As I finish up the three online bees I was involved in during 2010/2011 and prepare to begin one more (just one this time), I'd like to take a moment to talk about Flickr.
In its simplest form, Flickr is an online photo storage website. You upload your photos, group them into sets based on your own criteria, and you can even order prints and make photo books. You can send links to your photos to friends and family. If you have a blog, you can copy and paste the html code you need to put a photo from your Flickr photostream into your blog.
But it's so, so, SO much more than that! It's also a community composed of Groups that you can join and to which you can add your photos. Some groups are more passive, and are mainly about the photos, such as Simply Solid Quilts. Others are more active, like the groups dedicated to swaps (doll quilts, potholders, holiday tree ornaments, mini quilts, pouches, handmade home decor items....the list goes on!), and in addition to photos you can find lively discussion threads.
If you're looking to participate in a private fabric swap (see my tutorial about that), Flickr is a great place to find someone to swap with. Do you have a quilt top and need some suggestions for quilting it? Try How Should I Quilt This? or check out the many beautiful examples of modern quilting stitches in this group, or this one. Quilt-Alongs run by bloggers usually have a Flickr Group where you can post your progress at each step, and ask questions in the discussion forums.
Coming full circle to my online quilting bees - they're all through Flickr! You can make your own group with your own rules, or you can join a bee that's looking for participants (Quilting Bee Blocks is the go-to place to find bees that need members). Here's my final block for Sew & Bee Happy, for Molly. I loved making this wonky multi-star block.
I know I've barely scratched the Flickr surface, but I hope that's enough to make you at least want to check it out if you aren't already a seasoned Flickr-er.
Have a great weekend!