Do you know a group of people who would like to form a quilt guild? Perhaps you are interesting in converting your existing informal quilting bee as a formal guild. It’s a bit of work, but worth it in the end!
Start by contacting an existing guild and asking them for a copy of their by-laws and newsletter, how they handle the finances, establish charity work, find speakers and so on. At the same time, you should establish the initial meeting place and time and start looking for members. Post a notice in local fabric stores and community boards. Ask the newspaper to run it in the upcoming local events column. Ask your friends to ask their friends. Send a notice to existing guilds asking them to publicize the new guilds - many quilters belong to more than one.
During the initial meeting, you need to decide:
- Will this guild be open to everyone, or are you going to limit the membership?
- Will you be establishing a theme? For example, will you guild exist primarily to raise money for charity, or will it be an all purpose guild?
- Where your meetings will be held, and how often. Establish a committee to look into churches, libraries and other places that might be willing to donate space for a permanent meeting space.
- What time your meeting will be held. Will you have two meetings, one for days and one for nights?
- The type of programs that will interest your guild. For example, if your members are mostly beginners, they will benefit from BOM’s that might challenge their skills. If your members are accomplished, they may prefer nationally known speakers. Other guild programs include: Secret Sister, Challenge blocks, row by row or round robin quilts, charity quilts, demonstrations by members, demonstrations by local quilt shops, show n tell, mystery quilts, Fat quarter swaps - just about anything you can think of. Utilize the talent within your group.
- Will you be having a quilt show? A raffle? If you decide to form your guild to be a non-profit organization plan on incorporating, having an elected board, and formulating by-laws. This will take a bit of money, because you need a lawyer's help. Perhaps someone in your new group will be a lawyer and will help you through this.
- Most guilds charge dues to cover expenses. What will you charge and what will it cover?
- Elect officers. The more people that get involved, the better. Consider a:
- Programs/Workshops Coordinator (bus trips, national speakers, etc),
- Guild Librarian,
- Newsletter Coordinator to create, write and distribute the newsletter,
- Quilt Show Committee including Raffle Quilt Coordinator and Publicity Coordinator,
- Guild Historian
- Service Project and Community Education Coordinator, and Hospitality Coordinator.
- Guild Logo and Pins
Don’t forget to establish membership in The National Quilting Association as they will provide insurance for your quilt show.
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