OH. MY! "Okay", I responded... trying to not sound totally shocked or too excited.
They sent some questions that I answered, as follows...
When did you start quilting? I started quilting in 2000.
Why did you start? I have always loved to sew and quilting just fascinated me. A friend had her daughters signed up for quilting in 4-H and then she invited me to participate in a block of the month group. The BOM group was a great way to learn different techniques and get some great tips from some of the more experienced quilters that were participating.
Do you sew bags and quilts? Do you have a preference or favorite? I sew both bags and quilts. I love the bags because it offers an opportunity to practice free-motion quilting on a smaller scale, but my heart truly loves quilting - every aspect of it - from picking the pattern and fabrics to piecing blocks, all the way to preparing a quilt-top for quilting and the binding. Oh, and don't forget the label!
In your email, you said you had made 13 of the Gathered Together bags. That's a bunch! Is that your final tally for these bags? I lost track, but to the best of my recollection it is 20+
Did you keep most of the bags or give them away? To whom? I kept 1! All of the remaining bags were for others. They make great purses, book bags, diaper bags, even market bags.
Did you make them one at a time or make multiples? I usually made them in multiples - about 3-4 at a time.
After making so many bags using the same pattern, do you have any shortcuts or tips to share? The pattern itself is just so simple, the only shortcut I used for some of the bags was buying some "pre-quilted" fabric. My tip - I began adding pockets so that the car keys or cell phone don't end up lost at the very bottom of the bag. I made a few with elastic instead of using a tie for the "gathering". That worked well, too.
What is your favorite gadget or tool? Hmmm... Aside from the basic rotary cutter, rulers and cutting mat that I use all the time, I don't have a lot of "specialty" gadgets but I do love the ruler rack that my husband made me.
I have some other exciting things going on, too. I am part of the Quiltmaker's Year of the Machine Quilter and will be participating in an on-line group testing and trying out lessons to help the domestic machine quilter improve their free motion quilting skills. Just exactly the area of quilting that I wanted to improve in!
An opportunity to make the quilt for the first "bride-to-be" even more special! I better go practice...