Sunday, February 28, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions:

My name is Tia Curtis. I love to quilt and and I love fabric. I make bags to fund my addiction. Below are some questions I get often, so instead of answering each one individually, I will just make a handy dandy spot for you to pop over and see if your question has already been answered.

How do I order a bag from you? I don't take many orders these days. I am pretty slammed with bag orders all the time so I only take a very very few. When I do feel like I can take a couple I have slots available in my shop. I sometimes have finished bags in my little shop and I am more than willing to add your patches to them.

How long is your turn around? Normally it is quite long. I am sorry about that, but I spend a stupid amount of time on each bag. I want to infuse them with personality and that takes a while. For some reason quilts don't take me as long. I don't know why.

You are closed for orders all the time. When will you open? This sorta relates to the question above. It is my fantasy to have a turnaround of about 2 weeks. That would be so awesome I think, but this sewing gig is not my primary duty in the Curtis clan. I am the Household6 and that means I am the mate and mom. I shop, make and take my 3 kids to appointments, sometimes I tidy up my dwelling, I really like to cook so after 1600 that is what I am doing. I like volunteering at the kiddos school, so I do that alot. All in all I sew in my free time, which sometimes I do not have all that much of. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I have heaps of time and at those moments I take orders.

Who do you sew for? I sew for family members of military personal mostly. In an extended sort of way you are my family members. I like to sew for fabric designers. In my mind it is like Micheal Angelo giving me a bucket of his paint. Pretty cool. I had prefer to sew for folks I know, or who know others I have sewn for. But I will sew for most anyone, I guess.

Why does it take so long to get a bag? Well, I am the only one sewing, cutting, buying fabric, answering emails, updating the blog....all in all I am a 1 Woman show. I would love to have an assistant, but at the moment I do not make the $$ to pay one. Someday I will.

What kind of machine do you use? Oh I use a wonderful sewing machine. It is a Bernina 820 and she is one powerful lady. Her name is Brunhilde and she is a delight to work with.

Where have you lived? Oh gosh, everywhere. I am an Army brat. My dad was in the Army for 30 years, so we moved all over the place. Mostly Germany as a child, I went to a Mennonite High School in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for 3 years and my senior year we moved back to North Carolina where I graduated from High School. I went to College on an ROTC Nursing Scholarship and graduated with my BSN from Queens College (now they changed the name to Queens University) I was commissioned in the Army Nurse Corps and my first duty station was in Heidelberg, Germany. After Germany I moved to Fort Hood, Texas. My husband joined me there a year later. I lived in fort Hood 5 years. My husband only 2 because he spent a bunch of time in Iraq. Then we moved to Alice Springs, Australia for about 3 years. Oh I loved it there. What a wild place and such wonderful people. Now we live in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. I love it here too. Very "America". In June we will be moving back to Texas. But not Fort Hood. We will be going to Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo. I hope I can find some fun people to sew with there.

Who has inspired my sewing? I love Gwen Marston. She is a fabulous quilter. My mom and I are going to one of her workshops in September and I can't wait! I also like Denyse Schmidt, Heather Ross, Amy Butler and Natalie Chanin.

When did you start making the bags? I started making my Camp Follower Bags in 2004. My husband was deployed and after I put the kiddos to bed I didn't have much to do. I bought a sewing machine and was active in my church quilt club. A friend (Jennifer Istre) asked for some help at the Christmas Bizarre, so I made a couple bags with her. From the beginning mine were totally different from hers. And I loved that. Hers were great and had a great design, very inspiring. I have shown other ladies how to make the bags over the years and many many have taken my ideas and run with them. I am happy they are making some money for themselves, but sometimes I feel pretty used. But that is life, huh? I like my bags the best ;o)

Do you sell patterns? Not yet. I do plan to though.

Can you tell me how to make some bags so I can sell them too? Nope. This little bag gig is a source of income for me and my family. It is my intellectual property. I am a bit of a wolverine about it all. I do plenty of stuff for free and charity, but not that. It kinda confounds me when people write and ask that. Would they write Ralph Lauren and ask him for his patterns? I doubt it.

Do you teach classes? Yes, indeed. I have bags designs I am willing to part with and those are the ones I teach in my classes. I also teach quilting. I love that. Please feel free to email me about having me teach.

That is about all I can think of at the moment. I have sewing to do!


f said...

Thanks for sharing Tia! I just love your blog, your bags, and your quilts. You are so creative.

erica said...

Hey we lived @ Goodfellow for a couple of years! Drop me an email if you have any questions! love e

Anonymous said...

I am always amazed at how much sewing you get done! And I'm jealous that you and your mom are going to attend a Gwen Marston class. I need to start paying more attention to when & where some of my favorite quilters are teaching.

AllieKatMom said...

Great post! And of course I will be waiting for the day you start taking orders again!!! Cant wait and good luck with your move! If you are ever in the Houston area I would love to sew with you :)

silversmith said...

coming back to texas - yeah! if you feel like making a trip from san angelo to houston for the quilt festival, drop me a line! i'd love to meet up with you.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Mrs Curtis,
I found your community entry of the quilts you made in the quilt book by Kathreen Rickeston on googlebooks. It is awesome! I am currently an avid knitter, but have some small talent with a sewing needle as well. Quilting is something that I would love to try if I ever find the time.

Also, I am interested in becoming an Army Nurse since I am currently in nursing school up in Hancock, MI, but I definitely have itchy feet and love overseas travel.
I will join your email list. If you had a list of the top five things you wish you knew about Army Nursing, please send them to me. fanofspring AT hotmail

Thank you!
Lee Alexandra Shippey

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