~ Just because I didn't have a photo for this post ~
Tilly put up a very interesting post titled "Are Sewing Bloggers Cultural Leaders" and asked for her readers to answer a few questions for her. Here are my answers:
What does the online sewing community mean to you? Why do you participate?
This is such an exciting question to answer for me, because I answer it every time I tell someone I write a blog. Most often I feel the person doesn't really 'get' why I do this. They either don't understand how I can write a blog sewing as a hobby, or are surprised people actually read it (or both)!
As I am sure I have told you all before, I don't have any friends who sew, and the only quilter I know is my mother in law (she is an awesome quilter by the way). Initially I began blogging at My Quilt Blog, an intimate web community made up of only 20 or so regular quilting bloggers. We really did form a tight-knit group, and due to this we would often share bits of our lives with each other, as well as the latest quilt block we were working on.
We would sometimes share fabric and hold giveaways. They even made me a quilt as a wedding present (I will show you photos of this another day)! You see, this is where I began, as a 21 year old who knew no-one her own age who quilted.
After a few site crashes, we all packed our web bags and moved to blogger, and this opened up a whole new world for me.
I participate now in the blogosphere because it allows me the chance to meet so many more like-minded sewers/quilters, all are people I would never have had the chance to meet in 'real life'. I love showing off my creations and receiving encouragement, it motivates me to sew more. I also love seeing what others make and learning from their successes and set backs.
What are your favourite examples of projects initiated by sewing bloggers that capture this spirit of collaboration, creativity and innovation?
I have only recently seen this sort of thing happening. I love how Casey often shares her tutorials so that others can try their hand at making something vintage. Collete Patterns did a Palette Challenge which I saw quite a lot written about around the blogging community. A few of us are also doing a challenge at the moment, utilising the online patterns available on Burda Style website. I am excited to see the results when we finish our dresses in just under a months time, as we each put our own creative spin on an otherwise basic pattern.
Who are the "leaders" in the sewing blogosphere? Is everyone / can anyone be a leader?
This is a really interesting question! I think it depends on what you think a leader is? Is it someone who has a high number of 'followers'? Is it someone who has a high number of page views? Is it someone who sells patterns/fabric? Is it someone who sews as a career? Is it someone who holds down a full-time job or has children and sews only as a hobby?
To me, a leader is someone I read regularly, regardless of their page views or follower status. Yes I read Casey and Tilly's blogs, but I also spend a lot of time reading blogs by people new to blogging, or who have not yet hit the triple digit follower mark. Sometimes I find these people become my leaders, as they have their own style and are often new to blogging, so write by their own rules.
I think everyone can be anyones leader :-)
Are you involved in any other network of makers, whether online or offline? What makes sewing blogs unique?
I have tried my hand at a Sydney quilting group before, but to be honest groups are not for me. I do not like booking in a group once a fortnight, and feeling pressured to go when I am "just not feeling it" that evening. I fluctuate greatly with my sewing, and it can often be unpredictable. This is why sewing blogs are so valuable to me. I can get my sewing fix at whatever time suits me, on my home computer or on my iphone (yes, I read your blogs on my phone when I am out)! I sew to my own timetable and can share my finished garments whenever I have time.
* * * * * * *
I love the idea Tilly has for her paper, and will be watching/reading with interest to see where she goes with this topic!