Category Archives: Uncategorized

What I’m Working On…

Last week was busy so not a lot of sewing happened during the week.  Kalissa and Craig were on vacation and I had their dog Betsy.  She does not like Rosie.  She snaps at her in a way that is not playful.  It’s a very defensive snap that makes me really nervous.  I had to kennel Betsy upstairs and Rosie downstairs.  That was the only way I could make it work.  It’s weird because Betsy liked Ruby. She likes Puppycat.  I don’t know why Rosie is such a trouble to her.

I went to my great nieces basketball games one night.  Two of them played and both of them did an awesome job.  One is a senior, the other a junior.  It’s hard to believe they are so grown!!  The game was an hour away so there was no sewing that night.

I’ve been behind writing blog posts so a couple nights were spent trying to catch up..again no sewing.

Friday I finally got sewing time.  This is how far I got on Sunday night.

I started in on the other half on Friday night.  I sewed and sewed until I realized that I was short on block and one setting triangle. AH!!! So frustrating!!  It was 10pm and I decided to just be done and I’d deal with it the morning.  I can piece way into a night but I can’t bring myself to make all the pieces of for a block or anything else that requires much thinking.

I went upstairs and on a whim, I checked the sewing room.  YAHOO!!  There was the block and attached to it was the setting triangle I was missing.
Saturday I woke up and immediately started sewing.  I had this little helper….

…and this company. Continue reading

It’s been five years….

It’s been five years since this happened.  Our daughter Kelli and I had our book published by Kansas City Star.

It was a fun adventure that didn’t pay off for us in ways that we expected.

We had hoped that we would launch ourselves into the quilting world in a big way and that didn’t happen at all.  Our book was dead on arrival.  Not due to us.  Not due to the designs.  Instead due to circumstances beyond our control.

Many of you likely don’t know but back in January of 2015 we were told our book was being printed and would be released and we would get our shipments by the end of the next week.  We were excited and anxiously waiting.  We had all sorts of plans.  Kelli was coming home.  We were going to have champagne.  We were going to surprise those of you who pre-ordered with a book in your mailbox several days early.  We were on cloud nine.  Tuesday of that week rolled around and we were sent an email telling us that Kansas City Star, our publisher, was closing their quilt book division.  WHAT?? What did that mean?  What was happening with our book?  We no longer wanted to celebrate.  We wanted to cry instead.  Here one of the biggest days in our life was just dead on arrival.

Our book was later picked up by C&T Publishing but in the transfer, our book fell between the cracks.  C&T didn’t promote it.  Kansas City Star closed and left our book behind.  It was the worst timing ever.  We asked for C&T to promote it but the timing was completely off.  They already had their roster of books they were promoting.  It’s no fault of either company…just a terrible luck of the draw.

We kind of lost our push to do more in the quilting world about that time.  We realized we loved home and whatever we did, we didn’t want to travel.  We didn’t want to promote.  We’re home bodies and we wanted to stay home…so in the end, it really was okay that things happened like they did.

We were allowed by the company to sell our designs from the book to magazines if we wanted as they “dropped our book” from promotion.  We were encouraged to write another book….we’ve thought about…look, we have designs that would would make another book.

But our heart isn’t there.  Kelli is busy with Georgia and her family.  I’m chasing childcare kids and grandkids…plus you all would be a little sad if I took time off of blogging and threw myself into writing another book.

So…we dabble.  We write patterns for the magazines.  We can do one at a time and concentrate for a short period of time and then put the projects away.  That works MUCH better for us and our lifestyle.

That said, here are few designs from our book.

My favorite from the book might be this next one…. Continue reading

Community Quilts

I got an email from Elane.  I had sent her some quilt tops from the Cresco ladies who make quilt tops.  Elane is a quilter with Lutheran World Relief.

Well-  Here’s the story… as I was sorting the tops from the Cresco ladies I notice that some were an “odd” size….not bad at all, just a little to big to be baby quilts but not quite big enough for a bed.  I wasn’t sure what to do with them.  I thought about it for a day.  I really didn’t know of anyone who could use this size so I decided that I would look on the donation page listing that I made right here on the blog.  Find that HERE.

I read through the names and the items that the group was looking for.  I saw #10 was Elane.  I didn’t recall sending anything to Elane before and noticed that she was quilting with Lutheran World Relief.  I’ve made lots of quilts in the past for Lutheran World Relief and knew that our ladies make them close to 60″ x 80″.  Well some of these were 48″ x 64″…hmm.  That got me thinking that someone could easily put borders on these and they would size up to the size that is needed.  So I emailed Elane and asked if she was interested.  She was!!  YAHOO!!!

Elane writes, “This one I just had to take a little off the sides and add to the ends.”

I added small squares to the sides and large squares to the ends.

This one I added small squares all around. I love this one…
Continue reading

Ask Jo: This and That

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. 

Maryanne asked; “What is the charity group that is helping a maternity hospital in Tanzania? How to contact them please?”

Many of you might remember about the Ohio group who is making quilts for a Tanzania maternity hospital.  You can read the full story HERE.

Here is their contact information.
Quilts for Tanzania
Peace Lutheran Church
3530 Dayton-Xenia Road
Beavercreek, Ohio 45432

I have spoken with Celesta the point person and it sounds like a trip is being planned to visit there.  I’m so hoping she’ll pass on pictures to share with us.

After I made my pincushion and shared it here I wrote that I wasn’t a fan of crushed walnuts as a pincushion filled.  I don’t want to start an uproar as I know many of you like crushed walnuts.  Find the post HERE.

Here are a few of the comments and questions.

Barbara wrote:
“I bought a big bag of crushed walnuts and made one but it does make them rust! Waste of money! Your’s look great!”

Margaret wrote:
“You were specific about the type of sand you used…silica sand. As opposed to, say, play sand that is sold for sandboxes. Is there a particular reason you used this type of sand? And where did you get it?

I’ve been using ground walnut shells, but am beginning to think they may be dulling my pins. Can’t get a straight answer on this…some people say the shells sharpen pins and other say they dull them. Pins in the pincushion that’s had walnut shells for quite some time are definitely duller than new pins, so am thinking of switching to sand as I love to make, use, and gift pincushions.”

I use the silica sand as it is a dry sand.  Sandbox sand is wet.  I believe it will smell and hold moisture.  If it does that, the pins will rust.

I buy it at the big box home improvement stores like Lowes, Home Depot, Menards.  I’ll warn you, it comes in a big bag…like 20 pounds.  I suggest buying a 5 gallon bucket and lid at the same time and store it in there.  I bought a cheap funnel and spoon at the dollar store and keep the spoon and funnel right in the bucket with the sand.  If you can find a friend or two to split a bag with, that would be the best…but if not, you have just invested in all the sand you will ever need.

I first started using silica sand after doll making.  I made “country style” dolls and sold them in the 90’s.  One of the pattern companies suggested using the sand in doll bottoms to get them to sit.  Then Mary from Country Threads said that is what she used in pincushions.  I guess I’ve always had a good experience with it so I’ve continued to use it.

At one point I did try the crushed walnuts.  I was thrilled I could get a smaller bag and it was easier to find in the stores.  In the end, I’ve liked sand better so have moved back to that exclusively.

I got lots of comments about my hair after I posted a recipe for sugar cookies and showed this picture.  Find post HERE.

Gingerbread-1Everyone thought I had cut my hair.  It’s not true.  This is an old picture of me from about six years ago.  I am too low maintenance for short hair.  I don’t get it cut often enough when I have short hair. I’m a little lazy like that.  I’m sticking with long hair for now.

About that same post Judith asked:
“How many cookies does it make? Have enjoyed many of your recipes.”

HA…now that’s a hard one to answer for a few reasons…
1-I always make bigger cookies
2-I have childcare kiddos and family here that eat cookies as fast as I can make them.  If you don’t have a big family and childcare kids, you will have enough to freeze…and they freeze well.

Barbara wrote:
“Where did you finally get the book if not carried by Amazon?”

She was referring to this book… You can read the review I wrote about this book HERE.

This is the book where you can find this pattern…

The quilt I currently started working on.  I’ve been collecting shirts to make this quilt for some time…then our daughter Kayla saw is and wants a version of it for her baby’s quilt.

The truth is, the book is now available through Amazon.   I just looked.  You can find it HERE.  It is also available HERE on Quiltmania’s site.  Either way it’s purchased, it’s expensive compared to USA quilt books.  This one is written in French and English.  The patterns are doable but just wanted you to know that both languages are included in one book.  There are 12 projects in the book and I like several of them.

My friend Jean was at my house and saw the book.  She ordered one right away.  A week or so later she contacted me and said she like the book and had a list of about five quilts in the book that she really wanted to make.  The book features fabrics that are striped which is something we don’t often see.  If you are a person who loves working with shirts, this book is filled with quilts that are fun…like this one…

or this one…
If you’re looking for something you don’t always see and something that would appeal to someone who wants a quilt but prefers a bit more of a modern style quilt, this would be fun book with many options.

I think I answered some of the most recent questions.  Let me know if I missed something.  You can always email me at [email protected]  I have other emails but if you want a quicker answer, use this one.