I am a member of The Quilters Guild of the British Isles. I’ve been a member for years and I feel really passionately about the importance of the Guild. However, like many quilters of my generation I don’t interact with The Guild that much. I get my magazine, I visit The Festival of Quilts, and I always planned to visit the collection at York, My PlainStitchers and I made tea at a Regional meeting last year, but with 3 young kids and a full time job as a quilting teacher I just couldn’t fit in another commitment.
However I had views about The Guild, I shared these in the questionnaire to members last year and this year received a call from one of the Trustees asking me to serve on a committee being set up by Chris Gatman. Chris is the new CEO of the Quilters Guild, in role since the spring she comes from a background of business consultancy and adult education and she is just a blast. Full of ideas, really keen to effect change and just a lovely warm woman.
The Quilters Guild is an educational charity and has a serious remit. Its mission statement;
The Quilters’ Guild is open to everyone and is run by its members.
We bring together quilters in a spirit of friendship and learning. We promote quilt-making in all its forms across the UK.
As an educational charity we preserve the heritage of quilting and work to ensure a vibrant future for the craft.
I love old quilts. I love the history and the emotion that links this special craft. I love to look to the past and reinterpret ages old patterns in modern fabrics. I feel really passionately that our history should be preserved and celebrated. I want to be able to see these quilts that form our British quilting history. I’m proud to be a UK quilter and I want to celebrate our roots.
Without The Quilters Guild this wouldn’t happen. As modern quilters we owe it to our foremothers to preserve their work to help inspire our future work.
It’s true that quilters of my generation sometimes say that The Quilters Guild isn’t relevant to them and their online, internet inspired community of quilting. Chris wants to reach out, but to really ‘promote quilt making in all its forms across the UK’ it needs all of us to engage and support this grande dame of organisations of our British Quilting Community. We may complain that it doesn’t feel relevant to us, but without us getting involved, sharing our quilts and learning from theirs, how does this engagement happen?
Can you get involved? Join the Guild, check out when there is a local meeting, visit us at the Festival of Quilts and meet Chris and her team, follow The Guild on instagram and facebook, tag your work with #thequiltersguild and wear your badge! Advertise your membership, there’s lots of us, we just don’t know who we are #iminthequiltersguild – i’m out and proud!
Lets share and make some new quilting friends because we are part of that ‘vibrant future for the craft’. It’s The Quilters Guild, but it’s Your Quilters Guild and My Quilters Guild and I hope that we can take the hand that is being held out to all UK Quilters to get involved and support the Guild that is for us all.