Whether you're a new or experienced quilter, membership in a quilt guild is a terrific way to establish friendships with others who are passionate about quilting. In addition, guilds are a gateway to many opportunities to learn more about the art and craft of quilting through lectures, classes, workshops, retreats, exhibits, and shows. Many guilds provide special opportunities for these events available only to their members, while other guilds offer discounted pricing for members for events.
One good way to find a guild in your local area is to do an internet search with the name of your state or closest metropolitan area and the words "quilt guild." A list of cities along with the guilds established in those areas should appear. Entries often include information such as the name of the group, contact information, meeting places and times and website information. Another option way to find a local quilt guild is to ask around at your local quilt shop. Many shop owners are active in, or at least familiar with, the local guilds and their activities.
Participation in a guild can range anywhere from a casual membership to active participation - the choice is up to you! Most guilds are comprised of smaller circles of quilters that live in close proximity to one another and meet in separate groups while also attending the main guild meetings. Some of these small groups or circles have weekly meetings and activities in addition to guild activities. Some guild members choose not to go to a weekly group meeting but instead focus on attending the monthly or quarterly meetings attended by all members of the guild.
Guild meetings are divided up into a few different segments: guild business and informational presentations about upcoming events, service and charity opportunities, and show and tell opportunities. In addition, larger guilds usually have at least one judged quilt show either every year or every other year depending on the size of the guild. These quilt shows offer an opportunity for guild members to present a quilt display for guild members and the general public to enjoy. Judging can provide opportunities for participants to learn about areas in which they might improve their quilting. Having vendors available at these events allows quilters and others in attendance to see the latest fabrics and notions available to quilters.
Another perk of guild membership is that guilds often have extensive quilt book libraries that they make available for members to borrow. This can be especially helpful with out-of-date or hard to find quilt volumes that members may want to look at for information or inspiration.
Whether you decide to join and just attend major events or get involved with a variety of guild activities, one thing is certain: you are likely to meet a variety of other people who share your interest in and love for quilting. What guild events and activities are your favorites?