I’ve been living under a rock.
Just a few months ago, I discovered a whole new world of needlework on Facebook. If this doesn’t surprise you, you’re way ahead of me and you can skip to the end where I mention a few of my favorite pages.
If you’re wondering how Facebook, initially founded to help college kids stay in touch, has morphed into a way for embroiderers to stay in touch … well, that’s just it. We want to … no we NEED to … connect with others who share our interests and understand our obsession with needle and thread.
Here are some of the benefits:
FREE CHARTS: Many of the groups have a once-a-month planned posting from a designer. I’ll be designer-of-the-month on two this summer and fall. And I just posted this design on one:
Also known as a “SAL,” a stitch-along is set up by a group so the members can stitch a project together. A virtual stitch group. Most of the time, the group has a specific piece they are all stitching. Sometimes, everyone does their own thing.
There are many varieties of SAL’s. They can be free or not. Some of the ones that require a purchase are quite inexpensive. Others require that you buy a package deal with all materials. They can last a few months or a year. Or, they can be open ended like the one I set up for folks who are stitching my “America Land That We Love” which for most people is a project that will take months. One member of our group is stitching a state a day and is finishing in record time! When I set it up, I decided it would keep going as long as people are working on their project and posting about it.
KEEP UP WITH WHAT’S NEW
Facebook groups are all about sharing new discoveries. Some groups encourage designers to post their newest things. One that I belong to just features designers. Frankly, others discourage commercial postings from designers but there are plenty of postings made by stitchers of their WIP (works in progress) or finished projects to keep you in touch with the newest stuff.
Have a problem with a stitch, a chart, a fabric or fiber? Want to try stitching on linen but you don’t know how? Wondering how to organize your floss? Ask on a Facebook group and you’ll be amazed at all the willing folks who will offer advice.
Let’s face it. We all need a pat on the back every once in a while. We all lose our enthusiasm from time to time. We all need a little push to reach the finish line. Facebook groups are a great place to get … and give … encouragement.
EARN BRAGGING RIGHTS
Sadly, we all know that those who “don’t get it” are never as excited about our needlework accomplishments as we would like them to be. That’s okay now because you can post a picture of your latest feat on your Facebook group page and get so many “likes” you’ll be embarrassed. (Not really.)
HAVE A LAUGH
Where else will you find needlework humor?
The strength of needlework-based friendship never ceases to amaze me. I now have friends all over the world. I may never meet them for real but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real friends.
STAY CONNECTED WITH THINGS YOU LIKE
Your favorite designer probably has a business Facebook page. And your favorite fabric and stitching fiber company probably does, too. And many have giveaways and free charts. Find them and “like” the page on Facebook so it will be easy to know what they’re up to.
FIND A STYLE YOU LIKE
We all have our favorites. Traditional, prim, funny, cute, subversive … wait! Subversive? Yes, there are groups that focus on the occult or irreverent or anything that is a sub-culture. One of the things I love about needlework is that there is something for everyone and I don’t have to like what someone else likes and they don’t have to like what I like.
SO, now that you are motivated to find good stuff on Facebook, what do you do?
Frankly, I got so involved that I set up a new “personal” page just for my needlework friends. I wanted a place just for me and my hobby. Away from my personal friends and family for two reasons. (1) I’d rather keep my personal life, well, private. Many of my family members are wisely keeping their children out of the internet mainstream and I respect that. (2) When I am in the mood to talk about stitchy stuff I want to be able to just focus on stitchy stuff.
Do make sure that you read the rules the page administrators have set up. Some are very specific. Most will not tolerate rude behavior, drama, and copyright infringements. I learned this lesson the hard way: it’s best to read posts for a few days or a week to get the feel for the group. I blindly walked right into a huge drama on a page that was basically full of drama. Had I been wise (or shy) I would have discovered the nature of the group and would have quietly backed out.
Think of Facebook as a large building full of rooms. Each group page is a room populated by people. You walk in and start chatting with others. Some groups have thousands of members from all over the world. Others are more intimate. If you get a bad vibe, feel shunned, don’t like the topics of conversations, just leave that room and continue your search for one where you do feel comfortable.
So here are my favorites … in the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you if I have a role in them:
My business page:
Jean Farish Needleworks
A group page I started with a focus on whitework:
The Work of the Hands
This is the open group I started before I found that there are some great groups that are drama-free:
Needlework and Discuss
And this is the one where everyone is stitching (or finished) “America Land That We Love”:
America Land That We Love SAL
This one is where designers show their stuff:
Cross Stitch Showcase
A group for all types of hand embroidery:
Humble Work Hand Embroidery
This group is specifically for cross stitch and rug hooking in the “Prim” style only:
Prim Stitchers Society
You know how I love samplers … some are general and others are just for reproduction samplers or the samplers designed by a certain company:
Our Scarlett Letter Years Sampler Group
I hope to see you somewhere on Facebook soon!
When you’re not busy stitching, please “like” the Jean Farish Needleworks Facebook page, too! This is the best place to make comments about this blog as I get way too many spammers if I allow comments here.
Want to shop for JFN designs? Go to my Etsy shop!