Confessions of a quiltaholic: Want to know the ‘skinny’ on quilt guilds?

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First, let me thank you for sending such positive responses to the editor of the Kent News about my first column. I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining you on a regular basis. Today, I’d like to give you the “skinny” on quilt guilds.

In the mid-’80s, when I was just a “spring chicken,” my family and I relocated to Kent from California. Although I was a real “greenhorn” or novice quilter, I wanted hone my quilting skills and become more involved in quilting. When my husband found out from a coworker that a guild met just three blocks from our home, I decided to go. Even though I didn’t know a soul, and I didn’t have a clue what a quilt guild was all about, I decided “What the heck, I might make some friends, or learn some new stuff about quilt-making.”

In spite of a ghastly battle of nerves waging war in my tummy, I plastered a smile on my face, and waltzed into the next guild meeting, ready and willing to find out what a quilt guild really was about. A thoughtful hostess welcomed me, handed me a name badge and guild information and later introduced me to the membership. When I spied the roomful of quilters chatting away, laughing, and obviously having fun, the jumble of nerves just floated away into oblivion. Once the meeting started, and I learned the “perks” of a quilt guild, I became overjoyed, and felt an impulse to leap up out of my chair, and dance for joy, celebrating the fact that I had the opportunity to join such a spirited community of quilters.

So, what’s the real skinny on quilt guilds?

In case you are wondering what a quilt guild is, or how to locate a guild in your community, I’m here to give you the real scoop. Joining a quilt guild offers you the opportunity to form a social network with a community of quilters who gather to share their love of quilting, provide education to members and the community about quilt-making. Most quilt guilds also provide members with the opportunity to continually increase their quilting knowledge. Having traveled the globe, lecturing and teaching landscape quilting to guilds world-wide, I’ve had the opportunity to witness firsthand how a majority of guilds operate. Imagine hanging out with your quilting friends, attending guild-sponsored conferences and retreats, or going to lectures or programs to learn from nationally acclaimed quilting personalities. There are continual opportunities to volunteer in the guild: for example, an opportunity to join with other members to create quilts benefiting the community. The community-service quilts are sometimes targeted for sick, homeless or abused, children.

Then, there are the guild-sponsored quilt shows. Talk about fun! Visualize a room packed full of diverse, dazzling, vibrant quilts, created by talented guild members. It’s like heaven on earth. Hey, if you become a guild member, it’s an opportunity for you to show off your glorious quilts and win recognition for your talents!

For me, the most important aspect of belonging to a quilt guild consists of the endearing, life-long friendships I’ve made. I belong to a “satellite” group, or “offshoot” group of guild friends, who gather together every other week to “Stitch and bitch”, share ideas, laugh, and learn from one another. Just like in a good marriage, we support one another in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, and are always there for one another. My husband is a staunch supporter of this group, saying “It’s cheaper than paying for a shrink.” Most guilds have several satellite groups.

It’s impossible for me to list all of the benefits of guild membership in detail, so I suggest you get energized and do some investigating yourself! I’ve provided resource information for you, so run, don’t walk, to the nearest quilt guild meeting in your community.

What’s better than making new friends, getting recognition for your quilting talents, and celebrating quilting together? I wish each of you happy quilting!

P.S. I’m off on a 10-day cruise up the New England coast with a contingency of quilters, organized by Quilt Camp at Sea. I’ll be teaching, lecturing, seeing the sights, and of course, stuffing myself with large quantities of lobster. I’ll be chatting with you again in a few weeks.

Learn more: Evergreen Piecemakers Guild

When: Second Monday of each month (business meeting), fourth Monday of each month (program meeting)

Time and Place: 7 p.m., First Christian Church, 11717 S.E. 240th, Kent

Membership Dues: $30.00

Information: www.evergreenpiecemakers.com

For more information about quilt guilds in your community, go to: https://www.quiltguilds.com, https://www.wasiq.org, https://www.quilterstravelcompanion.com or check with your local quilt shop for guild listings.


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