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

  1. #151
    Senior Member skothing's Avatar
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    Each meeting, and each guild is different. I have been invited to jion groups that are closed to most because of the type of art quilts I do. I haven't had time yet to go. Each quild does different things. Church quilds do projects for the community;s benfit while a stand alone has many different focuses. I now belong to 2 guilds. The church welcomes all as well as my stand alone. But some quilds are closed to new people as they don't have the room. A local quilt shop is a great resourse to find a guild that is open and friendly in your area. I love my 2 guilds and have developed warm friendshipships. Keep trying. It is worth it!

  2. #152
    Super Member LeeAnn's Avatar
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    I had the same experience. I felt like an outsider. A few people spoke and seemed nice but no one went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. I think only 2 people spoke to me. Very uncomfortable. Sad because I was so excited to go and the outcome was not even close to what I expected. I don't think all guilds are like this. I've never gone to another. Maybe someday I will try it again.

  3. #153
    Lucille A's Avatar
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    Of course Guys can join. Some of the best quilters are men, Ricky Tims, John Flynn.

  4. #154
    Lucille A's Avatar
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    Absolutely keep trying. The local quilt shop is a great idea. I have belonged to 3 Guilds, and although there is an occasional stinker, by and far, the nice outweigh them. Bee's can also be a good alternative.

  5. #155
    Member Denise85's Avatar
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    I had the same thing happen to me. I joined with my stepmom because someone had invited us. I went to one of the meetings by myself because my stepmom was sick and not one person sat with me or even spoke to me. I have not been back since.

  6. #156
    Member grannyshep's Avatar
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    Butterfli, you may enjoy the larger one more. I belong to a large group in the winter and each week we bring whatever it is we're working on at the time. Our projects DRAW on lookers and conversations. Try the small group one, more time and take it from there. The small group I belong to works around a frame and that seems to make for friendly conversations. Also, the other members accomplishments don't intimidate me as much as encourage me to try different techniques and larger projects.

  7. #157
    MI Applique Queen's Avatar
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    I have contacted a few small quilds and quilting bees in my area in the last 2 years. Not one has responded. I have tried to contact someone at the West Mi Quilting Guild and no one has responded. I had questions. I too do not want to send money and find out they will not accept me. It is disappointing to be ignored but would be worse to be rejected. I would like to figure out a way to meet quilters in my area and start our own quilting bee. Anyone know how to go about that?

  8. #158
    reach for the stars 2's Avatar
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    Keep trying different guilds you may find one you like. I have found that they tend to be clicky. I was born and raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. About 10 years ago we moved to central Illinois. Every time I said something they say Oh you're from Chicago(didn't know I had an accent)and that was that I was a Northern. I didn't know we were still fighting the Civil War, but here in these small towns I guess we are.

  9. #159
    MI Applique Queen's Avatar
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    No it's not but if they ignore you they won't get to know you. Also it it rude to treat people like that. I have found quilters to be so friendly and helpful in most situations, except for guilds and bee's. What is with that?

  10. #160

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    Every guild is different - whether quilting, embroidery, sewing. I never joined American Sewing Guild when I lived in one state because I had heard they focused mostly on quilting, which I didn't do at the time. Joined it in another state - found no emphasis on quilting, and it was a terrific group. Belonged to two very large quilt guilds in Colorado (state guild, and another multi-state contemporary guild) and loved them. But, I wasn't seeking friendships - I joined for the learning. They offered wonderful speakers and workshops I couldn't access any other way. The guild I am in now - good friends, and good speakers and programs. Do I like every meeting? NO. Do I agree with some of the programs we are involved with, and some of the donations we make (requiring the membership to do a lot of fund-raising)? NO. Do I always like the programs? NO. Are some of the members not so nice? YES. But on balance, it is more than worth the dues to belong to this group. We have an annual retreat (reasonably priced) that I enjoy very much, I have made some really good friends here over the 6 years I have been a member, and I have heard some really good speakers and attended some wonderful workshops. We also have a terrific library that all our members can access - an advantage of larger guilds. (My guild has around 200 members, with more than 100-120 in attendance each month.) And of course, some people find this too big for comfort.
    I think it is worthwhile to ask yourself why you want to join a guild. Is it for social reasons (perfectly valid!), or to learn more, or to be energized to do more when you leave the meeting, or.....? Will you be uncomfortable in a big group? (Most large guilds also have small groups that meet monthly or weekly, and our guild helps new members find a small group to join.)

    Good luck - and for all of you who have been reluctant to consider guilds - give them a try, at least!

    Sorry this is so long....

  11. #161
    Senior Member wichypoo's Avatar
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    I visited as a guest three times to the guild I belong to now. It is quite large with 30+ members. At first I felt a chill. But I am persistant. I thought I had to be asked to join and said something about it after meeting to President and she made a announcement then and there that anyone could join anytime .Many of the group spoke to me after that about me
    being silly and thinking that ,"your one of us already". Sweet .
    there are still "snobby" members but I have become one of the group. I love the interaction, show and tell , bus trips. I would truly miss it. You 'll find you fit in this one or maybe another.
    I tend to be enthusiastic and that makes up for my lack of qulting gift. Good luck.
    Karen :-D

  12. #162
    Senior Member ddrobins1956's Avatar
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    My guild in New Smyrna, FL is just wonderful. I can't say enough good things about this group of ladies. This is my first year, but I didn't feel new after the first meeting. I was invited to join a carpool from the neighborhood where some of us live at the first meeting. There is always a group that stays for lunch after the meeting, since we meet at a Legion Hall. As far as paying dues, I feel that I got my dues back, ten fold. We have education every month with speakers and classes and rarely have to dish out any of our own money. We meet weekly on Tuesday mornings. If any of you are in the New Smyrna, Port Orange, Daytona Beach area, please consider the Pelican Bay Piecemakers guild. I'm so glad that I found this guild.

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  13. #163
    Senior Member quilting.addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MI Applique Queen
    I have contacted a few small quilds and quilting bees in my area in the last 2 years. Not one has responded. I have tried to contact someone at the West Mi Quilting Guild and no one has responded. I had questions. I too do not want to send money and find out they will not accept me. It is disappointing to be ignored but would be worse to be rejected. I would like to figure out a way to meet quilters in my area and start our own quilting bee. Anyone know how to go about that?
    Hi, we had Priscilla Hair come and give her program at our guild. She is soooo talented (see her website http://www.priscillaehair.com/Landscapes.aspx). and an absolute hoot of a lady. I laughed until I cried!! Anyway, she tells the story of when she was first quilting and didn't know any other quilters. She went to the library and asked if she could rent a room. When she told them her purpose, they said she could have it for free. So she ran an ad in the local paper saying anyone interested in quilting and hanging out with other quilters should come to the library on such and such a date. Thirty some women showed up!!Ta Da!! a quilting group. You know they don't have to be a non-profit, certified guild to be fun and effective!! I suggest that if you do this, you mention in your ad you want people with interest in fiber arts of all kinds!!
    Jeannie in GA

  14. #164
    Lucille A's Avatar
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    I had the same problem when I changed locations. What I did was run a free add in the classified section of a local paper. It said, I want to form a small quilting group in this area. If you are interested, please contact me (my name and phone number) were listed.

    I got several calls from interested people, and we decided to meet at a local restaurant near where we live. I scouted the area for a small room to meet. We met for a while at a small local quilt shop. Then I asked a local bank about their "Civic Room". They were happy to let us use the room free of charge. We just have to be sure we schedule when we need the room. They have tables, chairs, and it is very, very nice.

  15. #165
    Lucille A's Avatar
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    Your work is beautiful.

  16. #166
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience although the members were nice, my neighbor who invited me was nice until a friend from work came to the group and then she didn't say another word to me. Since she was my ride home, I was stuck. I never went again nor accepted her offer to join a more "prestigeous" group. Oh my, I can imagine how uncomfortable I would have been with that group. :-)

  17. #167
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    WOW--12 pages of this topic. As a guild president I am paying close attention to what is being said here. We try to acknowledge new people. We try to have open discussion that will let new and old members have a say and a part. I will really try to pay close attention to the comments that have been made here and take them to our board meeting.

  18. #168
    Senior Member quilting.addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramakitten
    WOW--12 pages of this topic. As a guild president I am paying close attention to what is being said here. We try to acknowledge new people. We try to have open discussion that will let new and old members have a say and a part. I will really try to pay close attention to the comments that have been made here and take them to our board meeting.
    I am glad to see your post!! You are in a position to do something to improve a situation like this first poster stumbled into. I was thinking about my big guild and how hard it is to know who is new or just who you hadn't noticed before. Maybe a cute birthday crown like they get for little girls party favors, could be worn by visitors and new members. Now if you can pass by a lady wearing a plastic crown and not speak...shame on you!! you are a snob and need to get your priorities straight!! My husband says all quilters are nice people...well, maybe not...but they should be!!

  19. #169
    Lucille A's Avatar
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    Amen. the plastic crown is a great idea!!!!! or a gold star, or something. Most of the quilters I know are wonderful people. But, especially in a big guild, new comers do not stand out. As part of our program in our little guild, the membership person makes a report on attendance, and introduces any visitor and asks them to stand up, so everyone will know them, and can greet them at the break.

  20. #170
    Senior Member quilting.addict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille A
    Amen. the plastic crown is a great idea!!!!! or a gold star, or something. Most of the quilters I know are wonderful people. But, especially in a big guild, new comers do not stand out. As part of our program in our little guild, the membership person makes a report on attendance, and introduces any visitor and asks them to stand up, so everyone will know them, and can greet them at the break.
    Trust me on this one...I have tried to keep an eye on the people introduced as visitors or new members, so that I can speak during break...believe me in a room full of over 100 women, I have yet to be able and track one down, as they all dash to the food table!! I still say, crown 'em!! LOL

  21. #171
    scottjudy's Avatar
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    I would find another guild in the area. I know that some of the guilds are not very friendly, but there are loads of them that are. I belong to one in Indy and one in Florida because we winter there. I can hardly keep up with them, but both are very friendly. If you really want to be in one, there is probably one that will fit you.

  22. #172
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    Another nice thing that goes on each and every week.....as soon as the meeting is open, our president asks for any new member or a guest of anyone...to please stand and tell us all where they reside and a bit about themselves.

    One lady was visiting from Ireland.......was not afriend of any quilt member but heard that we were having a Thursday morning meeting..

    .........she came and was so delighted that she returned a few times before returning to her homeland.

  23. #173
    Super Member gzuslivz's Avatar
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    I, too, think that once is not enough to make a decision about a group. However, I have found several guilds to be clique-ish and too many "have-to" projects. We have a group at our church that is very friendly, a large variety of experience and interests and only a few joint projects. You need to find the place where you are comfortable.

  24. #174
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    Wow! Beautiful quilts!

    Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. I had no idea there would be this many and am not finished reading them all yet.

    This guild seems to have a raffle, each person brings a fat quarter of the theme of the month and they raffle off the basket. Then they do a show and tell, have snacks which are assigned to different people, talk about upcoming quilt-related shows and things, and maybe a guest speaker. Some of the ladies hold classes but I am not sure of the cost. One is doing a stocking class in October.

    There isn't any sewing done during the meeting, unless you bring something to hand-sew.

    I'm still deciding. I may go to another one but I won't pay dues until I decide. I figure one more will tell me whether or not I want to continue.

  25. #175
    Super Member burnsk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MI Applique Queen
    I have contacted a few small quilds and quilting bees in my area in the last 2 years. Not one has responded. I have tried to contact someone at the West Mi Quilting Guild and no one has responded. I had questions. I too do not want to send money and find out they will not accept me. It is disappointing to be ignored but would be worse to be rejected. I would like to figure out a way to meet quilters in my area and start our own quilting bee. Anyone know how to go about that?
    You are about an hour from Lansing? They have a great group (the Lansing Clippers). They are part of the ASG. I tried an Ann Arbor group and they were rather snooty. The Clippers are a lot of fun. It's an hour and 20 minute drive for me but I can do it once a month. I'm not sure but I think there is a gal from your area there. PM me and I can get you some info if you are interested. You would be welcome to join. Come visit and check them out. They are big and have some neighborhood group off-shoots.

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