Spotlight on Recruitment: Nancy Turbitt

SAQA's regional exhibit "Made in Europe" at AQS Daytona

Early this March, Nancy Turbitt flew from snowy Rhode Island to sunny Florida to share her passion for SAQA at AQS QuiltWeek in Daytona. Nancy and local volunteers set up a table outside SAQA’s regional show: Made in Europe, and they spent four days supporting SAQA’s mission of promoting the art quilt through education and exhibition, while also recruiting new members.

Prior to the show, volunteers met with SAQA organizers on a video conferencing call to talk about the best ways to explain SAQA activities. At the show, volunteers brought their own work to use as conversation pieces to draw in passers by. While there is a fine line between promoting SAQA and promoting your own work, volunteers were comfortable sharing their own art quilt processes and were able to shift the focus from their own art towards the SAQA’s efforts at a larger scale. Between the preparation during the video call and the ability to have a conversation starter in hand at the table, Nancy saw a relaxed, positive atmosphere at the table.

SAQA volunteers are ready to answer questions and talk about art quilts!

That atmosphere was crucial because many QuiltWeek attendees had never seen an art quilt before. Nancy and her crew engaged show goers by introducing SAQA, inviting them into the show, and encouraging them to come back and share their thoughts on the pieces in the show. These conversations resulted in a range of reactions from completely flummoxed (in a good way!) that quilting could look so different from the traditional aesthetic to eager, new art quilters who signed up for membership

A new member signs up at the SAQA booth at AQS Daytona.

Nancy’s commitment to recruiting new membership stems from more than just increasing SAQA’s numbers; in order to keep the organization vibrant, dynamic, and progressive, the membership needs an influx of new to stave off stagnation. Nancy says,”New members will bring new ideas and new ways forward that we might not be thinking of right now that will really help to propel us into a new generation.”

Thank you so much to Karol Kusmaul who coordinated volunteers and, of course, the wonderful volunteers who worked the booth: Becky Stack, Ellen Lindner , Dij & Rudy Pacarro, Laura Ruiz, Juanita Yeager, Gretchen Jolles, Linda Krause, Gabriele Di Tota, Margaret Knepper, Linda Hoffmeister, Shirley MacGregor, and Doris Hulse.

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  1. Nancy did a great job of preparing us volunteers and managing everything. This new one-person-in-charge procedure is MUCH better than the old way we had to do these recruiting tasks. Kudos to SAQA for implementing it. I think we got 18 new members at this 4 day event!

    Ellen Lindner
    Florida rep

    • Thanks Ellen. It was a team effort and without all of you as volunteers we would have had much less success. Hope all those new members are settling in well!

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