Running Guild Meetings

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Guild meetings allow members to come together as a community and help you communicate what is going on within your local guild and the larger MQG community. They help build the modern quilting community, and are a chance for your membership to exchange ideas and socialize.

Common components of guild meetings include:

  • Business of the guild where news and notices to the members are shared. This can include financial reports, news from the MQG, items of interest to the local quilt community or upcoming guild plans. You may also want to welcome new members or guests.
  • Programming of featured topics, speakers or demonstrations that will be of interest to members.
  • Show and tell where members share what they are working on.
  • Facilitation of swaps, block lottos, challenges or charity projects.

Some guilds will include:

  • Sewing time: Some guilds combine a formal meeting with sewing or quilting time. Other guilds prefer to have separate sew days for sewing time.
  • Break/Social Time: Some guilds include this as a component of their meetings, while others prefer to let members socialize before or after the meeting. If you are not including a break or social time at all meetings, make a point of including something that builds your MQG community and allows members to get to know one another on a periodic basis. Invite members to have a pre-meeting coffee or a post-meeting adult beverage or plan an icebreaker or other social activity on a periodic basis.
  • Pre-Meeting Dinner: Some guilds host an informal meet up at a restaurant or bar before meetings. This is especially great for those who might not have enough time to go home between work and the meeting, or are traveling longer distances to come to the meetings. Places like Panera are a great option for this with their informal seating and ability for each person to order and pay individually.

Officers of the guild should meet periodically to plan future agendas. Using your officer meetings and calendar effectively will also ensure you don’t miss any important approvals or governance requirements.

During your meetings, make sure you take time to recognize accomplishments and extra efforts by members of the guilds, especially for retiring officer members, and those who have helped plan retreats/workshops or other large projects.


You’ll first need to decide who will chair the meetings. This is usually the president/chair of the guild, but it could be another person within your guild. At the start of each meeting, you’ll need to outline the plan for the meeting, including the agenda, planned breaks and timelines. You should also outline how you would like guild members to participate in the meetings. Let members know if there is a specific time that they can ask questions or if they are free to ask questions as you go along.

Your guild bylaws will outline and specify how your meetings are to be documented and whether formal minutes are required. The Secretary or an alternate should be in attendance and be prepared to take notes. Also consider whether you will ask someone to take photos for use on social media and for the guild’s webpage.

Your guild bylaws will also specify how the guild makes decisions. Most meetings occur uneventfully, with general consensus around decisions. However, if a guild member brings up a controversial or challenging point, you should be prepared to move into a more formal decision process. It is important for all of the officers of your guild to understand your bylaws, including how the guild formally makes decisions.



Many guilds target a two-hour meeting agenda, which balances providing information and value without members having to sit for too long. If you are including time for members to sew within the meeting, you may want to have a shorter formal component to the meeting.

Creating a formal agenda will allow you to set expectations with your speakers and presenters correctly, and will allow for course correction if items are taking too long. A sample agenda might go as follows:

7:00 - Call meeting to order, welcome and guild business updates

7:15 - Featured speaker or demonstration

8:00 - Block lotto, swap or challenge reveals

8:30 - Show and tell

9:00 - Meeting conclusion

In the above sample agenda, the speaker has a 45-minute time slot. When discussing timeframes with the speaker, you’ll want to allow time for questions and discussions, which means they should target about a 35-minute presentation to allow 10 minutes for questions by the guild.

Other sample agendas can be found here.


Engaging New & Current Members as Participants and Contributors Article

Engaging New & Current Members as Participants and Contributors Worksheet

Ice Breakers for Your Guild



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