go about it.... hang in there - I think you will find your place in the group - gotta give it at least one more chance!

  15. #140
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    Hi, I just wanted to say that I met a lady at the quilt show here in Annapolis and she invited me to the Sr Ctr here. They have a quilting group there that meet on Fridays and I can say it was very enjoyable and many there belong to the same guild. They say it is a small one and I am thinking I may join it in September. I may go on a bus trip with them in July to Hershey, a quilt show there or something. So it is not to say there aren't people out there that will open their arms to you and welcome you to their group. Good luck and I too would like to see your dolls.. I will scan back over the pages to see if you posted any :)

  16. #141
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    I live in Maine and I felt the same way when I first started going to our area quilt meetings. I sat alone and thought everyone snobs. I kept coming back and little by little I started meeting people. No question about it...quilds are clicky.

  17. #142
    Junior Member poultney's Avatar
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    It is hard joining a big group that seems to know each other. I joined a guild with my daughter and I attended several meetings with out clicking. Then during the summer, so many things came up, that we didn't attend. I started back in the fall, have been signing up for classes and attending demos before the guild. That is how you get to know the people and the people get to know you. I have been attending for over a year and half, have yet to show anything in show and tell. I love seeing all of the beautiful works of art the others have made. They give me inspiration. One of these days I will complete a UFO and I will share it. Again, the classes have gotten me to know so many new friends and they have gotten to know me. So, hang in there. I hardly miss a meeting now, I can't wait until the next meeting.

  18. #143
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    I had a similar experience, but early on when they were looking for volunteers to demonstrate hand quilting at the Fair, I signed up. During that demo I got acquainted with 2 other old time members and from then on they were friendly. That friendship led to working on the Program Committee which broadened my acquaintances. So, I'd suggest you get involved.

    I also understand about not quite fitting in as your first love is doll making. Just in the past year and a half we have started a "fiber artists" group in Tulsa which is a chapter of a long standing group in Oklahoma City which is about 100 miles away. We have basket weavers, doll makers, art quilt people, mixed media, weavers, dyers, any kind of fiber related activity. All of us feel like this is where we really belong and show and tell at our monthly meetings is always the highlight as you never know what is coming out of those bags. It's taken awhile but it started when we were entering pieces in a juried show in OKC and we began to find each other and pool our delivery and pickup. Keep your eyes and ears open for fiber shows in your area and other "fiber" people that you can "commune" with. Isn't there a top notch art museum in New Hampshire that caters to fibers?

    Keep looking,

    Jan

  19. #144
    Junior Member Silver Sandy's Avatar
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    People forget that the newies feel strange and should welcome them into their group. But don't dispair, join in and talk with different people, attend workshops. I felt this way 2 years ago, but now I know many of the members and enjoy learning from all of them.

  20. #145
    Super Member burnsk's Avatar
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    Also check with your LQS and ask if they know of any neighborhood groups. Check with church's in the area and with any Senior Center's. Had same reaction with the group in my town. Ended up joining one that is almost an hour away but they are a fantastic group, very welcoming and a lot of fun. They meet once a month. Also joined a group at the Senior Center that meets every Saturday. You don't have to go to every meeting but I sure look forward to it. 10-20 people.

  21. #146
    Senior Member joellenc's Avatar
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    I'm kinda shy until I get to know other people-so always feel out of place at first-----but keep going----just looking at the show and tell inspires me to do better and do more challenging quilts!

  22. #147
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    Exactly the same from this side of the world too, I find classes at my local quilt shop much better. I do belong to a couple of groups associated with a church and find them very friendly but have tried others with no success, I am sure they are so wrapped up in their own world that they do not mean to be rude and uncaring. Never take it personally!!!!

  23. #148
    Super Member Sheree from Chicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfli19
    My neighbor invited me to her quilt guild meeting last week and other than her and the lady sitting next to me, I felt like an intruder. I tried to talk to people but got short answers back and no one seemed to want to acknowledge that I was there.

    The other thing is, they had a show and tell and the quilts some of these ladies made were stunning, I mean fabulously breathtaking. Mine are small and simple. I'm also more of a doll maker than a quilt maker but the doll groups around me are more for collectors than makers.

    I told my neighbor I would like to join but now I don't know if I would just be disappointed or find it a waste of time, and I don't want to pay dues to have to find this out.

    I would love to meet a group of people to get together with that enjoy needle arts but I feel put out by this group already. Am I not giving them a fair chance? Has anyone had anything similar happen?
    I did go to a guild meeting with a friend as a guest. It was over 350 woman and I felt the same as you did. I chose not to take it personally and decided these women were probably together for a long time and a bit click-ish. Besides my limitations of sitting with my back, I decided it was not for me. Is there any way you could find out who is into quilting/fiber arts in your vicinity and have a get together to work on projects together?

  24. #149
    Senior Member fishnlady's Avatar
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    I thought after 10 pages of comments that I would add my two cents worth as well. I think this is a more common problem in this day and age than ever before. I have not tried any guilds but wanted to comment about churches. We have attended for over a year two different churches and made attempts to invite people to our home but everyone seems so cold and unfriendly. I think the world must be getting that way a lot more now than when I was a young person in my teens and twenties 1960's to 1970's. People in general are less courteous and less open. It is sad.

  25. #150
    Junior Member Ellis' Granny B's Avatar
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    I had the same experience with a group. I took my 90 year old friend because she no longer drives. Out of 100 people, only two spoke. Sometimes it is just a matter of common courtesy. They know when you are a stranger. My mother taught me to be kind, especially to strangers in a group. I have no desire to join and I have been back three times. I wasn't looking for an invitation to the next family gathering, just wanted to meet talented quilters to learn more. This board is my guild too.

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