This recap of our first meeting is a bit longer than most will be. We passed along quite a bit of general guild information and want to make sure that those who couldn’t attend understand how the guild is structured.
Can you believe it?! Our first meetup had 22 people in attendance! It all kicked off at Dooley’s Waterside at 7pm with a bit of chitchat and getting to know each other. Food was eaten, beers went down easily and the coffee was given high marks. The board room made for a great private space to kickstart The Greater Western Sydney Modern Quilt Guild.
Sheridan kicked off the meeting off by introducing the organizing committee and explained the roles each committee member is tackling. As of yet, we haven’t given ourselves official titles or launched into elections. Once we understand the needs of the guild, we’ll revisit positions more formally.
Sheridan of Chaletgirl is looking after most of the administrative tasks. She’ll be managing venue bookings, keeping the treasury, managing finances; as well as tackling our email, blog and Facebook group.
Amy of Badskirt will tackle guild management from the creative side of things. Along with guild graphics, She’ll be pitching ideas to keep the group fun including our membership quilt, future challenges and swaps. She’ll look after inter-guild tasks including liaising with local and international MQGs. She’ll also start developing industry relationships to raise awareness of our guild. You’ll also find her helping with our social media sites and Twitter.
Dolores of A Labour of Love rounds out the organizing team. She’ll be looking after membership and new members. She’s also helping with our publicity drive, as well as helping out with everything listed above. We’re all hands on deck at the moment.
As the group develops, these roles might shift a bit. If you aren’t sure who to ask about something, you can always drop a line to our email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next off the ranks was an overview of Modern Quilting. We are an affiliate chapter of the international group, The Modern Quilt Guild. TheMQG has over 100 chapters including 11 in the Australia-New Zealand region. Modern quilting is making a big impact. New members can pop over to The Modern Quilt Guild for brief description of Modern Quilting. We recognize there are many forms of quilting that all have common ties. While our focus is modern quilting, GWSMQG has a healthy respect for all quilters. We want this to be a supportive and encouraging group whether you are a new quilter or an expert. We’re coming together to celebrate quilting. There’s only two simple rules for the group – Have fun and check your cattiness at the door.
We’ll be following a meeting structure similar to other MQGs guilds. Our Monday meetings will cover the social side of modern quilting and ‘guild business’ like our membership quilt and future meetups. Sundays will be our sewing days. More details about both are coming soon.
Sheridan briefly touched on dues. Unfortunately Sydney is an expensive town when it comes to securing venues, but we are working hard to make this an affordable group for those who want to attend. We’ll be running costs on a meeting-by-meeting basis for a few months and will launch a guild membership due structure towards the end of the year. We are keeping accounting records by the books and doing our best to keep costs at a minimum.
The last bit of guild business is the announcement that we are making a guild membership quilt. Using solid fabrics in our guild colors as a base, members are invited to contribute a block that represents modern quilting to them. As blocks arrive, we’ll piece them together. The growing sampler will be a visual representation of the our growing community. We’ll also maintain a signature blocks pieced in the same layout as a historical record of our membership. The quilt will return each meeting for members to take in. Packs of fabrics were available for purchase at the meeting and more are available. Check our blog within the week for a post that details the size requirements and offers inspiration for those who aren’t sure where to begin.
After talking everyone’s ear off about the guild, we got to the fun part of the meeting. Dolores led introductions that included lots of great interaction. We talked about what interested us in modern quilting, what our backgrounds are and what our favorite sewing tool is. It was great to see such a wide range of experience in our group. We had some members who were working on their first quilt and others who had been sewing for over thirty years. We had members relay wonderful stories of their workshops with Denyse Schmidt; while others told us about what drives them to create. We had a vast amount of experience in the room including several sewing teachers, longarm quilters and those involved with quilting retail. Despite all that experience, everyone was friendly and approachable.
Talk of favorite quilting tools were met with roars of approval. You need only visit our Facebook page to see that gals have rushed out to build their notions stash. Among the tools getting top marks are Clover’s open tip adjustable thimble, hera markers and fork pins. Applique glue also had a big “ahhhhhhhhh…” of excitement.
With chit chat out of the way, we launched into Sew and Tell. You’ll find some of the quilts on this post. Please pop over to Facebook and see our photo gallery for many more photos from the night. There was so much inspiration and each quilt had such a great story behind it. There was a story of a quilt lost to a long-gone boyfriend; stories of quilts made in groups; stories of friendship formed through quilting; and even a story of patchwork that became dresses which went full circle to become a quilt again. We took away joy and inspiration in seeing the quilts, but we’ve built bonds by sharing their stories.
As Dooley pulled down their shutters, the time for goodbyes arrived too quickly. Though it was only our first meeting, GWS MQG looks to have launched on a high note. Our Facebook group is already buzzing with activity. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again soon, as well as welcoming newcomers! We’ll have details about the next meetup for you soon.
Thank you, ladies, for an outstanding night.