Tuesday, August 2, 2016

where have all the Blogs Gone?

Is it just me, or is it getting quiet around here?  Not HERE, not at Stitched in Color, but you know... blogland in general.  I think I've spotted a few tumbleweeds.  This weekend I read a thoughtful article (via Gotham Quilts' newsletter), about how the quilting industry as a whole is changing, shrinking actually, to match the true size of its customer base.  Kind of a scary thought for the stores, fabric designers, teachers, etc. that make quilting their profession.  Yours truly, included.

So the article focused mainly on magazines and other print publications that are closing due to industry shrinkage.  It got me thinking on the big changes I've seen online in our quilty world over the past year and a half.

At home
Colorbrick, my first quilt circa 2010.  Tutorial here.

You see, I've been an avid blog reader since I first ran across Film in the Fridge and Red Pepper Quilts in 2009.  Blogs taught me how to quilt, gave rise to real friendships and eventually led to a day job that's been a huge blessing in my life.  Through Google Reader and then through Bloglovin, I kept up with lots of fabulous blogs, lots, on practically a daily basis.

Until Eleni.

In 2015 I probably cozied up to my blog reader about once a month, twice if I was lucky.  It was a given that I couldn't keep current on all those posts, so I didn't try.  Just total survival mode, baby.  Then in 2016 I found myself suddenly back at the computer.  With time.   Being "off" for almost a complete year emphasized the differences between then and now.  So, here's what I see: 

(1) There are plenty of professional blogs still churning out wonderful content on a regular basis.  They're making beautiful quilts and sharing some of the process, but it's not quite the same.  Quilt Alongs are getting few and far between (and do you remember when there were so, soooo many you could hardly choose where to start?).  Plus, there's not as much going on in the comment fields.

*Updated* Bottled Rainbows Color Grid
my first Scrappy Quilt-Along, circa 2011

(2) There are far fewer hobbyist bloggers, quilters who blog simply for pleasure in order to log what they've made or be in contact with fellow makers.  The reduction in hobbyist bloggers likely explains quieter comment fields and fewer events.  Certainly, people are still reading blogs, but they aren't trying to have a conversation here.

(3) And the conversation has obviously gone....to Instagram.  But you knew that.  Lots of folks find it easier to contribute (i.e. to share what they make) via the Instagram platform:  few words, one picture, super convenient.  Instagram has proved itself a wonderful place for makers to take in inspiration and give back to the community via brief comments and snapshots of their own creations.

Whenever a new social platform takes over (and it's happened again and again) there's always push back.   The new thing isn't for everyone, and that's okay.  I was a slow adopter of Instagram because I enjoyed Flickr and took my time plunking down the money for a smart phone.  But, now that I'm there, I get it and I've resigned myself to letting go of Flickr to be where the people are.  It's about community, after all, so you can only resists change for so long before missing your friends!

But, wait, what about blogsAre they also passe?  Trumped by Instagram?  Nothing left to offer?  I think not. 

Although most hobbyist makers choose Instagram over blogs to document their art, they still enjoy reading blogs... at least certain kinds of blogs.  From what I hear, it's the blogs that tell a good story that still warrant a read.  And don't forget all those Pinterest pins that are pointing, in most cases, to tutorials hosted on blogs.  Blogs still offer key advantages to explaining the details of an event/contest and allow for a depth of conversation that isn't possible in short IG bursts.

screen shot from my Tutorials page

I am not a woman of few words, so blogs are for me.  I'm also keen to keep producing free tutorials and self-hosted classes on blogger platforms.  I hope that as fabric store owners ride these market shifts they don't discard the value of blogs and thus cut out the sponsorships that support many professional blogs like Stitched in Color.  I'm glad to say, at least, that my pageviews have not gone down despite the market shifts and my Bloglovin reader count continues to climb.  But even still, I've lost sponsors lately due to perceived decreased value of blog advertising.  Which is frustrating.

So why do I bring this up here, publicly on my blog?   

First, I want to know what you think.  How do you see the changes to our community in the past years?  If you've adopted Instagram, do you still read blogs or use blog tutorials? Is there value here, and is it where I think it is, or is there something else about blogs that matters to you?

Second, I want you to understand why some of my events may migrate to Instagram.  That's simply a place lots of people have made home.  Community can't be forced.  It has to happen where people feel comfortable, where they want to be.  If you haven't tried Instagram yet, I hope you'll give it a try to see if you too would be comfortable there if only on the occasion.

You can find me on Instagram at StitchedinColor.  Maybe I'll see you and your makes over there?  Meanwhile, I'll still be publishing regular blog posts in my comfy home at StitchedinColor.com.  Thank you for reading. And thank you for sharing your thoughts!



305 comments:

  1. I use to blog but it became to time consuming. I still love to read blogs but I to have started looking at Instagram. At first I thought it was great with all the pictures of blogs but so much quicker to view. But I've found myself going back to my favorite blogs and not looking at Instagram as much.

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  2. I certainly see a big difference. Film in the Fridge was also one of the first blogs I found and still enjoy but there are blogs I used to follow regularly that have either stopped altogether or moved mostly to IG. It's disappointing. A couple of years ago, I could have spent most of the day reading my favorite blogs, now I'm lucky if there are more than a couple that are posting on a regular basis. I've resisted IG and FB because I'm not happy with the privacy issues so will probably continue to do so. All I can say to you is: Please do. not. stop. blogging. :D

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  3. Timely post Rachel. I love reading my list of blogs and writing on my own blog. It is clear that the landscape is ever changing. Blogging consumes time, whether reading or writing posts. I hope they don't become passé. I enjoy the longer stories and the connections made via blogging. I am on Instagram as well but don't get nearly the satisfaction from IG as I do from blogging. Keep writing and posting!

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  4. I still read blogs, though I am new (3 years) to the quilting world. Most blogs I've found through Pinterest or IG. And there are definitely fewer people blogging now than there used to be. Personally, I use Feedly as a blog aggregator, so it's more rare than I actually click all the way through to the blog to comment. I missed the heyday of Flickr, and wish that they had a better mobile setup for participating in groups - it's such a nightmare for DGS stuff, because groups are practically unreachable through the mobile interfaces. I love blogs, but find that garment makers are blogging much more than quilters. I've toyed with the idea of creating my own, but feel like my pictures aren't good enough and that I don't make enough to kee an audience...

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    1. I hear you about the DGS groups. With Flickr not a natural stop for most folks, I have been thinking about another platform for hosting do. Good Stitches. Do you have any thoughts on which platform would be better and why? Besides sharing monthly quilt directions, we ideally want to connect better on a regular basis and have a way to see all our blocks/finished quilts when desired.

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  5. I'm still blogging, though not very often. But I never did that. I'm on IG too, just for fun.
    I prefer to read blogs, on IG I miss a lot of things, cause I am not all of the time online. And then there are tutorials and all that stuff on blogs, which I higly appreciate.
    I read yours on a regularly base too, so please don't stop :-)

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Heidi. I too feel like I miss a lot of things in IG. On the one hand, it's nice to never feel "behind" like one gets with blog reading; but, when it comes to making connections, missing things is a bummer.

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    2. and that is why I like reading blogs.
      I do not like FB because I do not have time for every thing
      (I am treadmilling right now) When I get on FB I find out all sorts of things that I feel bad about, people sick, people living it up on some amazing two week vacation in Hawaii (grr, lol) or my old friends husband suddenly died. FB freaks me out, I cannot keep up. I might quit FB. Instagram is like FB only smaller and I just do not like typing on a tiny keyboard with my old lady glasses on

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  6. I am a new blogger, and when I started I knew that blogs were on the way out. I love reading blogs and I enjoy seeing pictures on Instagram, both. I think blogs are a better place to really share about the process of making: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Instagram is a great place to get a glimpse of that world. Since starting my own blog I have made more effort to comment on blog posts, since I now understand more about being a part of the crafting conversation online. However, with using Feedly, I have to be pretty motivated to click over and post. I appreciate what you do here, and am glad to hear that you intend to keep this space active. Hopefully sponsors will continue to see the value in what you do here.

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  7. I have mostly stopped reading blogs. Many of my favourites don't post at all anymore or only post boring, repetitive, sponsored content advertising products (blog hops, book tours, etc...) These days I find myself unsubscribing from blogs all the time and haven't added a new blog to my RSS reader in months. The only content that interests me is in-depth. Things like tutorials, extensive descriptions of current projects, in depth life stories, etc... Otherwise I would rather consume my content on IG. The occasional non-overbearing sponsored post is okay too, I know that bloggers deserve to be paid for their time.

    I *love* IG. I have thousands of followers and follow more than a thousand people. I have made genuine friends through IG and have attended events that were advertised almost exclusively on IG. I've bought patterns and fabrics because I saw them on IG. I love the instant support and feedback that I get there when I share my work. I also find it much, much easier to leave feedback for others on IG than I do on blogs. I've probably left fewer than 20 blog comments in my entire life but I'm sure I have left hundreds of IG comments. I also enjoy that the content is far less packaged than on blogs -- my favourite pattern designer regularly posts her in progress work (and her mistakes!) and behind the scenes photos that she never shares on her blog. It feels more personal and more "real" than blogs.

    I feel like IG is the social media of choice for modern quilters while traditional quilters are more focused on blogs and FB.

    I too used to love Flickr. I gave it up when it became clear that the quilting community had abandoned it. I don't use FB because of privacy concerns and because of the way it seems to breed crazy.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I can see how on IG one feels more welcome to share mistakes and other raw experiences, more so than on blogs. Something to think about.

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  8. I think blogging goes in tides and waves. I find it more difficult to blog as much in the summer but love it in the colder months. I also think there are different types of people that blog. For some people blogging brings them into their dream job and then they don't have time to blog. Some people try it, have fun and then move on. For others their blog is part of their life and they couldn't imagine life without it. I hope you carry on blogging as we love reading your posts!
    Sue

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  9. I've been reading crafty blogs for a very long time, and learned pretty much all I know about knitting and half of what I know about quilting from blogs, either tips or tutorials or things that inspired me to look for more info. If all I want to do is look at pictures of knitting or quilting, I'll go to instagram. I also haven't bothered to find a feedly equivalent for IG, and it drives me nuts with everything jumbled together. So I mostly just don't use it.

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  10. please, please, please, please don't stop blogging !!

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    1. I'm not planning to! I guess that's also what I'm trying to say with this post - I see real value in the format. My plan is to combine blogging with IG, just as I used to combine blogging with Flickr. However, there may be even MORE action on IG than there ever was on Flickr.

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  11. I was a Flickr girl. I LOVED Flickr. Then they changed it and the changes were poop. The people I loved on Flickr stopped posting there. IG was where people were at so I too had to get a phone that could have the IG app. I still look at blogs but I tend to skim the pictures only - but that's what I've always done! However, now that IG is no longer chronological, I get frustrated so am not on it as much anymore. PLEASE keep blogging! And please keep making tutorials!!!!

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    1. Ok, so I'm not the only one who practically got a smartphone just to be able to use Instagram? That makes me feel better =)

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    2. instagram was a factor in updating my phone as well! hehehe...

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    3. Rachel I got a phone for Instagram x

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  12. I love your blog and will read it as long as it is around! I have little ones so my online time is limited (takes away from my sewing!) so I tend to concentrate on blogs I really love. Yours is one of them :) I truly appreciate all the time and effort you put into your posts. I have been resisting going to IG because I feel it is yet another thing to distract me from my very favorite things: family, friends, sewing and reading. But I think I may check it out sometime soon because I do love seeing quilty goodness wherever I can find it. Thank you for what you do!

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  13. Just started quilting so YES I read quite a few. So inspiring and educational...please keep up the good work !!

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  14. My blog turned 9 this year. So much has changed since 2007. I didn’t make my quilting into a career and don’t earn any money from it, it only costs me a lot ;-) I’ve always liked to share about what I’m working on and in the first years I often had a give-away, but I can’t live up to all the professional bloggers who have sponsors and give away stashes of fabrics and books.

    In the beginning quilts blogs were a platform to learn about quilting, to learn new techniques, to meet like minded people. Some became friends, others left. Most of them have businesses now, some are even famous designers of quilts and fabrics and they don’t really bother to pay the ‘hobby’ blogs a visit.
    When I’ve written a post I have about 200 visitors a day which is very few. If I’m lucky some leave a comment. Sometimes there are no comments at all and even though I have my blog to keep track of my quilting adventures, I do miss the communication and I love to read and write in English... I miss the practice.

    I’m still a blogreader myself, but don’t always feel like leaving a comment. It’s shame that IG stopped offering the posts in chronological order.

    The same counts for Flickr. I used to be a very active Flickr member, but almost all the groups I’m a member of have become inactive.

    To use IG I have to transfer my photo’s from my MacBook to my iPad as I still make my photo’s with my SLR camera, almost no iphone stuff. Sometimes I’m just too lazy to send my photo’s to my iPad and then nothing is posted for weeks...

    I always read your blogposts, though I’m not always leaving a comment. I follow you on Instagram and was pleased to see you have found me there as well!

    I’m mostly on Facebook lately as I’m part of a few groups who are working on quilts.

    We definitely have entered a new era in social media and I still need to find out what I like about it and not...

    Sorry for my blattering...

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    1. Oh, no, not blathering! That was great. As a previous do. Good Stitches member, I wonder if you would recommend we move our bee to Facebook? Sounds like you enjoy doing some group projects there. Do you think FB has a better platform for the needs of DGS over Flickr or is it just a place that more people are likely to be? Would love your opinion!

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    2. I agree. FB is good for groups.
      I get easily distracted, but I did join the Jess Skultety's Star QAL

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    3. I am another of those blog readers, who don't always leave comments, however I love getting them on mine. Maybe we all need to make more of an effort to do that, so we feel that our blogs are read and appreciated.

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  15. I agree with what you have said here. I use IG and do still read blogs! including yours! I sure appreciate your writing style. Changes are hard at times, I can tell you accept change, you have had a lot in your life!

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  16. I discovered quilting blogs about 3 years ago, and yours last year. I have learnt a lot, about many things and lives, through the 3 or 4 I read regularly. I'm much too slow and amateur a quilter ever to want to photograph my work, and I have serious concerns about the privacy of FB and IG (also no desire for a smart phone!). I really enjoy my regular blog reading, yours most of all, and do hope you will be able to continue. I also often make note of the date of a particularly informative or inspiring blog (in my quilting notebook) for future use.
    It might also interest some of your US sponsers to know that blogs such as yours are usually the way I am aware of new fabric releases, which I then have to patiently track down here in the UK>

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  17. I have noticed the big decline in blogs over the past year or so and am greatly disappointed. I love reading the blogs and miss regular posts by many of my favorite bloggers. I am on Instagram but that's a totally different platform in my opinion and I don't get the same satisfaction from it. I understand that blogging is time consuming and can see why so many prefer IG over blogging but I really do miss the stories etc. Please don't stop blogging!

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  18. I started quilting in 2008 when I retired. I had never even used a sewing machine before that. I feel in love with the craft, fabric and all the blogs that literally taught me a lot!! I've seen quite a few of the bloggers I follow move to IG only. I do follow on IG, but it's just not as personal. The story and feelings aren't there. I also use Pinterest to save patterns or tutorials. I share many ideas with a group of quilters that meets once a month. I like to share whatever I learn online from bloggers. I read blogs every day! I'm not a blogger but us readers are still out here ready to admire, learn and share all things quilting!

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    1. Melanie, you make a good point. It does not take blog writers to be blog readers! Maybe that's something that sponsors have overlooked as they've assumed less blog-writing means less blog-reading?

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  19. I enjoy reading blogs the most, and also like Instagram and Pinterest. Sometimes, though, the noise of it all becomes too much and I have to intentionally step away for a while, refocus on the important things, then add on-line things back in slowly. I have a blog that ebbs and flows depending on where I am in that cycle. While it is fun to quickly scroll through Instagram posts, my heart lives in blog land, because that is where the story is.

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    1. Love what you wrote, Debora! I think the noise vs. refocus on priorities is a cycle many experience and it's a healthy response to the always more-more-more culture we live in. From a sustainability perspective as a business person I have to decide how often to post and how often to read/intake/respond to keep my own balance, while also meeting business needs. I guess that's why I like to think and talk about these things so seriously. haha! Or, that's my excuse =)

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  20. I started reading blogs about knitting, and added quilting blogs when I decided to return to that form of creating. I do have an IG account, but it is more often something I scroll through like eye candy at the end of the day when i'm tired. I read blogs to see new ideas writ large, learn new things, discover techniques and resources (yes, including blog sponsors)it would take me much longer to stumble upon on my own. Some days I don't have the time or energy to get out my sewing machine and sew, but I can spend 15 minutes reading about something new or interestingly different or just absorb creativity to see where it will leak out of me later.

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  21. I only started sewing and quilting in 2013. Back then I found so many great blogs, including yours, and taught myself how to quilt following a lot of great tutorials. Amazed by the quilting community out there I started blogging myself in 2014. I also joined Flickr and still use it as my digital portfolio.
    I think it was the termination of WIP Wednesday earlier this year (hosted for 5 years by Lee from Freshly Pieced) that the feeling I had since mid 2015 became more and more prominent: am I too late? Have all the great quilters exhausted their creativity and resources, is there no more left to say?
    Some bloggers I found had already ceased blogging and moved almost all their activity to IG. Because it's quick, convenient and responses are immediate.
    I have only joined IG 3 weeks ago, because I had the feeling I am missing something. The Bloggers Quilt Festival for example, I missed the last one completely. 3 weeks on IG and I have accumulated already more followers than on Flickr in 3 years. I joined my first QAL hosted on IG and, yes, I love it.... BUT I still love reading blogs and blogging myself, despite the little following I have. But that's not the point, I see my own blog as a documentation of my quilting journey, the evolving of design, the learning from mistakes, the mastering of skills. I don't think I can ever document that on IG or anywhere else.
    Please do continue to write your blog, you can be sure of a lot of people who care and who are inspired by your beautiful work. Thank you!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story. I'd love to know which QAL you've joined on IG. I have yet to really see how that's done =) Maybe someday a dual blog/IG quilt along will be in order.

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    2. I really got into quilting at about the same time as you! I'm also mainly self-taught from internet searches and blog posts. It's telling that I hadn't even realised that WIP Wednesday was no longer happening, although I'm not sure how surprised I am. I linked up a few times but it never really felt as though it even generated page visits for my posts, let alone comments. And yet there were pages of bloggers linking up. :/ It really felt as though it had outgrown its scope, and unless you were already a "face" among the sea of blogs, no one really bothered with your link.

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    3. Rachel, the QAL was hosted by Debbie of A Quilter's Table. She posted daily instructions, we posted daily progress photos. That all works when everyone is using the same # code, in this case: #crosscutquiltalong and #crosscutblocks. You don't have to follow everyone taking part, unless the # code is used you can see all photos of people taking part. It was a lot of fun, I got to know a lot of other quilters and learned a lot. It also only lasted a week, that suited me very well.

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    4. Heulwen, I was really sad as WIP Wednesday discontinued. It provided my second largest amount of blog visits and there were also a lot of people commenting on my posts. It also was a motivation for me to show something in progress mid week.
      It is time consuming to visit the linked up posts and read up on them. For me as a beginner quilter I enjoyed it yery much and also found out new things all the time. For the more experienced readers some items might not be that interesting anymore. And it all came down to the one photo that was visible, but that's fair enough, sometimes you can already tell whether this is interesting for you or not. Thankfully there are still other link ups I regularly join, hopefully they will continue!

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  22. Oh I miss those days!! I learned to quilt from quiltalongs and made so many friends on the old Flickr. All my old favorite blogs (with the exception of yours and a few others) have either stopped or become fabric ads or magazine teases. I do like Instagram though and have been looking for a new quiltalong. Know any? I miss everybody!

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  23. I enjoy reading blogs. I also appreciate the time and effort it takes to write one. To be honest, I don't have a lot of time to spend on social media. I don't do Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or any thing other than blogs, so please do not take them away.

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  24. Fascinating post, and it is honestly something I've been giving a lot of thought to. I blog a fair amount. It ebbs and flows with my life. I don't make a career out of it, but I do post tutorials and tips. Right now I'm doing a photography beginner's series. It's difficult...I LOVE to blog...but with the decrease in people commenting I feel like I'm talking to myself. I know I'm not...because I see my work being pinned or I gain followers on Facebook and Instagram after a tutorial goes live. But, it's hard to motivate myself to share a tutorial when there isn't feedback or discussion. I also want to delve into more variety in my sewing, but I notice when I talk about the clothing, bags, and home decor I'm sewing my followers start dropping off. People found me for quilts and that's what they expect, and then I find my blog dictates what I make...and as a hobbyist...that's not what I want. This isn't my career. So, it's a bit of a quandary...do I sew for myself and blog what I want and not worry about it, and basically ditch tutorials because I don't need a tutorial for myself...or do I continue on with what I'm doing? Share what I know, creating content for others, hoping others will share their insights as well.... All in all I guess it comes down to how much do I care if others are following my blog? It really has me torn. Not because I like the attention, but because I love the interaction and the friends I've made through my blog in the "good ol' days."

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    1. I'm so glad to hear your story because it gives color to the reason why so many hobbyist blogs are drying up. When blog interaction decreased because the community found IG easier, the change hit smaller blogs especially hard and fast. Of course it's discouraging! Readers without comments is just not sustainable for most hearts. I hope you find a way to follow your creative heart while enjoying connection to the community.

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    2. As a hobbyist blogger with wide-ranging and fickle interests, I feel you! Right now, I sort of am blogging for myself, really. Comments and views when I get them are lovely, but I mostly see my blog at the moment as a sort of open diary of things I've made or am working on. My tutorials are as much so that I can remember how I went about making something as they are instructions for someone else! It's all fine as far as it goes, but I often find myself being pressured in person by people who think I ought to make more of a business out of my crafting, and I can see the yawning gap between where I am now and where I would need to be for that to happen and have even a chance of success. I could probably bridge that gap, but deciding whether I *want* to is another matter, one I'm still wrestling with. In the meantime, I keep on with my chatty little "here's where I am!" posts so that at least I have something to show for all the things I make and then almost immediately gift to people!

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    3. I've turned this over in my mind a lot too. I'm definitely a person with multiple craft (and other) interests--do I keep separate blogs? Not likely to happen. But I really would like to better document my projects and thoughts so that I have notes and a timeline for later.

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  25. You've hit the nail on the head here. When I first started quilting (and reading blogs on quilting) about 5 years ago there were heaps of great bloggers around, hobbyists and those that had turned their passion into a design business. Now though many of those same blogs have not been touched in months (some even years). I certainly understand that blogging is time consuming, whereas Instagram isn't BUT you just don't get the same insight and detail from IG, which is what interests me. I'm so glad to hear that you are still invested in blogging.

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    1. Hmm... when you put it that way, Charlotte, it makes me worry that IG might not have the same impact in the future as blogs have had in the past when it comes to guiding new makers into quilting. Without the "insight and detail" will IG browsers realize that they can make quilts too? Probably, yes, on some level, but as much, as often? Probably not.

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  26. Blogs opened up a whole new world to me of likeminded crafty, bookish cooks, gardeners and sewers, when I was a stay at home mum. I even plucked up the courage to start up my own blog. I still blog and love my faithful followers. My phone is too old for instagram, though I can comment via an app on my computer. I love the detail and more personal connection in blog posts. I sometimes feel that IG is more of a quick look how how great I am, what I've made, look where I am - I guess it allows people to show off more with out committing to detail. Glad you are going to keep blogging.

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  27. I'm still blogging, just slower. I love tutorials and process posts, too, and there's nothing like blogs for that. IG is fun and I'm on there, but blogging is still my favourite. Comments are very few these days, but the interaction on IG is great. More like a conversation than the 'sending letters' feeling you get with leaving a blog comment. I love your blog, Rachel and have followed since my days in France. Keep up the great work! x

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  28. I've definitely noticed the shift over the last 2 years. It's easier to have short interactions on instagram and given how busy everyone is, short seems desirable. But I really miss the longer, deeper interactions that blogs allow. I still blog, although my new career allows less time for it, but I've really noticed a decrease in comment activity as well. So my blog has been shifting to more of a personal design journal, which requires less upkeep and has less conversation. Other stuff goes on instagram I wish it wasn't that way, but it is what it is.

    The other sign I noticed that blogging has dried up in a huge way is how few participants there are in the sew mama sew giveaway day. 3 years ago there were thousands of blogs participating, last time I looked there were a few hundred.

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    1. Anne, It sounds like you've found a way to keep your persona blog useful while enjoying conversation on IG. Even though it doesn't sound like you love everything about the change, you've adapted and made it work for you. Thanks for sharing that perspective!

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  29. i still love blogs! i try my hand at writing a hobby blog every now and then, but it never lasts long. i am more likely to post pictures on instagram (IG) now. but i am still an avid follower of a bunch of blogs. i don't use Bloglovin anymore, because there was a period of time it just wasn't working right for me. it frustrated the heck out of me, so i switched to Feedly and haven't looked back. i love seeing what people are making and get inspiration. i love being able to follow pattern makers and class makers (like you! i love your online classes) and get a chance to support people on such a personal level. i appreciate the free tutorials so much. i also love the personal stories that people share...you definitely don't get that as much on IG.

    i have noticed a slowing down of posts on a lot of blogs i read. sometimes it is such a bummer, but totally understandable...people have babies or new jobs or more responsibilities and there just isn't time for the sewing and blogging like before.

    my big drive to join IG was mainly to be aware of and join swaps. i went nuts last year and did a bunch of swaps. i had fun, but definitely overloaded myself. this year, i just signed up for my first swap of 2016. but i will still go days without looking and it is so weird when you get back on, because it is like life has moved on without you. but i do like to breeze thru and it is interesting making connections with people you might not anywhere else. (recently i have had a conversation exchange, over one of my projects, with an editor of one of my fave magazines and that was such a kick! that probably wouldn't have happened anywhere else.)

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  30. I love your blog and your story so it's one of the few in my "must read" folder but I'm sadly one of those lurkers-who-seldom-comments. I'm an art quilter and fall squarely in the hobbyist blogger category since I started blogging in 2011. I post erratically, mostly when I have projects to share, and as a result have never built much readership. I think comments have fallen off for me, but it's a bit hard to tell. Most comments/traffic are driven by art quilt link-ups from which I tend to get thoughtful/helpful visitors.

    Of course I love comments (I'm always refreshing my inbox on days I post something I think is cool), but one of the main reasons I blog is because it gives me a place to work out my process and keep a record of what I did. I occasionally share finishes on facebook/IG (I've only very recently joined IG), but they fill a totally different place in my brain than blogging. I really hate the idea of inundating facebook/IG friends with millions of in-process things and technical details. I'd rather post a picture of a finish on FB/IG with a note to say check out the blog for more details and people who are interested can click through. In addition, whether real or imagined, FB/IG content feels much more ephemeral. I feel like I have much more control over blog content than the content on the other social media platforms. Not so much in terms of who can see it, but in terms of how I can preserve it. Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful discussion as well as the article links, and keep blogging away!

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    1. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! It's good to hear how you use blogs and how you foresee using IG. I just started using IG to show one picture per blog post, with a note that more details are in my post at StitchedinColor. It feels a little awkward to me, but it seems to be what people are doing. I hope it does feel welcome to people, as you imply it would be =)

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  31. Oh how I wish blogging was what it was when I got started quilting! I love your blog and there's hardly a post I don't read.. Please keep blogging. Instagram compared to blogging is like comparing mere acquaintances to fast friends. :) But I do understand the time that goes into a blog and it's sometimes a little thankless. So I'm thanking you right now for inspiring me along the way... Best to ya

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  32. I read quilting blogs and find them interesting and enjoyable. I enjoy seeing what others are creating, showing their processes and the posting of tutorials. I took a hiatus from FB some time ago but used it mostly for professional contacts and family and friends. My colleagues are encouraging me to come back to FB and if I do go, I surely would not be compelled to use it for crafting. I have not made my way to IG yet as I am still weighing the benefit of it for myself but I do browse the Quilts of Instagram occasionally to see what is trending. I understand that blogging demands a time commitment and there are costs associated with it. I applaud those who are taking the time to blog and I will enjoy them as long as they are blogging. Someone above mentioned they see readership fall when they blog about things other than quilting. I know if I am following a blog because I appreciate their quilty creations and they shift that to knitting or garment sewing or any number of other things that aren't quilt related, they would probably lose me also. Knitting/crocheting is not my interest though I can and have done both. Garment sewing had been a passion & profession of mine for over 30 years. My skills are far advanced in this area (formally educated) and often the content on the blogs are for beginners so this would not interest me. Mind you, I believe bloggers have the discretion to post whatever they like on their blogs, it's their time, but readers will participate as it fits their needs. It shouldn't been seen as a slight to the blogger. Social media always has something new to offer as app & software designers find new ground to conquer. I think we as the audience will find the platform that works best for us and use that. I do not always comment on the blogs that I visit, but I am working on doing more of that. I do want the blogger to know that I appreciate the time they take to share their creations with the public. I do hope you keep on blogging and being creative. Do what works best for you.

    tushay3 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  33. It does seem to me these days that everyone is trying to "monetize" their blogs and their sewing. Fewer and fewer people are blogging just because they want to talk about their projects, and I do get tired of the constant flogging of whatever their current money-making scheme is. Selling is fine, but I just blog so I can write about my projects and the challenges involved in making them. I read blogs for inspiration and community, though I've been frustrated lately because I'm moving away from traditional quilting techniques and toward more modern ways of quilting, and I'm having a hard time finding many bloggers that are doing that.

    I know Instagram is the Next Big Thing, and everybody's doing it! and all the cool people are there! But I'm already on Facebook, reading blogs on Bloglovin and my Wordpress reader, AND blogging. I'd like to have some time off the computer sometimes.

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    1. Hmm.. someone else also commented that they feel more blog voices are traditional quilting vs. modern quilting. I don't consider myself much of a modern quilter (I consider myself eclectic), and I can see the likelihood of the modern movement being more likely to adopt new social media that's quicker and more connected. Interesting point.

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  34. Im guilty of going to instagram. But I work full time and it was easier to focus on one picture. Then there was the whole flickr debacle. Changed, hard to use, lost the great built in editor. I still do some things there but mostly store pictures. I dont think there are less quilters. I think we just consume from different sources then magazines. There is so much free content out there or more interactive-Craftsy, websites, pinterest. From all the businesses that you would find advertised in mags you can now have an almost personal relationship with through social media-my top 3 instagram, fb, twitter(use to do a weekly chat now mostly just post). I use bloglovin but have never found it as easy to use as the next button on Blogger.

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  35. I am one of those hobby quilters and post about once a week about that or family stuff. It's an easy way to share with family/friends and keep track of what I've made. I have a list of blogs I check for quilting inspiration and ideas, at least until I get idea overload. I'm kinda in a transition point--not a beginner still and wanting to try my own things but not all the skills (or time) to "make up" all my own designs. As I work through this I have definitely noticed the lack of blog posts on a lot of my favorites, and decline in magazines (I miss Quilty). There are some mags but they cost the price of a book. SOO many of the quilting bloggers I read regularly have had babies lately and just don't have the time--and there is the usual summer dip as people travel and other things with family. I do get frustrated by blogs that focus more on selling--not selling their quilts but selling other products. But I am not doing my blog as income and many are. Like other commenters, I see the blog as a way to share the process and multiple views. Instagram is a quick check in, quick update. I so appreciate your blog and what you share with us, whether its quilting, color, sewing, family, home schooling, whatever. I like you. :)

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  36. Wow, this is an interesting post, Rachel. I barely know where to begin! Here are some thoughts ...

    * I haven't read the Gotham Quilts article yet, but my knee-jerk reaction is that the industry has been inflated. Think about how many new fabric lines each year, the long list of newly released quilting books. I don't think it was sustainable for the long term. Maybe this shake-out is necessary.

    What I've witnessed is more the decline of brick-and-mortar quilt shops in my area (northwest of Boston). My LQS just shuttered, and I'm heartbroken. But it's hard to sell fabric at $12+ a yard when online ventures have a better selection at a better price.

    * As a blog reader, I don't see the decline in blog writing. There are three quilt-alongs that I wish I had the time to participate in right now (at Quilty Habit, Quilting Jet Girl, and Happy Quilting). I don't make much of a differentiation between hobbist bloggers and the pros; often, the quality of the hobbists' content/writing/tutorials/pictures is just as good.

    The way I see it, the blog community is constantly changing. To stay on top of the latest in the community and accurately take its pulse, you need to find those new blogs, the ones that have been gaining momentum. I'm playing devil's advocate here (!), but if you took a year off of diligent blog reading, just treading water with the same list of blogs to read, do you think some of those up-and-coming blogs never made it to your radar screen?

    I think many people stop blogging b/c it's a time suck. I think others stop b/c their blogs have taken their quilting to the next level -- writing books, designing for magazines, etc.

    * As a blog writer, I continue to grow in audience, page views, and followers. After blogging for two years, my page views are between 25K and 30K a month, which I'm thrilled with. I add Bloglovin followers faster than I do Instagram followers. (I don't accept sponsors.) I can't say how I've grown my audience, but I think it's a combination of solid writing, accessible tutorials, and a let's-learn-together attitude.

    But I'm grounded in reality. I know blogging isn't my path to fame and fortune. The monetization of blogging has happened ... without me! : )

    * I love Instagram but post just a few times a month. I like getting instant feedback about a quilty dilemma I'm facing, or I use the IG platform to promote my own blog posts. I follow some bloggers by IG without reading their blogs. Why? Usually the quality or length of their writing. I like shorter posts with tight writing and can't keep up with someone who posts too frequently.

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    1. Excellent comment! You are so clever to point out that the decline in posts in my reader may be because I missed adding the up-and-coming bloggers due to being out of the loop in 2015. This, naturally, makes me want to add them! Can you think of any names to throw my way? Thanks so much for sharing your well-organized thoughts and personal reasons/habits!!

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  37. ^ Remember when I left an obnoxiously long comment on Stitched in Color?! ACK!

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  38. I have been following quilt blogs for quite awhile and have seen the drop off too. I miss them- the longer posts, the conversation, the details. I rarely delete a blog I'm following. I may only delete a blog if the author hasn't touched it in a year. I don't need a new post every day. If they post something I'm not interested in, I just don't read that one. I try to comment when I have something other than that's really cool. I do follow IG and post once in a great while but it is mostly eye candy to me while I'm waiting at an appointment. I'm glad to hear that you plan to continue to blog.

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  39. Please don't stop blogging. I check your blog just about every night and am inspired, challenged and lead to pray for you and your family. Living overseas most of the year, I am not able to use Instagram, so I depend on blog sites for a connection and inspiration. Keep writing!!

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  40. I'm not convinced this industry is shrinking at all. It's #2 in dollars spent for a hobby, behind golf. I do think connecting has changed, as had shopping. I've found it super easy to connect and comment on Instagram, something I can do while I have 60 seconds, while at lunch or waiting in line. Time is a luxury I don't have, and I'm going to guess I still comment on more blogs than the average joe.,I belong to two quilt guilds, lead one, and have watched the membership grow in both. There are a ton of modern quilters doing awesome stuff, and if you follow crazy mom quilts you'd see all the link ups on Friday. Just shopping and connecting are quickly transforming. Is blogging dying? I doubt it. But the person who makes connecting via blogs easier has a million dollar app. I follow blogs using feedly, we talked about this at our last quilt meeting and no one knew what I was talking about. So they were trying to follow blogs by clicking on them daily looking for new content. Who has that kind of time?

    My disorganized 2-cents.

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    1. yeah, who are these people who don't use a reader?! I'd never be able to keep up my hundred plus favorite blogs that way! LOL!

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    2. oh my...i remember being one of those who didn't have a reader...hehehe...everyday, i went down my list of bookmarked blogs. boy, i do love Feedly.

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    3. Hello Ladies, have you heard of Bloglovin'? That's what I use to read blogs I love. The only thing is that the blogger needs to register in order to have the blog posts displayed. I don't know how Feedly works but I guess it's kind of the same.

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    4. Kathy, I didn't know our industry was such a big one, dollar-wise. Wow! Good point about how a reader plays a big roll in blog-reading growth. Perhaps loosing Google Reader and it's "next" button had a bigger effect than one would think on the migration to IG.

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  41. When I went back to work, my blogging slowed way down and its silent now, due to a kitchen remodel, but I still read and I enjoy seeing what people are up to. I miss the quilt alongs that were so prevalent when I first started quilting. I am guilty of not commenting as much as I used to, but mostly because of lack of time. I still read the ones that come through that I follow and I appreciate the eye candy that people are sharing. I am glad you are going to keep on blogging. I love the inspiration that you share. =) As for Instagram, I pop in once in a while, but I know I miss so much and that's why I appreciate the bloggers that are still out there and sharing. Thank you for your thoughtful post. =)

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  42. Such an interesting and timely post, Rachel. Something I've thought about as well, of course. I used to follow blogs with a variety of topics, but now they are really almost solely sewing and cooking blogs. Most of the parenting /mommy blogs I used to follow dropped away, for example. But I don't know that this means blogs are dead. I think some subject matter is uniquely suited to blogging - sewing and cooking are both topics that are (or can be) very visual, so you want pictures, but also very technical, so you need instructions. I'm sure there are others, those are just two I enjoy. Facebook and Instagram can capture an image, but not the useful information.

    I still read blogs, and I still blog, although the community is bigger on instagram, I still find a lot of value in blog posts. Hard to say what will happen as time goes on. I think after everyone has switched to instagram for a while, they'll realize they miss being able to TALK or WRITE about the experience, and then they will either come back to blogging or there will be a new thing ... I agree with other commenters that one problem is that there aren't as many "hobby bloggers" anymore. I always enjoyed reading a mix of blogs - from super stars and pattern designers but also just makers who weren't getting any financial benefit. I always appreciated that you share about your life in your blog, that matters to me. I don't have any answers, but thanks for a thought provoking post!

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    1. I agree that sewing is so well-suited to blogging. It's nice to imagine that after awhile folks might realize that they miss blogging and there could be a return wave. Maybe if blogger made it easier to upload photos straight from your phone that would help! Or, like you said, maybe there will be a new thing. I wonder...

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  43. Waaaaaa
    I hate instagram
    I love blogs
    I love your blog and a few others.
    Instagram is ..... just pictures.? I feel so ADHD (I already have that) with instagram.
    I have not read all of the comments above, but, I will.
    I just thought I would quickly shout out.
    I do not like FB either. I do not do twitter.
    I like traditional things in life.
    I would like an insta-donut
    ❤❤❤

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  44. Yes, I agree blogs are disappearing. As are brick & mortar quilt shops. However, I read your blog avidly!
    Currently I don't use Instagram. Maybe I will have to look into it.

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  45. I LOVE reading quilting blogs. That's were I learned to quilt and that's where I get my inspiration. IG is ok but I love reading the blogs. I read blogs every day but I go on IG maybe once a week. And Rachel, your blog is my favorite!

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  46. I do still and will read your blog as well as others. In fact, I look forward to them. Ones I don't care for are the giveaways that take you into other blogs every day for several weeks. I do like giveaways when you only enter once. I feel like your wonderful blog is from the heart - and like seeing the fabrics and things you make - also your tutorials are great, very helpful. Keep this one going Rachel. Love it SEW much. Don't do the Instagram however.

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  47. oh this is interesting, Rachel, and I appreciate your sharing. I have been a hobbyist blogger for over 5 years and have no intention on stopping anytime soon. Basically I've staying 'hobbyist' as I work a f/t job as well, but with kids grown and gone, I have time to blog frequently as well as participate in Instagram etc. And I do love Instagram, and have my largest following there, but my blog is where I'm most at home. I like to tell the backstory of my projects, and I think that's one reason folks keep reading. I can tell that by my pageviews, but yes, the comments are much lower than they used to be, and as always, I answer nearly every one. Oh, and I do still read blogs every day, though I do pick and choose more than I used.

    I got a kick out of Daniela mentioning her first quilt-along, as it was my Crosscut Quilt-Along that ran the week of July 25. I'd be happy to tell you more about that, but in a nutshell, I posted one step every day for a week. It had over 80 participants which I thought was terrific. I saw lots of participants commenting on each other's posts (yay), and the best part was it was the first qa or the first go at improv for many. Very cool.

    Lastly, I do still love flickr and post everything I do there, all neatly organized as ever. But my followers do not grow there, there's very little conversation, and my do.Good and other bee mates treat it like the plague. That makes me sad, but it's the truth, and as much as I hate saying so, I'd support a change of platform for do.Good. I haven't been very active in Facebook groups, but am curious how that would be. Some folks treat fb as hands off as flickr, so I'm not sure.....good conversation here...

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    1. Hi Debbie, I shared the crosscut QAL with Rachel in a response above. The QAL went very smoothly, I'm impressed with the amount of participants, 80, wow! That was my introduction to IG, actually, I only joined 3 weeks beforehand. I'll definitely do a blog post about it too, when my quilt is finished. Thanks again for hosting the QAL!!

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    2. Thanks for explaining how you structured your QAL, Debbie. It sounds like something that I could adopt to simultaneously offer QAL on both my blog and IG. I would hate to cut anyone out. The whole goal is to bring people together. I'm glad to hear (and not surprised) that there was lots of interaction between QAL participants. I think that's gone done on blog QAL, which is probably a big factor in their decreasing draw.

      I think we need to have a big DGS discussion about our platform. I am happy to make whichever change will support the most community, but it's hard to know which that would be. Like you said, I worry that many would be just as opposed to adopting FB as they are unlikely to adopt Flickr. FB is a very happy place for many, but others avoid it for privacy reasons. Hmm... If you (and any other DGS members) want to talk to your bee mates and get back to me with their thoughts/recommendations, that would be a good first step.

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  48. Rachel, I think one reason comments are drying up is because of the way we read blogs now. Many of the ones I follow come via email, and I can read the post without clicking through to the actual blog - but I have to click through if I want to comment. I've been blogging for six years now and have noticed a drop in comments, but occasionally I'll get a comment from someone I don't recognize, and they'll say how they read my blog every morning and love it - so I keep blogging! I finally got on IG about a year ago, and discovered it's where all those bloggers I had been missing were! I can understand the appeal - IG also stands for Instant Gratification! I love being able to post a question or show something off and get immediate feedback. But it does lack the ability to share something in depth. I try to use IG, my blog, FB and Pinterest in conjunction with each other to cross-promote - it takes a lot of work, and I really need to get better at it, but it is possible to live in all those places and take advantage of each one's distinct advantages. And FYI, did you know that you can have private groups on Facebook that are limited to only invited members? Even the posts are only visible to the members. That might be helpful for your DGS groups...

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    1. So true that the way we read blogs hugely effects comments. It was easier to comment when reading from computers rather than phones. Thanks for all your thoughts, Sarah. I am definitely thinking about FB for DGS.

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  49. I have been reading quilting blogs for years. I just recently got my first smart phone but I still have not ventured over to Instagram. PondHollowQuilts.blogspot.com is my new blog. I have wanted to start one forever, so finally did! I have only posted once so far. I was able to get one photo on that post. I want to post more but am trying to figure out how to post photos on it. I want to show close ups of certain blocks in the quilt I am discussing. I have the photos on my iPad and iPhone but can't figure out how to transfer them to my blog post. I have followed some quilt a longs in the past and enjoyed them. I hope to do some of those on my blog, eventually. I am on Facebook but don't go there very often. I really enjoy reading the quilting blogs.....and enjoy it when bloggers included non quilting content as well.

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  50. Film in the fridge and red pepper quilts were my first introduction to quilting blogs...so happy you are a blogger....it keeps me motivated, interested, engaged, and open to new ideas...thanks so much...

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  51. The death of google reader was so sad and I just cannot deal with bloglovin'. Luckily Feedly is the tits. I think there was over saturation of blogs, now it's just pared back to quality blogs. I am glad Flickr has come and gone. I hated how they insist I use a stupid yahoo login; I have enough damn logins already thanks.

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  52. I have followed quilty blogs for a few years now, but I rarely comment. However, the blogs that I closely follow are the ones that do engage its readers. I appreciate tutorials with good step-by-step explanation and photos. I think the Instagram and Pinterest heavy social media has changed my expectations such that high quality and nicely edited photos make a blog much more appealing.

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  53. I think about this a lot, Rachel. I've been blogging for 6 years now and while blogging and sewing (and teaching/lecturing/designing) have become a part time job for me, I still post 2-4 times a week. I love to talk about the story behind quilts, too (which is one reason I love reading YOUR blog!). I also see my Bloglovin followers steadily rising (especially this year, though I'm not sure what that can be attributed to), plus email subscriptions are steady. IG is definitely a fun place to be, but, similar to you, I am one who is never short of words (in the best way possible, I think). :) I have used "Top Ten Tips" lists every couple months to consolidate some thoughts on specific areas of quilting (quilting large quilts, alternate gridwork) that constantly bring people to my page (my only intent was to put the info out there, and it's great that so many people find it useful!).

    I agree that blogging isn't dying but it's changed a lot (and I TOTALLY remember when there were so many QALs that you couldn't choose just one! I'm running the Star Light, Star Dark QAL right now and I think a lot of people are just excited that it's happening!). I also hope that sponsors stick around for the long run.

    Finally (long post almost over - I did say I wasn't short on words, didn't I? :) ), I recently wrote a post of Top 10 Tips on Blog Organization. I commented a bit on my take on the blog world and many of the comments did similarly. Just another look at my opinions.

    http://www.quiltyhabit.com/2016/05/top-10-tips-blog-organization.html

    Thanks for doing what you do, Rachel!

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  54. While I do not have a blog (and don't plan to), I became a blog reader when I had my hysterectomy and foot surgery...discovered some wonderful blogs (including yours!) and they helped me not only with quilty things but with "friends" sharing their lives and reminding me that we all go through "things." Your blog has been such an encouragement to me because you have handled some pretty tough stuff with grace and faith. I feel like I know you. Please don't stop blogging. Us oldsters don't do change well--IG and Twitter are for the young. I am not a fan of Facebook either and mainly use it to keep track of my Air Force son and grandkids--don't "friend" anyone else. Thanks for sharing your quilty talent and your lovely family with us!

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I am touched that my blog has helped you on your journey. When I started blogging I never would have guessed it could be meaningful in that way. It's such a blessing (to me!) the way things have turned out. I'll keep writing! Thanks for reading!!

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  55. I'm seeing a lot less blog posts as well, just when I went and started my own. All these social media platforms, they change quickly. So just as I was trying to figure out snapchat, Instagram puts up a similar platform. For me blogging is for my own pleasure and the maybe 30 people who follow. I rarely get comments, but some of my followers are people I know IRL, and they like it. so I keep going. But I'm not trying to build a business, I'm simply sharing my makes, my city and my travels. Good luck and I hope your business doesn't suffer.

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  56. I don't read many quilt blogs other than yours but I do read garment sewing blogs (and write one) and it's the same thing over there, too. Funny, I have twice as many Bloglovin' followers as I did last year but lately many of my posts get just one or two comments, or as is happening more frequently, crickets. Like you, I left Flickr for Instagram because that's where it's happening but I do really miss the in-depth garment construction details and photos. Instagram just doesn't cut it for me. I've recently gone looking for new blogs to follow as some of my old favorites die. I'm hoping for a resurgence but not holding my breath. It makes me sad.

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  57. Your article today was very timely. I have been wondering over the last few weeks what happened to all the blogs? I loved to set aside a few hours in the evening to relax and read what is going on in the quilt world. The variety of ideas and projects were awesome. I have quilted forever (before rotary cutters) and still love to make quilts. I like that I can send my quilts out to be quilted. I like embroidered labels which are personalized. So many nice things. But the community is the best part. Just looking at pictures in columns is not the same. Keep blogging!

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  58. I do love to read the blogs I follow. I'm also on Instagram and really like that too. I don't like Facebook at all so I don't do anything on it. I just feel Facebook is just a big brag book and not very real life so it doesn't appeal to me at all. When was the last time you saw someone on Facebook post something about a bad day, sick kid, or whatever. That's life and it's not all a bed of roses which is why I think Facebook is so fake. Just my opinion. I think that why I like blogs. Many share real life issues as well as quilty things which makes you connect to the blogger on a different level. You have been so open and honest with your raw feelings and I feel so many of us can relate in so many ways. It's like a big online support group. So thank you for that. I've always wondered how people make a living blogging. I know sponsors pay to be on your feed but I didn't know how much one could make with that. I've always wished one of the blogs would explain how it all works and how profitable it could be. With that said, some of the blogs I follow have too many pop up ads on them which is kind of annoying when trying to read them. I totally get how important the sponsors are to their living but sometimes it's a bit much. Maybe that's more when I'm reading on Bloglovin. Anyways, thanks for sticking around on the blog! Yours was one of the first blogs I came across (not sure from where) and I truly love your style and eye for putting things together. This was a great topic, thanks for posting :O)

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  59. I first found you because of your bottled rainbows qal. I wanted to but didn't get to do it. I kept reading your blog because of the authentic creative person that you are and present to us. I stopped reading and commenting on a lot of other blogs because their writers became more invested with developing their brand or style through the fabric lines, patterns or books. They stopped blogging things that were creative or interesting to me and while I found their journey interesting for awhile, its not really relevant to me and more often than not, they stopped writing. I followed them on IG for awhile too, but again, their pics were of their continued journey and I'm not on that journey. I am happy for their success for their hard work but miss the former creativity and camaraderie. I check your blog daily but recently realized you do post on certain days. ;) Keep up the wonderful job (but taking care of yourself is more important!) and I do follow you on IG. :)

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    1. You are such a faithful commenter! I wish I could reply to you, but you are "no reply commenter" which I totally respect. Just wanted to say how much I always appreciate your feedback though.

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  60. I've noticed the shift too. I just wanted to say I love your blog and the regularity and quality of your posts. Whenever my email subscription of your post comes in I read it asap.

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  61. I way prefer a blog post to IG. I follow a lot of quilt blogs and very few quilters on IG (1)because I don't want to overwhelm my IG feed and (2)because I would rather read a blog post on the final finish and be pleasantly surprised than have it spoiled by WIP shots taken at 5 minute interval and feel ho-hum at the end. What I do like about IG is that it has reduced the amount of WIP blog posts and fluff posts bloggers seem to feel obliged to put out. There is a lot less pressure to post as frequently now because not everyone is such a regular blogger any more. Now it seems to be more about content. I haven't noticed a loss of QALs, they seem to be everywhere at the moment!

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    1. It's true that it feels more "acceptable" now to post less often than it did before. So, that is a good effect on blogland, I suppose, as it does lead to better content. Thanks for that perspective!

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  62. I'm a blog reader, and I have to say, over the past year and a half I've been reading it, yours has become my favorite! I've learned so much from your blog as well as from the two classes I've taken/am taking, and you've given me so much fodder to work through as I refine my own style.

    I think the blog format lends itself well to instruction and allows much more in-depth content than the primarily visual format of Instagram. I so appreciate your varied content with everything from tutorials to mosaic contests to posts about current projects.

    My husband and I share an Instagram account which we use primarily for family photos. Since I don't have a smart phone, I've not been able to upload pics myself, but I love seeing the ones my grown kids post. I have kept a blog for 12 years, but it's mainly for my family and some others.

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  63. Some of my favorite bloggers moved to celebrity status and their blogs are now soulless attempts to promote themselves and whatever sponsored thing they are writing about. I love the bloggers who share their lives and sometimes have something to promote. One used to show quilts in progress, but now says buy my books. And she only blogs when she wants something. I made a comment to that effect and she said follow my IG account that is where I post more often, so I did for about 2 weeks before deciding that she posted more often so I could see her self promotion more often. I miss the posts about what impacts your quilting schedule that make you a human I can relate to. I don't care that you are selling a new book, because all I know about you in the last 2 years is that you have a new book, taught workshops, hosted other quilt functions and I can see what you are working on if I buy your next book. There are still some bloggers like you and others who share the life of a quilter that I can relate to in spite of many differences. The differences teach me more about myself and each of the blogs I love has a human story and the quilts that inspire me. I read Crazy Moms Finish it up Friday so I can acquaint myself with more of that type of blogger. Instagram and facebook tend to be the cliff note's version of life except for 2 or 3 bloggers that seem to have the ability to keep irons in all the fires. One does IG and facebook by sharing her IG on FB and it looks like she dumps it into blogger and edits it to flow better. I love her kids pictures and know not every thing hits the blog, but I have dropped every thing but her bog on my feed because I am old and resistant to change. Being retired, sometimes it is nice to have an emotional contact with people every day that doesn't involve emojis.

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    1. Your first statement is exactly why I stopped reading blogs for a couple years. It felt like every post was an advertisement or a promotion of something they wanted me to buy. The bloggers lost their validity and no longer felt relatable. I mean what do I, a mom of 5 who sometimes quilts on her dining room table, have in common with a lady who gets gifted new sewing machines that cost several thousand dollars on the regular, and gets sent free notions before they hit the market all the time. It sort of felt like they didn't care about the readership or the connections or the sense of community-- they just wanted hits. I came back to blogs, though, because I missed the sharing of ideas, I just narrowed down the list of the blogs I read greatly.

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  65. I started reading blogs when I lost my job 4 years ago. I had started quilting a few years before but until my surprise retirement and a new iPad, I had no idea what content was out there. I really am energized by other people's ideas, colors,styles and trials. It's like show and tell every day. I have learned a lot and hopefully contributed something as well. Some blogs are painful attempts to sell goods but I love the generosity of the shared ideas. It's great to learn about new notions and fabrics as there are no quilt shops where I live.i love to see the amazing projects that are shown off and delight in others finished projects.
    I think that we should all leave more comments for the bloggers we enjoy. It must be terribly discouraging to pour out your heart or share something that you think is amazing to lack responses of any kind! I think that magazines are going out of business as the online content is so available without the physical burden of them. They are also quite pricey, one I saw was $15.95 for one issue!
    I really enjoy learning about bloggers lives and homes and families as well as their projects. I feel like I learn about life and love as demonstrated so differently by us all. After all, we are all so different but also so much the same. Thank you for the time and energy you expend blogging my friend.

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  66. You know, it's funny, because I have noticed a lot of the same. I find myself going back to check some of my favorites often and miss some of these quilty ladies sharing their thoughts. I love Instagram for the immediate gratification, but for me, blogs will always be my first choice. So this is me, telling all of the lovely quilty bloggers I enjoy so much (Jolene!!), please come back and keep sharing your thoughts, because they are valued and appreciated so much!! And for you and all the other girls still sharing in this platform, please carry on....you inspire and motivate and help fuel on this passion of many of ours!

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    1. Yes, Jolene, cooommeee back to uuuusss!

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  67. I love blogs. Always have, always will. I've been blogging since the late 90s though, so it's basically an ingrained habit at this point and I may not ever give it up. In nearly 20 years I've made about $20 total from it but for me, it's never been about money -- it's my outlet. I write about quilting, but I only started doing that in 2011 and my blog archives go back to 2001. So more than any specific topic, I just write about my life. It's like a public diary, really.

    I like your quilting content since I'm a quilter too, but I also like your posts on the non-quilting parts of life. I tend to favor blogs that have a good mix of topics, and that's why I've continued to follow yours since I discovered it a few years ago.

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  68. I started with the same Blogs you did. Now, I check IG and if someone directs me to their blog, I will read the post. However, there are so many awesome quilters, IG gives you that quick look and if there is more to it you go to the blog, or quilters like me that don't have a blog just enjoy sharing with our friends across the country. Also, the cost of everything quilting seems to increase every quarter, each new line of fabric is more expensive than the last, the cost of batting is up, high end thread is expensive. It's a hobby that many are just getting priced out of but we can still window shop via IG.

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  69. I too am sad that a lot of the bloggers I follow only post once a month, or even every other month now, and often just to fulfill sponsor obligations, it seems. I loved seeing the quilts and projects they made, reading the stories behind it, and the "oops!" or "aha!" moments that came from making them. I like details, I guess, and I'm just not on IG, so blog reading will always be my thing. It just seems more personal, and fuller than a quick photo with a short description. I am glad that you plan to continue using your blog, and I appreciate the time you put into it. :) -Ruth

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  70. I read every post you have. I personally haven't gotten the hang of instagram even though I am 30. I love your wordy posts - its like I have a friend instead of someone random out there on the internet.

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    1. Alright, a wordy post lover! You are my hero! When I would turn in my early essays the teacher often recommended I write more to the point.... And now I sometimes see the same thing in Aria. =) Words.

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  71. Very thoughtful post, as always, Rachel. I've thought about this very topic off and on for the last year or two, but especially as I contemplated letting my own blog go silent just over a year ago.

    For me, the end of blogging coincided with a new beginning in my faith life. Priorities shifted and my interest in blogging simply fell away. Every once in a while I wonder if I should be documenting a finished quilt but the urge hasn't been strong enough to propel me back into it. Maybe someday?

    As to my reading habits, I'm one of the few still not on FB or IG so I still read blogs though I mostly skip through what's in my reader until I see that one of my favorite bloggers (yours is at the top of my list!) has posted.

    There was a time when I'd go through my reader and see post after post (all sponsored, I suppose) about the same book or new bundle or newest whatever. So I largely stopped reading. Now, I only read the blogs that tell a story... the ones that build a kind of friendship with the reader.

    Keep on blogging, please! You keep me connected to the quilting community.

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    1. Life is a constant shifting of priorities, which makes it wonderfully healthy to change accordingly. I applaud you for making conscious choices to follow your path. And thanks for your readership too! I hope it continues to nurture you =)

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  72. Interesting conversation, Rachel. I know I have blogged considerably less this past year, partially because things in my personal life and partially because of the ease of Instagram. I have always looked at my blog as my personal quilting journey and a place to share quilting info as in tutorials etc. Blogging for the last six years has been an amazing experience.....I have met so many wonderful people and it has brought me so many amazing opportunities.

    But I have seen a change as well. I enjoy both the blogs and Instagram. I do look at Instagram as a quick connection and blogging as a more in depth conversation.

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  73. I am a self-taught quilter and I literally learned to quilt through blogs. I read blogs everyday and although I am active on Instagram, I do not see my blog reading declining. Yours was one of the first blogs I found and one of the things I love about it is your honesty, transparency, and vulnerability in your blogs. I appreciate your words and am glad to hear you're not going anywhere anytime soon.
    ~E. A.

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  74. You are one of the few blogs I go to and actually read. I love that you share something personal and always thoughtful. It feels intimate and I feel a connection that is missing at other blogs. You can almost feel how much other bloggers are not interested in what they are blogging about. I think there was quite a push a few years ago for companies to use blogs for advertising and since then I have found that a lot of blogs just are not what they were. I saw this in other genres before I was into sewing and quilting. I will go to other blogs for some tutorials and videos to learn how to do things or get ideas, but there are very few I check several times a week to see what is new and read.

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  75. I agree with your assessment of the changes in blogs. I read regularly but have been feeling like it is more of a chore than a pleasure because most are promoting or selling something. I admire the careers people are making and want to support creative people whose work inspires and teaches me but I don't read blogs just to be a customer. I am on my own creative journey ... It will not become my profession and until recently I did not have much to contribute to the conversation. With IG, I can post a picture without feeling like I am overreaching. I am starting to feel more confident and like I have something to contribute but starting a blog in today's climate seems like only something an inspiring professional would do. I have joined some FB groups because there is more space to talk about the image. I really like your blog and I "took" one of your classes and definitely would again. I don't comment much but until I read this I did not realize comments meant so much to the blogger. I will say more now that I know it.

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  76. I still read blogs as this was the way I learnt most of my quilting skills. I also love the personal stories but there are far too many advertising posts and blog hops these days and I've unfollowed many that used to be interesting. I don't do Instagram or Pinterest. Please keep on blogging.

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  77. I blame a lot of the blog issues on Bloglovin, a mediocre replacement for Google Reader. I often can't get to my feed, or it freezes, and it changes format constantly. It behaves differently when I am in my iPad vs my iPhone vs my iMac. But having said all that, I do still love to blog and read blogs (even though I added IG about 18 months ago). I don't comment as much, so I seem to be part of the collective there. Like you, I believe blogs will stay, because in the end it is more conducive to friendships and learning than IG, etc.

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    1. I hear you Cathy, and with the new Bloglovin layout it's one sponsored post for every 2 posts of people you follow. It's like watching one big commercial break.

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    2. I don't know why Bloglovin thinks people are ok with so many ads in a feed. It is strange and intrusive. Maybe that is partly why I don't enjoy sitting down with my reader as much as I used to.

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  78. I love reading blogs (usually quilting, gardening, sustainable living related ones), but I am not a blogger myself. I quilt as a hobby and really enjoy seeing what other quilters have made and the process they go through to create their quilts. I also love the personal aspect to blogs that you do not get through sites like Instagram. Keep up the blog posts!

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  79. Hi Rachel!
    I totally agree with you, the quilting world is changing. I've stopped reading blogs through Bloglovin but I guess it's my fault, for following too many. Yours is among the few ones I still enjoy reading. Not only because you inspire me but because I enjoy your writing. Let's be totally honest here, not everyone has the skill to convey into words what they want/need to communicate. I am an avid Instagram user. But IG is changing too, and I resent it. Posts used to be chronological and now my feed looks like Facebook. IG shows me what it thinks I want to see from the people it thinks I want an update on. And now I can't tag my friends in posts. So that's changing too. Where are we going? I've no idea. But I love your blog, even if I don't comment much. And now that you've reminded me of the Brick Quilt, I think I have decided what my next one will be. Love and hugs.

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  80. Thank you so much for this post Rachel.
    I am a hobby blogger in French without any sponsor, loving both the history of quilting and the modern quilting world. Blogging is definitely MY expression and I do hope that I will still have some readers. Instagram may be a +, just like FB, but for me not THE alternative. Hopefully blogs will not vanish!
    I read all your posts, please go on Rachel! You are important for so many of us.

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    1. And you go on too! If nothing else, this comment thread demonstrates how many are eager to read quilting blogs with soul, rather than advertising/self-promoting emphasis. I suppose this is actually an opportunity for hobby bloggers to gain more readers. They have just what everyone is looking for?

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  81. For me reading blog is great. I haven't tried instagram. I do occasionally look at pintrest, I like the ease to save pictures and find blogs again. But I am a bad blogwriter, I'm more of a blogreader.

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  82. You are right about te blog world. Many bloggers have packed up their blogs and moved to Instagram completely. Which is a shame, as because of Instagrams crazy alogarythm you won't see everything of everyone you follow. For me blogging is still an outlet an it enables me to share more than one post about a project. I also find that less and less people take the time to comment on a blog, since they are now use to the easy 'like' or 'heart' on Instagram, which is really too bad as the possible interaction was the largest reason for me to start a blog.

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  83. I love reading blogs :) it just works for me, although I don't comment as much as I used to - I use Feedly to keep up with recent posts which is a good replacement for the old Blogger Feed reader. I still use Flickr a lot too :) I won't use Instagram, coz that can only be done with a mobile phone - my phone is for phone calls LOL NOT browsing the internet :) Like others I think some blogs have turned 'professional' with lots of advertising, but I much prefer the more 'personal' feel :)

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  84. I love reading blogs too. My own blogging has definitely declined lately, partly because I'm not sewing as regularly due to work and missing my regular sewing day with my friend, but I think also because I subconsciously realised there isn't as much community to be a part of. I'm resisting instagram because there's already too much to keep me fixated on my phone and I feel a bit idealistic about not being too instant in everything I do. I want to keep an ability to be fully present and to take time.

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    1. Camilla, You've touched on exactly why I resisted adopting Instagram. I didn't want any push to interrupt more of my life with social media. I love social media, LOVE, but it does need to be kept in its place. With blogging I feel like I can show up and then walk away. Come back as desired, and walk away. My phone is always with me and so irresistible for those in between moments. Like you said, it tends to make me less present to my near reality.

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  85. I love blogs. I like te read them and they help me to solve all kinds of "problems" with quilting, sewing, ceramics (my hobbies) and Household or grieve.
    I don't answer very much because I speak dutch and it's rather difficult to answer in english. Sorry!!! I like your blog very much.

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  86. I too have been a slow convert to Instagrambut that is the only platform I share on and I usually only share me crafty stuff (and sometimes me cat because she's so cute)

    I love to read blogs. I love people sharing their projects and their tutorials.

    I don't blog. I tried several times but struggled with it. I couldn't find a real purpose and don't really like to write a lot.

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  87. I love reading blogs - it gives me ideas, techniques, news of upcoming lines. As a beginner quilter in 2014, it helped me approach the craft without shelling out for patterns I wouldn't understand because I could learn the basics for free.

    I've noticed a drop off in the hobby quilter blogs - less free content, less free patterns or tutorials - and that makes me really sad. The professional beautifully presented material is great - but not necessarily accessible to all and as a hobby crafter myself, I prefer to see things from hobby crafters rather than the professionals.

    The pro blogs seem all about the money, the products, the pattern purchases. I can totally understand how for a hobby crafter, maintaining a blog with free material is time consuming - taking away from craft time! But I religiously read the handful of blogs that do still include regular picture heavy tutorials and regular quilt info/techniques.

    Instagram is great (and I am there to share my own makes and steal ideas for future ones!) but it doesn't offer much by way of a learning space.

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  88. I like Instagram, but I still depend on bloggers for tutorials etc. i especially like bloggers who add some personal stuff. I have a blog but rarely write there. Mostly due to lack of time. Thanks for keeping your blog going. It's one of my favorites. Mary in Boston😊

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  89. I tried so hard to read all the comments, but it is now 2:45 a.m. and had to stop. The comments have been so spot on!

    To me there is not really a question of IG or Blogs. They work together. Blogging enhances IG and IG enhances blogging. I follow both and love it. FB awful!

    It is true that there has been a loss of connection with blogging lately. It has gotten so commercial that my favorites just don't have time for anything else. I am torn about this because I do realize that they have to make a living, but the spark is gone.

    It is important to leave comments. I rarely do because there is not much interaction with it as before. A one-sided conversation is not fun for anyone.

    Someone mentioned too many promotions. YES!!!! I have been suckered into buying books that just sit on my shelf. There are a few that I absolutely love, but just a few. It's like a movie that dies at the box office because all the good stuff was in the trailer!

    Stop creating so many fabric lines. Yes, I love and hoard as much fabric as I can, but enough. They hit the market, you fall in love with them and then they are gone; sometimes sold out before you can purchase. There needs to be an adjustment somewhere. And who can continue to keep buying fabric with the prices constantly going up? I know that all prices are increasing, but I struggle to cover my basic needs and then fabric doesn't make it on the list. It is getting tougher and tougher for LQS and other vendors. Bottom line is that you buy food before you buy fabric (well, most of the time!) I have seen a growing trend of fabric lovers purchasing from other places than your favorite LQS. GASP! There are pretty, less-less-costly fabrics out there. They are not the same quality, but a girl has to quilt! Thank you MQG for solids and large empty spaces. I like them and they are more affordable.

    That brings me to minis. I don't think it is an accident that they have become so popular. They are faster gratification and cheeper! You just can't cuddle under them.

    I have much more to say, of course. But, I will give you a break and go to bed. My alarm will be going off in about 2 hours! Rachel, sorry for taking up so much space on your blog today. I love your blog!

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    1. Take up space anytime with your thoughtful comments! I admire that you led with a symbiotic relationship between blogs and IG. That is what I am hoping to manage. I feel nervous about how to "be" on IG. I feel like I know where my lines are on my blog to avoid over-commercializing, but not so on IG. But, bottom line, what you describe - that symbiotic relationship - is what I will be shooting for.

      Interesting point about minis.

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  90. I'm torn. Currently I'm thinking about stopping writing on my blog (again) due to no reponse to my blog posts. Let's face it: it takes a lot of work taking nice pictures and writing. When looking at my blog as a creative diary there are also different ways to keep such a creative diary. I do upload pics to Instagram, currently not as frequently as before because you know I still have to take nice pics of my projects and upload them (I don't like the bad phone pics). However I still like reading blogs, soaking up tips and tricks concerning sewing. My blog list is full of really a few blogs that I still like reading. I do not always write a comment, but quite often - something other people seem to forget because it's easier to hit a "like" button... I do not use the "like" button on Instagram. If I like something I write a comment. Oh, I don't have a facebook account. Something that may cause a problem from time to time because I'm not able to read contents or participate in events... :/
    So you can see why I'm torn. Not showing projects and not writing about tips and tricks reduces benefit for others, but no reponse is also no reward. Tricky.

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  91. Well, judging by the response so far, blogging and its followers is by no means fading away. I enjoy your blog because I like the way you write, the fact that you're a process blogger, and because the commercial/professional aspect is never allowed to predominate over the fundamentally creative nature of your writing. I find myself increasingly irritated and put off by the overpowering, unrelenting sales messages on blogs I thought I'd enjoy, but no longer do. I also love the fact that you 'talk' to us rather than instruct us, and I feel I'm hearing your authentic voice. I am not a 'few words' person either, and my blog is very verbal, as well as having nice pictures. I'll never take to IG simply because I love to talk! However, there's no getting away from the fact that blogging is a commitment, and at certain times of year I do find that new posts are less frequent. I hope blogging survives, as I'd miss my conversations with friends around the world, I'd miss discovering new talent, new ideas, sharing jokes and offering thoughts and solutions where I can. IG is too instant for me, I'll stick with WordPress and blogging. Please don't stop yourself :-)
    Kate, Queensland, Australia
    http://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com

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  92. I still prefer blogs, although many that I've followed for years don't post anymore. And there are many I no longer visit because they've gotten so busy with pop ups, etc., I got frustrated. I suppose these are the people who have made it a business. I've cultivated many friendships through blogging that I don't think would be possible on IG, which I have difficulty keeping up with. I like to sit and read posts, learn new skills, admire pretty work. I'll stick with blogging whether the Blogger's I visit reciprocate or not. XO

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  93. I started reading blogs about 3 years ago so am new to the party. I rarely comment and plan to start commenting more! I haven't been commenting because I felt like the new girl. I normally only comment if the blogger asks people to comment to be honest.

    I love blogs. I found your blog early on and have enjoyed reading your posts. I am also a home ed mom so enjoy your occasional school references. I don't do Facebook and never will. I doubt I will ever venture onto IG. So blogs are my quilt outlet. I am currently exploring hand quilting and EPP so rarely touch my machine but love looking at the fabrics and colours. My daughter loves machine quilting so I look for projects she might enjoy.

    I have read most of the comments and signed up to a few new blogs on Blogovin. I was already following a few!

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  94. Hi Rachel! I'm happy you wrote this great post because I feel the same and do miss blogs and blogging. So often I roll up and down in Bloglovin and there isn't much interesting happening. I'm always so happy to find your post! I have been blogging 6 years and in fact it feels longer time because so much has happened during those years! Almost no one is sewing or quilting in Greece so you understand how important my online friends are to me. I learnt quilting by myself with a huge help of fantastic quilters who blog and write tutorials. I'm not sure if I would quilt without my blog that gives me the possibility to connect and share with other quilters. IG is nice but it's totally something else than blogging. I need the stories about and behind the projects and also the 'every day chat' with my online friends. Blogs are also more teaching and inspiring for me because I love to see lots of photos and to Pin my favourites for later inspiration. In IG those 'Likes' are soon so much that it's not easy to find something later. I also like in blogs that when visiting a blog, except the post, I see the sidelist and links to other posts. Always there is something older that was not perhaps 'in right time' when it was posted but now I just happen to think a project where it fits. I feel that IG is a great place to share all kind of good photos but I prefer to get the info and little stories from blogs. My only wish for blogging is that I could get a little income, even fabrics because the fabrics are for me really expensive and I like to use lot of time to take good photos and write little stories. I'm so happy to be back in blogland after some grazy/busy/awful months at work that turned out to be a prison with less money than they get in prison. But now I'm back with lots of new ideas and so inspired by you! Best wishes! x Teje

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  95. I certainly agree things have changed a lot of the last year and blogs are much quieter. I know quite a few fellow bloggers who have just stopped altogether.Personally I think there was just too many blogs out there and folks got overwhelmed with trying to keep up with them all (I never really tried and still only manage to read a few regularly - I'd rather be sewing!). But I still make a concerted effort to keep my blog going and to post an average of once a week. The reason I started blogging was to communicate and my thoughts on the stuff I make and that hasn't changed (I never really expected anyone would read it!). I love IG but I also love the space on my blog to tell the story behind the quilt/whatever. Even though I now have a full time career in quilting (due to my blog initially!) I have always kept my blog clear of sponsors and have only used it minimally to sell my own stuff. I look on it as a little escape from 'hustling'. Apart from anything else it is precious archive, almost a diary, and I can't imagine a time when I won't be writing it, whether anyone reads it our not!!

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  96. Interesting post. I love reading blogs and writing my own. I post daily and enjoy writing it. I am on IG as well. I feel like you can get to know a person better through blog posts. But I also understand that the "Insta" in IG is what our world loves these days.

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  97. Interesting post. I too have noticed that many of the blogs I used to follow post less frequently or not at all. It disappoints me as I prefer the detail of information in a blog post, especially when there is background or tutorials or links to patterns.

    I don't have time to add Instagram to my social media schedule. It is too passive with just an aimless upward finger swipe which makes it easy to miss good things and sort the wheat from the chaff. I also like to feel connected to the bloggers I read about which I don't get with Instagram. I have an Instagram account but use it maybe once a quarter. I am hoping I don't have to migrate there for my quilty fix.

    I have my own blog and will carry on posting on it even if I have only one reader. I like the journal element for my own records. I also know that I have found other blogs helpful many years after they were posted when they give info on how that blogger made a specific quilt, and I know my own blog has posts from a few years ago that still get high hit levels as the posts give tips on how to make a specific well know quilt that has issues with the pattern writing. I'd never find that level of detail on an Instagram post.

    So I do hope that the blogs I enjoy will not disappear. I also hope they will not turn out to be the blogs who only post self promoting or product placement posts. I hate those "sell-outs" as well! Your blog hits all the right spots, and I love the online class format too. Please don't change!

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  98. Your post has obviously created some in depth responses. I haven't seen that many long comments in a long time.
    I came to quilting from a stitching and embroidery background 4 ish years ago and it all started with your color brick quilt (which is laying on my knees in this chilly Australian winter). I love your quilt alongs, your tutorials, your classes and the insight into your life and family. You may not know me but I know you have made a big difference in my life and although I may not always comment yours is the first blog I look for whenever I open my feed.

    I appreciate the time and thought you put into what you post and I have found many other blogs I read through your blog.

    I don't do Instagram or FB. But i browse Pinterest daily but blogs are really where it's at to get good info and a real conversation.

    I should get back to my machine... Emerge is sitting waiting for its last 20 lines of quilting and its binding so I have something new to lay on my knee.

    Thank you

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  99. Just when I found all these wonderful quilting blogs...and flickr - it seemed most migrated to instagram. I love reading the quilting blogs best - and as you say - stories and tutorials are best experienced on a blog. Glad you will be keeping up on your blog!

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  100. I love being a blogger (Elm Street Quilts) and a blog reader. Blogs help me connect and make friends. I enjoy IG but blogs are my favorite platform.

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  101. I am still a blog reader, though I get my blogs through email. I do have bloglovin' but I find I am better at keeping up through email. You can't beat blogs for picture quality.

    I have and use Intagram, but hope that Ello becomes more popular because you can enlarge photos on your phone; you don't have to screenshot them as you do with IG and I find it hard to see details on IG photos--too small.

    I am sad about Flickr. I wish quilters hadn't abandoned it. I rarely remember to check it. I only check it as much as I do because of Love Circle. And I love the photo storage on Flickr--really saves your phone.

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  102. When I discovered blogs, my quilt making improved immeasurably. I began quilting after retiring from teaching and was self taught from books. There were so few quilt or fabric stores in the Chicago burbs. Reading blogs like yours and others taught me techniques, short cuts and basic skills. Blogs introduced me to so many talented quilters and designers who in turn inspired me to try new things. So I am a dedicated blog reader and have a huge list of favorites.
    Bloglovin sends me a daily list to sample which I love to do. I am delighted to hear of Feedly and will try it too.
    I agree with those who have commented on the commercialization of blogs. I understand why bloggers have ads to help offset costs, etc. However, pop-ups and constant ads are an irritation and distraction. I have stopped reading blogs that overdo these. Bloggers who constantly push their own books, designs and products are tiresome. I like learning about new fabric lines, books or products if it's done in moderation.
    I sure hope you and other quality blog writers don't quit. Your blog is a wonderful source of ideas, reflections and inspiration. Reading this post and all the comments has enlightened me and pushed me to think more about why I read blogs and which ones I like. You have performed a real service to many quilters. Keep on keepin' on!
    Another thought--living now in the boonies of So. Carolina, I don't have ready access to a quilt store. Blogs and on-line shopping are my life line.

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  103. I miss blogs, too. I'm not an instagram person... at all. I don't own a smart phone, I'd rather spend that money every month on fabric... I also never followed Flicker.
    I'm surprised that many of the fabric designers, whose blogs I used to follow completely went to IG. Not even a Instagram Round up every now and again. My Bloglovin' list if full of blogs that never appear in my feed. It's sad. Maybe the shift from blogs is causing, in part, the shrinking of the quilting world? I don't know.

    I enjoy your blog immensely, and thank you for sharing your passion for quilting, as well as your heart with the world.
    Blessings,
    Kris

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  104. I hope blogs aren't becoming passé, as I started one earlier this year! I follow a lot of blogs on Bloglovin, and am on Instagram as well. I like reading more than just a sentence or two and the incessant hashtags on IG, so blogs are absolutely for me.

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  105. I write my blog to chronicle my progress and show what I am doing to other quilters. I don't IG and have followed only one person (Linda Rotz Miller) on Flicker. I enjoy my daily fix of blog reading every morning with my coffee, and then, I go to work in the studio. Bloglovin makes it very difficult to comment, so I don't get many comments. If it were an easy process to change platforms, I would do it, but I am just too computer illiterate to do it. I love reading your blog as well as the others I follow. I think you have just enough ads. Some of them are so ad heavy, they are becoming difficult to read. Keep up the good work, and keep on quilting!

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  106. I just lost my comment so I hope this isn't a duplicate, so let me get to the point. I'm an old-school quilter who has thoroughly enjoyed seeing everybody's work through blogging. Work and family commitments prevent me from getting to shows and meetings, so seeing such beautiful work on my screen is just the best. I began blogging about 6 years ago and it's kind of fun, but don't kid yourself, it's work too. I'm on Instagram which is great because if you don't have a full post for your blog, but a really good photo, you can share. I have no idea about the future of blogging, but I will tell you that I've discovered some great makers and writers by reading the comments section of posts such as these!

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  107. Your blog is one of the very few I read anymore. Six years ago, when I started learning to quilt, blogs were my teachers. Since then, I've gone from following around 10 blogs to only 2, including yours. Blogging became the thing to do, so I think there has been a "weeding out" since then. Those that are dedicated to the blogging craft are still in and those that didn't find it to be their passion left. I love how you keep things real and honest. I prayed for your family when Eleni was born, and appreciated your honesty and openness. Blogging is definitely your medium! Thank you for sharing.

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  108. I've only been quilting a year and a half, after I received a gift quilt 3 years ago and was inspired to finally say "I can do this!" rather than just keep a pinterest board full of pretty quilts to look at sometimes. Now that I'm actively searching for quilt blogs, I find the ones whose style I like stopped blogging several years back. Same thing for Flickr :(

    Blogs seem more real to me. I took a 6+ month break from Instagram. On IG it seems everyone is either A. Trying to sell something physical (yarn, fabric, etc and I'm trying to minimize my shopping) or B. Trying to to portray a picture perfect life that's not really realistic or attainable. So I took a break, more in-life and less online.

    I like your blog & hope you continue. Your style caught my eye, you update more than once a month and even though you do have sponsors and affiliated posts, it doesn't seem forced or the only thing that you talk about.

    I think the downsizing is natural and part of the cycle. The same thing happened to scrapbook stores and yarn stores. I think crafters tend to try their hand at several hobbies and like to learn new skills and the need for products ebbs & flows. I've been a knitter for about 7 years and there are just so many indie yarn dyers, the market can only sustain so many. I think that quilting may be hitting that saturation point as well, in part because of platforms like IG. People see the next craft "trend" (I really dislike that word, I prefer multi-craftual lol) and buy supplies for that instead, leaving the last one to find it's natural level.


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  109. I still blog as a way to document my art journey. I've adopted Instagram as a way of daily keeping in touch, but I use the blog for the long-form and more informational side of things. So, for me, both. And I still love to read your blog.

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  110. I am so glad you got this conversation started! I've noticed the steady decline of blogs posts from so many people that I admire and was an avid follower of. Either that or they constantly self promote and honestly, it gets old. With the decline of those people, there is a bright side. I've found other blogs that I may never have found. People who aren't so 'popular', ones who have taken me through their journey. I've been blogging for a few years and love it. Time consuming, yes it is! Learning, meeting, sharing...with more than a picture and a few words, that is important.

    I love IG. It is a place that is relevant and won't be going away anytime soon! Flickr...to me it's like my first exposure to sharing...I still post!

    There is so much more you can share with blogging. Stories, pictures galore...but the most important is you get a true feel for people.

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  111. I wanted to come back here and mention something I thought of AFTER I wrote a comment last night. :) I know people are looking for free tutorials, but from a blogger's perspective, a lot of that is already out there on the internet. I find it difficult to write a tutorial for something I already know exists. When there is something I haven't seen before, I try to make that tutorial a priority. That could be part of why there is less blogging overall too. Less content to put out (well, I would argue that quilt stories and personal thoughts and roundups and things like that never get boring, but maybe some bloggers feel this way). Just some more food for thought!

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  112. I like words and the thoughts and stories behind those words so I don't go to Instagram very often. I've enjoyed your blog over the years and am very happy you are not abandoning it but just spreading your wings a bit. Thanks!

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  113. I do use Instagram to share my own work, as I don't have a blog. But I still thoroughly enjoy reading the various blogs I subscribe to and definitely use tutorials that bloggers provide. I hope they are around for a long time.

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  114. I miss Google Reader. Shortly after it went under is when I stopped being able to keep up with blogs. It seems silly but that Google Reader Next > button that I was able to add to my browser is how I was able to keep up with everyone. Having to go to another site or an app to find my blogs just doesn't work for me. Now I mostly go to blogs when I am looking for information or a tutorial and I keep up with friends on IG. Although I periodically have to clear out my IG feed because at times it can be too much inspiration and I get overwhelmed.

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  115. Thank you for the timely blog post. I started quilting about 5 years ago and found the blogs right away and loved them. I felt that I was part of the quilting community and had a "personal" connection with real quilters. Although I've never had a blog, I did comment a lot and enjoyed following my favorites. Like everyone else I've seen the change in blogs from personal commentary to professional posts selling fabrics. So sorry to see this change. Technology isn't easy for me; a friend is planning to come over this week and introduce me to IG. Just trying to keep up.

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    1. Rachel, I usually don't comment but feel this would be appropriate. I prefer blogs (and especially, yours). Not only do I need to be inspired, but I love the personal comments from the blogger as well. I do not use Instagram as it's too short, quick, lacks depth. I read quilting blogs every morning to start my day. It's fun. thank you for your comments and beautiful quilting.mary

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    2. sorry i replied to jam instead of Rachel!

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  116. I'm guilty as charged, as I'm sure you're aware... When I started blogging there really wasn't anyone doing epp 'online' I felt I had a place and enjoyed sharing my tutorials and my life with the small yet developing community. These days blogging has become less personal, with thousands of people trying to get noticed, it's just not the same. As I've move along with my quilting journey I'm happy to let others take the tutorial strain, I'm much more interested in building friendships now which Instagram is brilliant for. Blogging and emailing for me just sucked up so much of my time.
    Your blog is the only one I visit regularly in fact I have a 'stitched in color' frequently visited button on my phone!
    I would love to catch up with you more on Instagram but I do still visit you here x

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  117. Hi Rachel. I have loved your blog from the beginning. I still read blogs and write my own. Instagram is fun, but going to the blog gives more detail about a project that I want to read. I miss blogs that used to post regularly and inspired me. Oh well. I still enjoy interacting on mine, so I hope I continue to inspire people too

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  118. I also see less blogging. On my favorites some blogs have date of 3 or 4 months since last time a new one was put up. I end up taking them off and looking for new ones that are more active. I love seeing your blog, and thank you for the conversations.

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  119. Good thought provoking post ... as usual. I'm a newcomer in relative terms to the world of quilting. Became ignited for the medium when I made my first quilt a few years ago for my son's graduation from college. A former marketing person, my nature is toward writing. So I started a blog aimed at encouraging people toward their creative sides because I believe we lose touch (as I did) with ourselves when we're not creating. I think we were created in God's image and he's the ultimate creator. I work to express those sentiments in the blog. To be the most joyous in our lives we all have this gift of creativity, just in differing forms. Like other bloggers, I sometimes feel like I'm writing to an echo chamber. Sometimes people respond to me via email, but they are hesitant to post comments or have an interactive convo. I've not posted since April, but am giving thought to some revamps when I return in the fall. The unexpected time away and this post have given me some things to consider when returning. I would love for you to visit if you get a chance. Your insights would be tremendous. Thanks so very much Rachel for keeping at it here. Best wishes with your pregnancy. http://sewgod.com

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  120. Hi, I really enjoy your blog. Please keep it commin' Your a great teacher and motivator! Here is why I don't post comments...I don't actually go to your blog, I get them in email form and I have only posted one other comment. Doesn't mean I am not here or not interested. Just don't take the time to go to the blog.
    I am only providing this information to be a statistic....LOL.
    thanks for all you contribute.

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  121. Wow, look at all these comments. Maybe blogs are still in the running. I like the effort some takes to make a good blogpost. My blog started in 2012 and I still like to write it. Sometimes I read at twitter...

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  122. I've been blogging since 2013 and started just as a hobbyist to get to know people and find places in online Bees. I'm on other social media but prefer the blog by far. I can see the attraction of IG, faster, easy to add hearts and leave a one liner but I prefer the longer conversation and find it easier to get to know people in a blog rather than quick & short comments. Blogging takes a lot of work and commenting too, you need to allow the time and commenting on your phone is not as easy as at a keyboard. People spend more time with their phone and tablets than they do at the desk or laptop and that has had an effect.

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  123. I like instagram, but I prefer blogs. One because I get more from the blogs. Instagram seems choppy to me. I find that even if I don't read every blog post, I can still scan through them and pin them if I want to come back later.

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  124. I just have to say I have ended up subscribing to several new blogs thanks to this post. ;) I have also left comments on some. Lol. If nothing else your post made me more aware of how grateful I am for all the inspiration and knowledge that I gain from reading quilting blogs. Thank you!

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  125. I would rather read blogs because you can get more details than Instagram.
    I was just reading through some your old blog posts and came across your Purge quilt along. I enjoyed reading it and I'm going to work on my purge quilt in August and September.

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  126. I've tried several times to set up an Instagram account but I still have a dumb phone and we don't use our phones for anything other than when we're on the road or the occasional (very) text. People have told me there's a way to download Instagram to a PC but I haven't figured it out yet.

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  127. I think there is a perfect storm of problems contributing to the lack of blogging.

    1. At some point everyone started "branding" themselves. It's the new thing. It became less fun to participate, when I knew I was just a target audience to make money. I also get tired of the "I am sorry I am not blogging posts." If you start every post, a month apart, with It is has been so long since I have been here, you are no longer fun to read.

    2. Blogs became over run with google ads, referrals, and sponsors and sponsored posts. I stopped going to the blogs that had half the page covered in google ads. It was too difficult to read. I get it, as a writer, you invest your time and don't want to do it for free. That's fair! But I want content. I don't struggle to stroll though a Google ad after every picture.

    3. As a group we aged, I started reading quilting blogs long before I had two children. I have less disposable income, and less time. I can make time, but I have to get off the internet and get on my sewing machine chair.

    4. No more tutorials. Tutorials have gotten fewer and farther between. So many bloggers started taking simple blocks and a new line of fabric and slapping a $9 price tag on them. I can recreate this block on graph paper in about 15 minutes. It takes me a little longer to figure out the math, but I will do it.

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  128. Believe it or not I have only just began reading blogs and just recently become addicted! I have facebook and I have instagram, but I just don't find that I get as much out of those social platforms as I do from reading an entire blog post. I have only just started quilting (only completed 2 quilt tops, but have started oh so many projects!) and have considered starting a blog of my own simply to help myself keep track of my projects and log my quilting journey to look back on and probably laugh at my ignorance and mistakes along the way! Ha! I am probably the minority, but I LOVE blogs, especially a good quilting blog!

    I will admit that this is my first ever time to actually comment on a blog post ( shy scaredy-cat here!), but this post opened my eyes to the fact that it's no good to just read the posts and not contribute to the blog and quilting world. Thanks for that! I plan to make a point of contributing to the conversations in the blogs that I love!

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  129. I like Instagram and use it exclusively for myself. If I had more time, I'd probably blog too, but my free time is very limited right now, so I want to use that for sewing, not taking perfect pictures, writing, etc... But maybe in the future I would blog, because I do enjoy reading them very much. However, I don't follow blogs that post exclusively sponsored content (and I've seen quite a few sewing/quilting blogs go that way) or that don't post some detail/story along with the pictures (if it's just a picture, then use IG!). I like blogs to get a better sense of the blogger, personally (what can i say, I'm nosy) and because I like the detail I can get about a project. Honestly, this is more valuable to me in garment sewing blogs (I want allll the details about pattern alterations, sizing, precise techniques used, etc...) but also somewhat with quilting blogs.

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  130. First off, please don't stop blogging. Your blog is one of the only I consistently read. I think part of the problem is that a lot of blogs become solely about making money, and then they lose the connection to the reader. I love tutorials, and have made several projects from them. I love a good quilting blog, and yours is one of the best, but for me, I also need the connection to the writer or I lose interest. I love that you share about your family. I loved the updates on Eleni, and you are truly an inspiration in so many ways (quilty and motherly). I have a child that is a special needs child. And while his issues are not the same as Eleni had,it was very helpful for me to read about everything you went through as a family, and about all that you did do get the help needed. It inspired me to focus even more on being a better mother and trying to do even more for my son.

    I do use Instagram, but it is more of a means of finding fabric to purchase, and a way to log my creations because I am too scared to start a blog of my own. Although I have made quite a few wonderful friends that I wouldn't have otherwise known if I hadn't joined Instagram.

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  131. Thank you for writing this. I honestly questioned this last week. It's summer, people are busy, but prior to summer I felt blogs were diminishing. Blogs are a great way to connect.

    I love the story, I want to hear the process, not just see a snippet on Instagram or Facebook. Quilting for me is an outlet, a journey and way to connect with others. I want to hear more than social media outlets may allow.

    It's important for readers to comment on blogs too. As a reader take a minute and say thank you. There isn't a way to "heart" or "like" a blog the same way as other outlets.

    Keep blogging, I will be here reading about your story. I'm still going to be writing on my blog as well. Time is definitely a challenge but if I do a little everyday it's not too bad.

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  132. Hello, Rachel! I am a quiet reader of blogs ~ ~ but I soooo appreciate the ones that still appear. I had commented just recently that I barely hear from most of my former blogs and miss the newsy, artsy, personal information. I normally would not comment as I've read most of your comments and my thoughts have been pretty thoroughly covered, but I want my vote to enthusiasticly support the continued sharing in your blog!!!!

    I only rarely visit Pinterest and Instagram because it's so easy to get sucked down the spiral of more and more and more pictures, ideas, dreams, and then I'm NOT quilting and actually creating the things I wanted to create. A blog post fills those needs without pulling me away from my own projects, so it's a "safer" venue for me.

    And I am wondering, do you still have good enrollment for your online classes? It seems like you were ahead of your time by teaching the way you do and beat Craftsy to the punch :)

    Wishing you well and many inspirational ideas to create and share ~ ~ and thank you for continuing with blogging.

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  133. I love visiting here and reading everything you write! I check in with a few others once in awhile, but I'm usually disappointed to find that they (STILL) haven't posted anything new. I love the rhythm of yours! I really like Instagram and am inspired by some of the things I find there, but Blogs help me know the back-story, the how-to, the line of thinking that went into something!

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  134. Rachel. Your blog is wonderful and one of my favorites. You post regularly, and I like many others enjoy the back story and details. Most of us quilters are somewhat "detail oriented." I don't comment like I should, and need to work on that. I should consider consider a blog to just keep track of projects. My family is always telling me to try and make money at this, but I like it just being a hobby I love. I would definitely miss the sewing/quilting blogs if they disappeared.

    There are no Facebook or instagram accounts at our house, not fans. My husband calls it "Faceplant." I would rather me sewing, outside playing with plants, or with my family than spending more time on my phone.

    Thank you for all your work and all you share.

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  135. You're getting a big response here. Just want to add my two cents. I read blogs. Have a long list of them on bloglovin and another list on my Chrome feed reader (which is where yours is). I can view some instagrams but can't participate via comments so I rarely go there.

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    1. Hi Kathy, you just need a PC these days to register (instagram changed finally changed that:-) And then for posting your own picture with your PC you need Gramblr and BlueStick for reading and responding to Direct Messages. All in all I think it takes about 20 minutes to install it all. There are some good tutorials out there just google them (I have instagram now on my PC and no I don't have a smartphone:-)

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  136. I read blogs and I love blogs! Sewing is just a hooby for me and my job and I finally gave in and joined instagram (you don't need a smartphone anymore, yeah, just a few computer tricks:-) and while I love that all my favorite quilters are there I miss some blogs. I know it's much easier for them to just post a picture on instagram (it's the same for me and I don't have a blog) but I really, really love blog posts and tutorials. And yes I love your blog!!!

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  137. Rachel, I'm so glad you are planning to keep blogging. Your blog is the perfect combination of creativity, inspiration, teaching AND great writing.

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  138. Your blog is my #1 favorite. I always read it. Others I skim if they are emailed to me. I have only ever read blogs that were emailed to me, cause I wouldn't take the time to go through a separate server. I do use tutorials from blogs, and even if I don't follow a blog, I often find the tutorials from a search.

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  139. I love blogs. Yours in MY FAVOURITE!! I love instagram too. I wish my fav bloggers would use instagram more so I could see more pics of their works in progress or glimpse of their lives. Thanks for sticking around

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  140. I started reading blogs about three years ago and have blogged since . I too have noticed a reduction in posting , several uk bloggers I followed seem to have stopped . My own blogging presence was never that noticeable but I enjoy writing and reading and will continue to do so . And now I'm off to "follow" you officially

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  141. I know where mine went. (KalamaQuilts) In my long term effort to declutter by 50% I closed the quilt blog and kept the (Quirkeries) personal blog. But several years before I did that, I could see that self promotion was the name of the game. Like me on facebook, link me on your blog and you have the opportunity to win a fat quarter. Boring, sorry :)
    I do follow a number of quilters who quilt for the love of it. Time passes...

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  142. Such a great post, Rachel, and fascinating comments! I love blogging and reading blogs. I love IG too, for its instant response and being able to share just a quick picture. But blogging is great for really getting to know a person, especially the ones who share more than just quilting. Like so many others have said in the comments, I find that a lot of more 'known' bloggers tend to only post about their newest venture, or in promotion of someone else's product. For the most part, the bloggers I follow most regularly are lesser known and I certainly fall into that category too! Usually that means that the blogger also has time to develop a relationship through responding to comments and the like.

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  143. Hi Rachel,

    I replied earlier with a long post that disappeared into cyber space. The gist of the missive was - I have been pondering the same question.

    The first blog I read was also Film in the Fridge. Like you I have found many of my original core group have faded away. Although I have an IG account it does not satisfy like a blog. I read blogs to learn about people, projects, fabrics, tools, life and myself. Blogs teach us new skills and new ways to utilize old ones. Tutorials encourage us to try new concepts, practice new techniques and push us past a fear to just jump and try something. It is also a place for many of us to connect with others on a semi regular basis.

    When I was a young mother we had a weekly craft group where several of us moms and our young children got together at each others houses to work on projects. We were quilters, knitters, crocheters, tatters, yester years makers. We did our handwork, sipped coffee/tea, watched the children as they played with or near each other while we shared what we knew and cheered each other on. But the most important thing we did was listen. We shared our pain or life’s brightest moments and quietly supported each other. Some of us become good friends and others drifted through. I feel like today's blogs are the updated version of my generation’s craft or mothers groups of 35 years ago. Your questions today started me thinking about how our craft groups slowly faded too.

    One of the reasons the topic is important to me is I write a column for my guild’s newsletter every month encouraging members to “surf the net” with a series of blog reviews. I usually recommend 5-7 each month. I provide a link to each blog, a few sentences about why they should visit, note if there are good tutorials and any other reasons to link through. I look for a variety of quilting blogs to create an interest for the most of the 100+ members of the guild.

    After several years of writing this I can assure you many blogs are alive and well and for the person looking for Modern Quilting blogs they definitely exist and in good numbers. Like many of your readers I avoid the blogs that have lost their way to but readily share blogs like Stitched in Color for all the reasons mentioned above.

    I agree the blog landscape is changing but mostly because life is changing.

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  144. I started reading quilting blogs in 2012 while my husband and I were teaching English to post graduates in China. I could not sew there--no machine and no supplies or notions were available to me so the blogs feed my creative soul. We had two English TV channels; censored news and censored documentaries. It was difficult to get English books to read when I didn't want to buy more eBooks. So, blogs were helpful to fill my soul with news of the quilting world.

    I, too, have learned many quilting techniques from blogs. I have spent way too much money from blogs, too. It has been so much fun! I have many heroines, you, being one of my queens of bravery and all things good.

    My life is still very busy even though I am retired but busy because I am still volunteering and still trying to get enough exercise. It is a happy busy. I would be a very sad woman without my blogs to read. I am not an Instagram person yet. I can do lots of great things with my iPhone but Instagram hasn't been a technology I have become addicted to...yet.

    I am so happy to read each and everyone of your blogs. Even when you had so many sad ones, I knew I had to read to feel a bit of what you were going through. It was part of what I needed to do to feel fully human.

    And that is part of the humanity of blogs. When we follow a blog consistently, we become a 'friend' of that writer even if the writer doesn't know us. We care about the writer whether the blog is happy or sad. That connection is the beauty of the blog over Instagram. The connections we have in life make all the difference in the world to the people that we are.

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  145. Coo. Well. This topic looks like it kind of asploded! As I mentioned above, I'm currently a hobbyist/amateur blogger, and currently I mostly blog about my quilting and dabblings in other crafts. I usually try to stay on top of posting about what I'm making, but sometimes life happens and I'll go a bit quiet. I have no sponsors, no branding worth talking about, not much of an agenda beyond documenting my progress both as a crafter and as a blogger. For me, it's always a multi-sided tussle between my day job (which is freelance, so I am more keenly aware of the value of my time than others might be), my crafting (which refuses to happen by itself no matter how high I pile things!) and keeping a toe in the waters of what others are making - on top of all the usual day-to-day life stuff that we all have to get on with. In fairness, I could be better at managing my blog followings - I'm subscribed to a small handful of blogs via email, but I could look into trying something like Feedly to keep up with others that I find valuable. (People here have been pretty scathing towards Bloglovin, it's put me right off it!) As a newish quilter (since 2013), it also took me a wee while to get comfortable offering a more constructive comment than "Wow, cool!" "Wow, cool!" is always nice to hear, but personally I also like it when there's a discussion about what worked and what didn't - it's a conversation I often end up having with myself over recently finished items, as I learn what works and analyse my process.

    Speaking of valuable, I may not have noticed the swing as much as others who have been blogging/following for longer and more closely, but I also find the more "commercial" blogs really quite off-putting. I don't earn so much that I need to be relentlessly pushed into endless purchases, not when I already have no shortage of my own ideas that I want to work on and a stash that has finally reached what I think of as "crafting critical mass"! I also suspect that the commercial/professional bloggers are no more immune than the rest of us to the pressures of modern life - forced to choose between blogging a personal or non-sponsored topic versus something that pays its way - well. Speaking as someone who has to balance time spent editing chemistry research papers to earn a living against making a baby gift or blogging a free tutorial - I can sympathise! Especially as the world of social media is so fast-moving and fickle. It takes very little to slide behind the curve, I'm thinking.

    Interestingly, though, I have reached the point of really quite needing a new phone (my current handset is *deeply* not smart!) and I'm considering getting something that will let me access Instagram, at least so I can better see what's going on over there and whether I'm missing much. If I choose to use it, I hope it will be in a way that is relevant to my blog, since I finally feel I'm starting to get a handle on my voice there and build up a showcase of things I've made that I'm quite proud of.

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  146. Amen! Enjoyed reading this post as much as the comments. I started reading blogs in 2008 or 2009 as a way to get inspiration, learn and connect with people with like interests. I miss Flickr , but am transitioning to using Instagram for some photo posting. I personally think that he blogs and instagram and Pinterest CAN work together. Loss of google reader sent me scrambling for a while and I admit the transition to bloglovin has been a little glitchy . I hate the gazillion promotions " tag your friend" things on Instagram . I used to read things on word press,blogger,type pad( still do!) but I find there are so many more distractions .Lately I have been doing a quick Instagram check to see visually what's going on then back to my blog list on blog Lovin to read up on my favorites. I like the intimacy of blogs. I enjoy reading about real trial & error, learning and laughing ( sometimes crying) with the bloggers who've taken the time to share so much of themselves. Yours is a favorite. I find it helpful when an Instagram post has a direct link back to a blog. This enables me to read more get more details which I love! I am absolutely disliking instagram's new switch to I your face random posting( I liked the chronological posting) I am not a great communicator, but I am an avid reader . I really enjoy your projects as well as your writing.

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  147. I gave up blogging when I realized I didn't have enough to say to post often enough to interest a following. I do love to read blogs about quilting, sewing, and cooking, though. I am interested in blogs that explore their subject in depth and share their methods. I become very interested in blogs that also include a little about the personal lives of the bloggers. IG is a better platform for following my friends' creative adventures. It only takes a picture to see a baby quilt or a pair of socks made from a pattern. I don't need a blow by blow account of the process. As far as FB goes, I have all but given up on it. Otherwise normal people have lost perspective on how much (or little) anyone cares about their opinion on political or social issues. I don't need a lecture. Please keep up your blog. I have enjoyed it for some tome and hope to read about your continued creative adventures.

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  148. As a hobbyist blogger, I'm pretty pleased about my 150 or so followers (on various reading platforms or by email), and sometimes life and that 40-hour job (not to mention a certain very special short person) get in the way of blogging. However, I love being able to tell a story, to give my opinion and philosophy, on my blog. And then I do comment, on probably 20 or so posts per week by others, again depending on my time and access to a computer (since somehow my phone has decided to not like commenting on blogger blogs). And yes, I like instagram, and getting the "likes", but I don't find that it can create the same conversation as blog comments. I miss flickr too.

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  149. I don't know about everyone else, but you were right on when you said that the blogs that tell a story are the ones that are still popular. That's certainly been the case for me... When a blog starts to get more focused on selling things, giveaways, etc., and loses its original voice, then I get bored and annoyed and stop reading. My favourite posts of yours are definitely the ones that focus on story or what you're currently making. I've been really disappointed that a number of my favourite blogs (sewing and otherwise) have stopped posting as often in the last couple of years. I understand though... My favourite ones have been the ones that mostly do it for fun, and when it's only for fun, life tends to get in the way. Ive thought about blogging, but I got on the blogging boat way too late and don't think I'd be able to find much of an audience. Plus, with homeschooling four kids and on-going DIY renos, and just life in general, I don't think I'd have the time. Instagram is definitely useful, and I'm on there, but I'm glad you aren't giving up on blogging! I like the wordiness, and more carefully thought-out-ness of blogging so much more.

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