So, what exactly is The Quilters’ Guild, and what can it do for me? You may have have asked yourself this question before, or you may have only just discovered The Guild; in either case, let us tell you more about ourselves!
1. It’s likely you will have heard us talk in the past about The Quilter magazine. This is our quarterly publication which forms part of your membership benefits. Every season The Quilter is filled with interesting and informative articles on quilting from the UK and further afield.
2. As a Guild member, you are in the privileged position of having a discount on your ticket and access to early bird booking for The Festival of Quilts at the Birmingham NEC each year, including their fantastic array of classes and workshops. As any of you who have visited The Festival will know, many of these often sell out very quickly, so having the chance to book in advance of the general public is a boon!
3. As a national organisation, The Guild has members spread across the UK and thanks to our social media platforms, it’s now possible for you to ‘meet’ and share with members from any region. In addition to our Instagram page and general Guild Facebook page, we have a members only Facebook group. This is a great way to get inspired by seeing other people’s work and being able to ask questions!
4. On a local level, The Guild is made up of individual regions, each of which hold their own workshops and events throughout the year, as well as producing their own regular newsletters to members, so you will be able to meet, make and learn with people in your area face to face.
5. Once a member, the Guild also has five Specialist Groups which you are eligible to join if you wish – British Quilt Study Group, Contemporary Quilt, Miniature Quilt Group, Modern Quilt Group and Traditional Quilt Group. These welcoming groups are full of quilters of all abilities, they have their own meetings and offer quilt challenges which members can join in with should they wish. The Specialist Groups are a great way to add value to your Guild membership and to gain knowledge and inspiration.
6. You may not be considering it yet in your quilting journey, or you may be a seasoned expert, but being a member of The Guild also enables you to show your work at Guild exhibitions regionally, nationally and even internationally. This might sound a bit daunting at first! But it can be incredibly rewarding to join in and show your work alongside your group, not to mention the increased sense of camaraderie you’ll have.
7. Another great benefit is that Guild members receive discounted prices for Guild events, many traders at The Festival Quilts and shops around the UK.
8. The Guild has an extensive Library, which is available for the free use of Guild members. Some of the books are even available by post if you are not able to visit in person to borrow the items. The library catalogue is available online for you to browse and make your selection. Why buy when you can borrow!
9. Guild members are eligible to apply for a range of bursaries and prizes to support them in developing their quilting skills and knowledge.
10. As if all of this isn’t enough, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that, as you are supporting an educational charity and Museum collection, your membership fees are contributing towards preserving the heritage of the allied crafts of patchwork, quilting and appliqué in the UK, and providing education opportunities in these crafts for people of all ages.
Phew! All of this for less than £1 a week – what are you waiting for? Become a member today to start enjoying the benefits.
Plus, this year at The Festival of Quilts we have goody bags full of quilt-y treasures, generously provided by EQS, for new members joining at The Festival (while stocks last). We are on stand E1 at the main entrance to Hall 7. Come and meet us to learn more about membership!