Triangle Modern Quilt Guild

From Kat Nicholas, president of the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild

Hey ya’ll, Kat here from the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild.  I know it’s confusing for some, so let me begin this introduction by explaining our name.  Our guild covers a region of North Carolina called the Triangle.  This technically includes six counties, which then encompass somewhere around 50 or so towns and cities. The larger of those towns and cities are Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.  But trying to include names of specific towns, or narrowing it down to one, either seemed too wordy or not inclusive enough, hence the choice of “Triangle”.

Sandy’s lovely Plain Spoken

Our guild started due to a quick decision I made while reading Alissa’s blog one day back in January.  She had put a call out for folks interested in being contact persons for potential local modern quilt guilds and I, without thinking, responded and claimed that I would be willing to be such a person for our area.  I mean, I guess I thought a little.  But only for a brief second.  I thought that maybe I’d find a handful of folks out there who were interested in what I thought to be modern quilting.  I didn’t think much more about it at all until, well. . . until that very night when the emails started rolling in!  Before I knew it, a ning site was started and the members were piling on.  Wow!  I had no idea there were so many folks looking for something new out there with regards to a guild.

Emily, of Carolina Patchwork, showing off one of her beauties

Fortunately, we are able to hold our meetings in a local quilt shop at no charge.  We had our first meeting in February with over 30 people from all over the state.  At that meeting, we elected officers and discussed what we thought of as “modern” and what we wanted to get out of our guild.   Before our March meeting, I and the rest of the officers met and created our bylaws and laid out goals for positions within the guild.  If we want to accomplish many of the goals of the guild, we know we can’t do it all ourselves, so we have recruited and asked for volunteers to assist with different facets, such as charity ideas, swaps, organizing bees, etc.  Basically, at each meeting, we cover business matters in the beginning, break for shopping (I mean, we’re surrounded by fabric.  We have to shop, right?), and then a show and tell.  In March our bylaws were passed, dues were set, and we were off.  In April, our first swap was organized by our Swap Swami and we had signed on to have a booth at Maker Faire, which was held in North Carolina for the first time.

Marilyn’s great use of color and design – gotta love the solids!

Maker Faire was a bit of work to prepare for, but it was really great.  We even managed to quilt a banner in time!  We had a large corner booth (that’s what happens when you’re the first person who shows to set up) so we were able to display many quilts from our members.  We also had two sewing machines set up with piles of scraps so that passers by could sit and sew a few scraps together, sign their name if they liked, and then we worked all the scraps together into a very wonky and improved piece of patchwork.  We still have yet to “finish” the piece and are unsure of the direction to take it, but it was great fun to be part of the process.  More than one person made a comment such as “I’ve never cared much about quilts before, but these are really nice!”

The highest our membership has reached on our ning site is about 120 folks, but we do limit time on our site to two months if dues are not paid within that time.  We’ve had no complaints about this policy and most people seem to enjoy their time to flitter about the site and get to know us before committing to membership.  We currently have 81 members on our site, with 35 paid members, and new folks signing on every day.  Our future plans include presentations and workshops given by members and other experienced quilters on all topics from thread quality to binding to fabric dyeing.  We’ve also started a monthly group sew, where folks can come and work on whatever they like and can bring their own machine or try out one of the shop’s Berninas.  Our goals are lofty and aspirations are high, but for now, having a bit of camaraderie, inspiration, and fun is what it’s all about.