Ideas of things to do as a guild

– Have speakers
Consider people who are already in the guild
Invite a guest speaker or have a guest hold a workshop

– Block Swaps/Bees

– Fabric Swaps

– Workshops – potential topics
Fabric dying
Paper bags of scraps improv. piecing exercise
Focus in on quilting: free motion, how to tackle large quilts
Focus in on binding: learn all types of bindings, machine sewing them
Photo Transferring
Quilting Math

– Finish works-in-progress quilting sessions

– Quilt Alongs

– Charity quilting

– Fabric Shopping Field Trips

– Quilting/Crafting Event Field Trips

– Show & Tells
Quilts we’ve made
Quilts we have/mean something to us

This list is from one quick brainstorming session we had.  Have more ideas?  Leave them in the comments!

26 thoughts on “Ideas of things to do as a guild

  1. I’m in a quilt guild and I have 5 months to come up with a challenge for our group.I want something different ,a little off the edge of normal.If I could get a couple of new ideas it would help me save a lot of time. Thanks Susan

    • I was chair for a quilt challenge which concluded just last month and not only did the the guild members have fun, I had a blast, too! Keep the rules “loose” so that there is plenty of room for creativity. Isn’t that what we love about quilting, after all? The challenge my committee came up with was “All Creatures Great and Small, Just Add Water”. The title was the theme. Each person who wanted to participate was given a paint strip from the local paint store and one “wild card color”. The strips and wild card were in individual envelopes so that everyone was surpised by their picks. We said that the quilt could be any size, any shape. I have been in challenges where the size is predetermined such as bigger than 24″ square and smaller than 36″ square. Our committee just decided that we would allow any size, any shape. The participants had to use all 5 colors they were given in a recognizable amount, could add any other colors, and they had to hide or disguise a creature hidden in nature. They also had to use at least three types of embellishments. The quilt had to be totally and completely finished. The paint strip had to be pinned to the quilt in for the members to see what colors were used. I also gave out the list of categories so everyone knew how the quilts would be voted on by the members, as we gave out prizes. The categories were: Most Original, Best use of color paint strips, Following the challenge theme best, Best use of embellishments, and which project would you most like to use in your home. We had absolutely wonderful quilts that were made, a ring araound the world, butterflies made on an embroidery machine, a round quilt and we even have one member make a little house complet with window boxes with a roof that lifted to hold tea bags! Another guild I belong to passed what was called the booze bag challenge. Each participant was given a booze bag of five fabrics. These fabrics were donated by a manufacturer on a cardboard sample strip. We jsut had to use all five fabrics on the strip with one type of embellishment. I made a clutch for this challenge.I see my response is long but remember, challenges are designed to bring out the best in our efforts and strtch those minds of ours when it comes to quilting!

  2. An idea would be to put a lot of obscure things in a bag(on paper): cogs, wheels, towers, buildings,wrench, keys, etc. and let them draw the slip of paper with the name on it. Then they would have to make a mini to represent it. Bring it to the meeting and share it and see if the others could make out what it is 😉

  3. Another idea for a challenge would be to do slice quilts working in groups of 6, 8, or 10. Each member of a team would get a slice of a picture or photo, interpret that slice in a quilt top using whatever technique they choose, then the slices would be joined, sandwiched and quilted. There are many different ways to organize a slice quilt and many examples on the internet. One of my favorites is at the following link:

  4. Here are some ideas I jotted down in my journal when I was thinking about potential challenges for my local guild:

    East Meets West: This can be interpreted a lot of ways, such as NY/Calif, taco/sushi, crazy quilt/sashiko, calico/ikat — well, you get the idea.
    Children’s Book Titles
    Quilt-a-Word: random draw of an eclectic mix of words
    Quilt-a-Sentence (a friend’s guild did this): pick up a book from a pile, turn to page XX, use first sentence of second paragraph as theme for quilt

  5. There are some really great exercises in the Quiltmaker’s Color Workshop by Weeks Ringle/Bill Kerr for exploring color and value. Many of them are specific to guilds/group activities.

  6. Hello from Durban South Africa…
    Our guild has just completed a great challenge – the guild members were divided randomly into 10 groups. Each group had to work as a team to complete a scrap quilt and choose the charity to which it would be donated. The aim was to get to know each other a little better, to learn from each other and to work together on a group quilt – none of these easy tasks! 10 charities went away with a beautiful quilt each. Our most successful challenge ever!

  7. I have made several quilts. However, I am interested in whete to go to find the history of a quilt made by my grangmother depicting the flowers of each state-48. I would like to know when this pattern was available

  8. Another challenge idea: everyone find their most current quilting magazine. Open to page 38 and make a quilt inspired by something on that page. I just saw someone’s QR Code quilt. Fun!

  9. I looking for something to do with Strip Swap. It has become boring and I find its only I and another lady who exchanges the Strips. We cut 2 1/2 strips into jelly rolls each month and while it was good in the past, its now dull. What can I do to spruce the Strip Swap to get our Guild going again with Delight in swapping strips?

    • Our guild does a bingo night where we all bring 3 strips at 2.5″ and get a bingo card then you play and winners get a small bunch of strips that a few people put together before the game starts. It gets the group in the swap and then do a challenge to use up the strips but give out prizes as an incentive.

  10. What I’m mostly interested in, is getting other ladies involved in the Strip Swap other than the two we have. I love strip swap.. and we had fat quarter lotto, but that was side lined due to the loss of participation,and I feel this is on it’s way out as well. Any ideas?

  11. We are starting a branch of the MQG in Montreal. We are looking for people to join, places to meet. But, if you are interested to join and want some updates on this matter, register on our website:

  12. Smiles to you, so glad I discovered your website. I’m in two guilds down here on the southcoast of Oregon. Some of the things we do are BOM’s (blocks of the month, with the blocks being awarded to one person via draw name), Fat 8th or Fat 1/4 lottery each month to a different color or theme of print (bring one, enter name, draw for people to win 3 or 4); mystery quilt alongs, birthday lotteries each month for a gift certif; lending libraries; gifting a book to the local library; cash donation to the local County Fair for prizes in the fabric crafts dept. Annual quilt show. Wear the “color” of the month to the meetings (red for Christmas, Orange for Halloween, Yellow in the spring, etc). “Quilto” – it’s a game like bingo; “strip poker” with fabric strips. Joy and good colors to you!

  13. Has anyone ever held a fabric swap meet? People can bring their unwanted fabrics and buy, sell, or trade? Everybody has fabric lurking in their craft rooms that they would enjoy seeing gone.

  14. Etta S., Ontario – I am a member of our Progragm committe for our local quilt guild. Our chanllenge last year was “What was I thinking:. We all know what it’s like to buy fabric get it home and go “uuk” why did I buy this. So, we created a game to help people us these truly uuk fabrices. Each member who participated brought in a Metre or yard of fabric, created a circle, each member pasted 3 to the right, cut the material in half, Placed their half in a bag, pasted the material 4 to the right, cut in half again, placed their material in their bag, pasted again 2 people to the right, cut in half, etc. passed 4 people to the left, cut in half. Each people now has 4 pieces of material to create a master piece. The rules where anysize, must use all 4 pieces of material, scraps had to be attached to the finihsed project, other material could be added. The design was totally up to the member. Lots of fun and creatively involved.

  15. This year we are trying something different in my quild for our yearly challenge I have created a basic shopping bag size pattern for newer members to try. Each person is to create a bag, here the size will vary as the requirements are that it will be something the members will use themselves or as a gift. They can emblish, quilt, 3-D or anything they like to the bag staying within the theme for the meeting. The challenge is broken down into October – halloween or fall theme, December – Christmas or Winter theme, March – Spring or Easter theme and June (Last meeting of the year) Summer.
    Members bring in their bag to the meeting. It will be collected before people see it. Displayed in a seperate area for members to vote on. Votes are counted and the winner is given a small prize. A quilting magazine, quilting book or someother item quilting related. So far interest is high. The idea is to get people thinking outside the box and do something they will use or give as a wonderful gift.

  16. Check out the link to the Edmonton Modern Quilt Guild; we have done a number of interesting challenges and workshops. For instance we had an Ugly Fat Quarter challenge where each member brought in a ugly fat quarter for a random swap. The challenge was to make something using the ugly fabric. Other challenges include making a 12X12′ block based on a one word theme like Seeds or Light, or a color from a randomly drawn of spool of thread. We’ve had very informative workshops on Sun Painting, using crayons on a quilt, and making fabric baskets. Although we are a small group, our members are diverse and creative which makes our meetings both fun and interesting.

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