Finding a Quilt Guild with Ian

Finding a Quilt Guild with Ian

2nd May 2022

A question I hear frequently is how can I find a quilt guild? Finding a guild can sometimes feel like trying to find a seat in a high school cafeteria or a new pair of shoes. There are all kinds of guilds from modern to more traditional. They all offer, for the most part, similar things and offerings from lectures to workshops to retreats. However, each guild has its own personality, and you have to find the one that fits best with you. 

When I first started my quilting journey, I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as a quilt guild. Looking back, I feel silly that I didn’t know about guilds, just about every other hobby has gatherings or meetings. However, I just wasn’t looking and so I didn’t know. Then a coworker who also quilted told me about several in the area. Dallas/Fort Worth is great because there are many. I know that isn’t the case everywhere, so I feel lucky that there are so many options. It also meant that if I wanted to, I could be a member of more than one. However, I have chosen so far to just join one guild and call it my home. I felt that the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild fit my personality best and what I was looking for in a guild. The time that they meet also fits into my schedule as well. Some guilds meet during the day while others meet at night or on weekends. That can depend on the demographic of the group and when everyone is available. 

If you are looking for a guild and don’t know where to start, Google can be your best friend.  Simply doing a Google search using keywords like quilt guild in (your location here) can be a great starting place. You can also search Facebook as well, though I tend to find the search results on Facebook to be less accurate and sometimes way off the mark. A lot of times guilds will have booths at your local quilt show or arts fair. This is a great place to take some time to talk to members about their guild and find out more details. If you are not able to meet people from a guild in person do not be afraid to send them an email or message them on a social platform. When I first started looking into the FWMQG I sent a message on Facebook asking if it would be okay for me to come to a meeting. My case is a little different being a male quilter, but they told me they would be very happy to have me as a guest and could not wait to see me. Sending a few messages can be a great way to get important questions you have answered before visiting the guild in person. I recently had someone ask me how they can find a guild that they feel best fits their social ideology. That isn’t always important to everyone, but if it is important to you don’t be afraid to ask questions. Let me be clear, you should never be mean or harsh with your questions, but I find most of the time guilds are going to be a lot more open and welcoming than you may expect. 

Now that you have found a guild you are thinking about joining it’s time to audition them. Most guilds have rules on guests attending meetings and how many meetings you can attend before you must join. With the guild I am a member of, you can be a guest for two meetings and then you need to join. Make sure to ask either when you are messaging the guild or when you visit in person what the rules are for that guild. After the start of the COVID pandemic, a lot of guilds went virtual and with that opened the opportunity for new membership levels or structures. Some guilds have kept a virtual offering that allows you to join meetings digitally at a lower price but preserves some of the bigger perks for those who pay the full amount for dues. In a way the pandemic has been great for accessibility as you can now join guilds from across the country. 

No matter what guild you choose to join or attend, remember that the main point to join a guild is to have fun. Spending time with a guild is a great way to make friends, learn about new techniques, share information, show off your creations, and more. Some guilds even put together quilt shows and raffle off guild quilts. Being a part of a guild is a great way to bring a sense of community for where you live and make some really awesome quilty friends.