Over the years, I’ve belonged to one quilt guild or another depending on when the meeting was and how far they were away from my home. For the past few years – I’ve been a (happy to be included) member of the Metropolitan Patchwork Society (also known as – MetroPatch or MPS).
What are the benefits of belonging to a quilt guild? So many good reasons to belong. Here are just a few (in no particular order).
- Meet and get to know other quilters.
- Join a small group to quilt together regularly.
- Quilt Shows – most guilds have an annual show where members can display their work.
- Skill building – want to learn a new technique? Someone in the guild is an expert – and willing to share.
- Camaraderie and support – we are all learning and it’s good for the soul to have others recognize how far we’ve come as our skills improve.
- Retreats – many guilds (including MetroPatch) offer retreats once or twice a year.
- Learning from featured speakers – every meeting is an opportunity to learn from a skilled quilter.
- Challenges – create a project based on a specific set of parameters. The picture below shows my project for our challenge for 2020 (20 fabric, 20 inches square).
Our guild meetings were held in person at a church very close to my home. Each meeting includes a social time, a presentation by a featured speaker, “show and tell”, announcements about upcoming activities, and some door prizes.
Like so many other guilds, we switched to a Zoom format for our meetings. There was a bit of a learning curve as we all got used to seeing each other (grid style) on a computer screen – instead of side by side in rows of chairs. Over that couple of years, we discovered that there are some unexpected advantages to meeting over Zoom.
- Former members that had moved away – could rejoin the guild (geography and driving distance are no longer issues).
- When quilts are being shared or speakers are presenting – it’s MUCH easier to see (and hear) what’s going on.
- We can meet more often in smaller groups – our guild has set up a smaller Zoom get-together nearly every week of the month. That’s difficult to do if you have to compete for meeting space. We have regular “show and tell” meetings, a Coffee Hour, and a Dessert Hour in addition to our regular monthly meeting.
- No need to get dressed up, drive at night or worry about catching whatever cold is going around. I’ve noticed that most of us seem to be joining the Zoom meeting – right from our sewing spaces. It’s a lot of fun to see everyone’s creative space.
- I’ve found that I’m getting to know more members a little better than if we were meeting in person. The Zoom format allows for “Breakout Rooms” where smaller groups of members all get to spend some time talking and getting to know each other before we come back together for the main presentation. When we meet in person – we tend to visit with the same group of people in most meetings.
Now that we’ve returned to a more normal existence
The Metropolitan Patchwork Society has moved to a hybrid meeting format for the monthly guild meeting. That means if you enjoy meeting in person – you can do that. If you are more comfortable with joining by Zoom – that works too. I tend to join by Zoom for several reasons – one of which is I can take better notes during the presentations.
If you are interested in learning more about The Metropolitan Patchwork Society – I’d encourage you to join a meeting – in person if you are local to Beaverton Oregon – or by Zoom if that better meets your needs. I hope to see you there!