Thursday, May 3, 2012

thoughts on the guild...

Hi there quilty friends.  I've been thinking about the state of our guild for awhile, particularly after Saturday's meeting and Katie's post.  I wanted to just share some thoughts and solicit some feedback.  A few months ago, Katie put out a call to the group to see if anyone was interested in helping to write by-laws.  A few weeks later, Katie, Natalie, Heather, and I got together to review some other guild's blogs and do some writing.  I think it was Heather's husband who said something along the lines of "this seems like a lot of work for people who just want to get together to sew".  At the time, we all sort of laughed  it off, but now I can't help but wonder if he was right.


Using some of the really successful guilds as models, we worked to write by-laws.  We planned to do elections.  Katie did a survey awhile back.  We tried to respond to the survey results (events in DC, MD, and VA, learning type events, social events).  We talked about collecting dues so that we could have speakers.

And still, little has changed.  I would say a well attended event has 10 people.  I think there have been a few exceptions where lots of people came, but honestly, most events have 5-7 people (5-7 awesome, fun people).  I think we can all agree that it would be silly to have by-laws, elections, and dues for a guild of 10-ish people.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I love sewing with you guys.  I enjoy having coffee and talking about fabric, I like sitting on the Lincoln Memorial doing hand sewing, and I love sewing in a room surrounded by each and every one of you.  And here's the thing: that stuff is easy to plan.  I won't even pretend to take credit for it.  Katie and Natalie have done the heroic bulk of planning (I've helped a tad along the way), and I think they'll also admit, those things are easy to plan.  And I think we plan to do those types of things in perpetuity.


It really is hard to imagine that two years ago (give or take because I can't actually remember when we started) none of us had met and I imagine most of us were sewing in isolation and the only sewing "friends" that we had were on the internet.  Now, I like to think that we've made friends and generally enjoy each other's company.  So, I guess the question is: is that enough?


I am starting to think that maybe Heather's husband was right.  It is a lot of work for people who just want to get together to sew.  I mean, I love the learning.  I love the idea of speakers.  I love the idea of swaps.  But what I think I would be really really sad to lose, is the social aspect.  I mean, I can follow tutorials online and do swaps on flickr.  What I can't do online is sit in a room with a bunch of ladies and talk fabric and listen to our machines make some awesome quilts.  I want to grow old doing that.

So what do you think?  Is the social sewing enough?  Will you keep coming if we just hang out and sew?  What do you need from this group?  Seriously, we want to know.


11 comments:

  1. I think the social sewing is enough - that's the main thing I wanted to get out of the group. Speakers and swaps and techniques are nice, but as you said, a lot of that kind of thing is available to me in other ways. The thing a guild has to offer that cannot be found elsewhere is the personal interaction, and that's what made me excited about the guild in the first place. Honestly, when I first heard about the plans for by-laws elections and everything, it did seem like overkill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the Joanna! We had been looking at some of the bigger groups (SLC, St. Louis, Chicago, LA) and following suit; but, it sounds like it's time to just do our own thing!

      Delete
  2. I want to be part of your sewing club! A girlfriend of mine and I get together and sew pretty often and I just love it. I'd love to find more people to do that with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. come hang out! check out our calendar page. i swear, we are fun :)

      Delete
  3. I have to agree with Heather's husband. Given, I've only been to a couple of meetings, but I've loved it each time. Believe me, it's my schedule that keeps me from attending more meetings, not my interest!

    One of the things I like about our group is we might be small, but we always have fun! There is no pressure, no worrying about elections or putting a show together. I think if we do ever grow in great numbers we will have to worry about these things, but right now I say let's have fun!

    I would however be more than happy to pay dues if it is decided that we need to do that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Melanie! I totally agree about the small but fun part. I so look forward to these events. I hope to see you more soon.

      Delete
  4. I agree with Heather's husband too. I just want to get together to sew. And although I haven't been able to attend a guild meeting in quite some time (between having a baby and trying to buy a house my weekends have been booked), but now that things are calming down I just can't wait to come back and sew. But I don't need anything fancy. Just a room where we can sit and sew and chat and laugh.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Soundginline to me. Makes my job easy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. [That was supposed to say sounds fine to me.]

    I need to leave a bit of a longer comment, too. I don't think that I have "big guild" envy, but I do like the idea of membership, by-laws, etc. One of the main reasons--I worry that if I move or Dana's life gets too busy or so and so starts a new job, that the guild will kind of peter out and die. And that would make me sad. While I enjoy the casual nature of the guild right now, I also worry that because there are a few of us that know each other really well, and then a pretty steady stream of new people that may or may not come back, that the guild may seem cliquish. So, if it does, let me apologize and say that it is totally unintentional.

    That being said, I'm happy to finish scheduling for 2012. And then I'll pass the scheduling baton onto someone else.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well, I'm out west of DC or Baltimore (near Hagerstown or Frederick) and I just want to be able to make it to one of your sewing get togethers. I think the idea of sewing with friends sounds delightful! I too, think the large guilds seem very exciting. But I just want to sew and meet people. Hopefully, one of these events I will be able to visit!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm a little ways out as well- stuck here in WV. I have been really meaning to get to one of your gatherings and meet everyone. I have June's date on my calendar- I am looking forward to it and appreciate the opportunity. As to your original questions I can see pros and cons to both keeping it casual and getting a little more formal. Perhaps somehow meeting in the middle would be best for right now considering the size of the group?

    Regardless hope to see you all in June!

    ReplyDelete