It’s been about a year since I first discovered Instagram as a great way to network and meet other amazing quilters. I’ll have to credit Molli Sparkles with being the first quilter I followed, and from his page, the three or so hundred I now follow. I think the easiest way for me to work through my thoughts on this would be a simple pro/con list, because I do have a fair few of both.
1)This one is easy, really. Getting to “meet” amazing quilt artists from all over the world and being able to expose myself to a huge variety of quilts and styles. I’ve mostly followed the modern crowd, but I do have a few more traditional quilters on me feed as well.
2)The fabrics! I would have never, ever known about some of the amazing lines of fabrics that have come out this year or in the past. This has been a bit of a double edged sword (as you’ll see in the cons list), but overall it’s been quiet positive. I’ve learned about some great shops, both larger internet ones, small etsy shops, and my local modern quilt shop.
3)The quilts, duh – Of course, amazing quilters using amazing fabrics are going to make some killer quilts. I confess, I have hundreds of pictures of quilts and quilts in progress saved on my phone just to easily refer back to and look at because so many are so gosh darn pretty.
4)Global participation/swaps/trades/etc – I think it’s just awesome that I’ve made some quilt friends from all over the world. I love it. I love thinking about how even though they might be on the literal opposite side of the world, we all share a common interest and spend many of our days sitting at our sewing machine, taking photographs of our work and sharing and commenting. Even better, that some of these people take it upon themselves to organize swaps so that we can gift each other with what I consider basically beautiful pieces of art, created from the heart of someone else for another, regardless of skill level. Through these swaps, I’ve learned how to appreciate fabrics and aesthetics that I might have overlooked as “not my taste” and never thought about again, but by using fabric out of my comfort zone to make something to the taste of my partner, or my receiving something my partner has made for me, I can see fabrics, techniques, everything in a new, refreshing, and inspirational light.
5)Branching out – Not only have I really stretched myself this year in quilting, but I’ve also decided to pick up a few other hobbies. Many of the quilters I follow also do embroidery and cross stitching, so I’ve picked up some materials and have started a few projects I’m really excited about, too.
6) Motivation – I don’t think I have ever sewn so much in such a short span, but this last year I have finished so many quilts, tried so many new techniques, just seen SO MANY new things. Plus, seeing other quilters just crank stuff out so quickly lights a little bit of a fire underneath my rear, so I’m really itching to get to a few unfinished projects that have been languishing so I can post them and call them DONE.