In a reader poll in the Aug.-Sept. issue of Quilter’s Home magazine, nationally-known quilter, Jo Morton, commented on the poll’s multiple-choice question about what type of quilting organizations the readers are members of. Jo was quoted at saying, “If you go to the guild meeting, you get jobs you don’t need or have time for.” I guess she has trouble saying no!
I have been a member of Kaleidoscope Quilt Guild, since 1987, the year it was formed, and have seen people come and go, experienced all the changes over the years and after 23 years I would not characterize this guild as an arm-twisting, threatening entity. Sure sometimes it is hard to get people to volunteer to help out, and the same people seem to rotate the main jobs year after year, but new people do step up and help to keep everything running smoothly. Others contribute in whatever ways they are comfortable with. No one is ever forced into doing something they have no interest in. Being a member of a guild is a good thing. A guild is a social and educational community of like-minded people, in this case with a serious interest in the art of quilting. For one who is new to quilting or the older, experienced quilter a guild provides opportunities for learning at workshops, seeing the work of other quilters at every level, participating in guild activities, and making lifelong friends.
A guild is multifunctional. It supports quilter education through monthly programs with speakers--well-known quilters and guild members. It schedules workshops allowing members additional educational opportunities. It organizes retreats to foster community within its membership. It encourages and supports philanthropic organizations with donations of quilts and other handmade items. Our guild presents a quilt show, free of charge, which allows members to exhibit their work to promote quilting in our community.
I would suggest that anyone contemplating joining a guild should visit that guild to see if it is welcoming and inclusive, if it is a place they would feel comfortable being part of. Don’t shy away from membership, fearing you will be forced to take on responsibilities you are not ready for. Go in with a positive attitude to make the most of your guild experience and you’ll find you will enjoy it. Visit http://www.kaleidoscopequiltguild.com/ for more information on what guilds are all about.
Here are a few photos of our last guild meeting—some member sharing and our program presented by member, DeAnna Kendall. Visit DeAnna’s blog at http://dkdesigns-creatingbeauty.blogspot.com/.