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What makes a well run Quilt Guild?

Just to clarify, I have only attended quilt guilds in my local area - and only from the cheap seats.  What that means is that I have only been a member in a guild, never as a board member.  What does membership look like?

Cost is between $25 and $45 a year.
Monthly programs usually from quilters who have published books, teaches workshops or created award winning quilts.
Opportunities to attend retreats with like minded quilters.
Opportunities for community service.
Support the guild by selling tickets to a raffle quilt or making mini quilts for a auction.
Encouragement and friendship from other quilters.
If your guild is large enough, produce a quilt show.

Several years ago, I joined my local quilt guild. It was well run.  The programs were interesting, the business meetings were short, to the point, and kept the members informed.  Life in the guild was wonderful - at least from the cheap seats.

It was at this point that my job description changed and I was unable to attend guild meetings for a couple of years.  I returned to the local guild to find that the leadership had changed.  The meetings were unorganized. No one knew if people holding leadership positions were going to show up and fulfill their duties.  The raffle quilt was not completed and a sad old quilt was substituted.  The guild membership had shrunk to about half and the membership was discouraged.  The guild was spending money out of their reserve and depleting funds raised in previous years. I stepped out on faith and volunteered to head up the Mini Quilt Auction, an event that had been cancelled the previous year due to lack of leadership. After attempting to working with the vice president over my position, I left in utter discouragement. I fear that this guild will dissolve if new leadership does not take over and turn things around.

I went looking for a new guild and found the McKinney Quilt Guild.  The programs have been interesting.  The business meetings are short and well run.  There are many opportunities for charitable programs.  The guild is financially sound. I know that when I show up, the meeting is going to start and end on time, and the program has been well planned. There are many awarding winning and published quilters in the guild.  People I want to associate with.

At my first visit to the McKinney guild, I was given a welcome gift.  The president came over to talk to me and introduce herself.  I also won a door prize - a ticket to the Plano Quilt Show!  Score!!  The program that month was Brenda Perry and her story of learning to quilt.  She was very entertaining and had wonderful quilts to display.  She had several quilts made from a technique she had developed called "Those Amazing Stripes".  A few of us inquired about Brenda doing a workshop for the guild.  While there was not enough interest in the McKinney guild, we were informed that the Garland guild was hosting a workshop in a couple of weeks.  A friend and I were able to attend with the Garland guild.  The Garland guild welcomed us with open arms and it was a wonderful day of creating my quilt top.  Here is the fabric I started with.

Using Brenda Perry's instructions, here is the top I ended up with.  It is a twist on a stack and whack.  Very simple to make but dramatic results.

Close up view.

I have selected a green back and a green variegated thread for the edge to edge quilting design.  I started the top on Saturday and finished it on Monday.  This will be a go to pattern when I need to finish a quilt quickly.

The topic for the July guild meeting was packing for traveling to a workshop or a quilting cruise.  Tons of great information and beautiful quilts.

The August meeting was last night.  The speaker was Becky Goldsmith from Piece O' Cake Designs.  Her program was on color and design; what draws your eye in a quilt.  I left with a lot to think about.  I love it when a program makes you think - challenges your normal way of doing things.

I am again, a happy guild member. Maybe in 2016, I can take on a leadership position and attend one of their retreats.

I have made progress of several projects.  This is my clothesline rug.  I ran out of clothesline but have more on order.  It has not arrived yet. This one is very scrappy.  I got lots of long strips to use on another rug from making my stripe quilt.  Maybe my colors can be more coordinated in the next one but I love the process.

I am continuing to work on the Bonnie Hunter tumbler challenge.  Our guild is participating in a push to make a large number of quilts for kids at a local center.  I hope to make several tumbler quilts for this program.  They are not due until next March.  I wondered how I would finish off the edges since they are not square, when I found this on one of Bonnie's Facebook pages.  Thank you to whomever posted this.

And finally, a picture of my Row by Row quilt taken at "Not Your Mama's Quilt Store" in Plano.  And a picture of the fabric I selected for my prize. 

The jelly roll is from Ryley Blake and some of the strips have already been cut for a new hexagon quilt. This is my new layout.  All of the background fabrics are white and the flowers are controlled scrappy.

The Plano quilt show was last Saturday.  The best of show was a gorgeous Baltimore Album quilt, hand appliqued and hand quilted. My only purchased was a pattern called Wildflowers by Pearl P Pereira. Since the blocks are only 6 inches, I plan to scan the applique patterns and do them as machine embroidery applique.