Author Archives: Jo

What I’m Working On…and String Challenge

If you follow me on Instagram you might have noticed that on Friday morning I posted this picture.

I was so excited!  I had all of my blocks finished!!  The time sewing this has gone by so quickly.  I ended up looking as to when I first started talking about the quilt on the blog.  It was January 11th.  I had started it a few days before then but not a lot earlier.  I’d guess I started it on the  8th…I finished it on the 18th!!  I wish some of my other quilts happened that quickly.

I’ve been so excited working on this…I’ve been up early in the morning and hurried through kitchen clean up at night.  The little printed fabrics in these blocks is so stinking cute I loved working on them and wanted to get back to them.

Thursday the childcare kiddos all ended up leaving early.  I was completely done with childcare at 4:30pm.  Typically it’s 5pm or after and then I have clean up after that.  I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and ran to the sewing room to start piecing this quilt top together.

By bedtime I had this!!! Continue reading

Blast from the Past: Self Sashing Disappearing Nine Patch

I’m starting a new feature on the blog…”Blast from the Past”.  I’ll be showing off some of my “oldies but goodies” quilts.

Of all the quilts we have ever made here on the blog, this quilt is likely the one we get the most questions about.  It’s out self sashing disappearing nine patch quilts.  We’ve made them three different times.

I know, I know, it doesn’t look like a disappearing nine patch, but trust me, it is.

Kelli made this one.  She made it for her husband’s cousin when he had surgery.  He was an Iowa Hawkeyes fan so this was fun for him.  There are Iowa Hawkeye fabrics mixed with some blacks and yellows and whites.

I went on and made one for a wedding quilt.
Then the couple I made one for a wedding quilt went on to have a baby.  I had leftover scraps so made a baby sized one.

Through all of that, people kept telling us, NO THAT IS NOT A DISAPPEARING NINE PATCH QUILT! I can’t begin to tell you how many times we have defended that is truly is a disappearing nine patch!

We finally wrote so directions up to prove that is was.  Here they are…. Continue reading

Stash Report

I stopped at thrift store…I know that isn’t a surprise.  I’ve been trying really hard to wean myself for getting obsessed about fabric there so I did something different.  I didn’t go to fabric first.  I went to picture frames.  I have a couple things I need frames for so decided to check and see what was available.  I refuse to spend the money and have things professionally framed.

Anyway, as I was shopping a blog reader stopped me and said, “I thought your cart would be full of fabric”.  That made me giggle.  I told her, “No, I hadn’t been that way yet”.

I roamed the store and eventually got to the fabric spot.  I expected it to be empty if a blog reader had been here before me but nope.  I found some fabrics.  I think I find quite a bit of fabric there as most people would likely pass this fabric by.  Not me.  I have so many outlets for it all.


These two will hang out for awhile and I’ll see if they can be used as charity quilt bindings.  There is a 1/2 yard of green and just over a yard of purple.


This one has two yards and will be passed on to the ladies in Oelwein that I send fabric to.


This one I’m keeping.  I love the print…so cute.


All of the above pieces were 50 cents each.  That’s the regular price unless priced separately.

This piece I “broke the bank” for and paid all of $1.50 for it.  Check it out…. Continue reading

What I’m Cooking: Instant Pot-Ham Bone Soup

No joking…I think I look forward to eating ham bone soup even more than I ever look forward to eating ham.  That says a lot as ham is likely my favorite meat.

When the kids were all home last we had ham.  It was a great bone in ham…my favorite.  No spiral hams for us!!

Long ago I would make Ham Bone Soup on the stove boiling the ham and beans for a LONG time.  It is so much easier with my  Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.  I have a 6 quart size and can get a ham bone in it.

This is what I did….In the pot I put:
8 cups of water
1 bag of Great Northern Beans
1 larger onion chopped
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
3 Tablespoons of ham broth seasoning
1 meaty ham bone


I have a bean setting on my pot so I locked the cover in place, turned the valve and pressed the bean setting.  Easy-Peasy.

The ham comes out perfect for flaking.


It falls right off the bone.


I put the meat back in the pot.

I then mixed 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch with enough water for it to absorb.  I turned the pot onto saute and stirred in the cornstarch mixture.  Test the soup to see if it’s the consistency you like.  If you want it thicker, mix another batch of cornstarch.  I taste at this point too.  Some hams are super salty and no more salt is needed.  Some aren’t as salty and do need salt added to the soup.  Make it to your taste and liking.

Here’s what mine looked like…. Continue reading