So what’s so special about a quilt guild anyway? What kind of services does it provide its members? How much money could I make if I joined? Is it worth my time and effort?
Join us as we explore these questions and more. We’ll explain everything from what goes into forming one to how membership works and even list a few resources where you can find out more about setting up your own group.
Let’s start by taking a look at just exactly what makes a quilt guild different from any other type of organization. What sets a quilt guild apart from others? One word – support.
If you’re looking for help or advice when it comes to making decisions related to your quilts (or if someone else has made them for you), then you need something like a quilt guild. In addition to offering expert assistance, they also give people a place to gather together and share their experiences while pursuing similar interests. There’s nothing quite like sitting around with friends, sharing stories about our latest projects and helping each other pick colors and fabrics for new designs. That’s not to mention the fun social aspect of meeting other sewists face-to-face.
The best part of this arrangement is that quilt guilds don’t have to be limited to only those who live near each other. With the availability of modern technology such as online forums, text messages and phone calls, most organizations can easily connect everyone no matter where they happen to reside. This means you can enjoy the same kinds of camaraderie found within other groups without having to travel long distances to attend events or shop for supplies.
You’ll always know when your fellow guildies are holding a show, workshop or lecture because you’ll receive emails announcing upcoming events. And since the majority of quilt guilds operate locally, many times you’ll see advertisements for member discounts at local businesses. Of course, if you’re interested in starting your own guild but aren’t sure where to begin, check out the links below. They should point you in the right direction.
One thing that every good quilt guild offers its members is a sense of community. Although this may seem obvious, it really can’t be overstated enough. Having a supportive network of peers who understand what you go through is invaluable when working towards a common goal. So often we think of ourselves as individuals, but chances are that somewhere along the way we’ve learned that success doesn’t belong exclusively to anyone single person. It takes teamwork to accomplish anything worthwhile, and that’s especially true when trying to build a business based solely off personal efforts.
After all, if you had a great idea for a product but didn’t have anyone to sell it too, would it ever become successful? Probably not. Successful companies rely heavily upon teamwork to thrive. But the real question becomes, “Does a company have a team?” Yes, a well organized group of individuals with clearly defined roles can achieve amazing things together, but no two teams are alike. Only a strong leader can guide them through tough situations and keep them focused on reaching shared goals. Without a team, success wouldn’t exist.
Now let’s take a closer look at what happens behind the scenes once a group forms. Members usually meet regularly to talk shop, but sometimes these gatherings turn into opportunities for networking as well. Many quilt guilds host open houses, charity auctions and fundraisers, parties, trips to craft fairs, outings to museums and concerts, and plenty of other activities designed to bring members together while keeping their eyes peeled for future endeavors.
These types of interactions are essential to establishing relationships between guild members and building friendships that last far beyond the duration of a project. People tend to associate better with those whom they feel close to emotionally than with those whose faces they recognize everyday, and that holds especially true when you consider that today’s society tends to put a lot more emphasis on appearances than years past. As you can tell, supporting one another is important both during and after a project ends.
In the end, whether the primary function of a quilt guild is to simply promote education, raise funds or create a friendly atmosphere, that’s ultimately irrelevant. Support is what matters. Whether you choose to pursue a career in design or marketing, you’d still probably appreciate hearing words of encouragement and guidance from colleagues in your industry. Even though the specific focus of a guild differs from person to person, regardless of what path you follow, knowing that you have a network of people willing to lend moral support whenever needed helps ease stress and keeps you motivated throughout life.
Next up, learn about other ways in which knowledge and expertise can benefit members of a quilt guild.
Knowledge & Experience
Sewing quilts is a tremendous way to improve your skills and gain knowledge about various aspects of the industry. Whether you want to learn the latest techniques for making a particular type of quilt or how to make a top with a difficult binding method, there are always plenty of things that can be improved upon with only a little bit of research. By educating yourself about other aspects of the business, you can make better decisions about equipment purchases and even what types of fabrics are appropriate for your design process.
Not only will this knowledge allow you to improve as a designer and business owner, but it also helps your guild members by giving them more options from which to choose. By being open-minded, you can offer suggestions even when others aren’t looking for help. You might be able to suggest a brighter color palette or a new binding method that will benefit the members of your guild. That’s just one way that knowledge and experience can help a quilt guild grow.
Next Up, we’ll examine how participating in a quilt guild can increase your skillset.
Even if your main reason for joining a quilt guild is to spend time with your family, spending lots of time doing enjoyable things together is bound to produce positive results. Studies have shown that happy families are generally healthier and wealthier overall, and it stands to reason that spending time with loved ones is beneficial to mental and emotional wellbeing.
Spending quality time with children provides kids with a stable environment in which they can develop independence and self confidence. Family vacations offer parents a chance to reconnect with their partners and relax by themselves. Perhaps the most significant value of quilt guild involvement lies in the fact that it introduces you to people who share your passion for crafting. By engaging in a collaborative activity together, members forge lasting bonds that enhance existing friendships and foster new acquaintanceships.
Although getting together with friends to sew is undoubtedly fun, many people prefer to work independently in order to save money. Fortunately, in recent years, advances in science and technology have produced an abundance of affordable fabric selection options including yardage charts, price per square foot calculators and printable patterns. Online retailers now carry hundreds of unique fabrics ranging from traditional cottons to luxurious silks. Because these fabrics cost considerably less than brand name alternatives, you can purchase larger quantities at a lower rate without sacrificing quality.
Thanks to technological improvements, buying fabrics online involves little risk compared to purchasing merchandise at brick and mortar stores. Additionally, shopping for bargains online eliminates unwanted shipping fees incurred by mail delivery services. Finally, online merchants offer customers 24/7 convenience via computer terminals and email systems.
If you’re ready to strike out on your own, click here for additional tips on creating a home studio.
How do I get involved?
Guilds vary widely depending on region, size and purpose. Therefore, contacting your state’s American Sewist Association chapter is highly recommended. Visit them to determine if there is already a guild in your area dedicated to promoting quilters. If there isn’t, you can either form your own group or apply to join a guild in another area. Remember to pick a group that’s fairly close to home and includes members with similar needs and goals. Guilds are generally very selective in terms of membership, but standards vary from one chapter to the next. To learn more about the purposes of each guild, keep reading!
Meetings & Events
To get the most out of your quilt guild experience, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude. Positive thinking leads to confidence, which ultimately results in success. As an active member of a quilt guild, you will be involved in a variety of social activities including happy hours and potlucks, but these gatherings don’t have to be boring!
Take advantage of these opportunities by making meaningful connections with people interested in quilting. Join in conversations about what’s happening locally and share your own experiences with them. If you’re based at home, schedule fun craft nights around family time so that everyone can benefit from your expertise.
If you’re planning to start a guild, check out these tips that can help anyone find and retain members. If you already belong to a guild, feel free to share your experiences with us!