|Wendi didn't have time to dig for ugly fabric, but she did make an "Ugly Quilt" a few years ago in an Ugly Fabric Challenge on Flickr. She says if you cut it up small enough, you can't tell how ugly it is.|
We began the meeting with cake and beverages, conversation, and fun! Each member present shared how long they had been a member of the guild, the darkest secrets of their stash, the number of sewing machines they owned (11???!!! Wow! And it seems that the members present have an average of 8 sewing machines) and a piece of ugly fabric from their stash.
Three members celebrated September birthdays and received their birthday FQ and a song.
The big Anniversary Scrap Swap reveal took place next:
- Cindy sewed for Linda (open wide pouch)
- Linda sewed for Wendi (still to be revealed)
- Wendi sewed for Natalie (giant bag - still to be finished)
- Natalie sewed for Laraine (pillow cover)
- Laraine sewed for Loree (PINK zipper pouch)
- Loree sewed for Amy (three nesting pouches)
- Amy sewed for Cindy (triangle tote bag)
Natalie and Cindy provided updates on our current and upcoming charity efforts.
- Our Q2 project, a quilt for Fisher House of Northwest Florida, titled Comfort Zone, was delivered by Susan. Tickets for this event, the 9th Annual Fisher House Gala, which takes place November 3, 2016, are available. Please see their Facebook page if you are interested in attending.
- Our Q3 project, a quilt for QuiltCon East is underway. Cindy reported that our late application had been submitted and accepted. Blocks were received from several members. Cindy has more fabric if anyone would like to make blocks.
- Cindy briefly revisited our Q4 project, the lined-drawstring bags for our local Ronald McDonald House. Bags can be brought to any meeting through November. We will present them to RMH during the first part of December.
Natalie reviewed news from the Modern Quilt Guild:
- Because the first Virtual Sew Day was so successful, it will now take place monthly on the third Sunday of the month on IG and IG Stories.
- MQG is seeking designs for the quilt of the month. You do not need to have a finished quilt to submit a design; an idea or concept is sufficient. If you are interested, an application form is available online.
- MQG is hosting its first International Swap (#mqgswap) which will run from October to February. Sign up online at the MQG website on October 5. The shipping deadline is February. MQG is encouraging participants to swap in person at QuiltCon, but you do not have to attend QuiltCon to particpate; all MQG members are encouraged to participate. See their guidelines and online sign-up form on the MQG website.
- CT Publishing and the MQG are putting together a book documenting the modern quilt movement. All prior QuiltCon quilts are already under consideration for publication. If you would like to submit a quilt photo for the book, the online form and guidelines for submission are on the MQG website.
- American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine is sponsoring a 9-patch challenge for QuiltCon. Submissions are due November 30.
- Michael Miller Fabric Challenge featuring fabrics from the Luxe collection is open through November 30, 2016. Natalie has three bundles of fabric for Pam, Kristy, and Beverly who signed up online.
- Quilts for the QuiltCon quilt show are also due November 30.
At 11:42 am we broke for a delicious pot luck Italian themed lunch and lots of conversation.
Following lunch, there was an extensive discussion of the financial condition of the guild and the progress of the internal audit. Gina posed several previously prepared questions regarding financial governance and the status of the audit. The members of the board, Natalie, Cindy, Wendi, and Laraine, responded to her questions, reiterating the information presented in the August meeting, and the subsequent steps the board has taken.
- What is the status of the internal audit?
- The internal audit is still ongoing. An internal audit is required by the by-laws enacted by the guild in 2013. The by-laws require an internal audit with 3rd party review every two years. Thus, the audit currently being undertaken is for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years.
- Cindy and Natalie are analyzing our financial records which, will be reviewed by Linda as our member-at-large, and an independent third party with tax and accounting expertise. This is what is required by the by-laws and is the advice the MQG gave us when we asked for their help.
- Why is the audit taking so long?
- Many of our records were not turned over to the board by the previous treasurer. Therefore, before the audit can proceed, it is necessary to reconstruct records from bank statements, membership records, and minutes. This process is very time consuming. Cindy and Natalie have been working on the reconstruction of records up to March 2016 since the previous treasurer resigned in March.
- We have consulted the MQG and their advice was to reconstruct records as completely as possible, and then move forward, making a fresh start at the point where records are complete.
- How much will the audit cost?
- The initial fee for the professional to review our records is $35. We do not know what the total will be.
- Several comments from the members in attendance during this discussion indicated their agreement with this plan.
- What about financial transactions in 2016?
- Since the by-laws were enacted in 2013 and we joined MQG in the middle of 2013, 2014 was our first full year under the by-laws. The current audit is for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years. The current period will be covered in the next audit.
- As approved in our August meeting, we have purchased and set-up a Cloud based bookkeeping software designed specifically for 501(c)3 organizations. That cost is $28 per month. Laraine, our interim Treasurer, has made the initial entries from March 2016 to date.
- The board member designated as the back-up treasurer for 2016 is Natalie.
- Formal, two-person oversight procedures were implemented in March 2016.
- What was the timeline for the treasurer position during 2016?
- Nona served as treasurer during January and February 2016.
- Wendi served as secretary and acting treasurer from March - May.
- Laraine was appointed interim treasurer and took over treasury duties in June.
- Isn't it a conflict of interest for Natalie to act as the second person on the financial transactions, and the second person on the audit.
- No. Since the audit is only through December 2015, these functions do not overlap.
Gina asked additional questions, as follows:
- Does ECMQG follow Roberts Rules of Order?
- No. Our meetings are, and have always been informal. The guild has never adopted the formality of parliamentary procedure due to the fact that guild members have repeatedly objected to the meetings involving too much business.
- Are Executive Board meetings held on a regular schedule?
- No. They are not held on a regular schedule nor are they at a consistent location. The by-laws only require that the Executive Board meet four times each year. Executive Board meetings are scheduled when there is business to discuss and when it is convenient for board members to meet. There are no specific times or places, although we generally meet once per quarter. In the past, Executive Board meetings have been held at restaurants, at the church after our regular meetings, and at a board member's home.
- Are Executive Board meetings open to the regular membership?
- Yes. Committee members have met with the Executive Board when necessary.
- Will a monthly treasurer's report be provided to the membership in the future?
- Yes. This is a goal we are working toward. The new Aplos software will facilitate this goal. Once we are certain that all of the information is in the correct general ledger account, we will be able to provide a monthly treasurer's report to our membership. A treasurer's report will be emailed to active members of the guild. Financial information will never be made available through social media, on the blog, or any other public forum.
Cindy conducted the Liberty Anniversary door prize giveaway. Six bundles of Liberty scraps and samples were provided by Amanda at Westwood Acres Fabric. The winners were: Laraine, Ava, Senorah, Gina, Marcy, and Sharon. The rest of the door prizes were also awarded. Cindy won the Omni-Grid folding cutting mat. Happy Anniversary Everyone!
Our anniversary celebration ran a bit long causing several members to leave the meeting immediately following the completion of the audit Q&A and the door prize giveaway.
We received 24 Adore-la blocks in the September block lottery. Our guest presenter was Loree. The quilt is modern because of its use of alternate grid-work, negative space, minimalism, and use of solids. As promised, there were three winners - Laraine, Cindy, and Loree.
- an accurate scant 1/4" seam
- seam nesting
- trimming to size
- pressing each step
- organization through labeling
- assessing color value.
Carol J. has volunteered to present the October block. Blocks are due in November.
Amy agreed to present the January block (introduced in November), with blocks due in January 2017. Members were very excited about the triangles she used in Cindy's bag and requested she use a block with triangles.
Natalie asked about interest for ECMQG t-shirts to wear in Savannah for QuiltCon East. Let’s show our ECMQG pride! Her daughter Tasha has a business for digitized embroidery designs and she will inquire about pricing. Cindy will investigate screen printed pricing.
There were reports and brief meetings of the three guild bees.
Natalie presented a preview of the next 3 months' meetings, including nominations (October) and election of the Executive Board officers for 2017. All officer positions are open for this election.
As part of the discussion about election of officers for 2017, Natalie explained that one of the duties of the President is to prepare a budget. In addition to being required for the audit, accurate and complete financial records are necessary to prepare a budget. Natalie prepared (but did not present due to lack of reliable financial information) a preliminary budget in February. Based upon current and anticipated income and expenses, the preliminary budget she prepared indicates the necessity of either increasing dues or undertaking sustained fund-raising. Basic expenses include meeting space fees, accounting software, postage and copy expenses, hospitality and meeting supplies, door prizes, birthday FQs, and supplies for charity projects. Wendi explained our current ECMQG fee structure - $25 dues – is the same amount an individual members pays for MQG affiliation.
Future expenses include insurance, specifically Directors and Officers insurance (also known as D&O insurance) for the protection of guild assets. Cindy has been in touch with an insurance agent who specializes in policies for small non-profits. She mentioned several hypothetical situations where if a lawsuit came to pass, the members of the Executive Board and their families would be personally liable. Insurance is a necessary cost of doing business, and ECMQG, because of it’s affiliation with the MQG and its non-profit status, is a business. Preliminary discussions indicate a basic $2 million policy premium would cost between $700 - $800 annually. Members who were still in attendance agreed this was a necessary cost and agreed an increase in dues is warranted. Cindy agreed to follow-up with the insurance agent and present the detailsto the Board.
Several members shared show and tell items.
The meeting adjourned at 2:45 pm.
Several members stayed for Sew Day and snacking.
Wendi (with notes from Bobbi)