By Lisa Calle
The online world is a huge part of the modern quilting community. I, like many quilters, visit social media sites to find inspiration and chat with fellow quilters.
Many a lasting quilting friendship has started with a wifi connection and a lively blog.
These are my favorite places to go for inspiration and for a sense of community online.
Pinterest is the ultimate inspiration Web site. It is a virtual pin board that helps you keep track of recipes, quilt blocks and DIY projects. Anything you find on the Web can be saved to a Pinterest board. The site can be extremely addictive and is my go-to place to find color palettes and quilt ideas.
Download the phone app so you can browse Pinterest on the go, too. (So much more entertaining than dated magazines in a waiting room.)
Blogs are where you can tailor the online experience to your own tastes. I follow a variety of blogs on the Bloglovin’ reader (also an app), and I find that the more blogs I visit and comment on, the wider my social network gets. You wouldn’t believe how many people I knew in the blogosphere years before I met them in person.
One of my favorite features of Bloglovin’ is the ability to organize blogs by categories I create. This helps me keep up with people I know in real life and save some of the other sites for when I have a bit of extra time.
Etsy is primarily on online shopping place for handmade goods and crafting supplies, but it also has a very active community. Create an account and browse shops to find ones that carry fabric you like. Some of the newest designers sell their patterns on Etsy. A feature I love is being able add shops to my list of favorites so I can keep up with their inventory.
Flickr is a Web site that belongs in the inspiration and community categories because it’s a great place for both. The primary function of Flickr is photo sharing, but it also has a huge quilting community. If you are looking to join online quilting bees or swaps, Flickr is the place to find them. If you’re participating in a block-of-the-month project or a popular sew-along, odds are that there is a Flickr group filled with resources to help and inspire you to complete the project.
Several of my friends recently started working on the Gone to Texas quilt from Betsy Chutchian’s book, Gone to Texas: Quilts from a Pioneer Woman’s Journal. I love the quilt and plan to start my own, so I’ve created a Flickr group where we can share our progress and tips.
Facebook, the king of social media sites, is a good place to connect. Find your favorite pattern designers, fabric manufacturers and authors there.
Twitter is the social media site I use the least, but it is certainly very popular. You will often find a link to your favorite bloggers’ Twitter feeds on their Web sites. If you are looking for a constant chatter of activity, Twitter is the place for you. Use hashtags to find conversations you’d like to participate in.
Instagram is primarily an iPhone app, but you can access it on a regular computer. This social media outlet is one of my favorite places to chat and socialize online with other quilters. I use it as a digital memory album of my day-to-day life and also to share what I’m working on.
Instagram is quickly becoming a shopping destination, too, with users posting photos of items for sale (fabric, patterns, finished goods, etc.). To buy an item, just comment on the photo with your PayPal email address, and the seller will bill you. Hashtags also play a big role on Instagram, and it’s fun to search through the feed to see quilting projects from around the world.
Here’s a view of the #quilting hashtag:
Find me on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest.
And while you’re at it, check out Kansas City Star Quilts’ blog site and Facebook page. And don’t forget to like this blog site’s Facebook page!
Lisa Calle is a freelance writer who lives in Dallas. She writes every Monday. Visit her at Vintage Modern Quilts.