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.
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:
- 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.
- 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
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.
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!