Although Crochet Texas! and the North Texas Crochet Guild are two separate entities, their history is closely entwined.
First there was the North Texas Crochet Guild (NTCG), which was founded in the late 1990’s. It started out as a church outreach group, then quickly became it’s own entity.
NTCG decided to become a chapter of the Crochet Guild of American (CGOA). Unfortunately, the CGOA decided to put restrictions on chapter memberships, and NTCG, along with many other chapters in the country, withdrew. The loss of so many chapters spurred the CGOA to re-address membership. They added benefits to their membership and started the process of rewriting their by-laws.
Four NTCG members were attending the CGOA conference in West Palm Beach, FL, in 2002 when the new membership initiatives were announced. The attendees were Cher C., Theresa M., Pamela W., and Jan S. They liked what they heard. But they also felt that the NTCG was doing fine as a social group with no dues or formal class instruction. So they decided to create a new group and named it Crochet Texas! The announcement of the new group was made at the chapter meeting during the West Palm Beach conference.
But they needed a fifth founding member, since starting a chapter required five people. As soon as they got home, they told Bobbie M. about what they had done, and she became the fifth founding member.
At this time, the NTCG was meeting at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, where both groups meet now meet now. Crochet Texas! decided that they wanted to meet at a different location, just to have some separation between the groups. They picked the Dallas Public Library located on Forest Lane, just off of Greenville Avenue. The very tiny meeting room cost $10 for each meeting. Theresa had just won the Rod Keener Memorial Best of Show Crochet Award at the State Fair of Texas for $100 (note: the award was sponsored by the NTCG and ultimately the State Fair stopped letting local groups sponsor awards), and she donated the award money to pay for the room.
They started out doing projects, not classes. The first project was to crochet around an orb. Most chose holiday ornaments for our project, but Bobbie decided to crochet around a sphere-shaped vase. They were rather pleased with the results. Another project was baby booties. They folded these to look like flowers and wrapped them with green floral tape, adding leaves. These were donated to a local hospital.
After about a year, they outgrew the space at the library. Fortunately, the new JoAnn’s at the corner of Preston and Forest had just opened. The store had plenty of meeting space and an enthusiastic Education Director, so they moved the meetings there. At the same time, the church where NTCG was meeting was starting a large renovation project, so that group also moved to JoAnn’s. This worked out quite well. They tried to hold the NTCG meetings in an open area so it was easy for shopper’s to drop by, learn about the group, and maybe even learn how to crochet. Since Crochet Texas! was more structured with a business meeting and organized classes, they could hold these meetings in an actual classroom.
After many years, JoAnn’s decided to close down their second floor. This took away several class spaces and they could no longer accommodate either group. And they kept up moving up the deadline for leaving. Fortunately, the renovation at the church was complete and they were happy to have both groups meet there.
Membership for Crochet Texas! as of May, 2014, is 21. It usually stays in the 20 – 25 range.