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

  1. #1
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    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?

  2. #2
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    I belong to 3 guilds. What happens is the people that have been there so long don't realize they are doing this to visitors. Ask your friends if they noticed how members aren't chatty. Just keep going back for the show and tell if nothing else. Do they have a limit on how many times you can visit before joining, ours is 3.

  3. #3
    Super Member no1jan's Avatar
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    This is what I was afraid of if I joined.

    Still unsure. My biggest problem is I don't drive, so once I am there I am stuck. I don't know a sole.

    I may consider it some more. After all, it may turn out great!

  4. #4
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    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. ;-)

  5. #5
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    I had the same thing happen. You just have to find the right group that makes you feel comfortable.

  6. #6
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #7
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    It took me a while to feel more comfortable with my guild. I found signing up to work on the quilt show regularly helped. Although I was at my getaway (have attended 6 years) and someone asked me "ARe you a new member of our guild?". I just laughed and said no. We have a guild of about 100 members but only a few who attend each monthly meeting so there is a mix each time. There are a few cliquey ones but I just laugh that off now, too.
    Two of our guild members own a shop and they have a sit and sew on Sunday afternoons. I have really enjoyed dropping by for that.

  8. #8
    MarthaVA's Avatar
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    Same thing happened to me. I tried it for 3 meetings. The joinup fee wasn't that much so no great loss. I decided it wasn't for me. Good luck and hope you find the "right" group!

  9. #9
    Super Member hcarpanini's Avatar
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    Keep going. One by one you will warm up to the other members. I felt the same way the first few times I went. I really enjoy all the group has to offer.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuziC
    I had the same thing happen. You just have to find the right group that makes you feel comfortable.
    Me too. so i went back one more time, and it still was uncomfortable for me. it reminded me of a "click" in high school. i am not shy at all,so i don't think it was me being quiet.
    i found a group that gets together ever wednesday at the Local Senior/community center. i am happy there, they were very friendly and helpful when i was first starting out.

    one old quilter started the group,(she was 80 when i joined) the room is free for us. we pay $2 everytime we show up, to actually pay an overseer. and it is well worth that, to have access to the big tables to pin quilts! one of the ladies here came and i thought she had a great time..we all welcomed her with open arms.

    i know not all guilds are like this..it was just my experience.

  11. #11
    Senior Member pam1966's Avatar
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    I had the exact same experience. :(

  12. #12
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    Keep going back. I felt the same way 10 yrs ago. I was and still am shy among people I dont know. I forced myself to go back and basically I table hopped if only to say a few words to other people. I'm glad I did this and now when a new member joins I make a point of bringing her to our table and encourage her to "walk" around and feel out the other members. Dennise

  13. #13
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Once is definitely not giving them a chance.

  14. #14
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    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.

  15. #15
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    sometimes guild members get so 'caught up' in their own little world they do not like to look past it. change is hard for everyone...i am one who was very unhappy at our local guild...after 3 years of paying dues and participating, volunteering for all kinds of stuff...there were a few people who were friendly, but for the most part...not so much...i finally decided to not give up dues money any longer to be treated like a second class citizen. i can make donation quilts and participate in local activities on my own with out them. then i really got lucky and found a little sewing group who gets together a couple times a month during the winter that is WONDERFUL! they love new people, new ideas and friendships...welcomed me with open arms and i have made some wonderful friendships through them. the group is somewhere between 12-20 people each meeting, we help each other, teach each other, have show and tell, it is all very good...and i do not miss the local guild AT ALL.
    ask at your local quilt shops if there are any small groups getting together you may find the perfect for you group.

  16. #16
    Rob
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    I personally would check out the other group first.

    If it is important for you to try the first group again, I would only go one more time. In my opinion, these people may be displaying poor manners and I would not be that concerned about fitting into their clique. In a group setting that you have to pay dues, no one should be made to feel that way. I am not saying everyone needs to shower you with appreciation for showing up. I am saying a few people and the leaders should have insured that you were brought into the group a bit more.

    One more time should let ya know.

  17. #17
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Theres two in towns near me...I am affraid to go for fear of the same thing happening. I probaly wouldnt go back if it were me.

  18. #18
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    I'd try one more time, and I'd check the other group....you might want to check with the county extention agent and see if there are any other doll clubs that specialize in making dolls...if there aren't, start one! :)

    Oh...and I want to see your dolls Miz Nancy! ;)

  19. #19
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    Personally, I wouldn't go back. I'm sure there are guilds out there that will welcome you with open arms, but that one isn't the one. My two cents worth.

  20. #20
    bj
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    I'd probably go back and give them another chance. The guild I attend has about 50 folks each time, but not all the same ones. About 25 regulars are there each time. I joined not knowing anyone in the group and it honestly took about 6 visits to build some friendships there. They are all very nice, but they get caught up in the topic of the night, the business on the agenda, and catching up on mutual friends. I haven't been able to attend much since I've been doing the Austin/Lubbock split. It's one of the things I'm looking forward to most about being home full time again in a few months. I attend an evening guild when I'm there, but I think I'm going to check out the one that meets during the day also.

  21. #21
    Super Member Butterfli19's Avatar
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    Charlee - what is a county extension agent? And, I have been behind in my doll making. My daughter moved back home the end of March with some issues and she is making great progress. My son graduated hs Friday - yay! - and the last few weeks have been busy. I do intend to start back up in the next few days and will post when I have some new faces. And thanks for that - a confidence boost for sure!

    I will check out the other guild but even so, I think my heart will be in doll making. I've been thinking of making a few easy dolls to see if they will generate enough interest for a class at Ben Franklin's. They will let you teach there and offer a 10% discount on products for the students taking those classes. I can also make doll quilts so my quilting skills won't be forgotten, but I prefer smaller scale items and they are not as costly.

  22. #22
    Super Member Theresa's Avatar
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    This Quilting Board is my guild!!! Every one is so friendly and willing to share their knowledge. I'm as happy as a clam!

  23. #23
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    What a shame. I love to meet new people. People tend to get clicky when they have been together for a long time. We would discuss that often in our group and admonish each other for not including the new person. Every now and then we would have to do that. I found that if the person kept coming, eventually she would fit in...

  24. #24
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    A friend and I joined one of the local guilds three years ago. Before we could join, they had to vote to allow the membership limit (which had been 50) to be changed - with us sitting there! Phew, that passed.

    Some members are more friendly than others; that's okay - chances are the ones who are already caught up in their own group would not be folks I'd want to be friends with anyhow.

    As this past year was winding down, and committees were forming for the upcoming year, one long-time member made an interesting comment. Joining a committee is a good way to get to know some of the other members better. Right now, my life is too busy for that - but it stuck wtih me, and in a year or two, I'll strongly consider it.

    Most of the time, I don't think people mean to be aloof - I don't think they even realize that they are coming across that way. Uncomfortable as it can be, sometimes the "new kid on the block" has to be the one to pursue new contacts, in whatever setting you can think of - work, church, guilds, etc.

  25. #25
    Super Member katsewnsew's Avatar
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    I felt the same way at my LQS monthly meeting. I went twice and to me, 2 times of being snubbed was 1 too many.
    I find NO excuse for anybody to shun someone just because they are new. THEIR LOSS!!!

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