I’m proud to say that I’m a dues-paying, card-carrying, member of a quilt guild, again.
My nice, new, East Bay Heritage Quilters guild membership card recently dropped into my lonely mailbox. It replaces the old card in a plastic tag holder, clipped into my purse — because I rarely carry a purse except to EBHQ meetings. The tag holder is necessary because the card (like many quilters) is pretty understated — it’s printed on card stock with ink that rubs off if you keep it in your back pocket wallet. Like most quilters, though, the understated is only skin deep. The good stuff happens inside. My guild, like many others, is a feast of lectures and workshops, with opportunities for members to display finished work at all levels of ability. It has a library, and serves as a support group and network for quilters. In its own way it serves as “home” for hundreds of usual looking creatives; I love the idea that the energy happens whether I show up or not, though I’m trying to show up more often.
There are other guilds in the area, the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild is smaller and very dynamic, Diablo Valley Quilters, San Francisco Quilters Guild, and the Mt. Tam Quilt Guild are wonderful, geographically based groups, though some quilters will travel quite a distance to be in the guild that feels like “home” to them.
If you’ve ever thought about joining a guild, I’d urge you to do it; resolve to visit around and see if there’s one around that you really like.
A word about quilters, if you’re not yet sold: I worked awhile in a wonderful quilt store and met hundreds of quilters there, I am strong to say that quilters are good people on the whole (if a little excitable). I love that quilters now come in all ages, sizes and sexes, and I especially love that they mostly look like “normal” folks…. until a special word, action — or the view of some stunning color combination in a surprising place — evokes that slightly manic, creative sparkle in their eyes that means they are really interested in what you’re making, too.