Six weeks ago if you had asked me how likely it was that I would attend a quilt guild meeting by video conference, I would have given it a 0% chance. But life is nothing like it was six weeks ago so for the first time, my quilt guild the Rising Star Quilters met via Zoom.
We changed our plan for the meeting. Our original plan was to have a trunk show from Jane Sassaman. We had to cancel her talk, obviously, which was no doubt a huge disappointment for everyone. But, rather than skip the meeting completely, I set up a Zoom meeting and we asked members to show the quilts and small works of fiber art that they have been making while sheltering in place.
I didn’t know what to expect for the meeting. I didn’t know if anyone would show up or if the idea of a Zoom meeting would be too weird for our members. I didn’t know if I would have anyone sign up to share their work and how well they’d be able to share on camera. But, aside from having the Internet go out in my neighborhood near the end of the meeting, it went off without a hitch. We had over 60 members join the call, which is about the same number we would have attending in person at a normal meeting (though surely much lower than attendance for Jane Sassaman). We had plenty of quilts to share and after some chatting about mask making wrapped up the meeting after 75 minutes. I personally enjoyed seeing my quilting friends in the natural habitats of their homes and I loved being able to see some quilts and talk quilting for over an hour. We’re planning on another Zoom meeting next month and are brainstorming ideas for the program.
After such a positive experiment with a Zoom quilt guild meeting, I began to think about whether the quilting lectures I offer would be well-suited to Zoom. I expect that we may be having virtual quilt guild meetings for a while. I’ve got some serious photography to do in order to make my trunk show lecture into a virtual talk, but some of my other talks could go live on Zoom immediately. So, I’ve updated my lectures page with that information. If your guild is canceling in-person speakers like mine is, maybe it’s time to think about Zoom quilting talks instead!