I’m hoping I can explain something and then you all can help me out. This is not at all a complaint, it’s really more of a “you can help me help you” sort of thing. It’s also a bit of a public service announcement too. Anyway, whatever it is, here goes…
I get a lot of correspondence from people every day. I have comments from here on the blog. Comments from Facebook (two different groups), comments from Youtube, comments in Messenger, and comments from Instagram. I also have email that comes to three different addresses…one of them is personal but it seems a few blog-related ones always sneak their way into there.
Here is something that recently happened…A blog reader wrote me and asked if my Summer Serenade quilt could be made smaller into a baby quilt.
I read that comment and thought man…I have no idea what quilt they are talking about. I have ZERO ideas if we ever even made a quilt called Summer Serenade. I know to some of you it might sound crazy that I regularly don’t know the names of our quilts when they are published. Let me explain. Do you see the cover quilt on the front of this magazine?
It’s a quilt I designed…my daughter Kelli sewed and my friend Carla of Longarm Quilting Inspirations machine quilted.
I was playing on the computer one day and designed it. Kelli came the next day. We both loved it. We decided we would make it from some fabric lines (two mixed, I think) I wanted to get the order into Moda so we could get moving on the project. Kelli was in the mood to goof around. She wanted to go shopping. I finally told her we could go if we could 1-name the quilt so I would have a name to submit it under and 2-pick out the fabric. We got the fabric picked out and I ordered it…all that was left to do was name the quilt. We ended up naming the quilt Depot Day. The store Kelli wanted to go to was called the Depot and being we got the things checked off the list, we could go. So, Depot Day was the working name of this quilt.
The magazine names the quilts whatever they come up with. Designers don’t name the quilts. I learned that the magazine named this quilt “On the Bright Side” when I opened the magazine…at the same time all of you learned the name of the quilt.
For two months while we worked on getting this quilt together and out the door, its working name was Depot Delight. I really don’t know the quilt by any other name. “On the Bright Side” was never our name and the name never stuck with us.
The other problem with all of this…I’ve made 100s of quilts. Many I haven’t named…many whose names have been changed. I have the worst time associating a quilt with a name…and I’m bad with names anyway.
So I took the name Summer Serenade and put that into the search bar on my blog. Nothing came up. Hmm. I didn’t think she was talking about a quilt that I had made. So I wrote her back and said, “I don’t know what quilt you are referring to so sadly, I can’t answer your question.”
Now by the time I was back to the computer and back to reading emails, a ton of things have gone on in my life. I’ve fielded phone calls from my kids. My grandson Jasper wasn’t feeling well and suddenly got sick fast. Kayla, my daughter was taking him to Urgent Care. My daughter Kelli called on Messenger. Her kids were outside, the neighbor who has bee hives moved his bees and the bees were riled up. They came to her house and in a matter of minutes, two of the kids were stung by bees. My son Buck had called and his dog Spot jumped out the window of his truck which was partially open while he was in the gas station paying. Someone opened the door to come into the building and let the dog into the gas station and Spot came and sat right by Buck. Kalissa called to see if I wanted to ride to town with her to do errands.
I had a neighbor contact me because she knew someone who needed to surrender their dog. I contacted the rescue I work with to give them a heads-up that a dog surrender form might be coming in. This was 20 minutes of back-and-forth messages between the neighbor and me and the rescue and me.
I had to leave to take my dog Rosie to the vet.
I had the two girls who I do afterschool care for here after school. They left 1 1/2 hours later.
I got my mail that had packages in from blog readers…one was a cross stitch chart that I needed to package and pass on to another blog reader.
I was in contact with Karin a quilt finisher and she needed more quilt tops and she could use batting if there was money in the account.
About then I sat down to my email again. The gal who had the question about the Summer Serenade quilt emailed me back. All she sent was this…There were no words. All correspondence had been cut from the email. There was only this picture.
I thought for a second…Yeah. I remembered…this was the Summer Serenade Quilt she asked about. Now what did she want to know about it? For the life of me, I had no idea. Did she want to make it bigger? Did she want permission to take it to the fair? I couldn’t remember. I vaguely thought it was something about sizing…or was she wanting to know the fabric line I used. AH>>> I couldn’t remember.
I looked at the picture. Oh, now I at least know why the quilt didn’t come up when I search for it. It’s called SummerTIME Serenade…Not Summer Serenade. Okay, that at least made sense.
Okay…this would have been easier if when she replied to me and sent the picture if she had left the text so I at least knew the question she asked. I ended up writing back, “I am reminded now of the quilt but I have no idea what your previous question was. If it was in regards to making the quilt larger, you are perfectly able to do that by adding more columns to the quilt or adding borders. Sorry, I don’t know what your original question was.” I’m sure she thought I was an idiot.
She ended up writing back, “Not a problem! I’m wondering if this can be sized down for a baby quilt. Have you made other sizes?“
I ended up writing, “I have not made it other sizes. I’m sure you could make it smaller by deleting flowers from the columns or deleting blocks. I’d just make a few blocks and start playing with it.”
Then she send a last email that said, “Okay“.
I want to make it abundantly clear. I do not mind questions from all of you. I like interacting with all of you. I am not complaining about this blog reader for a single second. I want you to get the answers you need ASAP…
In light of that my suggestions are:
1-If you are writing to ask something, put ALL of the information you can in the very first email you send.
2-If you send a reply email, do not “clip” it and take out the previous conversation. You might not need it for reference, but I do. MANY things happened in my day or several days between the time I saw the first email and the follow-up email.
3-If you start an email with one address…keep that address for follow-up emails. I’ve had people switch to their family email and I can’t keep anything straight.
4-Don’t expect an email back from 1-3 days after you send something, especially if you write over the weekend. My weekend correspondence is not guaranteed.
5-Correspond to me through one method only. I have people that message me and then start emailing me and expect me to follow and know that the same gal named Elizabeth in Messenger is now BettyBeagle in email.
6-Email to firstname.lastname@example.org is my preferred method of contact. That will get you an answer the quickest.
7-Rather than waiting for me to answer your question, Google the answer for yourself. If you want to know the rhubarb recipe that I wrote two years ago, go to Google. Type in the search bar “Rhubarb Jo’s Country Junction”. All of the rhubarb recipes I’ve written will be there.
8-You can use any of my designs and display them at the fair or quilt show. Please credit me as the designer and leave my blog as a reference. You don’t need to email me and ask permission.
9-Please make sure I’m the person you want to email. I get a lot of emails asking questions that I am sure are meant for Judy at Patchwork Times or Bonnie from Quiltville. I know several of you read all of our blogs and I’m guessing it can be confusing to keep it all straight. I can’t answer a question about Elderberries…that’s a Judy at Patchwork Times thing. I’ve had two emails in the last five days that were sent to me instead of one of them.
I don’t want this to discourage anyone from contacting me. I truly love hearing from you. I just feel so terrible that you aren’t getting answers as quickly as you’d like because of these easy-to-fix hitches in our social media worlds.