Well, 2020 was an interesting year for the world.
For our guild, it was a year of firsts… we held our first online Guild Meeting in March, with little notice and just a can-do attitude. The topic of this first virtual meeting was Using Social Media as we saw the need to help members navigate and connect online. However, even in that first online meeting, we were still talking about summer potlucks and group activities.
Sadly, those events were not to be, and our first virtual meeting was followed shortly thereafter by our first online Sew Day and even our first Virtual Retreat. We took on the challenges presented by Shelter-In-Place and not only did we continue to provide the same content to our members that we always had, we added programming in our new Digital Thursdays series, to ensure our members were connecting and engaging with the guild. We even hosted our first guild BOM!
In some ways, this new world was just a different venue and we simply switched from holding up items and passing them around, to posting photos and commenting online, and we forged ahead. Speakers like Mel Beach quickly pivoted to presenting her lecture and trunk show online as we saw in our first Zoom guest lecture in April. Member-led topics, like Quilt Labeling, Scrappy project techniques, and Quilt Design app reviews, were conducted in slides with photos, screenshots, and shared links to resources.
In other ways, the online format opened up new opportunities for speakers and guests that previously would have been difficult and costly to book in person. Guest speakers included Christina Cameli and Sam Hunter leading us in a discussion about The Creative Process, an Aurifilosophy lecture by Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, and everything we ever wanted to know about batting from The Batty Lady.
We must have done something right because our membership grew from 67 members in March, when we held our first Zoom meeting, to 107 members at the end of the year. Members joined from other parts of California and even other states, as we provided content in a community where many were struggling with the new format.
It seems so long ago that we all sat together in February, without masks, eating snacks and touching quilts… we have come a long way in a short time and, while we are proud of how our leaders and members stepped up in these challenging times, we are looking forward to seeing everyone again in person… here’s hoping for that in 2021!