Archive for the ‘EQ7’ Category

h1

37.6 How Round Robins Work

May 23, 2015

This is a post describing how round robins work, or rather, how our round robin worked, complete with pictures.

If you missed a while on the blog or were redirected here from elsewhere, I was included in a multi-group internet friends (twilter-twitter quilter friend) round robin quilt exchange.

One fantastic lady, Daisy of Lazy Daisy Quilts decided to put together a round robin quilt exchange and asked for signups from interested people back at the beginning of 2014.

There were enough ladies who wanted to participate that we had 3 groups: Twilter Round Robin Group A, Twilter Round Robin Group B, Twilter Round Robin Group C. Our group was Group A

Basic Definition of a Round Robin quilt exchange:

Round Robin quilts are long-term projects in which each person works on other peoples’ projects during the time of the round robin, passing along a quilt idea, fabric, and a rapidly growing partial quilt top to each participant until the quilt ends back in the original quilter’s possession.

For me, it all started off with a pattern from electric quilt, a fabric choice & then a block.

center for round robin quilt darla

Here’s the first question I am asked when talking about the round robin: How does it work?

Generally, a round robin quilt (as our group did it) is an agreement between friends or strangers and friends to work on a quilt of someone else’s with the understanding that they will work on yours in return.

My role in the round robin:

  1. I made the center of the quilt. I decided what colors to be used & original quilt direction.
  2. I selected fabrics for the quilt to use in the quilt.
  3. I provide some kind of guidelines or suggestions to the others in the group for working on the quilt.
  4. I send the quilt onto the next person in the list (in the mail or in person). I am always sending to the same next person.
  5. I receive someone else’s quilt in the mail, with their center (or more), their fabrics, their instructions. I am always receiving a quilt from the same previous person.
  6. I work through an appropriate design to add a border to the outside of the quilt. Using math, graph paper, books or websites for inspiration, sometimes electronic quilt blocks or suggestion from Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7).
  7. I follow general guidelines by the round robin coordinator for each round to help spur imagination or direct the appropriate design. Not to be used religiously with all quilts in all situations, but to help stretch each quilter, and attempt to provide harmony with the finished project.
  8. I finish my section of the new border, sometimes making changes due to size restrictions, or fabric shortages which happens because we’re not always great at figuring out in advance what fabrics others would be appealing to the general design or just underestimation. Sometimes this step also requires purchasing fabric of our own.
  9. I write down something interesting in the process in the quilt journal. (optional) I write my name on a label provided by the original quilter (optional, but fantastically helpful in the end).
  10. I send the quilt top with my new border to the same next person in line.
  11. Receive the new quilt, repeat steps 5-10 until the original quilt comes back. I have a full quilt top and a full label and journal.

Twilter Round Robin Group A final collage

 

The coordinator has a lot of decisions to make before getting the round robin started.

The round robin coordinator’s role:

  1. They decide the groups (if more than 6 want to be part of the round robin) 5-6 people seem to be a good match for this round robin.
  2. They create a deadline for each border swap.
  3. The estimate the approximate amount of each type of fabric needed to make the quilt work, suggest the amount of background fabric, focus fabric, and other fabric to be used in making of a quilt top.
  4. The estimate the sizes of each of the borders to be proportional to the space on the quilt.
  5. They create general guidelines to help direct the future quiltmakers down a path to help create a good quilt and/or to ask people to work out of their own comfort zones.
  6. They coordinate the addresses and order of each person to do the round robin.
  7. They answer general questions, help figure out if deadlines need adjusted.
  8. They type up all the info and get it to the participants. Follow up if needed in some areas. Perhaps some handholding or drama-gathering if needed in some groups.
  9. Remind us it’s all fun.

Round Robin Twilter Group A

As you can see above, we had 6 different quilts with 6 different personalities and styles.

How does the passing of the quilts work?

Because we had a round that we passed quilts on to each other, and each person was in a different order, we were able to affect each quilt at a different stage of its development.

  • The first two quilts each of us received, we were only beginning to shape the look and feel of the quilt to follow.
  • The next round brought the middle into focus, the meat of the quilt,
  • The last two rounds were on the finishing side of the round, these were larger & took up more time & fabric.

Our round went like this:

Daisy passes to me, I pass to Diane, Diane pass to Laura, Laura pass to Tami, Tami pass to Tina, Tina pass to Daisy.

twilter round robin how the quilts got passed in a round

And each of us had our own version of that. The drawing above shows how the quilts were passed around.

My role in the round robin Group A, and the quilts as I saw them in the order I worked on them

Round 1 – Daisy

Since Daisy’s was the first round robin quilt I saw, it was the first one I worked on, and thus the smallest round to do.

This is a collage of the completed quilt of Daisy’s (on the left), the block as I received it, and the block as I finished it.

daisys finished quilt center and my portion

Once completed, I wrote in the journal, and on the label, then sent it in the mail to Diane.

Once Daisy was finished with the next quilt – Tina’s quilt, she sent it in the mail to me. As you will see I was always receiving from Daisy and sending to Diane. So I really only had to have 1 address.

Round 2 – Tina

Tina’s quilt only had her center and Daisy’s first border. The sky was the limit here.

tinas finished quilt center and my portion

The picture above is Tina’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 3 – Tami

At the “halfway point” everyone was working on the opposite person’s quilt. I was working on Tami’s quilt when she was working on mine.

tamis finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Tami’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 4 – Laura

Laura’s quilt was based on neutral fabrics. Greys and browns dominated the landscape of this quilt top with dramatic golds and blue hues thrown in for a smidge of color

lauras finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Laura’s finished quilt on the left. Top right is the original block, middle right is the quilt top as I received it, bottom right is the quilt top I sent out.

Round 5 – Diane

Diane’s quilt was mostly done. I was trying to figure out an appropriate finish for her quilt.

dianes finished quilt center and my portion

 

The picture above is Diane’s finished quilt on the left. Which is also the portion that I worked on and sent out to her. Top right is the original block, bottom right is the quilt top as I received it.

More notes about Round Robin Quilts & observations

Since it was a center-focused round robin where we added further borders to the outside of an already ‘finished’ project, so the projects usually take on a medallion feeling.

Each quilter has to essentially be a “border designer”, and has to be willing to either ‘do the math’ or make a program (like EQ7) do the math for them.

I used inspiration from either drawing graph paper, or Electric Quilt 7, or a book on borders, or pinterest pictures, or various books on techniques. Sometimes I tried several different versions of the quilt, but once I kept seeing one version in my mind more than 1 day, that is the variation I went with.

There is an option to do rows instead of medallion rounds, which would be the same amount of work on the last one as on the first one. This would work in a similar way, but are usually called “Row Robin” quilts instead.

The first round we received, we had a shortened timeframe, but we had less size to finish before sending it off. This was stressful for me, but I did get the quilt done by or close to the deadline most of the time.

Each swap we had different goals, different color pallets, different visions to try to work into the quilts. It is truly a good way to sew out of the comfort zone.

And since the twilters who were interested in this swap were all over the US, the boxes got some post office traveling time around the country.

Some of the early quilts I worked on, I was completely surprised with at the end.

We got to learn about each person as reading through the journal entries of the original quiltmaker, in addition to things other people said in the journal. I was inspired by things in the journal in addition to other blocks and items I saw elsewhere. Many times the journal dictated the “tone” of the quilt more than anything!

Math was very helpful in the round robin. Having the original dimensions of each quilt, then trying to figure out how to put blocks together with appropriate spacers was challenging, but a heck of a lot of fun.

It helped me to use a program like EQ7 to help with the math and to visually see if the blocks I were doing were too big or not big enough or if I needed to add spacers.

Often times, I used my moleskin graph paper the most as it was the perfect thing to visually count other parts of the quilt.

Another note was to not try to overshadow the other people’s work. Since I try to do “big bold complicated” this was a constant worry for me, and something that at times reigned me in, and other times I probably ignored. Looking back, I ended up adding a darker border many times to the quilts I received. I don’t know if/what that says about me.

The most important part is to leave a part of yourself in the quilt that you’re working on. Being true to who I am is very important to me, even if I don’t always know what that looks like. So even during the “potential overshadows” I may/maynot have done, I still made quilts that were pleasing to me, that were something that I could do as well as I could.

That’s what matters & that is what’s special about these quilts.

In summary (visual)

The quilts as I worked on them, the center block, what I did to them, and their final product.

Round Robin Progress

Yay for round robins with friends!

 

h1

36.9 Weave On took over March-A-Long

March 10, 2015

I am not certain how or why, but possibly when I was doing the ceramics last week on my day off, I woke up the following day with a solution to a 4 year old problem. Well probably a 2 year old quilting problem.

weave border top completed with weaved borders

Four years ago, I, on a whim, made a quilt with 3 main colors, blue, red & yellow. I improvised a pattern that I saw online, but I couldn’t have told you who or what then, all I know is I made what I called a Weave quilt.

Then I came up with a variation on borders that I have seen several places that involved paper piecing & bias tape. I made lots of these border blocks using 3 fabrics for the borders that I also bought on a whim.

It turned out that I didn’t plan ahead on borders, I was originally when I bought the fabric, thinking I would do inner, middle & outer border in plain sizes.

This often happens, I was starting to run out of red fabric in the borders, but I wasn’t all the way around the whole quilt.

So then I decided to well, stop making the weave borders that I had planned & already started. And then I needed to come up with a clever end to this pattern, this quilt.

That was 2 years ago. I am certain I talked of this quilt before on this blog before at least once or twice.

Any event, the ephiphany happened and now I suddenly gotten taken over by this quilt, a desire to finish it before guild (tonight) pushed aside plans on both Sunday and today (my day off this week instead of Saturday).

It still took a good chunk of time on Sunday, and I did some unsewing of blocks once I figured on size, and measuring, and drawing what to do both on paper & EQ7.

weaved ends close up borders

I had figured out the two corner blocks a while ago, but hadn’t made them.

connected corner on border

The ends are little applique circles of the fabric I had stored with this quilt.

Circular ends

The biggest compromise I had to make with myself is not floating the border in blue fabric. I still wish I could have done it that way, but I completely didn’t have enough of the same blue, and I do like that the red just trounces off the edge of the quilt while the yellow stays connected.

Wow it feels great to get this done. My March-A-Long which I was only going to work for 15 minutes turned out to be another full weekend of mostly quilting. That is both good and bad.

I could feel an urge to get this done before the guild, to finish it off before my mind was tired of working on it. It really only needed the bordered finished and then attached.

More borders, who would have thought? I wonder if any more quilts only need borders on them? I could get a lot of these UFO’s to the next stages.

h1

32.8 Preparing for Quilting Retreat

November 6, 2013

Hey all!

I have been busy on the weekends preparing for my now ‘annual’ Arkansas quilting retreat. With an online swap group that doesn’t really talk anymore, and doesn’t really swap anymore either.

But the ladies have been coming for many years and now I have been coming since 2010.

A little sad because the fall’s fearless leader passed away late last fall/winter.  And it will be hard to imagine the retreat w/o her spirit.

But also happy to reconnect with some of the other quilters I have gotten to know over the years.

To prepare I made my own style of pincushion & thread catcher bag.

DSC05440

This doesn’t have stabilizer like I had planned, but oh well it’s just a pincushion bag.

The pincushion is an offset square pincushion.

DSC05442

The name for the pincushion shape is Biscornu and is traditionally done with pretty embroidery/cross stitch patterns on the top.

I used two 5 inch offset squares  to make the pincushion. I stuffed it with walnut shells.

Then went searching around all of creation (aka Kansas city quilt/fabric shops) for the perfect button for the top. I think the resulting button is from Joanns, the last place on my list that day.

I used the tutorial from Merriment Design for the basic bag, self modifying the size of the liner material & outside bag, in addition to adding the Velcro strip to the bag and base.

The base is actually a small square of wood, covered with batting, sewn with a cover (also made with two 5 inch squares).

This would work a tiny bit better with stiff stablilizer sewn just under the top rim of the outside lining.

The Biscornu pincushion sits on the top and provides the weight for the combo even though the actual pincushion is not attached.

***

Retreat plans (pre-retreat)

For retreat I am going to start ‘two’ new quilts. One I wanted to try to start last year but didn’t like the color values / amount of fabric I had for the color. I am going to retry to start this project up again.

I also am planning to sew the final quilt top together on the hexadaisy plus quilt, the larger, slightly modified version of the small hexadaisy quilt I started this spring.

I have two bindings to attach, one from the strip twist swap blocks from way back in 2010 or so.

DSC05311

 

This was my first long arm quilt that I only got 3/4 of the way through, and as you can see ‘ol’ blue worked its way to finish the rest of the quilt.

The last section of quilting is not exactly to my liking or standard of the long arm stuff, but at least it is done & just needs a binding.

And a few blocks here & there to work on as leaders / enders – a black version & a white based version.

I had desires to make a twister block pattern I purchased this year, but didn’t have enough fabric for the quilt I wanted to make, even the special dyed fabric I bought for it.

So that fabric will be repurposed and some other time I will make the twister block quilt.

But then this morning (hours before retreat mind you) I was trolling around my own pinterest board this morning & came up with a new variation of a design I have been wanting to do since 2010, a God’s Eye quilt.

Quilters cache has detailed instructions for doing a 20″ God’s Eye block. I had seen the block done w/ HST’s in my 1000 quilt blocks book a long time ago.

So a short time later in EQ7, I created the god’s eye (didn’t see it in the library) & a good alternate block.

godseyeandmixedfourpatches

If the quilt works out, I’ll consider writing up a pattern for this with HST’s.

The God’s Eye block has a lot of parts to it, but I like it. I know it reminds me of the trumpet block for my Exothermic wonders quilt, but I love the play of these two block sets together.

And with that, I have to commence packing. What’s left is all the extra parts I will need to create these wonderful quilts.

Glad I was able to create the idea for something new.

h1

25.1 SQ Ep 041 – Samurai Sudoku Quilt

April 22, 2012

Podcast Feed

Classic Sudoku and Quilts

You ever heard of a Sudoku quilt before?

Sudoku is a puzzle game, much in the style of magic square type of math game.

Each section of the Sudoku puzzle is it’s own little nine patch, (a 3 x 3 grid) with each box of the nine patch has a number from 1 to 9 in it.

There are traditionally nine sections in a Sudoku puzzle, each section is laid out in it’s own nine patch box. A 3 x 3 grid of sections.

Traditionally, the rule for the puzzle is as follows.

Each box in each section has a number 1-9, with no repeats.

Each box in each row (of three sections) has a number 1-9, with no repeats.

Each box in each column (of three sections) has a number 1-9, with no repeats.

Here is a picture of a printed Sudoku puzzle that is not filled out.

You can easily see the shape of the traditional (classic) sudoku pattern as a series of three nine patch blocks in three rows. A nine patch of nine patches. (fractal for those of us math nerds)

You can see some designs in how and which numbers are included with the puzzle as well.

Well, a while ago, some quilter got it in his/her head that we could use these puzzles easily in quilts. Quilts are squares, Sudoku puzzles are squares, nine patches look like Sudoku boxes.

And I’ve seen a couple of people use fabric or colors to symbolize each number.

If each of the numbers is represented by a specific color OR a specific fabric, then this turns into a very easy (just have a design wall) quilt to make. Straight stitches, nine patches. You can include sashing around the nine patches to signify the darker lines.

This quilt takes 9 of the same colors or fabrics, so you may be able to use 9 fat quarters or 9 fat eights to complete depending on the size of the quilt you want to make.

And you should be able to find Sudoku quilt patterns to purchase if you do not want to actually do the puzzle yourself. Or ask your kids (or other recipient) to do the puzzle and then give it back to you completed, and then you make a surprise quilt, including the picture of the original puzzle on the back.

Sudoku Quilt Variations Using Classic Sudoku Patterns

If you wanted to be a little different, what about setting the Sudoku quilt patches in attic windows to designate the quilt blocks?

Don’t want to do the whole puzzle? Just make the starting numbers and leave the rest blank!

Or go ahead and give them the actual numbers using applique with the method of your choice.

Here’s a link to 21 different ideas with Sudoku quilts and art!

Super Sudoku Quilts Using More Complicated Sudoku-Based Puzzles

  • Samurai Sudoku

Samurai Sudoku is a set of 5 Sudoku puzzles superimposed onto each other.

There are 5 puzzles next to each other that overlap in four areas.

The image below I haven’t put the time into getting the correct colors into the correct locations, but this is just an image that shows how the Samurai Sudoku quilt would appear.

If you’re having a hard time finding the overlapping sections, you could always use sashing colors to designate the different puzzles.

To get your own puzzle, you can look at samurai-sudoku.com Just look through the archive until you find an easy pattern and try it on your own. You can always download the solutions.

Also another good Sudoku reference for puzzles of all kinds (including the original and the next ones) that you can print the incomplete puzzle or the solution to the puzzle.

For making a quilt of this kind, you need 41 of the same colors for the blocks for this quilt.

If we use 2 inches finished as the size of your squares inside the block, then the quilt pictured above is 55 by 55, or if you use charm pack sized squares 4 inch finished square then the quilt can be 97 inches square.

It’s easier to upsize and downsize this quilt since it’s so simple!

  • Nonomino Puzzles

Nonomino puzzle is like Sudoku in that there are still rules of Sudoku, such as only one of each number for each row, and then one of each number for each column.

The difference is that instead of a ‘nine patch block’ shape, the blocks are irregular shaped. There are still 1-9 numbers in each block that don’t repeat.

Here is a nonomino puzzle with sashing designating the different groups available for sets of numbers 1-9.

And if I would only do the starting squares on this puzzle instead of filling it all in it would look like this:

Here’s a general sudoku puzzle site that has many variations of sudoku including nonomino and samurai styles of sudoku to try, print, and save.

Like Puzzles, Like Quilts? Send people back to this post and this podcast.

h1

24.3 More Choices

March 19, 2012

In my quest to make me crazy, I just had to look at two other completely different options for a quilt design for my Guild.

I agonized over the perfect alternate block for the footstool block to provide a choice for guild members to make.

I came up with two choices, and asked you about it.  And got some ideas which boil down to half and half or so.

First a listener suggestion that I am not going to pick just because I am stubborn about the original block, but this option is good too, trust me:

This gives the quilt an on point feeling. Good design. Seriously. But again, I’m stubborn.

So then I have the whole different direction with another 5 x 5 grid block to match the 5 x 5 of the original block.

This is using a grandmother’s choice block as the alternate block. Which I really like, this feels very Bonnie Hunterish scrappy to me.

No weaving here, no flow in that sense, but look what happens when the blocks match, a cool secondary design. Now the block looks much more squared up to me.

But I am trying one alteration to the grandmother’s choice block and see what works with it.

Which brings the black and the repetition of the quarter square triangles together and breaks up the ‘unintended sashing’ feeling of the last quilt.

There are larger sections of color now and there is an emphasis on jewel tones. The quilt flows differently too, but I think the secondary pattern can tie this whole thing together.

Still thinking here.

It helps to have two resources for 5 x 5 blocks but I have to admit, it’s not an extremely popular grid size to begin with.

Hoping that sharing this with you helps you see what kinds of things people think about when looking to create quilting designs. Not that I’m an expert by any means, but it’s the thoughts that I go through.

h1

22.3 It’s called contrast, baby!

January 22, 2012

The super bright “hot flashes” quilt, a year later, is coming up dark.

Dark and warm at the same time.

Halloweeny & fally and warm looking.

I have been sacrificing all other projects, swishing away at all other quilt desires to gain a little more time in working on this quilt.

So I’ve been making progress.   Feeling like finally, I can see the top completion in sight in the (somewhat) near future.

Design Wall with Exothermic Blocks

I haven’t started much on the corner squares except for cutting out the templates.

I’ve gotten a good system and a good start on the side blocks being completed. Which makes me happier with the progress from this weekend than last.  But last weekend was a little bit different than the norm.

This weekend I didn’t have Saturday and Sunday to work fully (due to work schedules), and so I barreled on my progress on quilting rather than podcasting. Have topic, will record soon – need more time to work on details than I had.

This quilt has come up much darker than I thought, but at the same time, retained the same feeling.  The dark black and orange is repeated in the alternate & side blocks, while the fun bright blocks are scrappy and changing.

I really like the contrast this pulls out even though it’s dark.

But it’s also light because of all those bright yellows and such.

And the quilt has points, and curves and all sorts of lines to look at.

Here are some more progress pictures that I have been working on the past two weeks or so.

First I subcut my strips into strip segments using templates created from EQ7.

Then as I was cutting the subcuts into the pieces I needed, the template kept slipping away from my ruler.  On New Years, I cut INTO my templates accidentally occasionally, and I didn’t want to repeat that, so I used masking tape.

The edge of the ruler is at the edge of the template. This way I could see what I had already cut and line everything up clearly.

And I just had to move the ruler, this made the strips SO MUCH easier to cut without thinking too much (necessary after this week).

And you know those little corners, also necessary to cut, the tiny little pieces at the corners of the triangles, helped immensely in lining up my blocks later & keeping them without too many puckers.

This is all the discarded pieces making a pie shape on my cutting mat.

I don’t know for sure what I’m doing with these, but an idea is here regardless.  It’s a 10 sided figure it looks like. One of the ‘-agons’

This is a stack of pieces that I haven’t sewn together yet, but it seems like the best solution in the ‘semi paper piecing’ that I’ve been doing.

These become the side blocks. There is a little fudging that happens at the change of direction on the seam, but not a ton. Of course the tucking is minimized by the fact that my pieces are actually cut down to the exact size of the template. Go figure that’s how it works best. LOL.

But the work and thought to the non distracting alternate blocks is paying off.  My initial draw to the black fabric is the best choice, and three of the 4 initial fabrics I purchased for this quilt after making some of the blocks, they have found a presence in this quilt as well.

I am not incredibly fond of orange, and actually after working on this quilt, I want to dive into blues and purples a lot, but I KNOW it expanded my color pallete AND my stash.

I started the pieces of this quilt a year ago or so, and it’s only been hard driven to finish when I noticed my comforter is falling to pieces rapidly.

It’s definitely not one of those ‘quilt in a weekend’ type of designs, and has so many parts to it that of course it’s a slower, longer project than I normally finish.

But, it’s making me feel good to complete. And will be worth my time in the end. I am trying to figure out what kind of quilting designs will work best for this quilt or even if I want to go light or dark with the quilting on it. Or both. We’ll see, I have a long way to go until it’s quilted, but starting to see the end is closer than I think! :)

h1

21.9 Here’s a side

January 8, 2012

I admit that I am relatively new to paper piecing.

I pretty much know the basics, usually only have to rip out the first stitch. Today I ripped out one that didn’t fit, and a 2nd that I had folded underneath.

Another thing that I did that I do not recommend:

If your paper piecing is too long to print out on EQ on one full page, do NOT, I repeat – do not, use clear packaging tape to tape the pieces together and stick the tape right dab in the middle of the sewing line.

No my needle didn’t feel gummy or have trouble, but when ripping out the paper, boy it was a problem. Some of the tape is still there, but only a very very little, so I’ll let it be.

But I am considering the best way to put the paper pieces together.

You can see I saved myself some problems by doing a few things.

  1. I sewed a strip set of the four graduating fabrics and cut all three pieces from that piece.  The bottom red/brown I originally intended to piece separately, but in the strip set it went, made it faster & uniform.
  2. By sewing strip sets and boxes, my cross wise grain (or lengthwise grain) ends up on the long diagonal side of this block, which is where a lot of stretch happens.
  3. I actually paper pieced the corners of this block, the black and orange middle points separately onto paper – which is where the tape problem is.

Now I had two options (or more) on how to piece this together.

First option is to sew the bottom pieces, then sew on the top orange piece, then using y seams, sew the middle orange pieces (the short legs of the triangle).  This was my first instinct, but not the one I took.

Nay, nay (says a funny comic)

The second option seemed so much better, so much more inspired by the brilliant quilting decision I made over NYSI to piece the middle of my curved block separately from the two outer pieces (here’s a bad picture beware)

So I decided today on my paper pieced block, that I would sew the top 3 sections together, then sew the bottom 3 sections together, and then sew both pieces together. Which was an … interesting choice to say the least.

This lead to some ‘interesting stitching around the corners.  And some bunching of the seams near the center piece.

But the piece is squared up all perfectly nice even along the diagonal. And I swear I did not cut it down.

So I do want to try again with option 1 on piecing this together and see if it’s any easier.  Essentially I’ll be doing the same thing with different lengths of stitches, but it’ll be good to try another way. Experimenting and all that.

And that’s all I did today — too much time taken up with other things.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 629 other followers