Thursday, October 29, 2009

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Gwen, Jodieth, Connie, Faye Lewis, Mamafitz, CarlaF, Lori, Summerset, Joannely, Karin, Cindy, Gaylen, Meredith, Lois, Sharon and Elaina for talking back to my confession last week! I asked about experiences with the American Sewing Guild (ASG) and other sewing organizations.

I was a bit surprised to see that almost two-thirds of the people who responded (10 out of 16) are ASG members!

As you might expect, however, among the members there is quite a bit of variability in how active people are. Some, like Joannely, Gaylen and Meredith are extremely acitve and have even started new neighborhood groups and/or served as leaders for their groups.

Other people are not as active, and you can probably guess many of the reasons why: they don’t have a neighborhood group (NG) close by, they have schedule conflicts with the local NG meetings, and/or the local NG has a different focus than they do (for example, more quilts and crafts, less garment sewing).

For the people who are able to participate, it sounds like there are both technical benefits (having workshops and speakers) and social benefits – just getting to hang out with wonderful, classy people! And the 10% discount at Joann’s and other retail stores might have been brought up a few times too… ;)

I did get the impression that that not all NGs are "created equal" and finding an NG that is a “good fit” is a very important factor in determining how much you get out of the organization. In fact, Connie recommended starting your own NG!

Speaking of advice, Meredith gave what is probably the most important advice that anyone can keep in mind when joining any organization – never leave the room when they are looking for volunteers and/or leaders! ;)

Finally, it was also cool to read about some other sewing-related groups. Elaina belongs to a Burda club, Summerset belongs to a quilt guild, Cindy has a "meetup" group and Mamafitz used to belong to an independent pattern club that sounds very interesting! They would pick a specific indie pattern to try each month, and then get together to compare notes (and garments) afterwards.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to tell me about your experiences! I’ll let you know how it works out for me. :)


meredithp said...

Love the photo! I will say that, as a garment sewer, it IS hard to find a focus or interest in garment sewing. There are a zillion quilt guilds in my area, lots of quilting classes, etc. So, in response, although I have tried mightily to support local fabric stores and sewing vendors, I'm a rather solitary garment sewer, and resort to online purchasing and socializing. And I like it that way. All my "friends" are virtual (they're real, but not here in the flesh :-)) I admire quilting and quilters, but it's not my thing. Plus until recently, I've been one of the younger participants. That was, until I moved out of Florida :-)

Unknown said...

This is the "Connie" mentioned above. One of the best things offered by the Ft.Wayne Ind. group this fall was a seminar by Connie Crawford from Butterick Patterns. Another thing offered is a yearly bus trip to fabric shop. Ft.Wayne is large enough that they can have NG devoted to specialties, i.e., quilting, sewing, machine embrodery.