Three years ago a tiny little group of us met at our LQS and decided to form a quilt guild. There was another guild in town, but it met during the day and since most of us work we were pretty much shut out of their activities. I think we had about 5 or 6 people that night. During the first few months we were feeling our way--only a couple of us had ever even belonged to a guild before, so we weren't quite sure exactly what things we wanted or were capable of doing as a group.
We talked about by-laws, but since there were so few of us it seemed a little silly to make up a bunch of rules. We did elect officers--a president (the "lucky" one who happened to miss that particular meeting), a secretary, and a treasurer. After the first few meetings I started to get a little worried that people wouldn't want to come back if we didn't have some sort of plan or activity for each meeting, so I did a little research on the web and came up with some ideas for programs. They appointed me the program chair on the spot!
We've grown little by little over the years. But there came a point when those of us who had been in it since the beginning began to see that the same people were doing the same things each month, and new members didn't speak up at meetings or would just kind of disappear after attending a couple of times.
So, at the suggestion of our secretary, who really was doing the lion's share of the month to month work, we decided to open up the group and try to get more members involved. We split the big jobs into lots and lots of smaller jobs. We now have a membership chair, a historian, a Quilter's Day Out committee, a person in charge of retreats, a greeting committee, a monthly activity committee, a program chair, a person in charge of making sure we're aware of sales and shows in the area, a refreshment committee, a group in charge of the charity quilts, and many, many others.
And me? I got to retire as program chair and I now do the mystery quilts and the challenge quilts.
Guild meetings are something I look forward to every month. I love seeing what everyone is working on and learning new techniques and meeting other quilt enthusiasts. What I especially treasure is that I feel a part of a group of people I like and respect.
Do you belong to a guild? How did you organize it?