I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time. I intend on showing you how to use Instagram and Pinterest (a later post) as a quilter. A lot of you don’t need this info, but you might be surprised by how many questions I get about it from the people who do. The majority of my own readers aren’t even on Instagram which kinda surprised me. I’ve had to give many instructions on how to use it by email and thought it might be helpful to have it in a place where you can refer back and for those others who are just completely in the dark. I’ll also be answering the questions of why you’d even want to bother.
I am aware that this might be an “ugh” post, but I promise to spruce it up with yummy pictures.
Customized Quilt Labels
I live in a small town. I have zero real life quilting friends. I sew all day long. It’s lonely around here. I need people who share the same interest as me, people who can gush about fabric the way I do, people who may clap their hands like the biggest dork ever over a new quilt idea to make. Nobody who is not into quilting gets this. People who do, well, you get it.
Where is a girl to find her people? To find a whole community of the loveliest ladies and men who do clap, jump with glee and pet a thing like fabric? She finds them on Instagram of course!
(side story: I walked into a restaurant in Skye while on my trip around Scotland. My husband and step daughter were already seated. I passed the host and looked around. She came up and asked me if I needed something. I replied, “No, thank you. I’m just looking for my people.” She got a confused look on her face and said, “your people?” I don’t know if that was a cultural gap or just a personal one, but it was a funny moment and made me smile.)
On Instagram you will find people who will like you and your projects, who will leave encouraging and supportive comments on your photos. You will connect, share a common interest, become friends. Yes, it’s an online friend, but you could meet these friends in real life, maybe at a retreat, while visiting another city, at Quiltcon, or never and they just remain this sweet little connection online to brighten your day with a kind word.
Many quilters, fabric designers, manufacturers and businesses related to quilting, often hold contests or giveaways where you can win fabric, sewing machines and more. This is just one more reason that joining in could benefit you.
Okay, here is something I really like. Let’s say you just bought my Landslide quilt pattern. You are stuck on colors and fabrics, not sure what look you want to go with, maybe needing just a bit of inspiration. You can go to Instagram, type in the hashtag “LandslideQuilt” and see all the quilts that have been made and tagged with the name. Loads of inspiration! Click here to see.
How To Use Properly
Let’s say you are new to the world of Instagram and you want to share things correctly with the most benefits to you and everyone else. You’ve made a quilt, maybe you’ve made my Good Girl quilt. You take a picture of the quilt and are going to add it to your feed (it’s the + symbol in the bottom middle of your screen) and share with the community. In the caption, you say something, anything, whatever your heart desires, then you add #GoodGirlQuilt, so that your picture shows up with all the other Good Girl quilts, and then you type in @SouthernCharmQuilts (that’s me), so that I can see it too and tell you how amazing you and your quilt are.
Feel free to add more hashtags. Add as many as you want. The more you add, the more people will see you. I always add the hashtag of the fabrics I’m using (if I use a single fabric collection) and sometimes tag the fabric designer. They like this. You are not bothering them. They want to see the stuff we are making with their fabrics. Tag them. They will occasionally comment and sometimes even repost your quilt. This will make you feel all warm and gooey inside and say something like, “Ahhh, (insert fabric designer name) likes my quilt!” (<—-okay, in that last sentence I totally made myself laugh.)
Fabric Scrap Bundles for Sale
Alright. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, the part of this post I’ve been dreading the most. The real deal, actually helpful how to do this whole thing.
Once you’ve downloaded the app to your phone (mostly phone only btw) and created your account, you are ready to join into the quilting community. You are jumping head first into this whole thing and want your quilty friends NOW. Well, hold your horses there, chickie, this thing takes some time, not for you to find your people, but for your people to find you.
Find your people:
Type into the search bar people you already know, like me! Type in Southern Charm Quilts. Picture me waving at you! A list will pop up. If you’ve spelled everything correctly, I’ll be at the top of that list. My picture will be there (the one with my hand tucking my hair behind my ear, unless I’ve changed it), click it. This will pop up another page and there will be a blue bar with the word “follow” in it. This is how you follow me. Repeat this for everyone you know and like.
If you visit a web page or a blog of another quilter you like, they always have the social buttons. You can just click on their Instagram button and go directly to their feed. Just don’t forget to click the Follow bar.
Another way to find your people is by searching hashtags. Hashtags are just a way to find stuff on a specific topic. Think the words you type into google, like #quilts, #quiltmaking, or #quilters. When you click one of the hashtags a bunch of pictures will pop up, click the pictures you like, click the person’s name that took the picture (usually in a bold type) and follow them.
A few hashtags I really like are:
There are hashtags for patterns like I’ve already mentioned, hashtags for magazines, hashtags for everything, use them.
Follow people, like their posts, leave comments on their posts, these are all ways to get connected and join in.
How to operate:
For what the buttons do, which button to press, what does what type of stuff and details, I direct you to this web page which does a very thorough and very clear job of explaining it.
So that is it! That’s all I have to say on the subject. I can’t think of anything else. If you can, leave a comment below. I promise to answer you. I was awarded in my 8th grade class’ Who’s Who the title of “Most Helpful” and I am always looking for an opportunity to prove that title is worthy of me (I have proof of this, but due to my very awkward stage and horrible picture I will not show this to you).
Sandra Croley says
Nice post! I’ve tried to explain Instagram to a few friends and why it’s good to join in. I don’t think any of them have. They usually ask what is so good about Instagram and I find it hard to explain. I do love it for inspiration and for “meeting” quilters all over the world, like you’ve mentioned in your post 🙂
Thanks for reading!
I’m one who needs all this info, thanks! Doris
Glad you found it helpful. ?
Pam Fruh says
Yay!! I have been wanting to get signed up for Instagram, but hesitant because of I-don’t-know-exactly-why. Thank you Soooo much — This is all the info I needed in one simple dose. You are still the most helpful girl in the class!
Haha! Thanks, Pam! ?
YES! I started quilting about three years ago and knew NOBODY who quilted. I joined Instagram and found people! I’ve even met a few IRL and made friends I talk to at least weekly. Plus all the inspiration ! Swaps are pretty fun too! Thanks for the article. Even if I didn’t necessarily need the info myself, I think a lot of people could and might become future friends!
Thanks for reading!
Donna Johnston says
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful photos of your quilts and am quite envious of your lovely porch!
Aww. Thanks, Donna. ?
Oh wow, thank you! I have wanted to understand instagram, but I’ve just found it completely intimidating. 🙂
Hope this helps! ?
So true!!! I never knew how beneficial joining ig was going to be for me. I’ve made some great connections and even some friends. In fact the quilting community is so amazing and it helps me to see that there is still good in the world outside of my small bubble here. It’s fabulous. Loved this post. Love you ?
Thank you for reading. ?
Nancy Gay says
Thanks so much for posting this! I first heard of you from the post on FB about the Star Dance Quilt Along, which I participated in and have JUST FINISHED piecing the top to my quilt. I was new to Instagram and afraid I missed out on all the giveaways due to not knowing how to maneuver my way around Instagram!!
I’m sorry, Nancy! But I’m so glad you’ve been joining in the quilt alongs.
I know this post is a few years old but I hope you are still receiving updates and replies. This was a very helpful and insightful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as to why Instagram is a great opportunity for “lone” quilters. I’m a bit overwhelmed with blogging and Facebooking, not really sure how they all work, but your insites were wonderful to read and gave me a new perspective on why I should learn how. Thank you so much for this post.