Show Us What You’ve Got, ASG Chicago!

Grab a cup and stay a while

Our ASG Chicago chapter blog has been live for almost two weeks! We’ve posted a few things to say “hello” and to give you a loose idea of what’s going on here and a couple of topics that we’ll be blogging about.

But, you might be wondering “why a blog?” The blog gives us (us, meaning the Advisory Board and Neighborhood Group leaders) a way to communicate with you and others beyond our chapter. On this blog, you’ll be able to leave comments on every blog post and every page and have conversations with other ASG Chicago members and visitors of the blog. Instead of being a one-way communication to you, you can now talk back and discuss with others not in your neighborhood group by adding comments to the blog posts and photo albums.

The blog also gives us a chance to communicate with you more frequently. For reminders of new educational events that Wendy is putting together; for sew-ins and community service reminders; and we’ve dedicated a portion on the right-hand side for you to post pictures and share with everyone in color all the wonderful projects that you’ve been sewing.

For our readers who aren’t quite yet members of the American Sewing Guild, we hope that you’ll get to know a bit more about us through our blog and join us at an event or in a Neighborhood Group (NG). Our Neighborhood Groups are where sewists can meet face-to-face.

What about the website and the newsletter?

American Sewing Guild artwork: Lorelei's Three PeopleThe website and the Cutting Edge newsletter work together to communicate to you and with you. Please do refer often to the website for important event dates, neighborhood information as well as use it as your reference for the list of supporting retailers. The Cutting Edge newsletter will continue to be our bi-monthly quarterly “round-up” of news, community service and reminder of upcoming events. The blog gives us the opportunity to bring you news and information in between the times that the Cutting Edge is sent to our members.

What can I find on the blog?

More than likely, you’re reading this while this post is on the home page. Like a website, a blogsite is composed of several pages with different information. You can see those across the top where the About Us tab is.

  • About Us — A description of who our chapter is and our goal as a chapter of the American Sewing Guild. If you’re in need of a Neighborhood Group, you can contact Aileen our Neighborhood Group Chair to help you connect with one.
  • Community Service — ASG members are very giving with their time and skills to use toward community service projects. Check back often to this tab for information about the national community service and other community service projects that you can donate your sewing skills to help deserving organizations. This year, members from around the chapter are answering the call to make pretty dresses for larger-sized teens in the Curvy Girl Prom Dress Challenge.
  • Educational Resources — The Chapter Advisory Board is happy to have Wendy Grossman (Sew Chicago NG) step up as our Education Chair to not only develop events with sewing educators, but also to share her extensive research of sewing techniques and resources. Check in this area often as Wendy adds to this list of valuable resources.
  • In the News — Believe it or not, we attract the media…and not just Notions. In this section, we’ll keep a running list of the various newspapers and local media that has talked about our ASG chapter. So, if you miss a blog post, you can always check back in this section to see who’s talking about us.

We’ll be adding a few more areas to the top as we go along, so don’t forget to look up there once in a while.

On the left-hand side, you’ll find timely-information:

  • We’ll use the top-left side to remind you about sew-ins or challenges that you can get involved in.
  • Subscribe by email to the blog by entering your email. By subscribing, you’ll be emailed each time a new post is published or when someone comments on the blog. This will make it easier to keep in the conversation. Subscribe today!
  • Since we’re all about communication with each other, we’ve also started a Webring, which is a list of websites related to our chapter. Did you know some of our NGs have a blog, too?

On the right-hand side, we’re showcasing YOU! As you finish projects, upload them to our Members’ Projects album on Flickr. It’s free to join and you can upload any sized picture to it. Then, our blog will show the most recent four pictures on the right-hand side. It’s so much fun to see what the other members are doing! Hop over there after you read this to see the pictures that have already been posted.

While you’re on Flickr, go ahead and join our other photo album, ASG Chicago – Sewing as an Art and Life Skill, where you can post pictures from NG meetings, sew-ins or anytime you get together. We’re finding another area in the blog to put these pictures. So, join that photo album and show us what you do at your meetings — we’d love to see your pictures!

Under the right-hand photos are three sections to help you find posts…this will come in handy as we start writing more regularly.

  • Categories will let you find blog posts that have been grouped together by topic.
  • Follow the comments section to see who’s joining in the conversations.
  • Use the tags links to show a list of blog posts that have these words associated to them.

In the center of the page are the blog posts. Each time someone writes something, that’s called a “post.” You’ll be able to see who contributed and when the post was published. At the bottom of each post, you’ll be able to:

  • Rate It: We’re hoping for 5 stars, but if the post is a 1-star, please let us know.
  • Share It: For our readers who are on Facebook and Twitter, you can use these buttons to share our posts with your friends. We’ve made it easy for you to email your friends about the post with the email link. And, since we might be posting tutorials or other project ideas on the blog, you’ll be able to print out the blog post easily with the “Print” button.
  • The “Filed Under” link works the same way as the Categories pull-down on the right-hand side.
  • The Tagged link in the blog post searches other blogs for these words. Click one of these to see what other people are writing about these topics.
  • You can “Like” a post if you don’t want to rate…or you can do both.
  • Most importantly, you can Leave A Comment on the blog post. Ask a follow-up question; let us know what you think about a topic; whatever you’d like to write. We’ll reply to you on the blog, too, so others can join the conversation. This is the best part of the blog…we can all share ideas and information with each other.

What kind of topics will be on the blog?

I love bloggingAnything and everything related to sewing. Home dec; quilts; fashion; accessories; crafted items, such as softies; book reviews; class reviews; sewing technology; sewing events and museums within Illinois and beyond…even some sewing-related holidays! (Hint: Do you know what sewing-related observance happens on February 8? Come back and find out!)

We’re starting with a few people to blog, but we’re encouraging more to contribute. If you’d like to contribute or if you don’t want to write a blog post, but want to see a specific topic written about, let us know! For now, you can email me (Tina) and I’ll be your roving reporter for the blog. Want to join me in being a roving reporter? Let me know!

Whether you’re new to sewing, a returned sewist or you’ve been running stitches your whole life….if you sew for yourself, a friend, family member, American Girl or a pampered pet, we’re glad you’re with us and joining us in our blog adventure. We’re looking forward to sharing and talking with you!

In the meantime, go to the Flickr photo albums and SHOW US WHAT YOU’VE GOT, ASG CHICAGO! You’re a talented group of sewists and we want to show you off to the world!


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