Friday, 16 May 2014

Esther, why do you blog?


Just recently I've been thinking about how quilting has changed since so many of us got online. It's incredible to think how far we've come in just a few relatively short years: the people I've 'met', the friendships made, the techniques, tips and ideas shared - when you stop and think about it, its really been a revolution of sorts. Especially as more and more quilters come online to join our community.

I would never have thought when I started out 13 years ago, that I would be discussing ideas and sharing my patterns not only with those friends I see in person, locally, - but also with like minded women internationally. Before, I might have relied on magazines or journals to keep me informed on new developments in our craft - whereas today I think we can all recognize that not only do we have front row seats the moment new things are released - we might even have been observing it during early development and production right in the maker's blog!

That's a huge advancement and change. And I like it, it means that quilters are more likely to push innovation. Rather than 'brands' presenting the quilting market with what they think we will buy.

People are always asking me why I blog. I get emails about this topic frequently. Especially from new bloggers. I think this is because blogging looks so easy, but when you start doing it yourself you realize that it does take up a fair amount of time - for what might be a few minutes reading. Who has the time for that? I don't think any of us do! And yet, we find the time. And there is where the answer is.

When you love something, you find time for it

I blog because I love quilting, its as simple as that. And because I love quilting, I love sharing what I know about quilting too. And I'm not finished, I'm learning all the time, and learning is something you can share with others. And if you can, why wouldn't you? This basically sums up why I do what I do. Because I can. And as long as I can, I will.

Some people who ask me why I blog really can't understand my answer. They think there must be more to it than that. So they keep asking me and I keep giving them the same answer.

The earliest quilting groups were about fellowship, friendship, support, community. It's the same today, except our tools have changed. Within that community, we all have different but equally important roles. Some of us are starting out, others have the experience to show others how to do things.


I have always firmly believed that if you can, you should. Knowledge is free. Sure, time and effort does cost us - I'm not denying that its a tangible expense, it is- but I think we can honour what skills and talents we have by sharing them freely with others. If you have a skill you're blessed. So why not share your blessing with others?

Blogging allows you to share what you know into an interested community so that your particular knowledge is available to anyone who wants it - much longer that you'll be around to personally impart it. I think this is a wonderful thing. I would love to go back in time and spend a few afternoons with those early quilters who were working on, often in isolation, and developing working methods to suit them. It would be a fascinating learn. But we know so little and have to assume so much. What a shame that is. Imagine if they'd kept notes? Wouldn't you be interested to read them? I know I would. I'd love to know what things we did the same, what techniques we shared, even across hundreds of years. Blogging is our modern day 'note keeping'. Maybe it will prove useful to someone, maybe it won't. It's worth recording nonetheless. I don't think any other medium has allowed us to keep notes as effectively and as honestly as blogging has. There's no editor on blogger - it's just you and what you do.

Yes, I encourage everyone to go ahead and try blogging

When I started out blogging I was in two minds about it. I wanted to keep a record of my work because I knew it was so easy to lose track of accomplishments. I already had a closet full of quilts when I started blogging and I hadn't bothered keeping a Quilt Journal (as I recommend every new quilter does) so I already knew that if I was going to share patterns, I needed some kind of record. Blogs were just starting to get my attention at that point so I took the plunge.

At the start I couldn't understand how a page could have thousands of hits from all over the world but only 3 comments.This really puzzled me for a while. Then I met a blogger (in the technology field) quite by accident and she commented that my blog stats were really good and that I should monetize with adverts, 'But I don't have any comments' I answered. Then she explained that a lot of bloggers were turning off the comments section because comments aren't an indication of relevance or popularity. She went on to tell me that the more comfortable people were with a blog, the less likely they were to comment. They'll just keep visiting and checking in to see what's new she told me. Well, I thought about this and if I'm honest - I can't blame anyone for not commenting because I rarely comment myself either - and I do visit quite a few blogs myself, as you can see from my sidebar. So there might be something in that. If I commented on every blog I visited I wouldn't have time to do anything else! I don't spend much time online these days, I'm prioritizing my time to get patterns out and only answer emails weekly, its just something I have had to do. The point I'm making is this: if you do blog - don't let visibility or popularity dictate where you put your energy. Just do your own thing and keep on at it - that's what really counts.

I think blogs are the new magazines - people drop in and read what you've been doing much like you might flick through a magazine

It used to be quite special, a novelty, to visit a blog whereas now its much more casual - in fact it's often a daily catch up and your visit stats will show you that even if the comments don't.

I really don't think comments reflect your 'value' as a contributor to the blogging community. Sure, it's nice to hear from readers and personally I love comments but I don't rely on them or even expect them. I really wanted to cover this subject because I know many new bloggers are discouraged by a lack of comments and there's no need to be. It's an honour that people drop in and see what you're doing and I welcome their opinions. The fact is, I'd be doing what I'm doing whether I was blogging or not. Blogging it and getting feedback is a bonus but it isn't the 'reason' why I do it. I suggest you keep an eye on your visits, not comments. But even then, if I had no visits, I'd still be doing this. Know your motivation and don't give up. Blogging is, on the whole, a positive experience and any number of page visits are positive whether they're accompanied by comments or not.

We shouldn't be naive, there are disadvantages and negatives to being online and you have to be smart about your privacy and safety. Then there are the issues of having your work or ideas stolen or plagiarized. Early on in my blogging life, I had some quilt ideas I had shared stolen by another quilter. This really bothered me - that someone would be so brazen as to steal my idea and run with it. I had to make a decision to decide to be positive and carry on despite the injustice of it. I'm glad I did.

As a creator, I can create new things - a thief can only ever take from someone else

It's a hard lesson but you have to be prepared for the negativity that can threaten your 'space' on the internet and make a decision before you even start, that you won't let it get you down. This is something I've given a lot of thought to over the years and I can say that I think people will steal your ideas whether you're online or not. It's much easier online, but let's be honest, it happened before the internet era too. And as we move into more and more technology in our lives, I don't think staying 'off line' is the answer. This is why I changed my mind about Pinterest. In the early days I thought it was scandalous to be able to pin 'ideas' from people without their permission. A part of me will never be easy about it. But you can't turn back the tide and I think there is more safety in being out there than there is in ignoring the trend for sharing images. I get contacted all the time from people who recognized my work and demand the maker acknowledge me or my pattern - and I don't think you can ask for more than that.


Try not to allow a few negative realities tarnish how you view the whole internet as a community - especially within quilting. You know, I can tell you honestly that I have made some special friends from being online - people I would otherwise not have met in my life, and I am richer for the experience and support and friendship. And I really do consider them friends.

My Yahoo BOM Group has 4,525 members.
I remember when it had 8 members. When it was growing there was so much I didn't know about technology and software and I didn't have any spare time and I really didn't think I could keep the Group going. Then, out of the blue, generous women stepped forward and offered to help. That's right, they volunteered their time and energy for free to help users (complete strangers) within the group. And they still do it - for the benefit of others! Talk about generous! Yes, the online experience can be positive. Definitely.

I've been moved by the generosity shown to me by complete strangers. In fact, the images you are seeing on this post are part of this weekend's project To Do. I've been moved set aside my LE and create something special in a secret little project and it's all because of the kindness shown to me by people who were strangers. The online quilting community is real and generous and supportive.


Many of you have contacted me and asked me questions about blogging and the online experience. I have tried to get back to each of you individually, but this post really covers my experience. I hope that it it will support and encourage you to try blogging for yourself. And for those of you who have started - to keep at it. Some of you have felt isolated and hoped that blogging would connect you with others. I can tell you, it does. Some of you were discouraged by low comment numbers - honestly don't count your comments, just focus on doing what you do because it pleases you. Quilting is a large community and there's space for everyone to express themselves and be valued.

What about you?
If you have a spare minute, I'd really love to know about your own blogging habits: Do you have a blog? What inspired you to start? If you don't, what do you love most about the blogs you visit? Do you comment on all the blogs your visit? Do you think it matters?

Update 11am: It's just occurred to me that I didn't mention that really special feeling that happens when you find a kindred spirit online. Do you know the feeling? You'll stumble across someone halfway across the world from you - or perhaps just around the corner- whom you've never met, but who's interests speak directly to you? It's so wonderful to find other people who are doing what you're thinking or even maybe doing the same thing you're doing. There's a real sense of connection about finding one blog from a over a million available blogs that feels like a chat with a friend. I feel that way whenever I read the comments, I often recognize who's commented and love to hear what they have to say. Blogging is like being seated at a huge working bee with members coming and going all the time, sharing the best of what they know as well as those daily ins and outs. Thank you to everyone who's already taken a moment to comment, I love hearing what you think about this topic.


40 comments:

  1. Esther, you're like a teacher and a friend for me. I live in Canada, far far from you but it's like you're my neighbour when I read your blog. Without your blog, I don't know you, I'm not making your beautiful Love Entwined quilt, I'm not encourage by others peoples. I have a blog too: my family is 300 km far from me and with my blog, they can see with what I'm so busy each day; my blog is like a letter for them. I feel near of them. Thank you Esther for your tips, works and love.

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  2. what a subject! I have blogged a full 7 years now. My blog started when my husband retired and we intended to travel about six months of the year - it was intended to keep family up to date (but most weren't interested! in blogs or computers) - well it quickly changed to a quilting blog/travel blog - the first year I did little with it and it grew to now blogging almost every day of just plain "my boring life". I love sharing my quilts, my garden and my travels - very little of my family reads my blog - both of my girls and a great aunt read it the rest are strangers who have become long distance friends. I get some comments but not an overabundance but my "hits" have grown from about 200 a month to 15,000-20,000 a month - I have a little advertising on it but not a lot - it helps to pay for things but I don't want it to be an "advertising" blog. One think I love most about blogging is finding new ideas, sharing ideas, tutorials, I no longer read quilt magazines - I read quilt blogs instead.

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  3. Hi Esther. What a great post. Yes, why do we blog? I started because I'd been looking at other people's blogs for a few years, and thought I should return the favour and show some of the things I'd made. Another reason was because I wanted to keep a record of the the things I'd made.

    I hardly ever commented on other blogs until I started my own blog. Some blogs will only allow comments from other bloggers. Now I comment much more freely because I have a blogger id. But I certainly don't comment on every post I read. I follow about 50 blogs on bloglovin and still check out others too, so just wouldn't have time to comment on everything.

    I don't worry about the number of comments or visits or followers I have. I'm doing it for my personal record and to share with friends and family. In saying that though, it is nice to know that some people are visiting my blog. I've met some great people from all over the world since I started blogging 6 months ago.

    I think linkups like the one you host are a great way for new bloggers to showcase their work and get new visitors, so thank you for doing that each week.

    I'm a member of a new bloggers group and wondered if I could please direct them to read your post, because it's so relevant to the things we have been discussing this week.

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  4. have a blog and I love to share information and techniques on quilting.
    I understand all your thoughts.

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  5. Hi Esther

    I started to blog as a way of sharing the pure joy and excitement I get from my craft. It is also a way of diarising my achievements which really do feel like achievements when you blog once a week about what you have done.
    I love to read other blogs and have a huge list of favourites on my blog sidebar which I visit each day if they have posted. Like yourself I enjoy the experience and am so much richer in knowledge but seldoml comment unless really struck, like now, to put forward my two cents worth.
    Access to the latest designs and techniques via these amazing blogs of amazingly talented people like yourself is just fantastic when you live far far away in a little country like New Zealand....no waiting.
    I came to your blog and the absolutely gorgeous LE via the online community and whilst I am not currently making the quilt as I am involved in some other intense projects, I avidly download the files and watch and read what others are achieving & learning on the LE journey.
    I have a fairly new blog myself and am not particularly bothered by low comments or subscribers but instead hope those that drop by enjoy their time spent reading.

    Thanks for this post and for sharing a healthy blogging attitude.

    Rae

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  6. I started blogging 8 months ago in response to advice to practice writing and I love telling stories about what I love to do and what love to do is quilt. I found your blog back in June from Karen's Quilts...etc when she posted the link to LE. This really captured my attention and even though I have not yet started LE, I am collecting the downloads, and following along with the progress of the yahoo group. I have collected fabric and have a project box ready to go and even found a large glass topped table for a light box big enough for LE. From here I also discovered other bloggers doing CCCQ and of course, Di Ford. I am committed to completing my first Dear Jane Quilt right now so I can start a new class in Sept and make another. I could sit here all day and read and write blogs, but restrain myself to 2-3 posts a week. I love to check the stats and am amazed that people on 6 continents read my blog. I also am encouraged by the few comments that I do find. I always check out the blog of those who comment and often try to leave a comment but this is not always possible.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
    Chris from Canada


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  7. No, I do not have a blog but I follow a lot of them. I do not always comment but I enjoy reading them

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  8. Esther...I do not have a blog, but I do read quilter's blogs. I follow about 50 blogs on bloglovin', and have only left a comment twice. But that does not mean there was nothing in the blog that interested me. Everything in everyone's blog interests me. I learn new things all the time. I see what quilters in other countries are doing...and it is so very different from what quilters I know do. You Australian quilters are amazing.
    I might not comment, but I do care. Thank you for sharing your quilting story with all of us.
    Barbara on Long Island in New York

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  9. Esther, without blogging I would never have discovered your beautiful work. I can't remember the blog but she said she wanted to make your Heart's Desire quilt. I followed the link and was stunned by it! I promptly asked to join your Yahoo group. This has happened over and over as I find such gifted quilters online. And so while my blog started to keep in touch with family, and like Karen, it has morphed to what I like to do best - quilt. I have learned so much, met some wonderful friends, seen so many quilt shows I could never attend - the list goes on.

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  10. Hi Esther, great post! I was inspired to start blogging by Sharon's Chester County Criswell Quilt as I thought it would be fun to make the same quilt as others online and to see and share fabric choices and techniques - and it has been! I generally post once sometimes twice a week and have just past the 100 post milestone. It does take time but having a blog inspires me to sew more than I would without it. I follow a lot of blogs and leave comments as I am often inspired and learn so much from them. In turn I always love and appreciate receiving comments. It's also been wonderful to meet some blogging friends in real life. I am a total Pinterest addict and no longer buy hard copy magazines but subscribe to a couple online.

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  11. Yes, I always feel like I'm catching up with friends too. It's so interesting to how such different people are living their lives and doing what they love - its always inspiring.

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  12. Esther it was finding your LE BOM and joining the group last August that got me started making the LE and gave me the incentive to begin a blog. I feel exactly the same as you have outlined in your post today. I have learned so much from reading blogs and just enjoy blogging as a way to share my love for making quilts. Wonderful Wonderful post today. I couldn't agree more. I am in Texas. I probably will never meet you but I do want to thank you for being a leader to all of us who love your work.

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  13. If I didn't blog I would of never found your great blog and patterns. Itis great to follow other people working on the same projects, it inspires you so you so you don't slack off. Keeps you up to date of new patterns and projects.
    It has become part of my life. Have enjoyed joining swaps and have found other kindred spirits.
    I follow several blogs and comment on most.

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  14. About comments, I usually comment. If the post looks good enough for me to open and read, then , it's good enough for me to comment. Thanks for the encouragement to us newbie quilter/bloggers :)

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  15. I have a blog. I started it because I was getting lots of inspiration from others' blogs, and I thought I was time to contribute too.
    I still get surprised that people will read a tutorial for something I figured out how to make myself, but if it helps, why not share? There will be something I cannot figure out, and I will need to turn to someone else's blog for clues.
    I don't comment on everything. I am more likely to comment on smaller blogs - those with few visible 'supporters' - than on professional blogs. I also comment when something hits a positive nerve or when someone makes something I really admire.
    I agree: the quilting community is real and generous and supportive.

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  16. as a new blogger I found this post very helpful , thankyou for writing it
    Frankie
    http://www.knitwits-owls.blogspot.co.uk/

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  17. I blog because I like to be part of the community. I do comment on others blogs especially if I like something or if they are asking questions. Having English as second language it also gives me the opportunity not only learn new techniques but the language itself. I like my regular visitors and we usually exchange few emails as well. I made quite a few friends already. I like to do challenges and QALs as those stretching my creativy but mostly I try to have fun. I believe you must love/enjoy blogging and don't feel obligated and it'll show and attract others along the way which is bonus of it all.

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  18. This is a great post! I'm new to your blog, but I'm sure I will be back. My blog is a little over a year old and I started because I wanted to share my faith and my quilting. An odd combination, maybe, but it works for me. I don't have quilting friends in my small town, so the online community has become my quilting group and I love it. I don't always comment, though I often do. No real reason, though I'm less likely to comment on one of the 'big name' blogs simply because I feel my comment would be lost among the many. On smaller blogs I feel like there's more of a connection with the writer/quilter.

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  19. What an interesting post!
    I have been reading blogs for a few years, being inspired and learning new tips and techniques. Slowly, the idea of having my own blog made its way through my mind. I could see that there was a real community formed by the different generous bloggers from around the world. And I wanted to be part of it.
    So, last October, I put my first post online (after weeks of intense work!). A few weeks later, I discovered high quality link parties, like the one you host. That's when I felt myself being slowly included into the community of fabric, thread and yarn lovers. And I'm honored.
    At first, I thought that numerous comments where the sign of a popular blog. But during the last few months, I came to realize that the number of visit is a more accurate way of judging if people like your blog. I know that commenting takes time and not everybody have the time for it.
    I make comments on other blogs almost every day, but not on every blog I visit. I do it when something truly appeals to me at the moment. Like something that surprises me, a innovative technique, a clever tip, a piece that show great workmanship, the choice of fabric or motif... Of course, I love receiving comments myself and knowing what people think. And because of what I said before about having the time to comment, or the inclination at the exact moment one read it, I cherish every single one I receive.
    I'm so happy to have read your post today. I confirmed some of my ideas and gave me food for thoughts about others.
    Have a great week end!

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  20. Thank you for a wonderful, thought-provoking post. I'm an experienced quilter but a relatively new blogger, blogging because I want to share my work and experience with the larger quilting community and make connections with others. I am particularly inspired by your comment, "If you have a skill you're blessed. So why not share your blessing with others?"
    Thank you for the encouragement.

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  21. What great topic Esther! I started blogging last year, mainly to keep track of all my projects! I use my blog to chart progress for myself and to share how I do things with others. I have learned most of what I know from fellow quilters and blogs and love to share what I have learned when I can.
    I don't comment as much as I would like on blogs, only if something really grabs me, but I do enjoy visiting and reading several. I don't mind how many comments I get, it is nice when someone comments but not the only purpose in having a blog.

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  22. Wow Esther, you took your time to write an essay about blogging! and i Loved to read it. Thank you. Regonizable too. It is so great to "meet" people all over the world who share the same interests!
    I started blogging 5 years ago when I started my Dear Jane (ooops, still unfinished) and discovered blogging. Like you said, I too learned a lot of computerskills by blogging. Quiltblogs from other people inspired my creativity and still are inspiring and I hope sometimes I succeed to help or inspire other people too.
    Thank you for your nice and wise words.
    Greetings, Conny (Netherlands)

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  23. Dear Esther

    Fantastic! Blog's give us all so much inspiration, eye candy, how to do, what we do in so many creative ways. It challenge us and our quest to do more and make a better world for each and everyone. Thank you. Love Entwined, has united a group of us all over the world. Together we all travel on the journey and grow together. I love to read, when it is -38C, I can read your blog, look at the photo's of quilts and the desserts, needless to say, they are calorie free, when one is having fun! At the end of it all, I can show myself what I can do, even when sometimes, I would never have thought, I could.

    Elizabeth

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  24. Hi Esther - so many comments today!!
    Why do we blog, indeed. Because we can, and because we like to, I guess. As you say, to keep a record of our own work primarily, I suppose, and I see blogging a bit like an online diary. Like you, I love to read posts by other bloggers, share in their triumphs, send them a cyber hug when something bad happens, and check out their quilty progress. It's more than quilts which we share, it's life, and family, and sometimes even recipes too. I have been lucky to meet a few fellow bloggers "in the flesh", and that is just wonderful, like meeting up with long lost friends.
    We know that you spend a lot of time and energy developing your patterns to share with us Esther, and it is most appreciated.
    BTW, I write 2 blogs, one quilty and the other about our caravan travels around New Zealand. Both different, and I enjoy writing them both).

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  25. Hi Esther, What a great post! I have not started blogging, but have thought about it, for many of the same reasons discussed: share work with fellow quilters, keep a record of my work, be inspired by others. I do read many wonderful blogs but don't comment often. Perhaps I will make more of an effort, your comments are very inspiring!
    Thank you so much for sharing your LE pattern and all the work you put into all of it.
    Maureen

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  26. Lovely post. Thank you for sharing, for your expertise.

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  27. Esther, I don't have a blog, but love reading yours as a few others!! You are a teacher and I Thank you for investing your time to write, it is inspiring. I am making the center of LE and look forward to the next project.
    thank you, thank you, thank you

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  28. I started blogging almost exactly six years ago and just love doing it. For a long time, I kept up two blogs - my current Funoldhag and Pieces of the Past which was all about my family, my husband's family and our family. Blogging is amazing. I have "met" so many people and love the fact that people like to read what I write and see what I do. So with my first love, quilting, and my blogging, I keep busy and contented and out of my kids' hair! I will turn 86 this summer and am so blessed! Carol

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  29. My blog is just over a year old and I started it so I could share my passion with others. I very much enjoy reading other people's blogs and I do try to comment on at least one a day, after all it's encouraging to know that your efforts are appreciated.
    My children who live away enjoy seeing what I'm getting up to as well!

    ukcitycrafter@live.co.uk

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  30. I have been following your blog for some time and through reading have learn't so much about quilting and your life. I've so enjoyed learning who you are and the things that you love. I don't have a blog and have thought about it off and on but know that I'm not thick skinned enough to put myself or thoughts out there. Thank you for sharing.

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  31. Morning Esther and thank you for that interesting and thought-provoking post. I started my blog so that I could join in with other quilters who joined your group in the early days of your first wonderful free BOM's online What fun it was to talk to other bloggers about how we were making your BOM's and sharing photo's as our quilts grew, then I used it as a way of recording my quilting life and then to let my family and friends know what I was up to, as for many years all our children were living over seas. I don't mind if people don't leave a comment but I do like it when they do and I can then visit them and discover and learn from them may be it is quilting or another art or about their lives. So it was you who inspired and made me struggle with the computer to blog. From this I have made some wonderful caring on line friends. Cheers Glenda who still blogs just to join in WOW or WIP's with Esther every Wednesday LOL.

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  32. These comments have been really interesting to read, I think the best thing about blogging is the friendships you make. Glenda, you're more than just a blogger I follow, you're a dear friend and that is the power of blogging and sharing online - the connections you can make with people you would otherwise not meet.

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  33. Great post. I have blogged for three years now. I always loved to write. I had no idea if anyone would read my blog. I have been surprised to see which posts garner the most interest. I follow blogs to learn and grow, and to feel I am part of a community of people with mutual loves and interests. Especially since I have lived in isolated areas for many years it is hard to find kindred spirits , but the Internet has made available communication across the world to enrich my life.

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  34. Well this is very interesting and it sure made my mind wake up this morning LOL I started blogging I believe in eary 2007 or befor I did lose some of my posts along the way. I had someone steel my blog name which was kind of silly. I hesitated to blog but a friend got me to start. I am not a good writer and I try to keep some private thing off the net. My kids thought it was dumb writing and befriending people all over the world. LOL now they facebook and tweet LOL. We had an embroidery convention years ago and I met an online friend and invited her to come stay at our house instead of a hotel. Lo my kids said MoM hide the silver.
    So it's true I have met wonderful friends on line and learned wonderful stitching methods. Especially from you Esther as I sit and admire my Hearts Desire everyday and thank you for this pattern. PS I started with a yahoo machine embroidery group in 1999.
    Hugs Bunny

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  35. My blogging and reasons for doing so have changed over the years. I started a blog as a requirement of joining a quilt along. (We were expected to blog our progress and link to the host's page.) Then a friend came up with a plan for teaching applique in a resort town for the summer. During this phase of my blogging, I thought of the process as marketing. I followed, commented, did give-aways as a way to enlarge my following. I enjoyed the connections with everyone all over the world. Then a couple years ago I made a career shift and changed from consulting work where I managed my schedule to full time work for one employer. My blogging has changed again. Now I feel lucky to post once a week. I do more "in progress" posts and less "finished" ones. I join fewer challenges and reply to fewer blog posts. But I keep reading those blogs every day for inspiration.

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  36. Hi, Esther.
    I have been blogging for many years. My blog started out as an applique and travel blog. Then I realized that I needed a separate travel blog, because it was getting harder to separate the two topics. Then my cat, Mandu, was talked into started his blog by another cat. Then I had a few thousand historical reenactment photos to post, so I needed another blog for that. I've gotten to meet lots of other people around the world and absolutely love that!
    Margaret

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  37. It's an interesting question, isn't it? I started blogging as I wanted to put some tutorials / help back out into blogworld, as I'd so enjoyed the tutorials that I'd used and thought it would be great to reciprocate.
    It turns out, though, that I haven't made as many tutorials as I'd thought that I would, but I really love having the blog as a record of what I'm doing.
    As I suffer from ill health it's lovely to have a 'window on the world' where I can see so much work from so many other makers, as well as join in with wonderful projects like Love Entwined (thank you, thank you Esther!).

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  38. Hi Plum, that is such an interesting point you've made. I also don't do as much as I thought I would when I started- but I firmly believe that what you DO get out does help someone somewhere.

    When my DD was learning how to knit, there was a certain stitch she was trying to figure out and she just couldn't understand my method. Then she went online and saw several other methods and they didn't work for her either. Then she found a blog that explained it in a way she understood and she finally *got it*, and this blog was not well known and she found it through the rabbit hole of clicking and re-clicking through other blogs and this blog wasn't well known at all. So you never know when you might be the difference that helps someone.

    It all helps and it all adds up, that's why I encourage people to get over the whole 'popularity' thing of blogging, it's honestly irrelevant. What matters is what you contribute and what your motivation is.

    I have learnt so much and connected with so many wonderful women since I started blogging and it's hard to imagine now that there was a whole world out there before the blogging revolution. I'm so glad to be alive at a time when I can enjoy it.

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  39. Hi Esther - this is such an interesting entry. I found it completely by accident (although I have your blog bookmarked and visit irregularly and always find it interesting and inspiring). What makes it doubly interesting for me is that only this week I started blogging. Why did I start? For exactly the reasons you gave. I love quilting and want to share my love of quilting and now that I am not teaching as much as I used to I still want to show my unorthodox methods and the skills that I have picked up over my quilting journey.

    Your comments particularly about popularity have hit home - at the moment I am writing for an audience of just a couple of followers but I know that I will in time have more following and hopefully commenting. If I don't, it wont matter, it is my journal as I transition from teaching to publishing.

    Thanks for the encouragement (although it wasn't actually directed at me personally) and I will follow your blog much more regularly now!

    Cheers

    Neil

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  40. I started my current blog as a way of keeping a journal of the creative endeavors. Like you, I recommend newbies keep journals - not just of quilting but of sewing, and random thoughts. But there is a place for everything. When my youngest daughter was killed in 2015, after awhile I started a blog that combined the philosophical along with everything else. It was too much in one place! And I got tired of doing it. Am so glad I kept the blog I have now, through the years. Quilting is an isolating craft, unless you have a good quilt guild, or circle of quilting friends. By blogging, we are part of the community. I love that I have made friends all over the world through the internet. Thank you for YOUR beautiful blog - and your wonderful community.

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