Discussion

Finding Online Community {Discussion}

Finding Online Community

When I started blogging, one of my big goals was to find and connect with the online quilting community. We have talked at length in the past about whether blogs are a good source of online community (I am pretty sure you already know this, but for the record, I still believe that they can be). However, there are definitely other emerging social media platforms and locations to find connection with the online quilting community. Today I want to highlight a few opportunities I have noticed recently.

Facebook Groups

I might just be behind the times, but I believe I have seen an increase in the use of Facebook Groups to cultivate different online quilting communities. There are large groups for sharing, groups for specific forms / type of quilting, groups to support long arm quilters, groups for fans of particular quilters… the list goes on. I want to especially highlight:

  1. Late Night Quilters CLUB
    • Founded by my friends Stephanie @Late Night Quilter and Kitty @Night Quilter, this is a very friendly and safe group to participate in. You don’t have to have a particular style of quilting nor do you have to quilt at night. Any and all are welcome as long as you adhere to a few basic guidelines, but with such kind and generous moderators, it is easy to follow along and make friendships here.
  2. Meadow Mist Designs
    • My friend Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs created a Facebook group to help organize her yearly Mystery quilt this year. I think the group helped catalyze the cohesiveness and sharing nature of this fun mystery quilt project. If you are looking to start your own quilt along and are looking to get more participation and interest, starting and promoting an open Facebook group might be a great way to expand your audience.

Tribal Block Club

Have you heard about Amy @13Spool‘s upcoming Tribal Block Club?

tribal-blocks-image-small1

One of the things the stood out to me when viewing everything that comes with signing up for Amy’s Tribal Block club is the community that she will be building.

A community: Each tutorial & pattern post will include a linkup for you to enter a photo or blog post of your finished block. Peruse other students’ entries to gain inspiration & offer encouragement. Need more than that? We’ll have a Facebook group just for students to chat all things Tribal Block Club, post WIP photos, and cheer each other on to help forge even deeper relationships & communication.

Another thing I like about Amy’s approach is that it feels a bit more intimate and personal than just taking a Craftsy class. You have the opportunity to connect one-on-one with a modern quilt designer; how cool is that? I guess that is a trend I am starting to notice even with the earlier Facebook group examples: there seems to be a focus on finding ways to interact and connect online, and I think that is opening up exciting new opportunities for everyone.

If you want to sign up for the Tribal Block Club, use the discount code JETGIRLFANS through January 8th to reduce the $39 sign up fee to $29.

Periscope

I have mentioned Periscope before, and it continues to be a growing trend in the online quilting community. I think that the brilliance of the new social media platform is its ability to put a face and voice to the otherwise more flat and polished online personas (avatars) that we all create. Periscope is live, there this often a refreshing LACK of polish. If you are interested in learning more details, once again there is a Facebook group for the Periscope Craftroomies, although fair warning that the goal with joining the group will be for you to start being active and participating in the Periscope hops. (To join the closed group, contact one of the group admins: Kitty, Stephanie, Daisy, Christa or Mandy.)

In closing, this is by no means meant to be an all inclusive list, but merely a brief summary of groups and organizations that have recently caught my attention. The focus is meant to be for online connection, but there are also fantastic in person opportunities for connection. For instance, beyond conferences and quilt shows, I have felt a personal desire to focus on finding and joining the occasional quilting retreat. I think that organizations like Sewtopia are growing and filling that niche. Guilds also organize and schedule annual retreats that look like productive fun for their members and participants. Do you have a favorite quilting retreat that you participate in each year? Are there other online communities that are just emerging that you are excited about?

*Note: The comments for discussion posts often contain rich insights and valuable information, so don’t forget to peruse the comments for additional information!

20 thoughts on “Finding Online Community {Discussion}

  1. I’ve only joined/watched 2 craftroomies periscopes but want to get more involved with it. Had no idea that there was a facebook group for it. I tried to access the link in your post, but it doesn’t seem to be available.

  2. Laney says:

    Very interesting post Yvonne. I agree that FB groups are great places to connect. I joined Late Night Quilters not too long ago and it is my fav quilting related FB group. Just joined Meadow Mist yesterday. Instagram seems a bit harder for me to use for connection. I always feel like I miss a lot. Have not ventured into Periscope but it would be fun to check out. There’s only so much time in a day and even though I really want to increase connection, I also want to balance online time with offline time. So for me it’s a matter of finding the “best” places/ways to connect so I’m not wasting too much time wading through stuff that is not meaningful. Oh and I still love blogs! 🙂 The posts are there and easy to find when I have time to read them and comment. Thanks for this discussion.

  3. Lara B. says:

    You find the coolest things Yvonne and are definitely a “connector” of people. Online community is especially important to so many quilters who do not have opportunity or ability to interact with other quilters locally. (There are way more of us in than boat than most people realize) I want to go check out that Late Night Quilter’s Club. Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. It’s so awesome that we have so many ways to connect! It’s great to see all aspects of people’s lives through different avenues. This must be a sign it’s time to get in on the periscope action.

  5. It’s funny, because I personally use FB the least when connecting with people. We have a private guild site that we all sometimes chat on, too. My favorite event of the year is Mid-Atlantic Mod, which gathers five MQGs together for 4 days: Central Jersey, Philly, North Jersey, Baltimore, and DC. We have an absolute ball.

  6. Nice summary Yvonne. I love the interaction in the LNQ Facebook group. It is an amazingly friendly group of quilters. Another opportunity is the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club which is a subscription to a series of projects led by some amazing teachers. I think they hope to build a lot of community within the subscribers. $5 per month if you want to take only certain projects on, or $50 per year for the whole package of twelve projects.

    As always, good post!

  7. Lisa says:

    Of course I find this interesting Yvonne. I don’t use facebook much and haven’t dipped my toe into the other groups. I really like blogs because I find over time I am making some lasting connections with people. I guess I like the larger format for pictures and I feel that people write more in their blogs, which gives you more of a sense of them. I also don’t want to spend too much time on the computer, although this could change if I was home more. Keeping up with blogs seems to fill up the time I want to spend here.

  8. Good Morning Yvonne! As always, I find the information in your posts eye opening and very informative information. I am very slowly trying to update my blog and get it up and running. The part of your post today that made me sit up and take notice most was all of the mention about Facebook. I do use Facebook, mainly for communicating with family and friends. Yet, I have also signed up to follow some quilting related sites also and yet it never occurred to me to use it myself. I always laugh when something is obvious, yet I overlook it. So I applaud you once again for being the proponent of all of these sources! Have a wonderful creative day!

    PS…sure hope I used the term proponent correctly! LOL.

    1. Brenda,

      A proponent is “a person who advocates a theory, proposal, or project,” so I’d say you used the word very well! I’m glad this clicked something and might add to your quilting community. 🙂

      Yvonne

      On Sat, Jan 2, 2016 at 10:30 AM, Quilting Jetgirl wrote:

      >

  9. I like this mention of FB, Yvonne, because while I use it sparingly for personal posts, I do love the various groups I belong to and use it daily for such. Our neighborhood has a page and it’s THE place to find out any and everything going on, which has made moving here and getting acclimated a breeze. The same for the Periscope group you mentioned – it not only creates a nice team for hops, but has allowed a lot of new users to learn about Periscope and ask questions and jump into the new medium with confidence.

  10. This post makes me think about why I read blogs, why I blog, and what I’m looking for with social media. I think I first started reading blogs for inspiration. I started following people whose work I admire, basically. I’ve also found connections with people through reading their blogs and commenting. Now I consider a lot of you friends, even though we haven’t met in person. I am not a huge FB fan – I prefer to talk to one or a few people individually rather than sharing everything with everyone. I do LOVE IG because it is a quick way to see what people I care about are up to. As for Periscope, I have definitely been meaning to check it out – it sounds like it might be right up my alley. I do absolutely love social media – I believe it makes us all more connected if we use it wisely.

    As for retreats – I LOVE them. I would love to have a few annual ones that I attend, but I tend to just do stuff haphazardly – if something comes up and I can go, I do. They are so productive and SUPER fun. I think I might make it a goal to attend a couple this year…

  11. Thank you so much Yvonne for posting about my Facebook group! I totally agree that Facebook seems really well suited towards building a specific community and sharing ideas and pictures so easy. I know that for the mystery quilt, I get so excited every time someone posts a pic as I love to see their color combinations and progress.

  12. MoniqueB says:

    Just an FYI for any who might be interested. There is another Facebook group called Quilt Block Boot Camp. 1 block is presented every 2 weeks by the ‘host’. The members take turns signing up to host occasionally. Lovely ladies, no pressure, lots of support when you have questions and a place to talk about whatever you are working on, not just the blocks. It’s been a bit quiet during the holidays as we took month break but it will be gearing up again January 10th. Thanks for the thought provoking post and tips on good community opportunities

  13. Renee says:

    I use FB for mostly private stuff, and have never really gotten into any groups for very long. Maybe I will try again…but mostly this year I’m trying to embrace the “less is more” and wondering how I reduce my FB and IG use without feeling isolated.

  14. Thanks so much for the info. I just joined the two fb groups

  15. Tish says:

    I have to say I love Periscope since I have discovered it. I agree with you, it is such a great way to put faces and voices with those that we chat online with frequently. I have to admit, I haven’t quite got brave enough do my own scope yet. Any advice?

  16. Kaja says:

    Thanks for all the info Yvonne. Online community is important to me as I do not have opportunities to connect where I am. I have tended to avoid Facebook but now think it’s worth another look.

  17. SonJa says:

    Yes, the online quilting community has many ways to connect. It has been truly wonderful for someone like me (no quilting folks anywhere near me. I travel 45 minutes to go to guild meetings). And YES, I did join Amy’s Tribal block group a week or so ago. It will be a wonderful,learning venture. I so wanted to join Stash Bee this year, but I’m not fully sure I could successfully complete all the blocks on time. Maybe next year! I really do want to have those challenges and relationships that develop. Thank you so much for continuing to blog and for including such wonderful content.

  18. Weirdly, Facebook is the one social media platform that I have kept mostly sewing free.
    One of my goals for the year is to balance social media time. I love the community, but I want to be realistic with the amount of time I can spend there and in other areas of my life.

  19. Sally says:

    I’m pretty rubbish at social media, partly from a time perspective, partly because it’s something I’m not big on personally, and FB is the only one I’ve ever used but my Wonky Patchwork FB has always been made up almost entirely of friends/family who ‘liked’ it because of me rather than because they have any interest in quilting/sewing, those who do have an interest I know read my blog, so I always feel guilty/embarrassed about posting things on there and filling their feed with stuff which doesn’t interest them! I need to give it a bit more time/thought/effort in 2016 – there, a goal!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)