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I am a 2nd generation quilter. My hands have always been busy and I love to touch all the fabric. Starting with X stitch and embroidery when I was eight to finding quilting with my first child. I found that quilting was good for my soul.
I am not the most perfect quilter, and have many blocks without points and spinning the wrong direction. But for me it is not about perfection, but the process, the learning and experimenting.
Quilting tends to be a forever journey and keeping up with tips, techniques and others is always growing – the need for having a resource I can use and add to is something I needed and have enjoyed building.
This is where I share free quilting tutorials, fun projects and behind the scenes of the Patchwork Planner and my online quilt group, the International Association of Quilters.
One of my favorite part about quilting is the community. There is always someone that is interested in getting together for a little bit of sewing- whether that’s hand sewing or machine sewing.
What do you do though if you aren’t in a spot or area that has groups or guilds? Or maybe you have moved, and you have no idea what is happening around you.
It’s not the funnest to keep asking around– I find that it takes kind of a long time to pick up enough info on who, what, when, where for quilting groups.
To make this process a little easier, and to save you some phone time…calling all the local stores and asking for more information about local groups….you know all about that, don’t you?!
There are many different styles of groups…they meet at different times, morning, evening, monthly, weekly….some sew all together, some offer teachers, free patterns, some have dues, some have opportunities to support in other ways.
What kind of sewing or quilting do you like? Are you just a hand stitcher? Are you machine only? Do you like challenges and learning different techniques? Are you only looking for a group to sew with –no patterns or projects? Are you a modern style of stitcher? more traditional?
These are all kind of questions you can get started thinking about and asking. This will help you narrow down what kind of group would work best for you.
Quilting guilds are full of others who sew just like you and love fabric, thread, notions and anything that has to do with a needle. Having a community that you can ask questions, share a bit about yourself, explore techniques and new projects is wonderful. No matter who you are, there is something there for everyone.
Quilt groups have a few different names – so you may run into a quilt club, a quilt guild, quilting community, modern quilt guild. Really, they have similar layouts, themes and set ups. You may find that you like one better than the other.
What if you work or have a fairly busy schedule with family, work, etc. Then what?
The online quilt guild is a great option. Open 24 hours all year long, they are an open membership group (you can join any time during the year and still have full access). You can drop in anytime. Meet others from around the world– and the projects are all exclusive to the group. Plus, there are monthly guest designers. You’ll get to learn a little bit about them and sew a pattern they have designed, just for the group.
What kind of activities will you find in quilt groups near you – Block of the months, quilt alongs, guest speakers (either local or from out of town), retreats, swaps, charity efforts and more.
I’ve been involved in quite a few and am just rediscovering new ones since moving.
The beauty of having an online quilt group is that it’s there no matter where you are. No matter your schedule or time- it’s online and virtual so it’s everywhere you have access.
Having a quilt group near you and participating in a quilt group is a great way to expand your friendship and knowledge in quilting. Many techniques and patterns I would have never tried or think to try without the support of a group as well as the inspiration to try.
You are going to love exploring and finding your own quilt group, guild or club- and I encourage you to check out my online quilting group as well here.
Wondering if you should join a quilt guild? Check out my experience here.
How do I find quilters? More info here.
Here are my favorite quilt groups on Facebook. Read more about them here.