Joining A Quilt Guild–IBMTD #2

quilt guildThis week, my ongoing quest, to do something I’ve Been Meaning To Do (IBMTD) every week, took me to the meeting of my local quilt guild.

I’ve been meaning to go to a meeting and join the guild since I went to their biennial quilt show in October. Being at that show and having a good look at a lot of beautiful quilts inspired me to finish a quilt I had started years ago.

I made my very first quilt about 40 years ago when I was in college, but got more serious about quilting about 20 years ago. Quilting has this very fundamental appeal to me. When we talk about “hands at home,” it’s the image of quilters, working together around a quilting frame, that pops into my mind first.

I love the idea that quiltmaking has such a deep tradition in American life, but can also be so modern.

I love the idea that quilters take scraps of the old and homely and transform them into something surpassingly lovely.

I love the idea that quilting has given generations of women a social outlet and a place to meet and join hands to create something lasting, practical, and beautiful.

Quilt guilds across America are keeping these traditions alive and thriving in the 21st century. The website of the American Quilter’s Society lists 1250 local quilt guilds. That’s a whole lot of loving hands at home!

Like other guilds, the local one teaches new skills, offers quilting challenges to members, and participates in community life. Members make quilted pieces for many local charities, providing warmth and color to people whose lives can be cold and bleak.

I joined the guild the night I went. Being there has already inspired me to start a new quilting project, another item on my IBMTD list. I suspect you’ll be hearing more about that later!

All of this has gotten me wondering—are there quilt guilds in other countries or is it an American phenomenon? Do other traditional crafts have comparable guilds, where crafters meet regularly and organize around the activity? Knitters? Crocheters? Jewelers? Do you meet with others who share your love for your craft?

I’d love to hear!


22 thoughts on “Joining A Quilt Guild–IBMTD #2

    • Thanks for the tip on the ATHM–I haven’t been to that one! The Boston MFA has an upcoming quilt exhibit I’m looking forward to, too–New England has lots of opportunities!

  1. Here in the UK we suddenly have a lot of Knit and Natter or Stitch and Bitch groups around,meeting in pubs,wool shops or each other’s homes. I have never done quilting but love the use of old fabrics that have a past and get passed on in a new guise. Good luck with yours.

    • Now if only my quilt guild would meet in a pub, I could be really happy! I, too, love the re-use aspect of quilting–such vision to take discards and give them a new life as something gorgeous. Although, to be honest, most quilters go out and buy new yardage and have quite an addicton!

  2. My neighbor is very involved in quilting, I think she belongs to several groups, we also have several knitters groups and a needlework group in my area.

  3. There are some Guilds here in the UK although I am not a member. I do meet with a friend once a month on a Saturday afternoon and we have lunch then sit and work on whatever project we have on the go. Sometimes independently, sometimes we work on the same thing doing our own interpretations. We chat while we go catching up on the latest news. I can only imagine how sociable it was to sit in those community quilting sessions working on the same quilt around a frame.

    • That’s a lovely tradition with your friend! And, honestly, the drawback of these quilt guilds is that the big monthly meeting ends up being a business meeting, with no actual sewing taking place!

  4. I love the idea of quilting but have never done it, sewing is not my forte. I do however envy those who can sew. There are quite a lot of crafting groups in the UK meeting in the community, it is so nice to share your craft and it is great when you, either need help, or can offer it to someone else.

    • The sewing needed for a basic quilt is very straightforward–making a small quilt is a good place to learn the basics. In fact, I’ve seen doll quilts, in museums, made by very young girls (5-6 years) so I’m sure you could manage very well!

    • Your knitting group probably actually knits together! The quilt guild meeting I went to was more of a business meeting, with no sewing going on although people brought quilts they had finished for show-and-tell. I need to find a smaller group to really stitch with!

  5. I don’t know about quilting, but I have my Creative Coffee mornings..and there’s a series of meeting/mixing in pubs across London for knitting and crocheting called the ‘stitch n bitch’ ! Haven’t been to one yet but I’ like to! xxx

  6. glad you got arround to joining. there are many quilters and crafters groups around scotland. my great aunt collects dyes and spins her own wool for the tapestries she makes. my grandfathers wife is a committee member of her quilters group. they make and arrange quilt swaps with groups across the pond. what i love about their group is they do not stick to quilting. each member takes a turn demonstrating new skills, new methods, new crafts. i’d be there every week if it wasn’t so far!

    • That sounds like a great group! And I love the idea of spinning and dyeing wool–I took a whirl at spinning a long time ago–you have to be dedicated to get good at that, I think!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s