Quilt Guilds

bee0hioFebruary 6, 2012

How many of the visitors here belong to one?

How many members in your guild?

What kinds of activities does your guild sponsor?

Do you ever get into anything contentious @ your meetings?

I've belonged to a local guild for almost 13 yrs. We have a bit over 100 members, I think, & usually 70-75 +/- attendance @ the monthly meetings.

Our major fund raisers are an auction every other year alternating with a quilt show where we have a big raffle quilt. Each month we have Show & Share, birthday fat quarter, door prize if you've worn your name badge, $ collection for charity, a program (either from within the guild or outside speaker/presenter). We've donated new books on quilting/quilts to the local library & also have a scholarship program for a college student in the needle arts/fabric, etc. area of education. We also have workshops (free or pay $10-$25), & also organize 2-3 day bus trip/shop hops.

This month's meeting unfortunately became very contentious... first time I've seen that happen to the degree that it escalated. One woman spoke for "unnamed others" & she flat out insulted a segment of the guild. That segment is a group of 10-15 who gather 1-2 times/month to sew quilts to donate to the local Red Cross chapter who gives them to local victims of disaster. You probably won't believe this but here is a quote: The quilts that we are donating to Red Cross .... "too big & too pretty". Jaw dropping to say the least! One gal who was a major contributor (she long-armed dozens & dozens of full size quilts) to the RC group has resigned from the guild. I belong to the RC sewers.... I'm hanging in there. We feel that this is a small group whose motives or tactics are hard to ever make any sense of. We had a lot of supportive statements during the "discussion", as well as following the meeting.

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It might be worthwhile to find out what she's really angry about. There's a core problem here and it's not likely that it's because you make pretty quilts. She may feel left out or rejected by your smaller group. She may think your efforts could be better served somewhere else (not everyone is a fan of the Red Cross). If she does speak for others then there's something going on and it could be healthy for your guild to find out what it is.

Having said that, however, I can't imagine why the comments of one person would cause your long-armer to resign! People have opinions and often share those opinions. If she doesn't agree with her she shouldn't let it push her away from a group that's important to her.

We have a very nice local guild that I'm just starting to get involved with; I haven't been able to attend many meetings until recently. They do many of the same activities you list for yours. I haven't seen any of the contention you mention but I haven't been going long enough to know people very well. But if it gets sparky, I might go just for the drama! LOL


    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:52PM
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Reading over your post I realize you didn't ask me to solve your problem so maybe I should apologize for my answer! Can you tell I work a lot on mediation and conflict resolution with employees? My first reaction was to jump in and figure out the core issue, but I'm not the quilt police OR the guild police so I am "backing away from the post". Sorry!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 4:07PM
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The guild I belong to is small. We have a limit of 50 members. This works nice for me as you are better able to get to know the members. Our requirement is to attend a certain amount of meetings per year, contribute a quilt to the chosen guild organization, and be on a committee.

We also have smaller gathering within the guild of those members who get together and either make quilts for donation, or just share ideas and so on. These smaller gatherings names are available and anyone can join them. Usually people join because of a day/time/or project the groups do. I have never heard of any of the groups having any problems.

Our guild does pretty much as listed in the previous post. I enjoy it and always look forward to the meetings and programs.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 4:22PM
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Beeohio, I'm sorry to hear about your last guild meeting. I agree with Kate's comments - it is hard to believe that she is really upset about the fact that your group makes such nice quilts...

I hope your long-armer will reconsider and that your guild is able to work through this difficult time. Good luck.


P.S. I am not a member of a physical guild, just a member of this virtual guild.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:18AM
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The guild I belong to is rather large, over 150 members now and is in a neighboring city, so I have to drive there. My guild is very important to me even though my attendance is not as regular as it once was. We have lots of service projects, a big show every other year, programs, classes, and workshops. The distance and working full time keep me from many things I would like to do with the guild, but I usually serve on a show committee, have headed up various guild committees and served a year as president.

Two shows ago we had a major contentious issue: the show committee chose to give our Silent Auction money to breast cancer awareness/research funding (I was absent at that meeting). Some of the members thought the funds should have been returned to the guild or at the least, the guild members should have been allowed to vote on where the Auction money was to go. (I rather agreed at the time that this issue should have been put to a guild vote, but kept my opinions to myself as I had been absent when this was decided.) Several members left the guild and later a couple came back after a few years. One of my friends still joins each year, but does not attend the meetings.

I don't think there is any issue that could arise that would cause me to leave the guild. I'm just stubborn that way.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 10:54AM
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I am so sick and tired of people complaining and not giving 'specifics'......who are the unnamed others? Are they involved with the group making quilts that are too big and too pretty to give away? If not, why would they care? Why do they think someone wouldn't like to have, and be appreciative of, a big and pretty quilt at the time of their disaster to give them comfort?

If she isn't willing to give answers, put her on the ignore list. Don't let her take your peace or the peace in your RC group.....it isn't worth it.

People are 'talking' in my DH's bonsai club, too. Unnamed people say they aren't getting help. Who did they ask to help them? What was it they wanted help with? Specifics people! Track it down and get the problem fixed....if there is one!!!

SharonG/FL......stepping off another soapbox.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:38AM
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I'm not in a guild. I've only made one wallhanging, some potholders and blocks for trade. LOL There is a guild that meets 1 mile from my home and I have been invited, but I am learning all I need at this time from you wonderful people. If I eventually feel competent and relaxed with quilting, maybe I'll join one, but I really don't want another meeting to go to at this time.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 11:58AM
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Sad to hear about the contentious arguments in the guilds.
I suppose when you have large numbers of members, there will always be someone who unfortunately likes to stir up strife.

I'm not in a quild as of yet...maybe will join one someday. I belong to our church's White Cross group, which makes mission quilts and sends them all over the world. It's a very small group and we all get along.

I belong to Racine Garden Club, and have many commitments to that group right now, and don't want to spread myself too thin.

As bev said above, I too, am learning from you people here on the forum. I've also taken a few online courses.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 12:51PM
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I don't belong to a guild. I don't work well with the rules, committees, politics and responsibilities that accompany formal groups. If I had some quilting friends that just liked to gather and quilt, that would be fine, but since I don't know anyone else who quilts near me, I do it alone and visit this forum often. Of course if I joined a guild I might find some friends and then drop out! LOL! That's a thought! I also like to listen to APQ radio show every week, they talk about nothing but quilts and most of the time with very interesting designers and teachers, I just love it.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 1:41PM
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I don't belong to a guild, only you wonderful ladies :-)

I'm sorry your guild is having such bumpy times. It seems there is always someone in a group that you just can't please. I hope it gets resolved. BTW, I think it's wonderful you're giving away those large, beautiful quilts! And I'm sure the recipients are glad to have them.


    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 1:50PM
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I no longer belong to a guild but was among the founder of our local one. It meets at night and has grown much larger . I am sure I would enjoy it. When I quite it conflicted with something else that I was doing and now I don't care to meet at night. This group is a good alternative.
I have tried to understand what the ladies problem was at your meeting and for the life of me it goes beyond my understanding. Why is she concerned about what a segment of the group is doing? How does it affect the group? What business is it of the others?? I would have politely told her to shut up.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 2:32PM
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Thanks for your comments. And Kate, no apology needed... I agree with many of your statements.

I ~think~ spokeslady's idea was that perhaps we should branch out to other charitable groups with smaller quilts. That idea certainy has merit, & is worthy of reasonable discussion. But it was surely buried when you come @ it from such a negative comment. Then there were others who piped up with their own "pet peeves" about other guild decisions. Open the door to all manner of tangents... somewhat of "b!tch-fest", which unfortunately the Pres. was ill-equipped to tamp down. But there were cooler heads who tried to calm people down.

But as to "smaller quilts" we RC'ers think that if you've lost your home to a fire, a large (full size quilt) is more appropriate than a lap quilt. The "pretty" part..... well that is actually laughable ... sorta sick, but laughable. I'm sure many of us will get a chuckle over that for years to come.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 2:44PM
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My guild of about 60 members, meets monthly and do pretty much the same kind of things yours does. We have several groups that get together weekly to "sew their own thing" and the rest of us are invited to join them whenever we want to. An announcement is made at each meeting reminding us of the weekly groups. The rest of us are not really concerned with what they do with the quilts they make. We just love to see them at show and share. Just can't imagine what the lady was upset with. Are the quilts going to the Red Cross the only charity quilts your guild makes? Maybe she would like to donate to another local charity? I agree with the others there may be under-lying issues instead of "too pretty to give away".
I wonder if the guild provides the funds for the materials these ladies use to make the "too pretty to give away" quilts?
We have two guilds in our town, one that meets in the morning and one that meets at night. Many of us belong to both guilds and we have projects/events that we share such as some classes, retreats and the bi-annual quilt show. The biggest contention we had lately was when one of the members who belongs to both guilds thought she should have two votes on any issue regarding joint activities. She was quickly and nicely voted down! lol That was quite a meeting!
On a side note, I am interested in your "fat quarter Birthday swap". What is it and how does it work? We are always on the look out for something new!
Hope things have calmed down at your guild now.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 5:56AM
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Yes, Murphy, the guild gives $ to the RC group. It's part of our annual budget & written into the by-laws/constitution that this is THE "community project". Most of that $ goes for batting. We have a lot of donated fabric. A couple of years ago a woman left us a huge amount of fabric from her estate. We have made donations to other charities, but the local RC gets most of the donated quilts. We'll get past this, no doubt & it's not that unusual, given the size of the group & all the varying personalities, etc.

The "birthday fat qtr".... the guild buys a supply of FQ's & if it is your birthday month, they call out the birthday gals' names & you get to select one. If you miss that month, you can do it next month.

Last yr we did a "Signature Block" swap. 42 members participated. 6 1/2" block of your choice, + 2 extra plain blocks from the same fabric(s) in your sig. block. I have my top nearly completed, just need to sew on 2 more borders. That was a fun thing to do. Quite a variety of different styles of blocks.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Re: beeohio I hope that your situation in your guild has been resolved with the contentious member. It sounds to me like she is jealous and wants to be in control of decisions, or she is not as good a quilter as the women turning in the charity quilts and is acting out for that reason.

I have a situation in my guild that is similar but more worrisome. A member has an account at a wholesale sewing supplier; she was taking orders from dozens of members and delivering these orders on quilt shop properties (in the store and in the parking lots) and at the guild meetings at our non-profit location. she was caught on a monitor at one store, that owner called 2 others and she is banned at those stores and I was informed if she wasn't removed from the guild, we would lose our 2 meeting locations. the store owners contacted the wholesale supplier and they closed her account. I can't even begin to tell you what this members has done in retribution to ME and I had nothing to do with any of it. she has made appointments in my name at local businesses, contacted guild members and told them to choose between being her friend or mine. I refuse to discuss it with anyone so as not to spread more rumors. I asked said member to stop selling to members, she said no. Stop selling on the properties, she said no. I told her she is resigned from the guild, and she said no. she came in the back door at the last meeting because she knew I wasn't going to be there. The store owner is furious with ME for her having been there. We are a very nice group of about 35 women, meet twice monthly. We have dues but no by-laws. I started the group in 2005. I think this member was trying to start an online business and wanted to be in charge of the group in order to promote her interests. she has started a feud between me and my local dealer by causing the most trouble imaginable. I have essentially lost my dealer and the warranty on my machine now. the other stores are behind me, and have apologized for her retribution towards me, but it is all so unfair. this member was selling the wholesale items on the internet at a profit as well, and had quite an email business going with people she never met. How can I get her out of my guild without a legal battle?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 9:55AM
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Wow! QE, that is quite incredible!
I am not understanding at all why a shop owner is furious with YOU that MsX came in the back door to a guild meeting, when YOU were not even there?! Are you the president/leader of the guild?? Do you have the support of the other members? Why did they not ask her to leave? If you are not the Pres. then it seems to me that the Pres & other officers need to send her a certified letter that she is no longer a member. Refund her dues so she won't have that to harp on.

Your not discussing the FACTS (leave out the emotion, hard as that might be) with the other members probably isn't helping you, as MsX sounds like someone more than willing to get "her story" out in whatever manner shines the best light on her, truth be damned. The members have a right to know, imho. The "meeting place" is in jeopardy because of MsX's behavior. They also need to understand that it is very poor form to buy merchandise @ an undercut price, right on the premises of a shop owner. BIG NO-NO! If they want to befriend her & unfriend you, then you don't need that kind of "friend".

How could she start a feud between you & the dealer who sold you your machine? I would address that head on with the dealer & get that straightened out. I would think they *have* to stand behind the warranty, else I would contact the manufacturer if a problem arose.

Making appointments... that sounds quite malicious ... maybe psycho? You might have to file a police report, &/or contact an attorney to get her to "cease & desist".

Good Luck!

P.S. Everything is pretty much back to normal in my guild & the "subject" was not further addressed @ our guild meetings nor in the newsletter.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 3:07PM
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QuilterEmbroiderer - welcome to the Forum! I see this is your first post here. If you don't get responses in this thread, you might want to try with a new post so people see that it's a new question.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 4:30PM
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Thank you for welcoming me! Yes, first post, new to this sort of thing.
BeeOhio, I wouldn't be surprised if the person in your guild pops up again in the future. Our guilds distribute quilts to several places, such as shelters for families, women and women with children. Also migrant families in the summer. There is one organization that has come in and told us not to put a lot of work into their quilts as they are sometimes torn or cut up by some troubled people working out problems. One was apparently set on fire (the quilt, not the person). so, for that organization, not listed above, we do very simple quilts. That may be what your member was referring to? Maybe she feels the quilts are lost or left behind in some cases and shouldn't be too intricate?

As to my post, I am the person that runs the guild. I started it in 2004. I haven't talked to other members about this as I don't want to fuel the gossip mill. 2 members asked me why this person wasn't attending, and I just said she resigned. She sent an email 'no I didn't resign and I paid my dues'. If I refund her and tell her she is resigned, can she sue me? Everyone has gotten along until she came. 4 have quit stating her as the reason, and 3 more are not attending meetings if they see her car in the parking lot. She targets and picks on people she thinks are inferior and not worthy of her company. she just became a licensed teacher for a co. and announced that at the last meeting; she is looking to have classes to make money. It is not anything our group would be interested in, so she is wasting her time. She happens to be quite wealthy and is just looking for something to do in her retirement. We have had a local sewing celebrity join our guild and this member told me she is going to 'get close to her'. She is nuts. A new quilt shop owner joined a weight loss group, and my member joined also. Then she told me she had no intention of losing weight; she was just trying to get close to the new shop owner and would have something to talk to her about.

As to my dealer, this gets really weird. I sent so many people to him to buy machines and takes classes, that he told me last year he had the best 2 years in the business he's ever had. He went thru a divorce recently and my problem member is looking to date him. She started hanging out with his store manager, drinking and going to retreats together. I think this member is just jealous of my relationship, which was wonderful with the store, and she is used to being in charge and wants to take over the guild. I told her if she continued to sell, I would lose the 2 locations for the guild and she said she would hold meetings at her office space and that she would take over doing the newsletter, and then she offered me several hundred dollars 'to help the guild'. I won't ever refer another person to that store, and I will never set foot in it again. They have lost a lot of business. I am however, telling everyone of their treatment towards me and I am recommending a different store. I think this woman intended to break my relationship with my original store and then take over my guild. She shows no signs of relenting. If I return the dues, she will target me even more and possibly sue. And I didn't start this; she did. I didn't turn her name in, the stores figured it out on their own. I tried to approach her and asked her to stop selling to members, and she flat out refused. I asked her why and she said 'because I don't have to'. Totally a diva. I see no signs of this stopping. I thought the stores should contact her and tell her she isn't welcome. That would take the heat off me. I didn't realize by changing meeting locations that our guild would be open to companies selling to us; the previous location wasn't. Now, local businesses are trying to get our $, and I think that my machine store felt threatened, and probably my problem member latched on to that and exaggerated it. I was told she had given the store some flyers we received at meetings and our newsletters. I can take my machine to another dealer. I'm also contacting the corporate offices. All they have achieved is the loss of referral business from the guild and I won't be organizing any road trips to their classes for our members. I just need to find a way to get this woman out of my guild/life without a lawsuit. I am totally flabbergasted. It is just a little guild, we get together to have fun and the reason I do it is to help women that need a place to go where they feel welcome and can learn something, can attend and not feel someone is criticizing them. I make zero money off this guild - I usually add much of my own to it. I meet them one on one to give lessons to get them started and I am so blessed to see them progress in their skills and their self esteem. I have taught to Girl Scout troops, public school classes, and guilds. I recently was nominated and accepted a position on a local guild that is considered...special in our area. My member found out I was elected and and told me it should have been her. Again, flabbergasted. Sadly, we had an opening and I could have nominated her if she behaved herself and didn't cause so many problems. I am so thankful I didn't. This is about the time all this started with her, so I really do think she is just a social climber and it is all based on jealousy. Humility is not a word anyone would ever associate with her. My husband does not want to hire a lawyer for me over this, but it may be heading that way.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 8:40AM
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Just a thought! Can you disband your present guild but in a month or so initiate a new one with some guidelines as to membership etc? Refund all dues from current members. That way she wouldn't be singled out with a refund. You could let the current members know what you are doing so they don't get upset. Unless of course, someone in the group is her friend and would pass that news on to her. Then she would really be angry. Might be a rather drastic move but would get her out of the new group.
It wouldn't stop the backbiting and gossip though. She does have problems.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 9:31AM
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Hi nannykins! very interesting suggestion. My closest friend in the guild is now her best friend..she came between us, which isn't surprising, but I am still friends with no. 3. We can all have more than one friend, but this woman doesn't seem to believe that. so, if I disbanded and then started again, the trouble maker would be informed. Hmmm how would I tell the trouble maker she couldn't join the new one? I'll have to think about this as I am out and about today. Thank you...food for thought!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:09AM
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The more I think about it,I think she needs to be told that she just isn't welcome anymore at the guild or at the shop(s). I don't need the aggravation but I do need to put this behind me and the guild members.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 11:56PM
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Depending on how aggravating this is to you, how important calling it a guild really is and since you say it isn't a large group: refund all dues, don't call it a guild, meet in a home with a bouncer at the door saying she isn't welcome and if she doesn't leave you alone, get a restraining order. Forget trying to be friends with shop owners and what in the world are companies trying to sell to quild members? This sounds out of hand and conniving to me......if I was in that quild and this didn't get fixed ASAP, I'd for sure walk away.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 10:15AM
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Just as a follow up, the person causing all the trouble sneaked into the April meeting (I was out of town). I rec'd a call from the very upset store owner. I decided to notify the member that she was no longer in the guild and therefore not welcome at the guild, and I explained why. She denied everything, threw a ton of nastiness my way. I'm hoping she doesn't come to the next meeting and make trouble. If she does, the shop owner will call the police. some people need to know when it is time to walk away.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:40PM
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I belong to a quilting group. The ladies are all nice and it's inspiring to see the beautiful work they do. I don't go as often as I'd like because of work. Most of the ladies are retired and can spend the whole morning there and then have lunch.
One of these days I hope to get better at time management and be able to go more.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 12:56AM
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