Being an aforementioned tumbleweed I’ve had the privilege of visiting and belonging to some great quilting guilds. If you want to enrich your creative experience I highly recommend finding one and getting involved! I have a few ideas to share if you’re at all interested in finding, serving, or perhaps volunteering in one.
2014 Capital of Texas QuiltFest Raffle Quilt
Pattern – Fiesta Mexico by Karen Kay Buckley
Made by Members of The Austin Area Quilt Guild (hand appliquéd)
Quilting by Angela McCorkle – Quilts With a Heart
Photos by Harry Cabluck
Raffle tickets still available for sale $1 for 1 ticket, $5 for 6 tickets.
Check the website www.captxquiltfest.org for raffle quilt locations.
Does size matter?
While living in Austin I had the pleasure of joining the Austin Area Quilt Guild. It’s a really great guild and I believe at the time, had over 500 members. The benefit of such a large group is not only the expansive talent pool available to share, as evident in their Capital of Texas 2014 Raffle Quilt pictured above, but also the funds such a group can raise for guest speakers, workshops, and charitable organizations is impressive. One draw back is it’s easy to feel like a guppy in a big pond. Those truly interested will need to spend a little more time getting involved by consistent attendance, volunteering, and trying out different bees in order to find a good fit.
I also had the tiniest of guild experiences in New Hampshire at the Souhegan Valley Quilt Guild and, it was one of my favorites. While funding and talent pool available to share may have been limited due to size, members were incredibly warm and seemed willing to share what they could whenever they could and that certainly made up for the lack in size. Again, the environment was incredibly warm and inviting.
What’s your temp?
LIke any organization, you can either draw in or repel potential members and involvement with the warmth or coldness of your group. Energy is infectious, good or bad. The best guilds have a basis of positivity, are warm to visitors, and work hard keeping clicks or cold- aloofness at bay. Boards that serve with close friends seem to have the best time. Their ease in planning, organizing, and serving with happy hearts is evident. They understand one another and their excitement is contagious. I’ve attended a guild where the board wasn’t cohesive and their energy and bickering was very obvious. Membership and attendance tends to suffer under such leadership.
Once ya hook’m how do you reel’m in? Well, with a variety of offerings like opening icebreakers, games, interesting challenges, lighthearted bees, (which I will cover in a future post) great classes, interesting guest speakers, and fun filled retreats! I’ve just recently joined the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild and they hooked me with the first meeting, positive energy, activities, challenges, just an all around fun group of young quilters! I’m excited to see what my creative journey will be with them in it. Remember, ya get out of life what you put in. The same is true with creative groups like guilds. Want to GROW in your creative experience? Then go find one to join! 🙂