Report from the Quilters Guild AGM

30 May

Helen Morgan attended the AGM this year. Below she gives her view of the event.

During the first weekend of April, the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles AGM took place in Nottingham. This was the first time I had ever been to this event, but having heard such wonderful reports of previous meetings I decided to check it out for myself.

Four members from Glamorgan Quilters travelled up with ladies from Swansea Quilters who had hired a minibus for the journey. Two other members, Sonia and Jackie, made the journey independently. It was to be a significant event for Jackie as she was completing her term as Co-ordinator for Region 12, after serving a period of four years in office. Jackie has been a wonderful Co-ordinator and will no doubt be sadly missed.

The event took place on the very modern Jubilee campus of Nottingham University, with everyone being allocated student ensuite bedrooms. “What luxury” I heard many people say, or “wasn’t like this in my day”. Meals were provided cafeteria style in the Atrium with moderate reviews at best, particularly by those who had opted for the evening meal – they were very underwhelmed. Our adventurous group chose to sample the delights of Nottingham city centre which seemed to be a good choice.

Proceedings started on the Friday with numerous workshops on offer. In fact, there were many to choose from throughout the weekend. These had to be booked in advance and for those like me, who weren’t well organised, or couldn’t make up their minds with so many to choose from, the alternative was to sit and listen to some excellent speakers also included in the programme. On the Friday evening, an almost packed lecture theatre was treated to a very entertaining talk by Anja Townrow who produced more quilts than I know I would ever produce even in two lifetimes!

On the Saturday morning the AGM was held. The most significant matter arising was the funding, or lack of it, for the Guilds Museum in York. The forthcoming year will see a shortfall in excess of £30,000 to keep the Museum open. The Committee and Trustees of the Guild had come up with a proposal which requested donations of either £500 or £1,000 to be made to the Guild in order to guarantee the running of the Museum for another year. As you can imagine, lengthy discussions followed with numerous points of view being put forward. The matter was left unresolved at that stage, but will obviously be reviewed regularly as donations, or indeed, lack of donations become evident.

One of the main highlights of the weekend was the Gala Dinner on the Saturday night. In excess of 300 members were transported (by double decker buses which took me back to my school days) to the East Midlands Conference Centre. Following our meal, we were entertained by Laura Wasilowski and Frieda Anderson who together form the Chicago School of Fusing. I think it might be more appropriate to call them the ‘cabaret’ as they were far more amusing than many a comedian I have seen and kept the whole room entertained in equal measure. I was not alone is wishing they could have carried on for much longer.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny with yet more workshops and talks to educate and entertain. I felt the venue for the event was perfect in so much as everything was no more than a 200 metre walk in any direction, and the rooms were suitable in so much as almost everyone required a single room. However, all too soon our weekend was over and our minibus arrived to transport us home.

Was I impressed with my first experience of the Quilters’ Guild AGM? – yes I was. The organisation was excellent and of course, I am convinced there is no friendlier species of people than quilters. Would I go again? Yes, I would, and I am eagerly awaiting the booking forms to arrive for Portsmouth in 2014.

Helen Morgan

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