From Rachel McPhail, member of the Salt Lake City Modern Quilt Guild.
When I saw the explosion of Modern Quilt Guild chapters across the world, I was a bit jealous. I wanted to be a member. After waiting a couple of days to see a Salt Lake City chapter start, I decided to take the plunge and start a chapter. Of course the worse fear is that nobody else would join, but my fears were unfounded. By then end of the day, the group had a couple of members. By the end of the week, the group was big enough to start making plans. It has been amazing to see people who live outside of Salt Lake drive the distance just to be a part of the group.
We held our inaugural meeting in February, looking back I can’t believe how quickly we organize. The group decided to meet monthly, the third Thursday, and hold Sewing Saturdays every 4-6 months. From the beginning, I wanted to make the group accessible to everybody. So, the group operates without any fees and we haven’t elected any formal leadership. We’ve been able to pull this off by meeting at a members house for the monthly meeting and holding our Sewing Saturday at a neighborhood church building. I imagine as the group grows this may need to change. However until then we are enjoying the guild as it is. Currently, the group has about 45 + members online with about 15 attending the monthly meetings.
Our monthly meeting agenda includes show and tell, a demo, planning, and lots of talking. I have to say my favorite part is show and tell. It’s amazing to see work everybody produces. I always walk away with more quilt ideas than I have time to sew. In fact, other members have commented that they would come just to see the quilts. Demos are taught by group members. In our first meeting, we made a list of things that quilters wanted to learn and a list of things that quilters could teach. So far we’ve covered, English paper piecing, proper cutting with a rotary cutter, mitered corners on borders, and French seams on pillow cases. The skill level in our group covers the whole gamut, giving us a great range of talent to tap.
In the upcoming months, bindings, wonky log cabins, the color wheel, and a charity project are all on the agenda. After the demo on the color wheel, we’re going to do a color challenge. Each member is going to make something small (hot pad, doll blanket, pillow cover, etc.) in a new-to-them color scheme. The goal is to help all of us work with colors outside our normal repertoire. The details on the charity quilt are still formulating.
Of course the best thing about of the guild is the new friendships. If you live in Salt Lake and you’ve thought about joining, but have yet to do it, know that you are always welcome.