Quilt Alongs

Sew Lets QAL: Block 2 Mug

Hi! Welcome to Block 2 of the Sew Let’s Quilt Along!

Details of the quilt along are located on the Sew Lets QAL tab above, but here’s the short version: we’re presenting the blocks for this quilt along in segments. To win a prize, make all the blocks from that segment, then upload a photo of them all at the end of the segment.

This is Block 2 of Segment 1. There will be five blocks in this segment, released every two weeks. The last block in Segment 1 will be released on May 7th; the Segment will end on May 20th. To enter for the Segment 1 Prize, you’ll have to have all five blocks finished by then. The prize for Segment 1 will be announced on May 21st.

Block 2: Mug

This week’s block is a Mug. The designer of Block 2 is April @ JANDA Bend Quilts and you can download the pattern there.

I’m not making all the blocks, but I am hosting and providing tips. Here’s my version of April’s block from Electric Quilt.

My Tips and Tutorials for Making This Block

Here are my tips for making the Sewing Machine block.

Sew the Flip Corners carefully

This block uses a technique called Flip Corners to create the angles on the mug. With a flip corner, you draw a diagonal line, place the square on the corner of a larger piece RST, sew on the line, then flip the top piece back towards the corner, creating a right angle.

To sew flip corners correctly, take the time to carefully mark the diagonal line on the back of the flip corner squares. I use a regular pencil, a small ruler, and my sandboard to do that. A sandboard really helps to prevent the square from slipping so you can mark the diagonally correctly.

Then, instead of sewing right on the line you've drawn, sew just a bit to the right of it (closer to the corner) as you see here. Sewing the seam just a bit short of center makes a bit more room for the fold, so when you press the flip square back towards the corner it will fit perfectly.

Making block 10 2.jpg

With flip corners, you typically trim the seam allowance after pressing the corner back.There are two schools of thought with this. If you don't trim, then you always have the bottom fabric (which is cut to size) to help you construct the block properly. If you do trim the seam allowance, you will have a lot less bulk in the seams. And you can always trim the finished unit to size (which I highly recommend if you do trim the seam allowance).

Add the text

This block includes a cute text message. You can add the text to fabric in a couple of ways:

  • You can embroider the text onto fabric, cut the fabric to size, and piece it into the block.

  • You can copy the text onto fabric using fabric pens, cut the fabric to size and piece it into the block.

  • You can print the text onto fabric, cut the fabric to size, and piece it into the block.

Regardless of which method you choose for adding text to your mug, you’ll need to start by printing out Page 6 of the instructions. Make sure you select to print at 100%.

After printing, measure the test block (the 1” square) to make sure you’ve printed the page correctly.

To embroider the text, use an outline or stem stitch. First, lay the printout on your table and place your fabric on top and trace the text with a marking tool. I use my sandboard to keep the fabric in place while I trace the text.

To keep the fabric from puckering too much from your embroidery, fuse a light weight fusible to the back. Then use the outline or stem stitch and three to six strands of floss to embroider the text.

If you want, you can simply copy the text onto the fabric using a fabric pen such as a Pigma pen. Again, use a sandboard to stabilize the fabric so it doesn’t shift during the copy process.

To print the text onto fabric instead, you’ll need printer-prepared fabric and an ink jet printer. For step by step instructions on how to print on fabric, click here.

After printing, be sure to trim your fabric to 5-1/2” x 6-1/2” and piece it into the block.

After you’ve sewn your block together, trim it to 12-1/2”.

Thanks for the Tips! Where do I get the pattern?

Drop by April’s blog to download your free Mug block pattern. Hurry! The pattern is only available for free until September 21st.

Here are the hosts for Segment 1. Drop by their blogs for tips on making the block.

Abbie @ Sparkle On
April @ JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Sherry @ Powered by Quilting
Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts
Sandy @ SandyStar Designs
Sandra @ Sandra Healy Designs
Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing

How Do I Enter the Giveaway?

First, you must be 18 years old to enter.

Now, unlike previous quilt alongs, this time you simply make the block. Then after the end of Segment 1, you need to post a photo of all blocks in that Segment to enter the giveaway. If you want to see the schedule for the quilt along and the list of block designers, click here.

When it’s time, you’ll post a single photo of all the blocks in Segment 1 to one of the following places to enter the Segment giveaway:

  • On Instagram, with the hashtag #fallintoaqal

  • In our private Facebook group

  • To the linky on any of the host’s blogs

Remember, you don’t have to get the blocks done until it’s time to post a photo of all the blocks in Segment 1 and enter our Segment Prize giveaway. Personally though, I’d make the blocks when they come out so you don’t fall behind.

Here’s what you might win for making all the blocks in Segment 1:

Thanks for stopping by! The next block will be released April 9th.

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Tell me…how are you planning on adding text to your block?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Sew Lets QAL: Block 1 Sewing Machine

Hi! Welcome to Opening Day of the Sew Let’s Quilt Along!

You’ll find the details of the quilt along on the Sew Lets QAL tab above. Here’s the short version: we’re presenting the blocks for this quilt along in segments. To win a prize, make all the blocks from that segment, then upload a photo of them to our Facebook group, Instagram with the hashtag #sewletsqal, or to a special linky we’ll host at the end of that segment.

This is Block 1 of Segment 1. There will be five blocks in this segment, released every two weeks. The last block in Segment 1 will be released on May 7th; the Segment will end on May 20th, so to enter for the Segment Prize, you’ll have to have all five blocks finished by then. The prize for Segment 1 will be announced on May 21st.

Block 1: Sewing Machine

This week’s block is a Sewing Machine. The designer of Block 1 is Sandra @ Sandra Healy Designs and you can download the pattern there.

Here’s my version of Sandra’s block.

I picked my fabric choices for this block from my quilt along fabric pull. My thought was that I wanted something pretty for the sewing machine, but not so busy that you couldn’t tell what it was. So I choose a pretty tone on tone print. Next, I chose a coordinating “bee fabric” to act as the table. I chose a light grey for the panel and two coordinating solids for the large knob in the front.

I spent a lot of time choosing the spool fabrics. In the end I picked three fabrics whose colors are my favorites—teal, purple, and fuchsia. I didn’t want solid fabrics, but something that kind of looked “thready.”

My Tips and Tutorials for Making This Block

Here are my tips for making the Sewing Machine block.

This block has a lot of pieces, so my first tip is to mark them.

You’ll find a diagram on Page 5 of the pattern. Print it out because it’ll help you organize. Me, I like to clip my labels to my pieces using my Clover Mini Clips.

Sew the Flip Corners carefully

This block uses a technique called Flip Corners to create the angles on the sewing machine. With a flip corner, you draw a diagonal line, place the square on the corner of a larger piece RST, sew on the line, then flip the top piece back towards the corner, creating a right angle.

To sew flip corners correctly, take the time to carefully mark the diagonal line on the back of the flip corner squares. I use a regular pencil, a small ruler, and my sandboard to do that. A sandboard really helps to prevent the square from slipping so you can mark the diagonally correctly.

Then, instead of sewing right on the line you've drawn, sew just a bit to the right of it (closer to the corner) as you see here. Sewing the seam just a bit short of center makes a bit more room for the fold, so when you press the flip square back towards the corner it will fit perfectly.

Making block 10 2.jpg

With flip corners, you typically trim the seam allowance after pressing the corner back.There are two schools of thought with this. If you don't trim, then you always have the bottom fabric (which is cut to size) to help you construct the block properly. If you do trim the seam allowance, you will have a lot less bulk in the seams. And you can always trim the finished unit to size (which I highly recommend if you do trim the seam allowance).

For this block, there are lots of tiny (1-1/4” and 1-3/4”) flip corners. With flip corners that tiny, I don’t bother trimming because I’d rather keep that under fabric that’s already cut to the right size so my units are correctly sized. So my tip is: don’t trim!

Don’t forget to add the embroidery!

This block includes a lot of cute embroidered details. Without them, your sewing machine block just won’t be as cute. Don’t let the fact that you don’t normally embroider stop you from adding these personal touches!

First things first. Before adding the embroidery, fuse some light-weight interfacing on the back of your block, in the areas where the embroidery is going to be. This will stabilize the block and prevent it from distorting out of shape as you make your stitches.

The first embroidery you need to add is the spool ends for the thread spools. To do that, you simply take one stitch at either end of the thread spool, using 10 strands of brown embroidery floss. To secure the thread, you can make a quilter’s knot. Click here to learn how.

Next, you need to create the thread guide at the top of the sewing machine. To do that, take six single stitches close together in a parallel row.

To create the needle, you use an outline or stem stitch. Click here to learn how.

To create the thread that runs through the thread guides on top of the machine and also through the needle at the bottom of the machine, you can again use an outline or stem stitch, or you can mark the line with a marking tool, and stitching the line using your sewing machine. Me, I stitched it with my machine of course! <grin> My tip here is to use a thicker thread, such as 40 wt or 20 wt if you can. I ended up using Aurifil 50 wt. #2530 Blossom Pink because it matched my spool fabric perfectly! I think it turned out pretty good.

Adding the applique

To add the applique, start by printing out the templates on page 4. Use the 1” square to ensure they are the correct size. Print at 100% and DO NOT scale the pattern to fit.

Next, trace the shapes on the back of your fusible web, fuse the web onto the back of your fabrics, cut them out, then fuse them in place. Edge stitch around the shapes to hold them in place and to finish the edge.

If you’ve never machine appliqued before, click here for a step by step photo tutorial.

I edge-stitched my block with Mettler Metrosene 100 wt. #0554 Jade and Sulky 40 wt #1033 Dark Orchid

Add the buttons after quilting

For obvious reasons, you don’t want to add the buttons for the sewing machine until after the block is sewn into a project or quilt and you’ve finished it.

I’m not yet sure which buttons I’m going to use or how many. I do know however that I love to play with buttons and I have a big collection of them. <grin>

Thanks for the Tips! Where do I get the pattern?

Drop by Sandra’s blog to download your free Sewing Machine block pattern. Hurry! The pattern is only available for free until September 21st.

Here are the hosts for Segment 1. Drop by their blogs for tips on making the block.

Abbie @ Sparkle On
April @ JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting
Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Sherry @ Powered by Quilting
Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts
Sandy @ SandyStar Designs
Sandra @ Sandra Healy Designs
Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing

How Do I Enter the Giveaway?

First, you must be 18 years old to enter.

Now, unlike previous quilt alongs, this time you simply make the block. Then after the end of Segment 1, you need to post a photo of all blocks in that Segment to enter the giveaway. If you want to see the schedule for the quilt along and the list of block designers, click here.

When it’s time, you’ll post a single photo of all the blocks in Segment 1 to one of the following places to enter the Segment giveaway:

  • On Instagram, with the hashtag #fallintoaqal

  • In our private Facebook group

  • To the linky on any of the host’s blogs

Remember, you don’t have to get the blocks done until it’s time to post a photo of all the blocks in Segment 1 and enter our Segment Prize giveaway. Personally though, I’d make the blocks when they come out so you don’t fall behind.

Here’s what you might win for making all the blocks in this Segment:

Thanks for stopping by! The next block will be released March 26th.

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Tell me…Are you planning on making a quilt or a series of projects with your blocks from the quilt along?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Announcing a New Quilt Along from Partners in Design!

Today I’m excited to announce that in just two weeks the Partners in Design will be presenting a new mystery quilt along!

In case you don’t know us, me and my Partners in Design have previously hosted a Christmas quilt along called the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along and a fall themed quilt along called the Fall into Quilt Along.

So what is the theme for our new quilt along?


…drumroll…



Sewing and Quilting of course!

Excited? Man, I sure am.

To make things even more exciting, we are changing things up this time so even if you’ve never done a quilt along before, you are absolutely going to want to do one now!

So Who are the Partners in Design?

Partners in Design is a group of quilt pattern designers who are working together to create a place for friends and fabric to meet up in creative fun.

Let me introduce you!

Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting

April @ JANDA Bend Quilts

Sandy @ SandyStar Designs

Sherry @ Powered By Quilting

Sandra @ Sandra Healy Designs

Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing

Abbie @ Sparkle On!

Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts

Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter (that’s me!)

Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts

So How Is This Quilt Along Going to Work?

First of all, there will be 13 blocks in this quilt along. Twelve blocks will finish at 12” square, and one larger block will finish at 18” x 24”.

The quilt along will begin in two weeks, on Tuesday, March 12th at 12 AM EST, with the release of the first block pattern. A new block will be released every two weeks until we’re done.

The difference with the quilt along this time is that the blocks are being released in segments, with prizes for participating being awarded after each segment.

Like before, there will be hosts who will be quilting along with you, offering you their version of the block, along with pro-quilter tips and suggestions for making each block successfully. There will be a variety of techniques used, so by participating you’ll stretch your creativity and may even pick up a new trick or two.

What if I Need Help on a Block?

As before, the hosts will help with your blocks. If you need help constructing a block, we’re there for you. Each time a block is released, each of the hosts will post their personal tips and techniques for making the block. They will also share their fabric choices and personal touches. Talk about an idea factory!

If you’ve got questions, you can post them in our Facebook group, day or night, and get an answer from one of our many hosts located around the globe or one of your fellow quilters. Wanna know if your fabric choices are good? Wanna check if that red piece goes on top of the blue piece or under it? Post a question and get an answer.

Back to How the QAL Will Work

Some of the hosts are planning on making quilts, so at the end of the quilt along, the Quilt Hosts will provide you with suggestions on how to lay out your blocks. With one block that’s 18” by 24”, you might place it in the center and arrange the other 12 blocks around it, with borders or sashing between them as you see fit. Or you might decide to place the larger block on the side instead of the center, and arrange the other blocks above, below, and to the side of it. The possibilities are endless and with our Quilt Hosts leading the way, you’ll get no end of inspiration for making a quilt using all 13 blocks.

Planning on making projects instead of a quilt? No problem! Some of the hosts (including me) will be making projects right along with you! At the end of each segment, the Project Hosts will share their suggestions on how to use your blocks in a project or two!

In addition, as you finish projects (regardless of when) we encourage you to share a photo of it in our private Facebook group and on Instagram with the hashtag #SewLetsQAL

There are Prizes Too? Tell Me More!

As I said, block patterns will be released every two weeks, in three separate segments. To be eligible for a Segment Prize (the prize that’s given at the end of a particular segment) you’ll need to make all the blocks in that segment and post a photo or photos of your blocks (in one single post) to one of these places:

To be eligible for the Grand Prize at the end of the quilt along, you’ll need to sew all 13 blocks into a quilt top (the quilt does not have to be quilted), or use all 13 blocks in a project or projects such as a table runner, wall hanging, or tote. It doesn’t matter how many projects or what projects you make, or how many blocks you use in each project as long as you show that you’ve used all 13 blocks in a finished project or projects.

Special note: To keep the contest portion of the quilt-along fair and fun for everyone, only quilters that use all of the designers' blocks (in a quilt or project(s)) will be eligible for the Grand Prize. Likewise, our Segment Prizes will only be open to those that make all of the designers’ blocks in that segment.

Time to Thank Our Sponsors!

Here are our generous sponsors, who are donating some really amazing prizes!

Timeless Treasures

Dear Stella

Bluprint

Everything Mary

Island Batik

Shabby Fabrics

Warm Company

Prym

In addition, many of my fellow designers (including me!) are donating our own patterns as prizes. So if you like prizes, this is the quilt along for you!

Note: The prize giveaways are open to all participants, even international ones! However, you must be 18 years old to enter.

The Quilt Along Schedule

I know you have a lot of things to do, and we value your time. If you quilt along with us, I promise you’ll have tons of fun, learn new things, make new friends and get inspired every day by your fellow quilters.

The quilt along begins in two weeks, on Tuesday, March 12th and runs until September 24th. Here’s the schedule for the quilt along, the names of the designer for each block, and the date when each block will be released.

Note: Block patterns will be released every two weeks at 12:00 AM on the date listed. Block patterns will be available for free from the designers until the date of the Grand Prize announcement.

Segment 1: March 12th to May 21st

Segment 2: May 21st to July 16th

Segment 3: July 16th to September 10th

September 24th - Grand Prize Winner Announced and last day to get the block patterns for free.

Who’ll Be Hosting?

This time, there will be some full-time hosts and some part-time hosts. Like before, you’ll visit the blog of the designer to get their block pattern when it’s released. Also like before, you’ll visit the hosts to see their version of the blocks and to get their tips for making it.

Project Hosts

There are three full-time hosts making projects. Visit any of them for inspiration on the types of projects you can make.

Sandy @ SandyStar Designs

Abbie @ Sparkle On!

Karen @ Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

In addition, there are part-time hosts for each segment. Visit them during their segment for inspiration and project suggestions.

Segment 1: March 12th to May 21st

Sandra @ Sandra Healy Designs

Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing

Segment 2: May 21st to July 16th

Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter (that’s me!)

Segment 3: July 16th to September 10th

Kathleen @ Kathleen McMusing

Quilt Hosts

Making a quilt and not a series of projects? There are four full-time Quilt Hosts ready to provide setting suggestions for finishing your quilt. Visit them at the end of the quilt along for suggestions on how to set your blocks together.

Bobbi @ Snowy Days Quilting

Sherry @ Powered by Quilting

April @ JANDA Bend Quilts

Becca @ Pretty Piney Quilts

So What Do I Need to Do to Join the QAL?

First, I’d gather your fabrics. Since the QAL is sewing and quilting themed, you may want to gather up your novelty fabrics. I’m making projects and not a quilt, so I am not worrying too much right now about all the fabrics going together. Instead, I’m looking for fabrics that speak to me. Here are a few.

I also pulled a rainbow of solids I might use with my favorite fabrics.

Because the quilt along is sewing themed, I pulled my sewing themed fabrics….

…and my bee fabrics too!

Note: If you’re looking for yardages, we estimate that you’ll need about 2 yards for the block backgrounds, about 1/2 yard each of brown, black, and grey; and about 8 assorted prints and solids about 1 FQ or less each.

After you’ve pulled your fabrics, be sure to drop by my blog every other Tuesday beginning March 12th. I won’t be hosting blocks, but I will be posting the information you’ll need to find that week’s block pattern. In addition, I’m planning on creating step-by-step photo tutorials to help you master the techniques needed to make each of the blocks.

You’ll find the ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar. For example, you might sign up for my newsletter so you’ll get notified when a new block is released.

In addition…

  • Again if you’re on Facebook, you should join our Partners in Design group. Share your fabric selections, blocks, projects/quilt in the group! We’d love to see. You can also follow me on Facebook at Inquiring Quilter and join my private Quilting with the Inquiring Quilter group to receive updates

  • If you’re on Instagram, start using the hashtag #SewLetsQAL to get your friends excited too! Use it when you post a photo of your fabric pull, then later when you finish a block or a project. Let’s fill Instagram with #SewLetsQAL photos! If you like, you can follow me on Instagram too, at Inquiring Quilter

  • Also, if you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow the #SewLetsQAL hashtag too, so you’ll see everyone’s photos!

Finally, get your scissors sharpened, your sewing machine oiled, and your rotary cutter blade changed. Then rev up for a fun filled quilt along!

Last Thoughts

Share the news!

The more people who participate, the more fun this quilt along will be. Remember, you don’t have to make a quilt to participate—you can make some smaller projects instead.

So please invite your friends to our quilt along by posting our quilt along button to Facebook, Instagram, and elsewhere. Just right click this button and choose Save Picture As to save it. Then share it everywhere with a link to my special quilt along page so your friends can read all about it.

Here’s a link to my quilt along page.

http://www.inquiringquilter.com/sew-lets-quilt-along/

Be sure to follow me so you can keep up with the quilt along schedule and where to go for each block.

See you March 12th!

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tell me…will you be joining us?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

Setting Ideas for Fall into a QAL and Final Linky

Welcome to the final linky party for the Fall into a QAL!

By now you've gotten all 12 block patterns and have made or are making all your blocks. Now it's time to think about how to sew all these blocks together! Obviously, the simplest and easiest way is to simply sew them into rows like Setting Example 1. Since there are 12 blocks, it makes sense to use four rows of three blocks each.

Borders are optional of course, but I like the look of a skinny inner border and a wide outer border for this.

Setting Example 1

Another simple way to finish the blocks is to set them in rows, separated by sashing strips. You can add cornerstones if you like, like shown in Setting Example 2.

Setting Example 2

Need a bigger quilt? The easiest way to accomplish that is to add an alternate block like the one shown in Setting Example 3. How about a log cabin? They are a great way to use up scraps and pick up the colors in your quilt.

Setting Example 3

Don't forget to play with color! Sometimes it's the colors that throw us off when comparing setting ideas.

How about setting the blocks on the diagonal, using easy HSTs to separate them? Again, this is another great way to pull the colors out from your quilt blocks and to create a unified design as shown in Setting Example 4.

Setting Example 4

In the end, I decided to set the blocks without sashing, and to add a banner row in the middle for the quilt along name.

I haven’t added my lettering yet, but I’ve decided on gold for the text. I may add some leaves on either side of the quilt along title but I’m not sure yet.

Well that's it! I can't see what you do with your blocks. Be sure to drop by the other host's blogs to see what setting choices they've explored. When you're done, be sure to come back to link up!

Abbie at Sparkle On
April at JANDA Bend Quilts
Bobbi at Snowy Days Quilting
Jennifer at The Inquiring Quilter
Karen at Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
Sherry at Powered by Quilting
Vanda at Quilting with Vanda

Wait! I've got a special announcement!

Thanks you guys for a wonderful quilt along! I have really enjoyed your creativity and your enthusiasm!

Great news! My fellow designers and I are excited to announce that we will be doing another quilt along in 2019!

As soon as I know more details, you will too! Be sure to follow my blog, watch for announcements in the Facebook group, or on Instagram with the hashtag #fallintoaqal.

Be sure to enter the final giveaway!

After you complete your quilt top, post a photo of it online by 11:59 PM November 12th 2018 to enter our grand prize drawing worth $200.

Just take a gander at what you might win!

  • An Island Batik Fat Eighth Bundle (24 piece) from the “Pumpkin Patch” fabric collection (shown on the left)

  • One Warm Company Queen Size batting

  • Exclusive Shabby Fabric quilt pattern, “Blessings of Spring” designed by Jennifer Bosworth. The patterns includes 9 blocks and finishes at 56” x 62”

  • An Omnigrid Zipper Pouch containing an Omnigrid 4” square ruler and a pair of 4” Needlecraft Scissors

  • A six-month subscription to the e-magazine Make Modern

To be eligible to win the grand prize, you must post a photo of your completed quilt top (that includes all 12 blocks in the quilt along) by 11:59 PM EST November 12th, 2018 to one of three places, such as the linky below. This time, all the hosts are sharing the linky party! Yep, no matter which blog you post your photo on, it'll appear on all of the host's blogs! Won't it be so cool to see a big gallery of everyone's quilts? I can't wait to see what you guys do!

Your top by the way, doesn't need to be quilted to enter for the grand prize, but it must include one of every block in the quilt along.

You can also post your photo to Instagram, with the hashtag #fallintoasqal or post it in our private Facebook group. If you want to link up but you need help, click the Wednesday Wait Loss tab above. It’ll give you step by step instructions on how to use a linky.

You can follow me on social media or sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to watch me finish my quilt. You’ll find all the ways to follow me at the top of my sidebar. If you have any general questions about the quilt along or would like to see the complete schedule, click the Fall into a QAL tab above.

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Tell me…what do you hope our next quilt along will be?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!