Activities Requiring No Work by Members (In-Meeting Activities)

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Sometimes it’s nice for members to just show up at a meeting without having to worry about completing a lot of piecing or sewing prior to the meeting. The MQG generally attracts a wide cross-section of quilters, and while some will be busy with careers, others will be busy managing grandchildren. In any case, many of your members will appreciate a chance to sit back, become inspired and learn from their fellow guild members.

A good first step can be to poll your guild via a survey or in-meeting discussion to determine what your members want to see and learn. This will provide a lot of good ideas and help to ensure you are scheduling things your guild is interested in. Part of the survey could also ask members what topics or skills they could share with the guild, or specific suggestions for programming content.


Member Spotlights/Trunk Shows: 

Your members are great resources! These types of activities help people get to know one another and open a dialogue. These are also great for getting to know people and seeing their sewing journey.

  • One-member spotlight - One member gets 60 minutes or the full time alloted to programming for the meeting. The member can bring in as many quilts and photos as she or he wants and talks about her or his creative journey to the present day. 
  • Four-member spotlights - Four members each get 15 minutes to talk about their creative journey. 
  • Mini member spotlights - About five people can bring in one item that is important to them and talk about how it impacts their quilting. People might bring in the first quilt they ever made, a quilt a family member made that inspired them to quilt, a quilt that has their favorite colors, or just their most recent finish that they love. Each person gets about two minutes to show and talk about their item. 

Book report:

Share your favorite quilt book or something new! Some of your guild members may also be authors and would love to talk about both their books and the process of getting published.


My Favorite Quilting Tool:

Bring a tool to the meeting to share with others, including information on where to get it and how to use it. 1-month notice recommended.



  • Demonstrations (by members or professionals)
  • One longer demo (45-60 minutes) 
    • A class for the entire group that gives our members a new skill. 
    • These may be used to introduce a challenge. 
  • Multiple shorter demos (10-15 minutes)
    • This can be three or four stations demonstrating techniques that members rotate around. 
  • Demonstration ideas includes: 
    • Sewing machine
      • Sewing machine maintenance
      • Sewing machine feet
      • Buying used or secondhand equipment/machines
    • Piecing techniques
      • Improvisational piecing
      • Paper piecing/foundation paper piecing
      • English Paper Piecing (EPP)
      • Inset circles
      • Y-seams/partial seams
      • Curves
    • Applique
      • Hand applique
      • Machine applique
      • Reverse applique
    • Basting
      • Board basting
      • Glue basting
      • Homemade spray baste
    • Quilting
      • Free-motion quilting (FMQ) 
      • Domestic machine quilting
      • Hand quilting 
      • Choosing quilting designs
      • Tips from experienced quilters
    • Squaring a quilt or block
    • Binding techniques
      • Making bias tape / bias binding
      • Hand binding vs. machine binding
      • Facing a quilt
      • Embellished binding (e.g., flange, ricrac)
    • Labeling quilts
    • Quilt preservation
    • Quilt appraisals
    • Photographing quilts
    • Unconventional materials
    • Surface design
      • Screenprinting 
      • Block printing
      • Fabric dying
    • Bag making
    • Garment sewing
    • Sewing zippers 
    • Baskets/container-making
    • Rope bowls
    • Rugs
    • Scissor sharpening
    • Favorite gadgets
    • Electronics/computers for quilters (i.e. EQ8; scanning/cutting machines (i.e Brother, Cricut))
    • Design concepts
      • Paper activities to practice
      • Quilt layout
      • Color theory
      • Scale
      • Texture
      • Use of negative space
      • One block, many layouts

Non-machine sewing activities - Some guilds use their meeting time to create a small project that does not require a sewing machine. Ideas include:

  • Ornaments
    • Folded fabric stars
    • Quilted ball ornaments
    • Peltex fabric ornaments
  • Techniques
    • Fabric weaving
    • Hand quilting
    • Embroidery and fabric embellishment
  • Projects
    • Bottlecap pin cushions
    • Mini foam core design boards
    • Fabric necklaces

Ice Breakers – Activities that helps members get to know each other better. Break into small groups. Try to make the groups random so friends are separated. (Count off numbers, by birth month, use a deck of playing cards and divide up by suit or number, give out coloured candies.) Have members explain how they got into quilting, their favorite quilter, pattern, method, fabric, what their dream quilt completion is, etc.

Themed Meetings – Some guilds have found it fun to have themed meetings. Think about having a Valentine’s Day party, a summer ice cream social, or a holiday potluck. Perhaps think about some activities that will get your members to interact and get know each other better. Remember, guilds are supposed to be fun! This is a great way for members to get to know each other.