95 – Interview with Quilters_Without_Leaders


This episode is a special edition interview.  I was contacted by the owner of the Instagram account “Quilters Without Leaders” to speak on the topic of the MQG, the now-famous Derivative post and the current events of guilds voting to leave National Modern Quilt guild.  We mainly focus on the role national MQG has played since coming into power and what effect it’s having on the membership and other quilters interested in the modern quilt movement.

The PDF of the MQG – Derivatives Blog Post and Comments

Many current and past members have felt bullied by the MQG and are unable to speak out against them without being anonymous. It’s a shame that there isn’t a useful dialogue at times and that like many other guilds, National can be just as cliquish as anything else. I chose to facilitate this interview as I feel it is an important discussion to have regarding the future of “modern quilting” and how National is setting its sights on controlling what the modern quilt movement is and looks like.

Want to speak to QWOL anonymously about things that you’ve experienced dealing with local and national Modern Quilt Guilds? You can e-mail here here: modernquiltingisasham@gmail.com

#mqg #quilt police #beingderivative #modernquilting #modernquiltingisasham #quiltcon #quilting

A photo posted by MQG ex-pat (@quilters_without_leaders) on


  1. That was a great interview, Katie. Lots of good information and issues for MQG members to think about. Thanks for posting it.

  2. This interview really resonated with me. Our guild never wanted to do all the paperwork so we are now a Modern Quilters Guild and we have no rules.
    If you want to show your t-shirt quilt, show it!
    We run our own challenges and just examine and how fun with the modern aesthetic.

    So glad we never got involved with all the rules. Modern Quilts seemed to be a reaction against too many rules and now have become even more rule oriented. It’s crazy! Welcome the new boss, just like the old boss.

  3. This was a very interesting interview. The pros and cons of The Modern Quilt Guild were discussed in a calm and rational manner. Thank you for doing this.

  4. The information presented about AQS is not correct. AQS is certainly more than a quilt show. It is a member organization with member benefits including a magazine, and at one time a whole publishing division. In the early days of AQS, that generation of quilt police looked down on machine quilting. I think it was in 1989 when Caryl Bryer Fallert came along and rocked their world winning Best of Show with a machine quilted piece. So, if AQS is being cited as an example of what the MQG could be, a good idea would be to first know what AQS has been and is today.

    • Quilters_without_Leaders says:

      I just want to clarify that I wasn’t at all trying to suggest the MQG model itself after AQS. Just that the MQG should get itself out of the business of trying to own guilds and manage them from a distance. Thanks for checking out the interview, it’s been great to see all the conversations it has sparked! Happy quilting to you!

  5. Very interesting discussion. I want to. Give feedback from a recently retired businessperson who is new to quilting. I agree will all the points about the modern quilt group as poor value for members and guilds. I do take exception to the title of her writings. I recently joined a guild who had already filed for exempt status before mqg formed. My understanding is they jointed for a year and then decided based on value to let membership expire. They had to and one letter to title to appease mqg.
    The chapter has LEADERSHIP and is great support and fun for members. They did have leadership to drop out but really her writings imply we are women who are not organized. It is annoying when women sell women short and assume since the mug is not a viable organization that the chapters do not have leadership.

  6. It would make a bit more sense to me if the national asked for a subscription fee from the local guild – like say $150.00 to be affiliated with The Modern Quilt Guild, rather than $25 per person. When the transition from no guild fee – to you have to pay dues to be a member – occurred the local guild collected $25 per member and it all went to national. At that time the local still allowed nonmembers to attend meetings, The next year they tacked on $10 so that the local guild would have some reserve, and they also disallowed nonmembers – by creating an exclusive member only page. This creates a non welcoming vibe.