When I lived in Los Angeles I wasn’t part of the local guild. I just didn’t have time to be. I was part of a number of professional groups and a board member in two. I remain a board member in one but that is one I can remotely take part in. This is our 8th year in business and I’ve come to learn that I do not need to be a part of professional groups. All my business comes from referrals, web searches, and key relationships. So I do not take the time here to become involved in professional organizations anymore. But I need to be around people who are not family. I need to make new friends. So now I’ve decided to join a guild. When we first decided to move here I looked at the local guild – Piecemakers Quilt Guild of Alameda County.
This guild is an older, traditional guild. I think I’m the youngest based on the members who I’ve met at the meetings. I’ve attended two meetings so far and even though their website doesn’t mention it, they have a lot of activities going on. In addition to their monthly meeting, they have a ton of community event activities that they try to get volunteers at. They have retreats and workshops and mini classes. It was through this guild that I was able to attend Anelie Belden‘s workshop on Dresden Plates. And in September they are doing something called “Camp Stitches” where they get together from Friday, 6pm through Saturday, 10pm and sew. We can bring sleeping bags, cots, or whatever we want to sleep on and just quilt. I’ve already joined this guild and at $35/year, it isn’t going to break the bank. The only drawback is that I want to make friends and I’m not sure this is the best crowd to do it at. So I looked into the modern quilt guild.
I found two relatively close to me. The San Francisco/Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild and the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild. I do not consider myself a modern quilter so I didn’t think to look them up first. I do know that they are generally a younger group of quilters and more likely to be closer to my age. I looked at the East Bay MQGs website first. Technically this is the closer of the two MQGs, which is why I checked them out first. But they meet on the last Tuesday of each month in Oakland. While it is not too far from me, to make a 6:30 start time I’d have to leave my house at 5 as the traffic from here to there is not very pretty. Keep in mind, I’m from Los Angeles and traffic is horrendous. But traffic in Los Angeles is pretty much a given ALL the time no matter where you go. In the Bay Area, the traffic is pretty much contained during normal traffic times: weekday mornings before work and weekday evenings after work. So 5pm into Oakland is not a pretty picture. I’m going to try it and check it out though. Maybe it’s not as bad as I think. And maybe I can go early and combine it with a late lunch/early dinner with my cousin who works in Berkeley.
The other MQG – San Francisco/Bay Area MQG, has a great website. They meet in Redwood City on what looks like the 2nd Saturday of the month. They indicate the dates of all their upcoming monthly meetings just so you have it. Redwood City is technically further away from me and I have to cross a bridge to get to it. BUT its a Saturday. So traffic shouldn’t be bad. Their website is so informative and gives me all the information a new member could ask for. It’s very welcoming and it accepts payment of membership fees online. I almost joined on the spot but I was on my iPad and while convenient allows me to be far away from my bag. Anyway, both guilds do not cost a lot. From memory it’s like $30 or $35/year. The only weird things is the timing I’m joining at. For the Piecemakers guild my year starts in September so I got a couple of months free. For the SF/Bay Area MQG, I think it’s $15 since I’ll be starting later in the year and I believe it’s prorated. I believe I’ll pay the annual fee of $30 at the beginning of the year. I’m not too sure how the East Bay MQG will do it. But I’ll try them both and we’ll see if I stick to all or taper off. I believe that at least I have multiple options of different workshops and events.
Here’s the thing – I tend to get over-involved in things and I have to hold myself back from volunteering. This is how I became a board member in two professional organizations. I do not have time to do more with the guilds. I do not want to do more. My goal is to meet other quilters and to enjoy and participate the activities that are planned as a participant! I’ve never just been a participant in any organization so this is going to be difficult for me.
My Staycation is ending so I’m going to be in my sewing/living room all weekend playing with fabric!