kingjenia's Blog

This is where I yap about the quilts I'm making, ideas for new quilts and little things about life that gets in the way.

Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?

I went to a local quilt show over the weekend.  I didn't even know there would be one here in my home town until I drove past our convention center Saturday.  Well, they were there Sunday as well, so I got the opportunity to go to my first quilt show!

The show was put on by the local quilting guild another surprise to me. I didn't know we had one here.  I always thought this would be a great way to meet friends, I am really very shy.  I can write to you folks all day, but put me in front of a group of people and I clam up.  Once I get to know folks I'm a forever-type friend and love to keep in touch.  I really need some local girlfriends and I would really like to start here, but I don't know how to begin.

After looking at all the beautiful quilts, I feel that I would be ashamed to join the group.  Most of the quilts were spectacularly machine quilted and extremely detailed.  Because I do all my quilts by hand, my stuff is pretty basic.  I enjoy doing my quilts my way and I'm afraid I will be ridiculed or laughed at for being "old fashioned" or so slow a snail can quilt faster than me.

I looked at the guild information online and so many of these ladies make 100's of quilts a year.  I will be extremely lucky to do two. 

I have heard other ladies complain that some guilds are full of quilt police, and I don't want to be arrested by the quilt police and have my hobby taken away from me!  I have also heard the great stories of all the friendships made through the guilds - lifelong friendships.  I cherish my friendships and I would love to meet new people, but I am so torn by my novice ability and my old fashioned ways. 

Do any of you feel this way?  Are you in a local quilting guild?  Would they accept anyone, or do you have to be an expert quilter to be part of the group?

Published Tue, Feb 18 2014 12:52 PM by Jenia

Comments

# re: Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?@ Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:09 PM

I too am a hand quilter.  I do belong to a quilt CLUB we are not a guild. WE have a diverse group with different experiences and have a blast together. I believe whether you hand or machine quilt doesn't matter.  However those who send their quilts out to be longarmed by a professional are cheating.

by Flo

# re: Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?@ Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:32 PM

haha, that's exactly what my partner-husband says.  He told that to a lady demonstrating a $26,000 computerized machine at the show.  He asked her "so what does it cost to cheat?".  I wanted to shrink to the corner because you know so many people do that now.  You literally put the sandwich in, push some buttons, and out comes a piece of art!  It's nice to know your club accepts hand quilters.  I think I'm going to try this large group (170 members) and see what happens, perhaps there are others in that large number who hand quilt.  

by Jenia

# re: Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?@ Tuesday, February 18, 2014 6:27 PM

Guilds are made up of many different types and levels of quilters. I've been involved in a couple different guilds and beginners join all the time. Not everyone in a guild places their quilts in shows, so don't judge the membership by the quilts you saw in the show. As a hand quilter, you have something to offer and may find other hand quilters. You should check it out and see if you like it. Most guilds allow you to visit before joining.

by Pamela

# re: Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?@ Wednesday, February 19, 2014 9:33 AM

Thanks, Pamela, that's a good thing to remember.  I know each guild will have a diverse group of people, I just have to give it a try.  One of these days I will get up the courage to go see what it's all about.  In the meantime, I'm going to try and start a dialog with the membership people (probably by phone or email) and see how it feels.  I wonder mostly if they are excited about new members or if it will just feel like so there's a new face in the crowd, so what.

by Jenia

# re: Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?@ Wednesday, February 19, 2014 4:23 PM

Jenia,

We have an official guild in our small community, but i was turned off by it.  Like I said before that is why 12 of us started our own club.  We are now 60 strong after 1 year.  We do not hold anything against those who send stuff to longarmers, however we encourage each other to do it our selves.  There are 3 ways to quilt: machine, hand and by checkbook.  My sister-in-law quilts by checkbook ans she calls herself a cheater.

by Flo

# re: Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?@ Thursday, February 20, 2014 9:01 AM

Hi Jenia,

I'm a beginning quilter and got started at my church.  A friend who is an experienced quilter started a group and our goal is to make quilts for charity groups, police and fire depts. to give away, etc. We are a small group, but the experienced members are very supportive and helpful and we hope to grow over time.  We have fun together and help each other with color choices, techniques, etc  I have hand and machine quilted so far.  I think the only time I would send a quilt out for quilting would be if I made a large (like queen size) quilt.  

by Jeri

# re: Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?@ Monday, February 24, 2014 7:58 PM

Hi Jenia, I'm very similar to you.  I moved to the Kansas City area several years ago and thought a guild might be a great way to meet others with my interests but I haven't made the effort to search any out since I'm really not sure how to do it and am very uncomfortable in new situations plus my work causes me to travel quite a bit so even though I have lived here almost 9 years now, I don't know anyone!  My own faults but I'm afraid to put myself out there and taking the chance of not being liked!  I have no problem talking, etc. on line!  Crazy!

by Deb

# re: Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?@ Monday, February 24, 2014 7:58 PM

Hi Jenia, I'm very similar to you.  I moved to the Kansas City area several years ago and thought a guild might be a great way to meet others with my interests but I haven't made the effort to search any out since I'm really not sure how to do it and am very uncomfortable in new situations plus my work causes me to travel quite a bit so even though I have lived here almost 9 years now, I don't know anyone!  My own faults but I'm afraid to put myself out there and taking the chance of not being liked!  I have no problem talking, etc. on line!  Crazy!

by Deb

# re: Quilter's Guild for shy people or beginners?@ Monday, March 3, 2014 6:44 PM

Hi Jenia:  I belong to a guild on the Kenai  Peninsula in Alaska. We accept people of all levels and also types (hand vs machine, also contract). We have no quilt police and are made up of several groups that come from different locations on the peninsula. Hand quilting is almost a lost art, so be proud of your craft. I was just so happy to find quilters with so much creativity where I live, it is amazing!I think you should give your local group or guild a try and you may be  surprised at the friendliness and support you can find there.