Tuesday, January 5, 2016

52Q in 2016 - how it all works

I'm so pleased with how things have gone for 52Q in 2015, that I've snuck myself in as the first quilter of the year again to kick of the new year and share a bit behind the scenes of 52Q.

The last year was very fun and rewarding, I started the year by booking in the first 16 quilters "just to see" if it would work and by the time the end of January rolled around I knew I'd be filling up the rest of the year.

With 2016 upon us, the call to join 52Q is now open (until Friday January 8 midnight, GMT) ... we've had 50 responses so far, but it is not a first-come first-served policy... so if you are thinking of applying for a takeover, you still have a great shot.

Here's a little bit about what happens next:

First I'll download all the responses into a MAHOOSIVE spreadsheet that is my 52Quilters guide for the year. This year I've done a little pre-sorting to identify some people to take over for January, and once that is all confirmed I'll go through the rest of the year after the deadline on the 8th.

All the information starts out as just text but ends up looking something like this: (i've zoomed to 50% to protect the secrets of the spreadsheet!).

Then I start mining away at the responses: highlighting interesting stories, people in new places, looking to see who has applied before, anythings that stands out. Sometimes past quilters recommend someone or I recognise someone who is really active in engaging with the account as a follower - this is just an initial scan to highlight potential quilters.

The process may seem fickle to some, but I really want 52Q to be an opportunity for anyone regardless of experience so I do this BEFORE I check out Instagram, so that my first run through is not influenced by their work, style or social media following.  After this, I then go through online profiles of everyone, again looking for things that stand out, to be honest nearly everyone gets highlighted for one reason and another (you people are all just so dang fascinating!!!).

... and then from there, it comes down to boring stuff: like who can do what weeks, and whose availability fits together, who is going to which events, etc. It's a bit like piecing a puzzle (or dare I say it... quilt?)

It may sound like a chore, but it is actually quite a treat for me to sit drinking coffee after coffee, falling into an instagram black hole, with an actual purpose this time!  With work and life, it will take me a few weeks to really review them all and get all t scehhedule sorted for this year.

Following this, confirmation emails go out and then another year is underway! I've had a lot of wonderful feedback from last year's quilters, and soon there will be 52 more  on their way

Post by Chris: Chris is the founder and organiser of 52Quilters. He is a crafty guy who has been making his whole life. Although his crafty roots are in Canada, he has been working and crafting in the UK for nearly 10 years. For more of Chris' work visit http://lazycrafternoons.blogspot.com 


  1. I've enjoyed the past year, though I could wish that more of the quilters did the blog. As the year went on, it seemed like that fell off with many, and you just don't get as much in an ig post:( not quite ready to think about asking to be one of the 52, but maybe in the future. I'm snuzella on ig, just fyi. Thanks for organizing this.

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