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Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Connecting with Stitchers from Everywhere!

 

Do you ever feel as if you’re the only person in your personal world who is interested in embroidery and the needle arts?

Before Needle ‘n Thread, I used to feel like the odd guy out. I live in a small rural town in Kansas, and there aren’t a lot of social options for stitchers out here. I don’t know anyone close by who is as freaky-weirdly-interested in embroidery as I am. And traveling a long distance to participate in guild meetings is not possible for me.

If you’re in a similar situation, it can be kind of lonely, can’t it?

There are online groups, though, that can help you overcome the isolation of the lonely stitcher, and today, I want to tell you about three of them.

Stitchin' Fingers

Stitchin’ Fingers, a Social Network for Needlework & Textile Enthusiasts

Update 2017:Stitchin’ Fingers had a good run, but the social network closed at the beginning of 2017, due to the increased cost of operating it.

The first online social opportunity for embroiderers that I’d like to point out is Stitchin’ Fingers, a no-cost member website dedicated to stitching, fiber arts, and textiles.

The site is a combination of a massive and amazing photo gallery, where members share their work; a forum, where members can discuss the needle arts and related topics, find helpful solutions, share ideas, and so forth; and a collection of special interest groups, which members join if they have an interest in a particular area of the needle arts.

Members can set up their own personal page with some customization, where they can blog, keep track of projects, post their project photos, and so forth.

The community is family-friendly and operates peacefully under community guidelines.

Stitchin’ Fingers was originally established by Sharon Boggan, who writes the blogs Pintangle, dedicated to stitchery, and Tones and Tints, dedicated to drawing.

Several years ago, Sharon wanted to free up her time a bit, and handed Stitchin’ Fingers off to me.

So, in a nutshell, Stitchin’ Fingers is a 8,300+ member social network owned and operated by Needle ‘n Thread. I’m not always super-involved on it, but the community is lively and helpful, and when I have time, I join in. I also do a lot of background work on it, to keep it functioning.

Advertising on Stitchin’ Fingers

Last year, because I was doing some work on Stitchin’ Fingers and I didn’t know what the ultimate result of that work would be, I didn’t take advertisers for the site, but normally, Stitchin’ Fingers offers dedicated ad space to businesses that are needlework or textile-related.

You can read about advertising on Stitchin’ Fingers here, if you have an interest in an ad space. It’s an extremely affordable option for advertising online, if you have a small needlework or textile-related business.

There are four spaces normally available, but two of those are already taken for 2015, so if you have a business and you want a spot, jump on it today. Feel free to contact me for further information.

Embroiderers Guild of America CyberStitchers

If you’re a Member-At-Large in the Embroiderers Guild of America and you don’t have a chapter to attend, but you’d like the social and informational advantage of being in a chapter, you might check out CyberStitchers, which is an online EGA chapter. They operate meetings via Yahoo Groups, and it looks like they have an outreach program that keeps them pretty busy!

CyberStitchers has about 250 members, from all over the globe. You do have to be a member of the EGA first (you can be a Member at Large or a regular chapter member), and you also have to pay dues to belong to the cyber chapter.

Embroiderers’ Association of Canada Virtual Threads Group

The Embroiderers’ Association of Canada also has an online “chapter” or group – an active, vivacious one, with all kinds of educational and fun opportunities, including online classes, stitch-alongs, special projects, workshops, and even a monthly “retreat day” online.

The EAC group is called Virtual Threads, and it, too, is operates as a Yahoo Group.

EAC Virtual Threads is open to anyone around the globe, and it has a membership of 140+ people (I happen to be one of them, but I’m just a lurker so far…I’m just so shy, you know!).

You have to be a member of the EAC to participate, but they offer a trial membership at Virtual Threads, if you want to take a look at the group first and see what it’s all about before joining officially.

For the latter two groups – CyberStitchers and Virtual Threads – it does help if you’re familiar with Yahoo Groups when you join. If you’re not and you end up feeling lost, just reach out to someone to help you! That’s what these types of groups are all about – mutual support. I always find Yahoo Groups confusing at first (and sometimes, they remain perpetually confusing), but if you reach out to someone, they’ll help you get acquainted with the group and how it works.

De-Isolate Yourself!

So, there you have three options to help banish feelings of isolation from the rest of the stitching world! The first is a free social network; CyberStitchers and Virtual Threads require member dues, but they are attached to larger organizations that have multiple benefits for members.

All three are worth checking out, if you want to de-isolate yourself!

And now, I’m going into isolation for the weekend, to finish up some projects. I hope you can spend some time this weekend with your needle and thread – whether isolated or not!

 
 

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(14) Comments

  1. Dear Mary

    I know what you mean about being the only person in my world interested in embroidery and feeling isolated I’m always grateful that I can share my interest with Needle n’ Thread. That’s the nice thing about the internet that there are embroidery global groups out there where you can share your interest and learn about other people’s embroidery projects and learn other embroidery interests. Thanks for the information on the groups above it’s reassuring to know there are others who have the same interest. Have a great weekend stitching.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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    1. I have so much enjoyed your posts, Anita, and your comments on items that are or are not available in the UK. I’ve noticed a few others who post on Needle n’ Thread who are also UK based.

      Like you, I have found Needle n’Thread invaluable.

      I’m in Lancashire on the outskirts of Manchester. Our town is considered to be part of “Greater Manchester” even though our council is not Manchester!

      Helen Hicks

  2. Many thanks for those suggestions, Mary. I’ll be taking a look at Stitching Fingers over the w/e, it sounds just right. (ps. How do you find the time to do so much?!!)

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  3. I am the treasurer for EGA CyberStitchers and we appreciate you mention of us! Thank you!

    I would like to make one thing a little clearer. You said that it s necessary to be a member of EGA first; that is not true. Joining CyberStitchers automatically makes you an EGA member if you are not already one. However, it is possible to have another face-to-face chapter as your primary chapter and still be a member of CyberStitchers. In fact we are almost evenly split between primary and plural members.

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  4. Dear Mary,
    Wow! that was amazing. i am freaky about embroidery too. it just fascinates me! and to read your article about how to connect with others
    about needlework was so kind and generous of you,
    and extremely welcome and helpful. I really can’t thank you enough. I have learned so much from you and all that you write; you have ignited a fire in me to read about, learn, share and do embroidery on a regular basis. and it has added immensely to my life. i want you to know
    how much your efforts are appreciated.

    4
  5. I don’t belong to any of these groups but happened to stumble upon a group from my state thru another yahoo group I followed about 3 years ago. “Kansas Stitchers” has a yahoo group but it became such a pain to navigate with their changes that it isn’t very active as it once was in the beginning. Most members have migrated to Face Book. Easier to post and keep in contact. We try to meet about every other month or so either in Topeka, Wichita at Hearts Desire or Abilene at Picture This Plus. Members are from all over the state. We have no dues or really organization except for a couple of people moderate and arrange the dates for our meet ups. We bring show and tell and have a great time visiting. We eat out or have a pot luck. I know some belong to the Guild in Wichita. It is wonderful when you can actually share info and see what everyone is working on. And the enabling!!!!!

    5
  6. Oh yes! I’m feeling so isolated, but my fault, only. The only I know and am a member is Stichin’Fingers for a while. Thanks for other links

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  7. For me, the isolation is more self imposed also. By the time my work day is over, I really don’t feel like driving home so late. It’s the same with sewing and quilting groups in my area, either they meet during the day or I just want to go home at night. So I stop by here daily, other people’s blogs or into Stitchin’ Fingers, and the local shop on occasion.

    Maybe when I retire I’ll join more “in person” groups. Or maybe joining now would give me something to look forward to on meeting nights?

    7
  8. Giggle giggle! It took me more than an hour to view all of the postings on Stitchin’ Fingers that have occurred since I looked on Saturday morning…just 1 1/2 days ago! Earlier this month, it would take me less than 10 minutes or so every couple of days. My time was well spent today…and a really terrific surprise!

    My imagination is telling me that this blog posting prompted some very, very talented folks to find Stitchin’ Fingers and post photos of their current projects!

    It was a delight to view the variety of projects! I had a wonderful time viewing everything! Thanks, Mary, for reminding folks of Stitchin’ Fingers!

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  9. Hello Mary,

    I don’t know if any of your readers have a livejournal account, but there is a community there called cross_stitch (url: http://www.cross_stitch.livejournal.com).

    Despite the name, the community is not limited to cross-stitch, although that does make up the majority of the posts. One of the things I like about this community is that members will often post or link to ‘how-to’ posts, or post ideas for finishing other than framing. It’s a very encouraging place, and it’s interesting to find some of the same discussions going on here and there.

    The other thing I like, is that this community will often organize ‘Stitch-a-longs’ to sporting events like baseball’s World Series, football’s Bowl games, and especially, the Olympics. People will volunteer to organize Mystery Stitch-a-longs, Stitch swaps (the one I participated in, we stitched a biscornu and sent it to our swap-mate, it was awesome!), and ‘Round Robins’ where you stitch something on a piece and send it on to the next person in line.

    It’s a lot of fun to follow these things, even if you don’t have a lot of time to commit or even comment on the group.

    Happy Stitching!
    -Monika

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  10. Mary, you are an enabler, you know that? Like JustGail, once I get home from work I don’t want to get back out for EGA meetings, and I can’t attend the monthly interest group meetings in the daytime. So, Needle ‘n’ Thread is my “group” – my needlework fix. Or, at least it has been until you introduced us to Stitchin’ Fingers.

    🙂

    thank you thank you thank you

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