Making Decisions Together

After listening to membership feedback and having many, many conversations within the community, the MQG staff and Board of Directors have decided to retract the blog post about derivatives that was published in July. We want to sincerely apologize for the confusion, misunderstandings and frustrations it caused. We made mistakes with how the information was presented, and it was not our intention to discourage, stifle or disappoint members. For that we are truly sorry.

We are removing the blog post to avoid future confusion, but we realize some members may still want to review the post and associated comments, so a complete PDF is available to members on the Resources page, here.

Clarification of QuiltCon Rules and Jurying/Judging Policies

  • There will be no changes to the rules about derivative works for QuiltCon 2017 (i.e., the same rules that applied for QuiltCon 2016 will apply for the 2017 show).
  • The Education Committee is currently working on compiling the current jurying and judging policies and procedures for QuiltCon into a consolidated document for members to view. The information outlined in this document will be no different from anything we’ve been doing in the past, but we are formalizing the policy document to provide better transparency about the existing process. This document will be released to members in the October newsletter.
  • In the coming months, we plan to launch a new pilot member involvement program (see below). One of the first of these programs will be a task force to obtain membership input on how to best incorporate the important issue of derivative work into our QuiltCon 2018 quilt entry rules, and jurying and judging policies and procedures.

Making Decisions Together

As an organization, we realize there is a huge opportunity to increase member involvement, especially when making decisions that affect the entire membership. The response to the derivative post showed that a larger issue needs to be addressed: communication between members and leadership and how we make decisions. As such, we’ll be rolling out a new pilot member involvement plan in late 2016, which we will be discussing in an upcoming town hall meeting (see below). It won’t be fast, and it will take time to launch, but we are 100% committed to creating more avenues for member involvement within the MQG.

All-Member Town Hall Meeting

This town hall meeting will be held to share highlights of recent activities, present concepts to increase member involvement and answer your questions. Any and all MQG members are invited to attend.

Because the MQG is a global organization, we explored many dates and times, but found that the one below works best across all time zones. If the time is not convenient for you, please note that the town hall will be recorded and posted on the Community Resources page shortly after airing live. Any member may submit a question, here, and those questions will be read in the order they are received after live questions have been answered. The time for the town hall is:

Los Angeles: 1pm PDT, Thursday, September 22
Denver: 2pm MDT, Thursday, September 22
Chicago: 3pm CDT, Thursday, September 22
New York City: 4pm EDT, Thursday, September 22
London: 9pm BST, Thursday, September 22
Sydney: 6am AEST, Friday, September 23

Town Hall Agenda: 

  • Highlights of recent MQG activities
  • Pilot member involvement plan
  • Q&A


Edit: Please visit the events page on the MQG Community site to register and submit questions.

Thank you for your questions, comments and support over the last few weeks. We are committed to answering questions and working with all members to improve the organization, and we thank you for being on this journey with us. We can’t wait to take the next step and move forward together.

Please note that staff is not working over the holiday weekend, so comments made after 4p EDT will not receive a response before Tuesday the 6th.

20 thoughts on “Making Decisions Together

  1. I’m happy to hear that more member input will be gathered.

    Can you please clarify what exactly are the 2016/2017 rules for entry that would apply here? The only thing I can see on the QC site is “QuiltCon reserves the right to reject or disqualify any quilt that misrepresented design credit. If this misrepresentation is discovered after the show and the quilt was awarded, the winner forfeits all ribbons and cash prizes.”

    To me, this says you must credit the pattern designer. There is nothing about requiring permission to show someone else’s pattern, which MQG also required of several quilts at the 2016 show even though it was not in the rules. Mine was one of them. I was also told my quilt would not be eligible for any prizes because I used someone else’s pattern.

  2. This is a step in the right direction. I hope that it’s not too little too late. Growing pains, let’s all work together & make something beautiful

  3. Good, now if you could figure out how to not charge people more than once for MQG membership, that would be nice. Belonging to two seperate guilds means I pay the mothership twice. Was told it was too hard for the MQG to see who is already a member and doesn’t need to pay their dues twice.

    • Hi Leah,

      Yes, this is an issue we are aware of. In our current AMS (Association Management System) and combined with our dues fee structure, there is currently no good way to track the fees of members who belong to multiple guilds.

      Guilds currently pay a “ladder” membership fee structure based on a range of members (for example: 10-15, 16-25, 26-35 and so on), rather than a “per member” fee. This fee structure was determined based on guild feedback we had in our pilot program before we launched formal membership in 2013. With our fees structured like this and combined with our software, it isn’t easy to manage members who belong to multiple guilds.

      It is a challenge and one I’m not sure we can solve any time soon. We can approach guilds and see if they are open to a per member fee. But there are challenges with that. Guilds fluctuate membership throughout the year. With a “ladder” fee structure, guilds have a bit of grace in there to fluctuate. If we move to an per member fee structure, how would we manage the ebbs and flows of local membership? I’m not sure, it’s a big question that requires feedback from guild leaders and further examination into our software challenges. Right now, our software isn’t capable of it. It requires lots of feedback from leaders. I haven’t heard of leaders not liking the “ladder” fee structure, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like it. It is worth further investigation.

      We are hoping to investigate new software solutions, but investigation is just one part of that step, there are many, many more before we could implement a new system. If all the pieces fell into place today and if we get buy-in from the board and leaders, we are least a year away from solving this issue. The staff has just talking about this and have not explored further than informal staff conversations.

      Heather Grant
      Director of Marketing
      The Modern Quilt Guild

      • Other guild leaders that I have spoken to agree that the current tier system is confusing and makes it difficult for guilds to budget. There should be a per member payment to the mothership. This either gets collected once annually (and any changes up or down are ignored) or it is paid pro-rata every time a guild adds a member during the year.

        There should also be discounts for members who wish to join more than one local guild. Though I don’t have any suggestions how to administer that one!

  4. Don’t believe the hype. The quilt police are alive and well. They aren’t winning my membership back. I had no idea people were being charged twice…whatta racket this is.

    • Yes, you join National MQG, but in many cases, joining a local MQG also costs another fee, as is the case here in Indianapolis. It’s the reason I’ve not joined the Indy MQG yet. Not totally convinced I will re-up my membership here, but we will see….

      • It shouldn’t cost extra to join the worldwide MQG. If a guild is “official” and a member of the MQG, your local membership conveys to the worldwide level. Indy MQG is an official MQG.

        Local guilds set their own membership dues. It has been awhile since we last did a survey (we are working on one now), but they range from $25 (the cost of an individual membership) to $75. The fee for MQG membership for guilds averages about $10 below our individual member price. So, in a way it may seem like you are paying twice, but you are paying a discounted price of membership through your local guild. If you joined as an individual member, it would be about the same. Lastly, each guild determines their dues, we don’t have any requirements for guilds on their dues structure.

        Heather Grant
        Director of Marketing
        The Modern Quilt Guild

      • Just to add to what Heather replied here – Local guild membership goes to pay for *local* events, programs, speakers, shows, meeting space, and a slew of other local expenses. Only a small portion of that goes towards the national guild. I’m on the board in Seattle MQG and without local membership fees we would not have the funds to rent our meeting space or float deposits for retreats or instructors.

        So if you’re an individual MQG member wanting to also join a local city guild, you would need to pay in to cover your portion of that guild’s expenses. Same goes if you’re a member of one city and want to join a second city. Some guilds will charge you a lower fee if you are already a member of MQG but it’s up to you to inquire about that.

    • We could have been faster, but after lots of talks, member involvement and research into other associations, we knew that this situation was beyond just the derivative post and required much more action and planning. Honestly, I’m very excited for the future, this is just the first step.

      Heather Grant
      Director of Marketing
      The Modern Quilt Guild

    • Thanks Christa!
      As a Board Member, I want to thank everyone for the comments and insights.

      I also appreciate the way staff has worked hard to be responsive to all the voices we are hearing both on our site, in social media and at MQG local guild meetings.

  5. Why are there no Town Hall’s scheduled for those of us that live in the south? You have every other part of the country covered. Excluding the input from 1/4th of the country does not exactly look like you want to “make decisions together”.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      Sorry for the confusion. These are not in-person town halls. The times and dates above are simply to show what time zone the virtual Town Hall will be in for different parts of the world. Any MQG member is welcome to attend the webinar-style meeting, and you can register using the links in the post above. We hope you’ll join us!

      Riane Menardi
      Communications Manager
      The MQG

  6. That is a very odd way to list it and comes off as exclusionary and elitist, which is the gist of what the blogs have been saying about the original blog post and the history of the MQG. This was a really tone deaf decision and makes me discouraged that any progress can really be made. I mean really, why not just use the time zones themselves? They have names.

    • Hi Elizabeth, we’re very sorry for causing offense. It was not our intention to make anyone feel excluded, and we hope you’ll accept our sincere apology. I invite you to attend the town hall if you’re able and hear about our plans for progress, and ask any questions you may have about the organization. We’d love to have you!

      Riane Menardi
      Communications Manager
      The MQG

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