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19. Quilting Community

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Hi there. I’m Nicole Gilbert and you’ve joined the stop scrolling and start selling podcast. Are you new to selling and want to start quilting, but have no idea where to begin each Wednesday? Join me as I share the ins and outs of that quote life. If you don’t have a sewing machine, have no idea how much fabric you need, or you’re just trying to figure out where the heck to stick that bobbin. This is the podcast For you.

Hey folks, Nicole here on this episode of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast, I’m talking community, which is a near and dear concept to this military spouses heart. But first let’s start off with a listeners shout out. Okay. So over on the modern quilter circle, Facebook page, Kathy Little writes, I’ve been sewing for decades and quilting for just the past four years. Self-taught girl after my own heart. However, there are so many things you can learn from others, and I’m now hooked on Nicole’s podcast. So many great tips that I just didn’t know and answers to some of the questions in my head. I felt too embarrassed to ask after so many years of sewing, I look forward to learning more via the website and Facebook. Okay. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me such a sweet review. I love that I’ve been able to answer some of the questions you’ve had in your head, and I hope to answer even more in the future.

I know personally, I still have things where I’m like, I’m not asking somebody that, cause it’s just like every once in a while, I’ll be like, is that the right weight for thread? You know what I mean? Like there’s just certain things that you’re like I’ve been selling for over a decade. I should just know that by now. So I’m glad to hear it. That a seasoned sower still has some questions and better yet that I am still able to answer them. So thank you so much. Your review means the world to me. Okay. If you want to be featured on an upcoming episode, head over to wherever you listen to podcasts or the modern golden circle Facebook page and leave me a review. I read every single one and they mean the world to me. They also allow me to reach more listeners every week.

So thank you from the bottom of my heart. Okay, guys, let’s get sewing. All right. So this week we are talking about quilting community. I know it seems like, especially for some of you newbies out there, sometimes quilting can seem like a really isolating or isolated, um, type of hobby you’re by yourself, you and your sewing machine, and you’re cutting. Um, and I get it. And, um, I think community is really, really important in any facet or any shape. Sometimes community doesn’t necessarily take the shape that we anticipate. Um, and my brain has greatly broadened on what is my community, um, over the past decade, because even though I know I talk all the time, you know, my quilt journey has been 10 years long. My mil spouse journey has also been 10 years long. And the two, the beginning of those two paths really, um, correlate.

And there is some causation there as well. Um, and military life has really taught me to, I know a common in the male spouse, uh, community. We always say, you know, bloom where you’re planted and I think I’ve done pretty good job of that over the years of getting out there and participating and being helpful and just finding my own, my people and my place. And I think the same as important when you’re quilting. Um, and so I have done that and sometimes I have joined other communities and sometimes I’ve created my own. And part of creating my own is why I created this podcast as well as the modern quilter circle, because I think that, um, my generation, particularly, we kind of grew up more digitally, um, than our predecessors and with quilting. We are definitely the newer kids on the block and we do things a little bit differently.

So I really want to break down kind of the common ways that you can join in quote community, because there’s so much to learn. Um, and honestly the, the listener shout out I did today kind of sparked this in my head about how, like she was somebody who was already sowing and has been quilting for a few years, but listening to this podcast, she learned something and I answered some of her questions and that’s, what’s great about a quilting community because everybody’s at a different stage. Everybody learned a different way and everybody has answers for somebody else in the group. So I think it’s really important to not quilt in a silo, which I did for a really long time. And when I stopped doing it, my quilting exploded like seriously, like my game Uplevel, for sure. So I’m just going to dive right in to all of the types of community.

And, um, you just kind of see maybe one of these, um, peaks your interest and you should totally go check it out, try to join, see, see what’s up. Um, also I will include links to some of the specific communities that I mentioned. Some of these are kind of generalized and you need to look them up for your particular area. Um, but many of these are also global or nationwide. So I will have links to those over on the show notes. And you can find the show notes for this slash episode dash 19. Okay, let’s get it. Alright. First up quilt shops. I know it’s a store. Um, if you’re like me, 10 years ago, you go to the quilt shop with your list of exactly what you need. Maybe a printout of the first page of your quilt pattern. You keep your head down, you pull your bolts, you get them cut and you leave.

Does that ring any bells for anybody else? Cause that’s definitely how I used to be. Now. I am a chatty Cathy when I’m in there. And it’s so important that you do so, not just, you know, you don’t have to go in there and, um, you know, kibitz with everybody. But I do think the quilt shop is a really great starting place for a sense of community. Um, often quilt shop owners are very knowledgeable about the quilting area. I always start at the local cult shop. Every time we move, we move frequently, um, with my husband’s job for the last like six or seven years, we’ve moved every 18 months. So we move a lot and I always go to my local cult shop. And even if the owner is not like my people, because let’s be real, everybody’s different, there’s different vibes. There’s different styles.

I’m typically 30 years younger than the quilt shop owner when I go there. So there’s a, there’s a little disconnect. Not that we can’t hang out, cause I’ve hung out with tons of quilt shop owners, um, that are of a, you know, more advanced generation than myself. However, um, you know, they’re also not the same people that I would talk about game of Thrones with, you know what I mean? Anyway, side note, but what is great about the quilt shop owners is cool. Shop owners are always friendly. They love fabric, obviously. So they’re always a great resource to just help you always, regardless of if they’re your best friends or not, they are always super helpful. Um, they also typically know all of the sewing machine dealers near you, as well as the service shops and what machines are. What so like when I moved here, I had a fall off I’ve now since, um, traded up to a [inaudible].

Um, but when I got here, I went to her and I was like, Hey, what’s the deal. I have a Fife. Are there broker dealers around here? And she was able to be like, you’re not going to find one around here. Everybody around here does Berninas does baby locks and does genomics. And so it was a little disheartening, but at the same time, she was able to be like, you know, this guy over here, he’s amazing. They have in, in house servicing, they always have two texts on on-call, um, or in the store. And so when you drop off your machine, you typically get it back within 24 to 48 hours, which is huge, you know, and she was able to tell me, Hey, these guys, they’re really nice and they’re the least expensive, however, they don’t have onsite. And so you have to call and see when you can get on their schedule.

And typically it’s like monthly. So these are really good insights that you wouldn’t know without calling around. And instead you could just do it on your next trip to the quilt shop. So that’s great information to have about how your quilting locality works, but also quilt shops typically. And I say typically, but it really depends on the size. Um, they do often host retreats and not huge retreats, but usually like afternoon gatherings. Um, or they definitely know where your local guilds are. They’re kind of like a great place to start. They give you like the base layer of information and you know, some cold shops themselves have, you know, tons of community and classes in their shop, which is really helpful, but they’re definitely kind of a ground zero. So I definitely want you to start at your local quilt shop for community. Now, from there, I’m going to branch off to kind of some of the things I just touched on, which are quilting guilds.

And so a quilting Guild is a collective of members who pay either monthly or annual dues, uh, depending on the type of Guild and whether or not it’s like a private Guild or it’s part of larger national guilds. Um, so dues can vary greatly. Um, but there are monthly, sometimes there’s weekly, I’ve seen them do weekly and I’m impressed. I’m like high five to you guys, but usually they’re monthly a few hours a month. There is a, you know, quote unquote office or board, um, a president of vice president, a secretary of treasurer. Um, those kinds of things, that’s, that’s there. Um, for formality, um, sometimes guilds work on a collective project and everybody gets a different portion of the project. Sometimes guilds work on the same project, but everyone has their own individual. Um, and then sometimes, you know, you just bring what you’re working on, whatever your works in pro projects are at that time, you bring them with you.

And there’s a sense of community. What’s great with this is that members are kind of different age reigns, but mostly they’re different skill levels. Some people will have just gotten into quilting and have been taught, like join a Guild, they’ll teach you what you need. And some people have been in guilds and quilting for decades and that conglomeration can get really cool, interesting tidbits and advice and, and classes and learning. Um, but also just different styles, different techniques, because I mean, we all know there’s like 12 different ways to make a half square triangle, right? So like if everybody’s bringing like their method to the table, some really cool stuff gets nailed upon in a Quilter’s Guild. So if you haven’t thought about, Oh, and also there’s like subcommittees, like some of the larger groups have like sub committees where it’s like your 20 year old quilters or your newbie quilters or your modern quilters or your Amish, you know, quilter, you know, whatever your style is, there’s sometimes subcommittees.

So, um, their quilting guilds are pretty, pretty cool. And if you haven’t thought about one or heard about one, please check it out. And a little kinda subnote on quilters guilds. There is also something called the modern quilt Guild. And I will include a link to that over on the show notes at modern quilter But the modern quilt Guild is really cool. Um, I enjoy it. And I also, um, am a member what’s really cool about the modern quilt Guild. It’s like this cool hybrid version of an online community, as well as a standard quilters guilt. And you can join two different ways. So you can join just for online membership. So you don’t do any in person meetings. However, every month you get a monthly, a block of the month to complete, you have webinars and lessons and tutorials. Um, you have, uh, different, um, engineers from different sewing machine companies doing classes.

Um, and there’s, there’s a lot of like discussion and, and there’s blocks swaps and all of the things that you expect from a Quilter’s Guild except it’s happening online, which is really cool for those of you who may live remotely or may want all of those benefits from a Quilter’s Guild, but you’re not quite ready to like take the plunge and be somewhere in person. Um, and so I love that you also have the option of joining via your local quilters Guild. So get all of that online stuff, plus access to your local quilters guilt. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. I’m not gonna lie. Um, and so I just think it’s a really cool option. So if you are kind of on the fence and you’re like, I like the idea of a quilters Guild, but I’m not quite ready to dive all in.

You might want to try the online, only portion of the modern quilt Guild. And I want to say, I can’t remember, but I want to say the last time I looked, I want to say it’s like a yearly membership, like an annual membership was only like 30 bucks. So definitely definitely worth it. I mean, the block of the months alone are worth it. So, um, definitely check that out. So, okay. And I also, I mentioned this a little when we were talking about quilt shops, quilt retreats. So quote retreats are pretty cool. Cool. They can really run the gamut of what they are and what they include. I’ve seen quote, retreats run by my local quilt shop, be, you know, six hours long at a community center. Everybody brings their travel machine and their current work in progress. And, you know, food is served and music has played and it’s just, we’re just hanging out for six hours.

I love that. I think that’s great. I’ve also seen quilt retreats on the other end of the spectrum, be like a cruise to The Bahamas and everybody on the cruise ship is sewing, which by the way is hilarious when you really think about it, but also really flipping cool. Um, I kind of want to get to that level. Um, so if anybody wants to share a cabin with me, you know where to find me, um, but I mean, I think it’s really, really cool that there’s such a wide variety, you know, there’s weekend away and there’s different ways to find these quote retreats. Um, the quilt cruises are pretty easy to find, I mean, type in quilt cruise and you know, all the informational pop up information from various quilt shops will pop up from various quilting magazines, usually run them. Um, and I’ve even occasionally seen like the advertisement from like celebrity or carnival or any of those.

So that’s one way to look at it. But another way is to find your quilt celebrity that you love. Um, there’s so many people out there who are doing really, really cool things. Um, and oftentimes they will be, you know, a headliner on a cruise. And so if you are looking for something like of that level, um, I would say follow your local quilts or your favorite quilt celebrity, not everybody doing the cruise thing. Um, and it’s not, I, I keep on harping back to the cruise thing. For some reason, cruises are by no means the most prevalent retreat, the most prevalent retreats are, you know, the day or weekend, um, at a hotel or a spa. Those are the, the most, um, often, and quite frankly, the ones that I participate the most often. But, um, if you follow your local quilt celebrity, I CA could be your local quilt celebrity.

It could be, you know, you know, friend in your head, the quilt celebrity, like Susie quilts in my head. Like she has no idea exist, but she’s a friend in my head. I think she’s pretty freaking cool. Um, she kind of has like the same ideology and like, like quilting is for everybody. I love it. I want to just share the world kind of thing. Um, and I love her. So if you’re listening, Susie, um, I’m over the moon, but anyway, uh, you know, I follow Susie. And if Susie is like, Hey, I have a class that I’m teaching at quilt con, or I have, you know, the day before X, Y Z event, I’m going to be teaching this. I pay attention to that stuff and you should too. That’s how you not only learn awesome things from awesome people, but you also come into proximity with other likeminded individuals, people who like the same thing that you like for the same or different reasons.

And that’s how we, we grow our community like one person at a time. Now, something I recently got into and now I’m a little obsessed with so long and quilt alongs. Oh my gosh. And so some are free. Some are paid. Um, I actually, as we’re speaking, doing this, I recently signed up for a solo along with, um, the home body and the weekend quilter. And it was a free so along and it’s a for the summer and it’s a scrap Buster quilt. And so, you know, we get prompts every week and when this goes live, so I signed up and when I registered, it was like a week, maybe two before it going live. And when this episode of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast airs, I will be halfway through the first week of this. So, um, head over to my Instagram and Facebook page, if you kind of want to see where I am with the so along.

Um, but so long as they’re really cool because you’re kind of doing it by yourself, but you’re getting like a weekly prompt. Someone is like crawling into your email and is saying, Hey, this is what we’re doing this week. This is the quilt pattern that we’re all working on. This is how I chose to do it. This is how some other people have chosen to do it, follow this hashtag and use this hashtag. And we can kind of all riff and vibe together. And I think that’s really, really cool. Um, I, um, will be tagging and I know that as soon as you start tagging and hashtagging, um, with quilters, we all get up into what each other are doing. Um, and I’m just really looking forward to it. And that’s how you meet new people. That’s a really cool way to meet new people.

And not everybody in every so long is like a hardcore professional quilter. Like there are newbies who are just getting into it. And so they’re learning about different brands and different techniques. Um, and then there are, you know, seasoned pros and it’s, it’s pretty cool, but like I geeked out a little when I registered and then I got like a little thing saying that the weekend quilter like liked my next post. I was like, Oh my God. They know who I am. How cool is that? Um, and so I’m just, I’m just really excited to participate. Um, and on the same note, block swaps now block swaps. You kind of need to have some sort of community in place, but it’s a really good way to foster that community. Also, like if you’re like a lone Wolf, you could totally go into another quilt community, like, and be like, Hey, I really want to do a block, swap anybody interested. And you know, people will be there’s, Oh, there’s somebody out there for everything. But with a block swap, what you do is you get a given quote pattern, usually do something with like 12 blocks or whatever, kind of different you define color palettes that you would like to do. And everybody in the block swap gets assigned one of them.

Speaker 3: (22:41)
And then you make that block

Well times for all of the people that are in your swap, and then you’re going to send them out and then you’re going to receive 11 other blocks in. And so then you were going to, you know, piece it all together, um, and quilt and bind it yourself or send it to a long armor, whatever you prefer, but you then have this really cool community made quilts because in the end you only made one of those blocks. The other 11 blocks came from somebody else. Um, and, and that’s really, it’s just like a cool comradery kind of a thing. Um, and interesting to see kind of other people’s choices. Cause, you know, you might say, okay, we’re doing jewel tones, we’re doing these Hughes. We’re doing what? And then seeing like what people pick it’s kind of cool.

Speaker 3: (23:32)
Yep. Okay. And then my last,

Last thing I am going to reference, and this is such a, um, kind of podcast or social media statement here, but Facebook groups. I know, I know. And sometimes I hate Facebook groups, especially like right now during everything going on with coronavirus, I dislike a lot of the Facebook groups that I’m in because I just don’t appreciate, uh, how everybody is speaking to each other and how people are making decisions for themselves and shaming others for not making the same decisions. So there’s a lot of, I get it. There’s a lot of like, Ooh, about Facebook groups, but, um, I’m part of quite a few quilting, Facebook groups. And I don’t love everything that’s in every group, but I have found some of my people, um, and there are always comments that I just love on my posts and comments where I’m like, Ugh, be quiet.

Don’t talk, please. It happens. But what I do love in these Facebook groups is that you get exposed to a lot of different people very quickly. And you are almost never alone in one of your questions or thoughts or ideas. Pretty much every question I have posed in any of my quilting groups, um, I have gotten at least three people follow it because they need to know the answer as well. And you get at least 10 people answering. I mean, I want to say the Facebook group quilting, which is just it, that’s the whole name, just quilting it’s gotten.

Speaker 4: (25:15)
If not tens of thousands, it’s got at least

A hundred thousand maybe people in the Facebook group. So it’s huge, huge, huge, huge, but there’s some, there really is something for everyone. And if you really dive in some of your favorite quilters out there have their own private communities. Um, and I also on that note, I kind of wanted to ask you guys, what do you think, should we,

Speaker 4: (25:43)
I have a stop scrolling start sewing podcast

Immunity where we can kind of all get together a little bit. Um, I think yes, but I also don’t want to do something that you guys aren’t into. So please, please, please go over to my Facebook page. Send me an email Um, and let me know what you think because I am down to make one. All right, guys, that was a hot rambling mess. And I hope you stuck with me to the end, um, head over to for today’s episode and all past episode, because you have just finished another episode of the stop scrolling start sewing podcast. Thank you so much for hanging out with me and make sure you never miss an episode by hitting subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Now stop scrolling. Start sewing.

Quilt Love

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and...

Noelani T.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Noelani T.

I worked with Nicole in a one on one environment on a large quilt. I have limited sewing experience and Nicole’s expertise was invaluable for this large project. Nicole is very patient and explained the different steps and their purposes clearly. She improved my original idea to better accomplish my overall goal. I highly recommend Nicole as an instructor and would personally have another session in a heartbeat!

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked...

Michelle L.

The Modern Quilters Circle

Michelle L.

I seriously didn’t even know the names of parts of my sewing machine before I worked with Nicole. She walked me through everything step by step. And it was amazing. She taught me the ins and outs of my machine and how to add each basic concept together. It was invaluable, because now I can figure things out and get creative without fearing the dreaded unravel!
The Modern Quilters Circle