MPS has been growing in membership during the last few years, and now might be a good time to talk again about who we are as a guild and how we came to be.
DID YOU KNOW…that the Guild has Founding Mothers? Once upon a time, around the year 1999, a group of women were gathering in a back room at the Mill Ends Store in Beaverton. They would stitch on their quilts, visit, and learn from each other. An idea to start a quilting guild on the west side of the river began to percolate and before long, 15 women became the Founding Mothers. They chose a place for the first meeting, sent out invitational postcards to the surrounding area, and hoped for the best. They were surprised by the standing-room-only crowd of quilters that showed up! After that meeting, the Founding Mothers got busy, wrote a vision statement and by-laws for the guild, and the Metropolitan Patchwork Society was born.
DID YOU KNOW…that we “celebrate quilting as a great American art form”? That phrase came right out of the Founding Mothers’ vision statement. So, we embrace all styles of quilting–traditional, modern, and art equally. We also feel it is important to expose our art to the quilting and non-quilting community. To that end, we produce a public quilt show in the spring of every odd year (this year being the exception due to the pandemic).
DID YOU KNOW…that education is important to the Guild? Therefore, we strive to provide programs and workshops in all areas of quilting. Discovery of the Zoom platform has enabled us to hear from speakers and instructors from all over the country! And once a year, we hold our Quilt College so we can learn new techniques and ideas from four of our own members.
DID YOU KNOW…that our Inspirations and the fellowship we share are no happy accident? The Founding Mothers wanted the members to enjoy and be inspired by each other. They purposefully built opportunities for both right into the monthly meetings. And we are continuing the tradition through our monthly Show and Tell Inspirations meeting, our Coffee Chats, and our Dessert Hours. Member fellowship was at the heart of deciding to use the Breakout Room feature of the Zoom platform before our monthly Guild meetings. We will continue to hold our first three monthly meetings over Zoom and will move to a hybrid model (in person and over Zoom) for our monthly, fourth-Tuesday Guild meetings for our members who wish to watch from home or who live out of town.
DID YOU KNOW…that the MPS Board consists of 11 positions? Five are elected positions–Chair, Chair-elect, Past Chair, Finance and Scribe, and 6 are Standing Committee Chair positions–Membership, Programs, Quilt Show, Retreats, Social Media, and the Vicky Arnold Memorial Program Fund. All committee chairs look within our membership for individuals to serve on their committees.
DID YOU KNOW…that our fiscal year begins on September 1st and ends on August 31st? Not only is it our accounting year, but the terms of the Guild Officers and Standing Committee Chairs begin and end on the same dates. That is why we begin looking for new officers and chairpersons in mid-spring. Our Membership year covers the same period of time, too; so our annual membership drive is about to begin.
A few years ago, the MPS Board worked to create the MPS Organizational Philosophy. You can read this by clicking on the button to the right. MPS Organizational Philosophy
I hope this article has helped new members gain insight, understanding, and appreciation for the Guild. I also hope our long-time members are reminded of the rich heritage we share by belonging to this organization. Any comments and/or questions, would be welcome in the comments below.
Finally, DID YOU KNOW…that you can spot the remaining Founding Mothers that are still active members of the guild? Just look for the zipper-coil rose attached to their nametags.