Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild

March 23, 2010

We just had our second meeting on Saturday…1 person came.  It was pretty disappointing.  We had 7 ladies at the first meeting who all seemed very enthusiastic about getting together to sew – and quilt a few new people sign up on the website, so I’m not really sure what happened.  I’ve never organized a group before so I am unsure what I am really doing wrong or if this is to be expected.  I don’t know what I need to do to keep people interested and active in the group.  I am not an entertainer.  I cannot sustain interest in this group on my own.   When I started this thing, I figured having the forum would be enough to maintain some sort of connection between the group members and a running dialog going with an active message board…I mean, from what I’ve seen in other cities’ guilds that is what is happening.  It’s been frustrating.

I found an awesome space in downtown Indianapolis to hold our meetings at the Harrison Center for the Arts – the Harrison Center was very exciting about having us as a group.  They are interested in displaying our work in one of their galleries for a First Friday.  I was super pumped about this!  But at this point I don’t know if we can keep meeting there.  It’s 25/hr to rent the space and I can’t keep paying out of pocket hoping people will show up.   I didn’t force dues on anyone since it was a new group – I agreed on a pay as you go type of membership so if you come to the meeting, you pay 5 dollars, and your first meeting is free.  So our second meeting – one person showed up besides me!  We had a good time talking and sewing together, but its a waste to reserve that space every month when no one shows up.

So for April, I am not sure what I am going to do for the next meeting.  I’m not doing the Harrison Center.  Anyone who runs a group or knows how to get this project back on track please share your ideas with me.  I want this group to succeed!

7 Responses to “Indianapolis Modern Quilt Guild”

  1. Dee Says:

    Well, I know two or three ladies from north of Indy who might be able to come. Two of us have kids and it’s dicey for us to plan days/evenings without them! LOL

    I’m sorry the second meeting was disappointing. I admire your willingness to do this, but maybe we can make April a little better?

    email me at

  2. Chelsea Says:

    I’m not going to lie… between the thought of packing up my machine and everything else, deciding on a project to bring and the first warm sunny day of the year, I couldn’t bring myself to be in a basement and I bailed. I’m really sorry, I’ll take the award for bad guild member of the month!

    • janmade Says:

      I’m not blaming anyone, my whole issue with no one showing up was that at the first meeting everyone said they wanted to sew at every meeting, so that’s why I reserved the space…so it is more of a WTF thing for me than anything. I suspect asking people to contribute some cash also had something to do with it.

  3. Kate Says:

    Try not to be discouraged I think it will take some time. I thought of two other people I could invite next time. Like I said perhaps we should start out smaller – especially until we have a base of people coming.

  4. Kit Says:

    Hi there,

    I’m Kit, president of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild.

    We have a similiar problem as you – in that we have nearly a hundred online members, but when it comes to actual meetings, we have only 10 or so people who show up, and they do so on a revolving basis – in other words, we rarely have the same ten people show up at any given meeting!

    I’m lucky though,in that I have a great executive and we’re meeting tonight to discuss how to make the group not only stable, but grow. I have some ideas – one of which is that our meeting day/time may be all wrong for most people. Anyway – after our meeting tonight, I should have some more ideas which I’d be more than willing to share with you. You can write me at

    Keep up the good fight! 🙂

  5. rayna Says:

    Hi Jan (and hi to you, too, Kit, if you’re reading comments here)
    I joined the NY Metro MQG when it first started and for a couple of years it has been meeting in someone’s home. Everybody brings a snack to share and it’s been great. That’s a good way to start that doesn’t cost you any $$ and if there are only a few people at first, it’s fine. Don’t worry – the NY group is now so large that the informal has given way to “guild” with dues. It will take off!

    There is now a New Jersey guild and even though it is not near me, I want to go to a meeting and see what’s what. Every group is so different — some are very free-form and don’t worry about matching seams or using patterns; others are more traditional but with bright, funky fabric and color combinations. It’s great!

    I taught in Bloomington a couple of years ago and hope to get back to IN one of these days! Meantime, I invite you to visit my blog

    Keep doing what you’re doing – the virtual group is great, too!
    best regards,

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