Activities for Quilt Guilds that are Actually Fun

As some of you may know, I’m a proud member of my local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. I joined a few years ago very hesitantly, but am so glad I took the leap! I am surrounded by the most generous, supportive ladies I know each and every month and we all love one thing: Quilting!

It didn’t take long after I joined to get suckered into being on the board (don’t worry, I was a willing sucker). I found myself quickly shadowing the Programs Director and taking on guild activities for the year. That year has come and gone, but I wanted to share some of my experience with you and throw some ideas your way if you’re on Google frantically searching for quilt guild games and activities.

As I started to do my research on activities for guilds to do (having never been to a quilt guild more than 5 times before!), I quickly realized that I’d have to come up with some better ideas. With the help of my amazing president and program chair, we came up with a great list of activities for our quilt guild! I can’t claim full credit on every last idea here, but I thought it would be a helpful tool to share with you what we learned throughout the year.

So, without further ado, here are my favorite activities from the year:

UFO Challenge

You may remember that I referenced my UFO challenge a few months back when I finished my hanky pillows or might even be a part of my Facebook UFO group. UFOs are a big problem for quilters, so a year long challenge that really lights a fire under everyone’s tush to get those UFO projects DONE is perfect! Here’s the basic outline:

  1. Set a schedule: Decide how many UFO’s you want each person to complete in one year. We chose 4, so a project was due every 3 months.
  2. Annie Up: Each UFO project costs $1 to enter. If you complete your project, you get a *special* certificate and your $1 back. If you don’t complete it in time, the dollar stays “in the pot.”
  3. At the end of the year, each finished UFO receives 1 ticket for a raffle. Whoever’s ticket is drawn gets all the money left in the pot (which is often quite a bit).

Here was the silly certificate that we gave each participant when they brought in their finished UFO. I got some crisp dollar bills from the bank (or ironed them!) and stuck them on with two tiny dabs of hot glue.

This was a really fun challenge and was so good for my guild! We found it a little bit difficult to keep track of everyone’s projects if they brought them in early, so make sure they bring their finished UFO on the day that it is due! Create a UFO ceremony to help keep things organized and to really make it a special event. Don’t be afraid to be silly with this too—it’s pretty fun!

Logo Twist Challenge

This is a great little challenge that isn’t a major commitment for your guild members.

Use your quilt’s logo or symbol as inspiration for a mini quilt challenge.

Here are the rules:

  1. Hand out a paper with your guild’s logo on it.
  2. Challenge your members to create a mini quilt (36″ or smaller) that uses the logo colors ONLY.

That’s all the rules! Have each member anonymously place their quilt in a basket at the entrance to your meeting and then display them and vote for your favorites!

Pot Holder Swap

easy modern potholder
Oven Octo Potholder by Rachel Rossi

My Oven Octo pattern was inspired by this fun little project! This swap can be placed at any time of year, but ours landed on St. Patricks Day, so I chose to name it the Pot O’Gold Potholder Swap. It’s pretty simple:

  1. Give each member a random size of Insul-Brite batting.
  2. Tell them that they have to create a pot holder out of that size and bring it to the next meeting.
  3. Make sure they use TWO layers of Insul-Brite and cotton fabrics/thread ONLY.
  4. At the next meeting have everyone drop their Hot Pads into a brown paper bag, and Swap!

Bookmark Swap

This is a pretty fun way to get to know your guild members. Simply have everyone create a quilted or fabric bookmark. Then, have everyone bring a book to share (it can be their favorite, vintage, something funny, or quilty—let them decide!). Have everyone tuck their bookmark into the book and let all participants take a little stroll to the “library” and choose their books!

Postcard Quilt

This is a great guild activity for summer! This challenge inspired me to create my Snail Mail Postcard pattern and another fun launch that I’m excited to share with you soon! The rules are simple:

  1. Have everyone fill out a tag that includes their Name and Mailing Address. Collect them in a box.
  2. Then have each participant draw a name.
  3. Each member will make and send their postcard to that address before the next meeting!

This was one of my favorite guild activities because there’s nothing better than getting mail, especially when it’s this cute! I’ve also found that it’s helpful to give tutorials for each quilting activity, so be sure to send them to my postcard quilt tutorial for all the details!

Polaroid Block Lottery

There’s nothing so fun as a Block Lottery! Especially when the blocks are this cute and this personal. The rules are simple:

  1. Everyone creates as many Polaroid Blocks as they like (just make sure you are all following the same pattern, there’s a great tutorial here.)
  2. Each block counts for one raffle ticket.
  3. Whoever’s ticket is drawn in the raffle gets all the blocks! They are charge with creating something awesome and go on their merry way!

Winter Swap

The winter swap is a great idea for a holiday quilt guild party. It’s also easy to incorporate with a game like Dirty Santa or the Left/Right Game. We chose to do a winter theme, rather than Christmas since we have a diverse group of beliefs in our guild. Here are the rules:

  1. Create a winter themed item made from fabric and made by you!
  2. It has to be small enough to fit inside a brown paper bag (provided by the guild)
  3. You can decorate the outside of the bag however you’d like
  4. Bring your bag (and goodie!) to the next guild meeting for a fun activity

A Common Cause

There’s nothing that brings people together so much as a common goal! This year we needed “Do not touch” signs for our guild’s quilt show. We have been borrowing other guild’s signs for years and decided that this is the year we’d make our own collection. We made the rules pretty broad to encourage creativity within the group, and we were thrilled with the results!

  1. Create a “do not touch sign” that the guild gets to keep
  2. Max size is 8.5″ x 11″

Quilter’s Strip Poker

Don’t worry, it’s not what it sounds like, but it IS a good way to get your guild’s attention during announcements! Quilter’s Strip Poker is a great game to throw into a holiday party or more casual meeting. I love the rules found over at Sylvia’s Stitches, but there are a few different formats you can follow. The gist is that you use 2.5″ strips (whip out those old Jelly Rolls!) to place bets! This was absolutely a guild favorite and has been requested time and time again!

What are Your Favorite Activities?

All of these activities went over really well this year and I hope that they’ll be a hit at your guild too! If I didn’t have such an incredible board to work with, I’d be worried that we’ve outdone ourselves in the activities department, but I think this is just the beginning…

I’d love to hear about your favorite guild activities and games – make sure to drop a comment in the field below so that we can create a great list for all of you activities directors!

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