Thursday, March 06, 2008

Spinning and Ruminations About Quilt Guild

I've been thinking about the local quilt guild (the Green Country Quilters Guild) quite a lot, trying to figure out why I haven't really clicked with that group. I joined about four years ago and at one of the first meetings I attended I had a horrible experience.

There were probably 60 ladies at the meeting, one of the first of the year (I think). As a "appreciation" for the people who had volunteered with the group, they had everyone get out of their chairs and stand around the edges of the room. People were to come to the center of the room as they called out certain volunteer positions. They started with "if you've ever been president of this group" and went on down through a whole bunch of positions. At the end, I was one of about six people NOT in the center of the group. You wouldn't believe some of the looks from the people standing in the center, not to mention the looks on the faces of those of us standing on the outside. I don't think I've seen any of those ladies at guild again.

I felt about as low as a worm and very much on the outside of the group. I'd just come from being extremely involved in three quilting groups in southern Utah, including being president and vice-president of two groups, one of which had more than 100 members.

By the time the meeting was over I was about ready to cry. So I went home and thought about it, and I decided that I'd go ahead and volunteer with the group and see if I could get involved. So at the next meeting they asked for someone to help with the roster, and I immediately stepped forward. Someone took my name down and I eagerly awaited an opportunity to get more involved.

No phone call. No email. No acknowledgment that I'd ever volunteered. I ended up volunteering for two other things and got similar results. At that point I was getting pissed--if they WANT volunteers but they won't accept an offer, what was I supposed to do? It finally occurred to me that they didn't know me and probably didn't want to get to know me. I stayed away for a few months, then I decided to go back to a meeting since I love show and tell.

At that meeting they were starting to organize for the semi-annual quilt guild show and I decided to try—one more time—to volunteer. Melody Lahan, a wonderful woman, was the quilt show chairwoman, and welcomed me with open arms. I had a great time being involved with that, although by the time the show came around my husband had put his foot down about me getting involved with another quilt show since it was taking an incredible amount of my time. I suspect that if the kids had been older it wouldn't have been an issue, but he did end up spending a LOT of evenings at home with the kids while I was at quilt guild show meetings. At last I felt like I was kind of a part of the group.

After the quilt show, I ended up getting sick and didn't got to a few of the meetings, then I let my membership lapse. I didn't have a way to finish my quilt tops and I just couldn't bear having someone else quilt them—I got spoiled having my own machine and then being able to rent time on one. So I stopped piecing and went almost three years without finishing a quilt.

Then in October I got my longarm machine and my love of quilting has been rekindled. I've finished four quilts so far, and I've got a fifth on the machine now (the Floral Fantasy in my previous post). I've rejoined the guild and attended the January meeting, but I have that same feeling I did when I first joined—an outsider looking in. People seem to be very happy in their little cliques.

I really don't think it's just me—my experiences not only in the quilt guilds in southern Utah, but in the knitting guild and longarm guild here in Oklahoma tell me that I CAN be very involved in groups and contribute quite a lot.

I'm just feeling frustrated that I don't seem to have progressed with the quilt guild here, and if you've made it this far, thanks for reading my rant.

I'd love to start a smaller quilt guild here in Broken Arrow, or even join one if there already is one. I'd heard something about it a few years ago, but wasn't able to attend any meetings at that point and I lost the contact info I had. Sigh.


I've been working on spinning up some of the roving I bought last year at the Snake River Fiber Fair, and I started on some Targhee roving that I dyed last week. Unfortunately it has a fair number of noils, which I've learned are caused by stretching the fibers while they're being carded, then they bounce back and create little balls of fiber.

Here's the roving after I dyed it, and I'm quite pleased with it:

I've spun quite a bit more since I took this picture, but you can see how uneven it is if you look at the hook on the lower left.

I've decided to go ahead and finish spinning it up, and then I might use the yarn for something felted. I'm thinking about trying Navajo plying again since I wasn't terribly pleased with my last attempt, and if it isn't terribly successful with this singles then I won't be too upset.

Who knows, this could end up being my favorite yarn so far. :-)


Kate, the owner of Lowder Colors Farm (and a great pusher of fleece LOL) has offered to help me clean the half-fleece I'm buying from her. It'll be quite a learning experience and I'm thrilled that she's going to walk me through it. This Saturday is a spin in and I'm looking forward to that, too. I'll probably take some Ashland Bay stuff I'd started a while back with the intension of making a three-ply yarn. That stuff is so wonderful to spin!

I'm trying to get more things finished rather than starting so many different projects but it's SO hard. :-)


I have to admit that I just *love* all the reactions to my last post about getting a fleece. I'll be sure to take some pictures when we start processing it.


We're supposed to have more snow today, so I'm going to point you all over to Lisa's blog, where she's got some incredible pictures of life in Hawaii--I've really enjoyed having a little virtual vacation on her blog.


Have a great weekend, everyone!

My next post should include two "tags" I got recently, a "Seven Things" one and one on books.


Lisa Boyer said...


I have had similar experiences with quilt guilds. When I'm at one, I feel like I'm in high school all over again! So I don't belong to one. I belong to two small quilt groups that I like, but only attend occasionally. But then again, I've always been sort of a loner, so I don't miss the group thing so much.

The official Kauai guild here doesn't like me at all. One of the founders rolls her eyes when someone mentions my name--which I think is really funny. Her minions don't like me either--but I don't even care why. Just be yourself and don't worry about it! That's all you can do. Cheers!

Lisa Boyer said...

Oh...forgot to say because I was so wrapped up in guild "angst"--thanks for the shout-out about my blog! And also--I have been to some really great guilds--the Petaluma, California guild and the Eugene, Oregon guilds were wonderful. I miss them. We've moved a lot too, so I've been to a number of guilds!