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Where is everybody?

Josefly's picture

Where are all the old friends from this forum?  Well, I don't really mean all - I appreciate those who've stayed active on Gatherings, and the new names, too.  But I do miss the frequent, sometimes more than once-daily, participation of so many regulars we used to have BTC (before the change).  I loved that you could get on the forum, and in just a few minutes, new questions/comments/replies would be flying, as you were reading.  Now  when you look at the list of recent topics with the time of posting and the times of replies, you see very few that were posted on this same day!  - Most have dates of weeks ago, not hours  or minutes ago.  Wow, what a difference!  It makes me sad.

Just wondering - is there another sewing forum, one which perhaps uses the more user-friendly format we were once blessed with here - where those old friends are now posting/browsing/visiting?  I know a bunch of people who were regulars on the Over the Fence have gone somewhere else, but I haven't "shopped around" yet for another site.  Any tips?


Ralphetta's picture

where is everybody? (post #32746, reply #1 of 71)

There used to be a lot of laughter in addition to the good sewing advice.  I know we did frequently get off topic, but there was a lot very, very helpful information communicated along with the crazy stories.  I really miss some of the wonderful sewing experiences that used to be routine.  This site has become dreary and dry.  I don't believe I ever received any comments when I mentioned the fact that some consideration should have been given to the fact that some of  the most experienced, helpful, articulate,  seamstresses wanted a forum that was easy to use. The number one topic of discussion was always the fact that fewer and fewer young people are interested in good sewing.  I'm not saying that there aren't intelligent people still on the site, just that we've lost a lot of energetic and colorful ones.  I'm hoping the current readers won't be offended by this.  If they used to go to the old site, they'll understand what I mean.

Josefly's picture

I really miss those (post #32746, reply #2 of 71)

I really miss those experiences, too Ralphetta.  Though some of the kinks have been worked out, and improvements in the page design and colors used, etc.,  I still find the new system too cumbersome and time-consuming.  But most of all, I miss the contributions of the once-frequent users of the site.  It's quite disappointing to log in and find only a handful of messages have been posted in more than a week.  Used to be, if I waited a whole week to check in, there would be so many new messages I couldn't read them all. 


JunkQueen's picture

How Nice... (post #32746, reply #3 of 71)

How very nice to check in and see your names here.   I, too, miss the old coffee klatsch feel to this forum, and yeah, we did get off topic from time to time.......   Sadly, it's just not the same.  I've a feeling the advertisers will lose interest also since there are so few of us posting these days and that translates to a lot less referred business for them.  Anyhow, I for one hope you stick around.  I'm trying to.

Josefly's picture

It's frustrating... (post #32746, reply #4 of 71)

I'm glad you decided to "stick around", too.  I'm curious about what other sewing sites our many former participants have been drawn to.  I've been spending most of my computer-play time reading individual sewing blogs, but the back-and-forth is missing.   I hope that the lively give-and-take, support, shared expertise and shared frustrations, all will return.  But - not to keep beating a dead horse - it's just so difficult to scan the boards now, largely because of the way the topic list scrolls with the messages, and after reading a thread, it requires re-scrolling to find the list, and re-clicking to get the list of recent threads under each topic heading.....well, just phooey.  :>)   

sewfar's picture

where is everybody (post #32746, reply #6 of 71)

I used to look at Gatherings daily but find it so disappointing now.  No site will be as vibrant as Gatherings was but I found that this one approaches our old ease of use and give and take.  I posted a couple of topics and was glad to get several quick replies and some got me giggling again.  Yup, us die hard  sewists can be serious and fun at the same time.  Give them a look at :

Josefly's picture

sewfar, sew good (post #32746, reply #8 of 71)

Excuse the subject line, I couldn't resist.  :>)

Thanks so much for responding to my message.  I will check out the link you provided.

I'm finding this site slightly easier to use, now that I can format the messages in chronological order, though overall I still find it cumbersome and difficult to browse.  Isn't it ironic that, though we have the ability now to decide how many messages appear on the page, the only post-change discussions that require more than one page have to do with complaints about the new system?  I agree there's not much going on here now, but remain hopeful that it will revive itself.

lou19's picture

whereis everybody (post #32746, reply #55 of 71)

100% agree with you, sewfar.

Almost didn't reply because it was so cumbersome to do this.

very disappointing.


ThreadKoe's picture

Where is everybody? (post #32746, reply #5 of 71)

Hello to my dear friends!  I check in once in a while, but miss the energetic, funny, informative stuff that used to go on here also.  I do not frequent any other sites.  The "Old Gatherings" was the perfect format for me to chat, learn and explore ideas on.  I enjoyed the simplicity and warmth there.  I checked in frequently, often several times a day.  I just don't like the way the whole thing changed.  I was one of many who very strongly urged that the format and ease of use stayed the same.  I feel like I wasn't listened to, as many others do.  I am still a subscriber to the mag, but miss the community that was here.  I now exchange email or facebook messages with several past members, and love them dearly.  I miss being here, and sharing my knowledge.  I am sorry Josefly, and all the others who I miss sooo much.  I tend to lurk when I am here.  (((HUGS))) 


Josefly's picture

Happy to see you (post #32746, reply #7 of 71)

Cathy, it's so good to see you're there.  You do have so much to offer, and you're sorely missed.  I understand how you feel about it, though.  The change has been a loss, hard to swallow, and not made easier by the attitudes of some individuals associated with it.

I've opted to read the messages in "flat" format, as opposed to "threaded" and find it somewhat more to my liking.  Other frustrations remain, though.


ThreadKoe's picture

Thanks Joan, good to chat (post #32746, reply #11 of 71)

Thanks Joan, good to chat with you again also  :)  I took your advice and changed to the flat format, and like what I see much better.  I also made the font size bigger, and am finding it much easier to read.   It also looks a little more like the old way.  I am slowly adjusting on each visit to the changes,   Cathy

Josefly's picture

slowly adjusting, also (post #32746, reply #13 of 71)

It's taking me a long time to learn about this new system, and it's still frustrating.  But I'm relieved by the improvements that've been made, and hopeful there'll be more. 

I'm actually going to try to do some sewing today!


decoratrice's picture

gather for a chat (post #32746, reply #9 of 71)

I, too, miss the old community feeling.  The site now has a "dry" look and feel.  Part of this is due to the font, part to the color and linearity of the page design.  What genius picked out the brick red?  Trust is fostered by dark royal blue; it couldn't be that hard to change it.  Unfortunately, the ease of use/flow issues remain.  A few days ago I accidentally discovered that if I double click on the recent discussions topics , the specifics come up in a friendlier form than if I single click.  How was one supposed to know that?  I don't check in as frequently as I used to, but I still have hopes that the IT folks will listen and get these issues resolved.  Attracting younger sewers concerns me also.  Maybe they , being more tech savvy, find the site easy ennough to use, but I see little evidence of their presence. 

On a happier note, last week I felted 4 sweaters and a boiled wool jacket and made a killer new jacket.  Not haute couture, nor even conventional construction, but fun, fun, fun!  Let's see if I can attach a photo........Yes!  This is more along the lines of the type of sewing being featured in the new sewing instruction books.  Maybe there is a place for this type of thing in Threads, occasionally?

IMG_2012.JPG3.06 MB
IMG_2011.JPG3.62 MB
Josefly's picture

Sounds like fun (post #32746, reply #12 of 71)

Your projects do sound like fun.  I clicked on your photos to enlarge them, but they were taking quite awhile to download (upload? whatever), so I'll come back and look more closely when I have more time.  My attempts at felting weren't successful - I bought some wool sweaters at thrift store to try the process, and they must've been treated wool, because after many washings in hot water, they just produced a LOT of lint, no shrinkage.  No indication of that on the label.  Not much of a loss, though.  I'll try again sometime. 

I am learning more about navigating this site, but it's taking a lot of time.  I hope the FAQ will be updated so it will be more helpful to us.  There is almost nothing there now to help figure this stuff out.  A glossary would be helpful - "pagination" and "bread crumb navigation" are terms that seem bewildering, and where to find the options for message order, etc. would have been useful.  (When I began computer programming and systems design many, many years ago, I was warned not to use the "lingo" with people for whom the systems were being designed - it just adds to the frustration of adjusting to changes. )  I'm having some other frustrations with kinks in the system, today.

About attracting younger sewers.  I wonder if the format of the entire Threads site discourages newcomers from discovering Gatherings.  I think new people coming to the site might be confusing the comments (on the articles on the Threads home page) with the more responsive, friendly, and therefore more helpful discussions here in Gatherings.  

Anyway, it's wonderful to see your photos and hear about your work.  Glad it's fun for you.


Ralphetta's picture

new sewers (post #32746, reply #14 of 71)

New sewers may not have any trouble navigating the site, but my concern was that the site has lost a lot of the patient, well-informed veterans who were able to help and encourage the newbies. A valuable asset has been lost.

 There used to be a spellcheck option on the other site but i can't find one here.  Can anyone help me?

Josefly's picture

no spellcheck (post #32746, reply #15 of 71)

I believe Vicky North has mentioned that there is no spellcheck function with the present system, but that they are hoping to add one.

I agree about the loss of valuable help.  I hope some of those veterans will return to us.


Ralphetta's picture

spellcheck (post #32746, reply #16 of 71)

thanks for answering!  I thought I might have just overlooked it. 

decoratrice's picture

Oh, apologies to IT (post #32746, reply #10 of 71)

Well, It looks like single-clicking on the Recent Discussions topics does the same thing--post hoc, propter hoc, and all that!

sewelegant's picture

Where Is Everyone? (post #32746, reply #17 of 71)

Yes, it is unfortunate that we cannot enjoy the good things in life forever!  I, too, was a daily visitor and found it so easy (maybe too easy, sometimes) to respond to a post.  However, I think that was the very reason we heard from so many good sewers.  When you wait to respond you begin to think maybe there are so many others more qualified to answer and I will just look ignorant... but it seems that most of us, self taught, especially, know more than we think we know and it may give others more self confidence to know everyone else is not so proficient or maybe they excel at one thing that others struggle with and sharing our experience and know how helps to keep the art alive.

This new Gatherings is getting more friendly to me, but like all of you, it is a struggle to figure it out.  I do not know what you mean by "flat" viewing, for instance.  I just go with whatever comes up when I turn the site on.

P.S. I find it quite satisfying to know that I have been able to edit this post at least 2X and did not have to go through all the rigamarole we did in the old version and there are no notes to imply I did edit.  My edits were for typos I noted after reading the message after It was sent in.  Spelling is another matter, but, for me, that is not much of a problem.

Mary Ann

Josefly's picture

Hi, Mary Ann.  This is the (post #32746, reply #18 of 71)

Hi, Mary Ann.  This is the second time I've tried to reply to your post.  The first time, I logged in, and after composing the message and clicking on the "post" button, I got the message "You are not authorized to post messages."  I noticed that my user name no longer appeared at the top of the left column, as it does when we are logged in.  So I've logged in again and we'll see what happens.

I didn't know what the term "flat" meant either, so I wish we had a glossary of terms for this new system - maybe in the FAQ section?  But it turns out that the term refers to the chronological listing of messages - in the order in which they were posted, as in the old system - as opposed to "threaded", which is the way the new system displays them, unless you opt for "flat".  The place to choose "flat" or "threaded" appears just under the original posting in each topic, along with the option to reverse the order - "oldest first" or "newest first" - and the option to determine the number of messages which appear on each page - "pagination".  If you make a change for one topic, it does NOT automatically apply to other topics.  The settings you choose can be changed back if you don't like them.  However, once you change the settings for one topic, that topic remains in the format you set, when you log back in at a later time. All this is stuff we can discover for ourselves, but I don't like how time-consuming that is.

As for editing, yes, it is relatively easy to edit a message, but I miss the notation of an edit.  To each his own, I suppose.  After all, I can add my own edit notation if I want.

Now, let's see if this message makes it into the list...


sewelegant's picture

Just Checking (post #32746, reply #19 of 71)

Your note was right here as I am checking in on the posts today and I am also noting that I do not  have to sign in to make a reply... so, now I am thinking... maybe all is not lost and soon we will begin to recognize our old Gatherings again (or a good facsimile).  Now I will have to work on sending a picture.  Tried that and hit a brick wall a time or two, but maybe the next time will be easier.


Ceeayche's picture

I'm still here (post #32746, reply #20 of 71)

Even for a techie like me....the new system is not as intuitive as it was before hand. And, I've been slammed by work... so doing something that requires so much effort has not as appealing as the easy breezy way we were.

But I'm still here!  And, I'm glad you are too!

I treasure my time on Gatherings and I'm trying to stick with you all!  I've learned so much-- and if Threads is listening it's made me even more of a Threads fan.  Even when folks post about the arrival of the latest issue long before mine arrives here in VA!  I used to think we should paste "spoiler alert".  But then I came to enjoy the postings as a tantalizing tease until the magazine arrived.

Greet each day with Joy.  Embrace your blessings.

Josefly's picture

I've got an idea! (post #32746, reply #21 of 71)

Hi, CHL.  Yes, I agree the new system is non-intuitive.  And for me, there are too many "clicks" required to browse the messages, whereas before, you logged in and presto, there were all the recent topics listed right there for you, the list stayed there while you selected an individual topic, and you didn't have to do all this long, slow scrolling.  I imagine I'm missing some tips and techniques that would shorten the process for me, things I haven't yet learned by "trial and error".  There may be tips scattered around under different topics, which I've missed.  Which leads me to my idea...

Since the FAQ section has precious few tips on navigating the system, at least the last time I looked, we should start our own "System Tips" topic, where we can post what we've each learned about this new system, explain what some of the terms mean, the locations of "options" for formatting, etc., and any short cuts we've discovered.  I haven't tried to post any photos yet - is it different from what we did before?  Questions like that could be answered.  What do you think?  Has somebody already started a thread (or topic, or forum - what's the right word?) on this, and I've just missed it?  

Under which discussion category would such a topic be most accessible?  "Talk With Us" seems to have been created so that members can address topics with the editor of Threads, so I'm not sure that's the right one.  "Feedback on Threads" is associated with the magazine itself.  Would "General Discussion" be the place, "Gather for a Chat", or something else?


Ceeayche's picture

Idea about System Tips (post #32746, reply #22 of 71)

I think it's a great idea.  However, intuitively I think it goes under FAQ.  And, I share the opinion that the systems folk at Threads should help create and maintain this new feature even if it's receiving and editing our suggestions on tips to include.

Greet each day with Joy.  Embrace your blessings.

Josefly's picture

system tips (post #32746, reply #25 of 71)

Yes, I agree, CHL, after thinking more about the idea of a "Tips" forum, that it's something that should be created and maintained by the administrators of the Taunton sites.  After posting an experimental tips topic (under the "General Discussion" topic heading), I could see how difficult it would be to search for answers to a particular question.  Since different people would be contributing their tips and definitions,  there would be no real way of organizing the information to make it easy to use.

Thanks for your comment.


ThreadKoe's picture

What I miss the most... (post #32746, reply #47 of 71)

 And for me, there are too many "clicks" required to browse the messages, whereas before, you logged in and presto, there were all the recent topics listed right there for you, the list stayed there while you selected an individual topic, and you didn't have to do all this long, slow scrolling.

Thanks for putting into words exactly what my problem with the site is!  Hate to continually complain, but what is wrong with the simple way of doing things.  I really miss everyone, and the chatty stuff.  I keep coming by, but no one to really chat with, unless we are complaining...

I dunno if I qualify as an "old timer", but some of this newfounded stuff confounds me.  When we were asked what we liked about what we had, all the stuff we liked dissapeared.  Like the easy to navigate and click on lefthand menu that you could scroll through quickly for the topics and replies. 

Hope to catch y'all later, got to go mow the lawn...again...  Cathy

Josefly's picture

This newfangled stuff... (post #32746, reply #48 of 71)

Yes, this newfangled stuff is very frustrating.  I feel very sad when I see questions going unanswered for days, because either we've lost readers, or they're not posting because it's so darn hard to get around, and the bugs aren't gone yet.

I keep trying to get adjusted to the new system - I really hate to let myself be robbed of what was a good thing just because it's difficult-  but more and more I realize it's not just the unfamiliarity of it, but the built-in difficulties which remain frustrating no matter how familiar I become with it.

Still, I can't let go of a good thing.  I'm always so glad to see your comments on a post  - so informative and helpful. 


sewthatsit's picture

Where have all our lovely chats gone? (post #32746, reply #66 of 71)

I was one of those who lurked on a regular basis and learned so much.  Much more this site gave me the impetus to keep sewing as I know no one else who sews. The knowledge that one is "not alone" is a great help.   I regularly logged on at home and now and then added my tuppencehapenny worth.   

Since the site was "upgraded?" I can no longer log on at home as the site crashes as soon as I try to access it.  So this, I'm afraid will be my last visit as I have logged on a borrowed computer where I do some voluntary work so I can't do this again.  I am so disappointed to miss the friendly informal chats and I want to take this oppertunity to say goodbye and thank you.




Josefly's picture

site crashes on access? (post #32746, reply #67 of 71)

Just wondering - have you tried using another browser on your home computer, to access the Threads Gatherings site?  I'm not at all sure it will make a difference, but since you can access the site on a borrowed computer, check to see what browser is being used on that computer.  I know that my preferred browser doesn't work perfectly with this site, either.  I don't crash, however.  Good luck - hate to lose participants here.


jane4878's picture

Still Lurking (post #32746, reply #23 of 71)

Part of the reason, I rarely post is that my work  was merged into one entity and they are REALLY nasty about us going on the internet at work, even on our own time.  I can't breeze in and check frequently anymore.  Then the posts pile up and I start to procrastinate about reading them.  The site has become easier.  I prefered the old site, but compared to the unbelievably slow programming I use at work--this is a breeze.  I DO miss the chatting.  I'm quite novice and don't feel comfortable about posting unless I have a problem.  I'm working on a kilt right now (all hand sewn) and finding out how lousy my hand stitching is!  I should start an UFO posting.  I bet I have more UFO's than anyone else.  My sewing table is stacked with piles of fabric with the corresponding patterns.


Josefly's picture

UFO Champion? (post #32746, reply #24 of 71)

 "I bet I have more UFO's than anyone else. " ...That's certainly questionable.  I think I could out-do you in that respect, and a few others here might challenge us both!  I agree though - a UFO topic would be a good thing to start in Gatherings - it might spur some of us to get busy and wrap up some of those projects.  Actually, for me, even counting my UFO's would be time-consuming, since they're stuffed in all sorts of places around the house.   

Is it traditional to hand-sew kilts, or is there some other reason you're doing that?  I'd love to see a photo of your finished kilt.