Category Archives: Ask Jo

Ask Jo: Binding and UFO Progress

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days. A comment came in from the comment section.

Christina asked:
Do you have a tutorial on binding?

I do have a binding video.  You can watch it right in this blog post by pushing the play button.  You can also go HERE to Youtube, save it, and then watch it on your television.

In the video, I was binding my granddaughter Georgia’s doll quilt.  You can see more about her doll quilt HERE.

Sharon asked:
Beautiful quilts. After doing 4 quilts in the same colors, I definitely understand wanting to move on! You got so much accomplished but I was wondering how you’re doing on the UFO challenge? I may have missed it but I don’t think you’ve given an update lately?

You can read a full listing of my UFOs HERE that I want to work on over the next 9 months.  I started the list on July 1st as part of Country Threads Chicken Scratch blogs UFO Dirty Dozen challenge.  This year they also added a color option that some are doing.

So far, here is what I’ve completed.  I haven’t always followed along with the specific project.  In that case, I picked an alternate project.  My list had 24 projects on it.  I really didn’t expect to complete them all but I wanted to complete a minimum of half.

Here is what I have finished…

Continue reading

Ask Jo: Conspiracy…No.

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days.

A comment came in from the comment section.  The author wrote:
I love reading your quilting ‘stuff’, always fun and informative.
But, the Fox News conspiracy crap on here really hit a nerve. I quilt to get away from all that garbage. This seems like an odd and inappropriate place for it.
Sorry to say goodbye

**PLEASE NOTE:  This blog reader and I have talked and we have everything worked out.  Please do not leave an unpleasant comment.

The reader had been reading THIS POST.  It was the post about me explaining that I wasn’t going to be working with the magazine that offered me only $250 for my quilt design.

I was super confused by the comment because I don’t write anything political.  I try to stay away from that so much.  I myself hate it when people interject their political opinion into their blog, Facebook, or any type of social media.  I myself have quit reading blogs that get political even if the person has my same political view.  I just don’t like it as most people who are writing are only spewing crap said from the opposite political side.  No thanks.

I stay away from it as well because you don’t come to my blog for political opinions.  Here you want to get a recipe, get a quilting idea, check in on grandkids, or see what else the Kramers are up to.  You come here to get away from all of that so- No.  I didn’t write about the Fox News conspiracy (I didn’t even know there might be one).  I would never write about it except for now to tell you I didn’t write about it.

I came to the conclusion that this blog reader must have seen something in an ad that was on the blog.  So…I thought I would explain to you all how ads work.

Advertiser track the places you visit on the internet….or where the people using your computer have visited.  Then when you go to the next site, they pop ads for those places into place at the next site you visit that has advertising.

Here’s an example.  I was listening to a Flosstube from someone who had just attended The Attic Summer School retreat.  One of the designers there gave all of the participants this Tim Holtz box with a cross stitch pincushion pattern that could fit in the center square of this box. Then you could put other accessories in the side boxes.   Hmm.  I loved that idea.  The pattern hasn’t been released yet and probably won’t be for a year…but will the box still be available then??  Who knows??

The more I thought about it, I wanted a box.  I did a search to try to find them.  It turns out they are available through JoAnns.  They have them HERE on Amazon as well.

I thought a wool pincushion or sewn pincushion would be great for it as well. So, to beat the rush of cross-stitchers looking for them, I decided to order one now while they were still available.

For three days, everywhere I went on the internet showed me items that were all Tim Holtz-related.  There were stickers.  There were charms.  There were these and other similar boxes.  EVERYWHERE I went, Tim Holtz’s items followed me through ads that I saw.

That is the nature of advertising nowadays.  Once you give an inch on something you might be looking for, advertising takes the extra mile.

This same thing happened when I was shopping online for a new rug for the living room.

As a test, before I wrote this blog post, I took … Continue reading

Ask Jo: Cross Stitch Edition

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days.

Today’s post is mainly going to focus on cross-stitch questions and comments.

Bonnie asked:
Where can I order floss? If I have a specific design, will shops put together a kit from a chart? Where did you see the new charts from the Needlework Expo? Where do you order linen and how much do you order for each piece? Can you tell I am new? Actually I did cross stitch many years ago and have recently started again but I am very rusty and don’t know how to navigate the cross stitch world but I am loving what you choose to stitch.”

I’m going to tackle Bonnie’s questions one at a time.
Where can I order floss?
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of cross-stitch shops that are local to most people.  That has led people to shop online.  I can list a few here that I have ordered from in the past.

Stitchery Nook- it’s my local shop.  They have an online presence as well.
123 Stitch- fast and cheaper than most
Fat Quarter Shop
Hollis Hand Create on Etsy
Farm Girl Dry Goods- haven’t ordered from her yet
Colorado Cross Stitcher-Fast service

There are many other places as well.  I hate listing just these but if you’re new, I picked shops that are easy to order from.  I have ordered from The Attic and have had a fine experience but…they are slow and don’t have an easy way to order.  If you’re not in a hurry and don’t mind calling or emailing them they are just fine…but you will have to wait.

If I have a specific design, will shops put together a kit from a chart?
Most shops will.  The only problem is that called-for linens are SUPER hard to find so there is a high probability that they would have everything except the linen.  Most stores can make a good substitute though.  With the linen change, you might need to change the color of a thread or two to make sure they show up on the linen.

Where did you see the new charts from the Needlework Expo?
Everywhere is the best answer for this.  I follow all of my favorite designers on Flosstube (If they have one) and Instagram.  I see them as they announce their releases.  Other places I see them are on websites.  I follow the online shop, Needlecase Goodies2.  You can find them HERE.  If you look in their section that says 2022 Expo Preorder, you can see all the new things there.  Typically before Market or Expo online shops have a place in their shops where they are taking preorders and you can see the new designs.

Where do you order linen and how much do you order for each piece?
Linen is sold in two different ways in a predetermined size or cut to the specific piece you are stitching.  Years ago most people bought linen they bought it for a specific project and buyers paid so much money per square inch.  You can still buy that way from some stores.

Buying linen has changed over the last few years.  With linen shortages how people buy linen has definitely changed.  If you talk to most any linen dyer they have stated that getting certain counts of linen is hard for them to get.  In turn, it’s hard for us stitchers to get.

That has led to cross stitchers having more of a fabric stash.  Often they can’t find the linen that was called for in the chart so they have to make substitutions.  Having some linen on hand in my own stash has been helpful.

Primarily I buy fat quarters of linen.  Those are typically about 18 x 27.  Most projects can fit on a piece that size.  Occasionally if you are stitching something huge, you need a fat half.  You can even buy it by the yard.  I never do that as I don’t want that much of the same color and I don’t have $100+ for that much linen. There are smaller cuts available as well.  A fat quarter of hand-dyed linen is around $25-$32 for each piece.

That is expensive BUT…I will stitch on a piece of linen that size for about three months.  That to me is cheap entertainment.

Some people don’t like buying fat quarters of linen because some can be wasted.  I don’t feel that way. I purposely have small projects like pillows or ornaments that I stitch with the leftover linen.

Here you can see my finished All Creatures Great and Small.  You can see I cut the linen off the side.


I immediately took the leftover piece and put it… Continue reading

Ask Jo: Perfect Match Question and Comments

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response to.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days.

Today’s topic is all about our quilt that was featured in the 2022 Fall Issue of Quilts and More.  You can get the magazine HERE on Amazon.  This quilt…

This quilt has a bit of an epic story.  Epic in this case means long, not spectacular.  So let me start at the beginning, November of 2021.  At that time I was contacted by the magazine.  Being I’m a regular contributor they periodically contact me to see if I have something they could use last minute…and that’s what this contact was about.

They needed a project for immediate publication.  I sent them pictures of this quilt… Continue reading