Friday, February 7, 2014

A Call for the Bag Lady

It was another usual day at the Nolan household when the phone rang and the voice on the other end said, "Hi, this is Lisa Schumacher with American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine.  Sometime ago you sent an e-mail to us about the "Gathered Together" bag that was in the April 2011 issue and we would like to include you in the 'I am a quilter' section of the June 2014 issue."

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...

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