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Barbara posted an interesting blog post the other day that has really hit home for me.


I expressed concern about the quilting community when the price of quilt shop quality fabric jumped from about $8.00 per yard to $10.00 a few years ago.  Now it averages about $12.00 per yard.  The cost of a spool of 100% cotton thread now averages $10 or more.  Plus I have found that the quality has declined.  For instance, I have used Mettler thread for years, but lately I'm finding it breaks very easily when I'm machine quilting.  The cost increase was blamed on a poor cotton crop, but I think that "old dog just doesn't hunt" as they say in the south.  It might have been a legitimate excuse at one time, but not year after year.   I decided this year not to renew my membership in the quilt guild I have belonged to for 5 years because they just have the same speakers over & over again.  I think a lot of that has to be due to the high expense & hassle to fly people in from other parts of the country.  While the speakers they have had are wonderful for the most part, how often do you want to see the same trunk show?!  That leads to the decline in guild membership.  I'm curious as to what others think about this.

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Comment by Barb/WI on January 3, 2017 at 8:02am

I agree with all of the other comments.  No guild for me.  Instead, we have a small group of 10-12 quilters that meet only 6 or 7 times per year.  We have tons of fun, share ideas, learn new things together, etc.  No dues, so no high expectations, no disappointments.

Comment by Janet/MO on January 3, 2017 at 6:31am

Lynne, the reason the fabrics are made overseas is because of the pollution caused when they are made.  On one hand it is great that our country has laws that try to prevent pollution and sadly other countries don't, on the other hand it does lose jobs here in America.  One of those damned if you do & damned if you don't situations.  The guild I just dropped out of was 38 miles one way for me.  The program chairman always schedules programs in January & February that can be easily cancelled due to weather.  That town has another guild that meets at night, but I don't like going that far in the winter at night.  There is a small local group, but I didn't care for the way they treated some of their members.  Plus they thought nothing of copying pages out of quilt books & passing them around even knowing it was illegal.  I was basically shunned after telling them that I would not participate in that activity.  One lady who was considered to be the quilt guru of the group even went so far as to tell me it was her book & she would do with it what she pleased.  I would have felt the same way you did about changing the rules for the donation quilts. 

Comment by Lynne on January 3, 2017 at 6:22am

Janet, I also read Barbara Brackman's blog.  Personally, I am willing to pay the price increase on the fabric, not that I approve.  But if you look at the selvedge, you will usually find a foreign country's name, Japan, Korea. I believe since the government closed most or all of our mills, and shipped our goods overseas,, that is where our problem in price increase began.  Not only are we paying a higher price, but our country lost jobs due to this.  This is just my opinion.

I haven't belonged to a guild in a long time.  I had to travel at least 45 minutes to an hour to get to the one I joined.  It met on a Saturday, 6 times a year.  I don't do winter driving!!!!  They were big in donating to a local shelter for women, which I approve of.  What turned me off was when they changed the rules.  We could donate any size quilt, collected in November meeting.  The shelter would take children only to pick out their quilts.  As I think it should be.  Then the rule changed, and they wanted no smaller than double size.  I'm sorry, but a child does not need a quilt that large,,, and the mothers were getting to chose the quilt.  This is my donation, and the way it was changed bothered me.  I loved taking classes with national teachers,, the problem was, the chairperson picking the teachers, would pass the word around to friends, and since our guild was very large, most classes were filled as soon as the news letter went out, or even before.  On the odd year, they had what they called Quilt University,, 2 national teachers, and guild members teaching classes.  This was a 3 day weekend, and a huge amount of fun was had.  On the even year, they had their quilt show. 

I now belong only to myself.  No large guild, no small group.  To much teenage years coming out to suit me.  I love to go to quilt shows, if they are close enough.  Never been to Paducah show and probably never will.  Just to many people.  But it is sad to see book companies closing, stores closing, had 3 that I frequented close last year.  Hopefully, things will change for the better.  Looking at the number of members that belong to QWU, we still are a strong number who love to quilt!!!

Sorry for rambling.........  Happy New Year

Comment by Janet/MO on January 2, 2017 at 4:01pm

That sounds like a perfect solution for your group Irene.  Part of the problem with so many guilds is the reluctance and some times down right refusal to try something new.  That turns off a lot of people.  Or when just a select few rule the roost with an iron fist.  Doesn't make people want to volunteer to hold an office, etc.   Personally I think this guild I just left would be better served if they had monthly get togethers where the members just worked on their own things.   I was one of the youngest members and am almost 65.  So when the majority of your members are in their 80's, it makes it very difficult to find volunteers and to put on an annual quilt show.   I'm still very active in my Quilts of Valor group so that will satisfy my urge to get together with other quilters.  Plus the store where that meets has open sewing days so I think I will do that a couple of times a month after I'm finished with working in the coat check room at the casino. 

Comment by Irene Gallway on January 2, 2017 at 3:36pm

You are spot on about the price of fabric, and thread and the quality of the thread. I'm finding this to be true in everything we buy. I am fortunate to have a store called Mardens to buy my fabric. It is a salvage store and they buy out these small quilt shops. The most I pay for a yard of 100% name brand fabric is $5.99. This store sells every thing from fabric to furniture. As for the guild. I started a chapter of the American Sewing Guild here in Calais but we came out of the guild after 12 years. The cost of membership and the fact that we had to publish a newsletter, send in financial reports and couldn't find people to fill the offices they required made it hard to cope with. So we didn't renew our membership gave our group the name of Sunrise Stitchers and disbanded from ASG. We are active and enjoying getting together just to sew once a month.

Comment by Pam/NY on January 2, 2017 at 10:20am

Unfortunately, a lot of truth to what you wrote. Across the board, prices seem to have gone up faster than previous decades. Small quilt shops are finding it hard to compete and make a profit so they raise their prices. The online shopping is hurting all small businesses. I've never belonged to a guild so can't speak to that issue, but have taken a few classes that I thought were a total waste of time and had to buy certain supplies that I never used again. Some of that is my fault for not asking more questions before investing. I felt, I could have taught the classes better! 

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