....., that is the question I am mulling this week. Eleven years and counting. Yes, I am one of the early PatternReview members, right when Deepika offered a start up idea for those of us who were primarily garment sewers. My first review (of a paltry 40) is from August, 2002. A lot of fabric has flowed under my sewing machine feet since then. I was never a heavy duty reviewer or board poster but PR was always an enjoyable read for me. I never got caught up in any of the controversies or drama over the years since I can find plenty of that in my daily life if I look hard enough. When paid memberships started I was quick to sign up and happy to yearly support someone who was creating an inspiring online sewing community. I was always surprised that a publishing company like Taunton Press of "Threads" fame didn't jump on this internet community bulletin board early but bravo to Deepika for finding a niche that has grown in more than a decade. I took the most marvelous online classes from the late great Shannon Gifford and consult her notes and tips regularly. Her kindness and detailed explanations put some well known Craftsy teachers to shame.
But now I am at a different stage in my life and in my sewing. (And should probably update my very outdated profile on the site.) I have lowered my slow reviewing to a sluggish crawl since I find the whole format so time consuming and unintuitive for a non-techy like me. I struggle with all the different photo site publishing protocols....Photobucket, PR album, Flickr and my default Picasa which I use almost seamlessly because Blogger is my blogging platform. I seldom read the reviews since I've learned that for me sewing a mock up is the best way to tackle a new pattern and garment. I glance at the review gallery that comes in my daily digest about one third of the time and seldom go any further unless the garment grabs my admittedly fleeting attention. I am thrilled that PR has created a community of sewing friends from around the world and enjoy seeing those groups gather and enjoy one another's company. I happen to have wonderful regular contact with my own more local community of creative sewing friends so I understand the thrill of being amongst your own tribe regularly. So what to do this year? Renew my paid membership or not? No the cost will not break my budget....although being a retiree who retired perhaps too soon in light of the last decade of financial turmoil means I watch the pennies and the dollars more closely. Do I just think of it as a charitable contribution to a great cause....sort of how I consider my library fines? I'm currently on the fence about this question. You can probably understand why I am a Piceses with the fish faces looking in different directions. I have ten days to decide. What would you do?