Community Quilt with Ray and Stoney

I am interrupting this blog post to tell you in regards to last night’s post about cutting up shirts…I did get a video done on how to rotary cut recycled shirts up.  Here it is…

….and now, I have a treat for you.  Ray revved it up over Christmas break and tackled a lot of quilts.  Four of them were from Stoney in WI.  All of them are being featured in this post.

Ray writes:
Earlier in 2020 Stoney M. in WI sent me some tops to quilt and donate. In the group were four tops that were all made with charm squares and sashed with white on white fabric. When I saw them in the stack of To-Do tops the other day, they caught my eye and I decided to look them over.

I am so glad I did. They are very similar but are also very distinct. Needless to say FUN!!

Post-Christmas and countdown of 2020, I was in the mood for fun! Here is the first one.

It has a sports theme but the baseballs seemed to dominate. Maybe it is because Fort Myers has two spring training camps and having them back would be a sure sign of a return to “normal”. Oh well, I digress. I found a quilt pattern with a baseball meander. Awesome! Now to decide on thread color. I normally downplay the top thread color to let the fabric take center stage. Sorry, what is a baseball without red stitching?

Had to go with red. The backing fabric is from Ila in IL and was just the perfect backing for the quilt. It is a home run!

Thanks to you, Stoney, and Ila for the assist in making this a winning quilt to be donated to a local baseball fanatic.”

Here is quilt #2.

Ray writes:
This is the second of four charm quilts that Stoney M. in WI sent to me. As you can see it is the same pattern as the first quilt. However, there is not a baseball to be found in this quilt.

That does not mean it is not fun. The fun is of a totally different variety. It has tools, toys, frogs and trains. That is what little boys are made of. I really liked the red thread from the first quilt especially on the backing that came from Ila M. in IL. I have the same backing on this quilt. But I did go with a different pattern. Balloons, big red balloons. More fun!! Thanks to you, Stoney, and Ila for your contributions to a fun quilt that is sure to make someone’s day very special.

Here is quilt #3.
Ray writes:
This is the third quilt from Stoney M in WI. You will immediately notice that the charms have gone from dark colors to softer, warmer colors.

To me, it is more feminine. Do not get me wrong there are some strong bold colors in there but there is also a softer touch. Stoney has a special talent in blending them all together for that special, cozy, comforting touch. Because of the softness of the colors, I went to the extreme of white thread for two reasons. One, to let the fabrics take center stage. Two, to get some pop on the backing from Ila in IL. I really like the inclusiveness of the kids on the back.

For a quilting pattern, I finally decided on the circle motif. There were a lot of circles and rounds in the patterns.
My thanks to you, Stoney, and Ila for the wonderful contributions to create another community quilt to touch a life when donated.”

Here is quilt #4.
Ray writes:
Here is the last of the four quilt tops of this set that Stoney M. from WI. sent me. She again created a top using charm squares.

Many of them come from leftovers of other quilts she has made. This quilt also has a lot of the softer, more gentle colors but also have some dark bold colors to add that special spunk. As I looked at the various fabrics, I noticed a lot of stars scattered throughout. Therefore, I used the star meander pattern and stayed with the white thread to make sure the story of the blocks continued to show.

This one also has the kid fabric from Ila M, in IL.

Love that fabric. Thank you to Jo, Stoney, and Ila for your generous contributions to these quilts as well as many, many others. These four quilts are to be delivered to Valerie’s House this week. Valerie’s House provides support for children to work through their grieving process.”

WOW!  I love all of the quilts.  It’s great to see people I know working together to do great things.  I’ve met both Ila who provided the backings and Stoney who supplied the awesome tops.  I’ve yet to meet Ray but trust me, he’s on my bucket list of people to meet.  Some people want to meet Rock Stars or actors or famous people…not me.  I want to meet Ray.  He’s a real hero in my eyes!!  Thanks, everyone!!


Are You With Me??

Want to join my bandwagon??

I jumped on one a week or two ago …What kind of bandwagon you might wonder.  One to tackle THIS…

To some of you, it might look like garbage.  Not to me!!

This is a couple of years of collecting.  I’ve been collecting yellow and blue shirts with the hope of designing and make a yellow and blue quilt made from shirts.  I have LOTS of my plate as far as sewing goes right now and that’s okay but…I am so sick of this mess sitting in my upstairs hallway.

Yes, it’s true confession time.  These bags have been sitting there for about two years.  I add a shirt or two from time to time but I never process the shirts.  UGH.

Here’s another confession.  There previously was another bag of shirts there but, with the new year, I made a plan to get the shirts tackled.  So…that bag is now fabric.  YAHOO!!

See?? Continue reading

Dealing with the Unknown

Our daughter, Kalissa, was driving home from a 12-hour shift at work.  She called me and we were chatting.  I told her I needed to get two blog posts written yet before I headed up to bed.  She asked me what I was going to write about.  I told her I had an “Ask Jo” segment almost finished but I wasn’t sure what else I was going to write about.

I’ve been writing the blog here for over 11 1/2 years now so I’ve learned that sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to write about I just sit down and something typically comes.  I might look on Facebook and see something that inspires me.  I might look at the pictures on my phone and something inspires me.

What ended up inspiring this post was Kalissa.  She said she thought I should write a blog post about how I deal with my unknown cancer stuff.  She said I handle it all so well and she thought maybe, I might have something to say that might help one of you dealing with cancer, other medical things, or even life problems.

I thought I could give that topic a try.  So how do I deal with the unknown?  How do I deal with knowing cancer is growing inside me?  How do I deal with knowing slow-growing cancer might change suddenly and become fast-growing?  How do I deal with knowing cancer might be my ending?

I know this sounds simple but I just keep on living.  I control what I can and have learned to let go of the rest.  There was a time in my life that I was a worrier.  I worried if my kids would grow into their names.  I vividly remember worrying if would I pick the right name for my kids.  I never wanted a girl name that sounded delicate like Tiffany because I was sure any child that came from Kramer and I would not be delicate…and I was right.  They aren’t.  Poor Kalissa has to wear men’s shoes as she can’t find shoes in a size women’s 13 wide.

I worried that I wouldn’t be liked.  I worried that my kids wouldn’t be liked.  I worried if I wore the right clothes, if my house was clean enough, if someone thought I was a nice person…oh my.  The list could go on for forever.  I would go to bed and couldn’t sleep.  I had all the things to worry about.  I remember lying in bed and listing the things I was worried about trying to find a solution to fix it all…and all of the things I was worried about weren’t something I could fix.

I don’t worry anymore.

After I was diagnosed with cancer, I learned that those things aren’t worth worrying about.  The right clothes are the last things I worry about.  Before I was so worried about if I looked like I wore “mom jeans”.  Now I just put on what is in the closet and trust my daughters will tell me if I need something different.

One might think that being I don’t worry about that other “stuff”, that I might transfer my worrying to worrying about my cancer.  I haven’t.  I don’t.

Here’s the truth of things.  Every 3-6 months, the doctors haul me in and give me the whole gamut of tests.  I get blood work, ultrasounds, chest CTs, PET scans, and whatever else they can think of.  I am watched closely.  I go to the doctor for other things regularly.  I just had a colonoscopy.  I am going to schedule a mammogram soon.  I take care of myself the best I can.  I do everything I can do to watch my health…well I don’t eat perfectly, but other than that, I’m doing all I can.

If something shows up in any of these tests or procedures, I know that I have done everything I could do to catch it early.  Beyond that, I can’t control a single other thing in regards to my health.  None.  Zip. Zero.  NOT A SINGLE THING.

I can control nothing that happens inside my body in regards to disease.  I cannot control a single thing.  So, what would worrying do?


Well, worrying could do something…I think worrying could damage my mental health.  That is the very last thing I want to do any damage to.

This might seem off-topic but bear with me… Continue reading

Ask Jo: Quilts and Backings

Hello, and welcome to another edition of “Ask Jo”.  I get many comments in and questions from all sorts of places, the comment section here, Youtube, email, and from our Facebook group.  Sometimes I think others of you might want to know the answers as well so I answer them here on the blog.

There was a lot of interest in this quilt that Ronda recently finished…many were trying to figure out the pattern. If you read through the comment section there were many coaching many others through the possible construction of the block.

Blog reader, Pam, sent me a note to let me know that she found the pattern.  HERE is the link.

It is a fun pattern that I’m sure many of you will enjoy and the good news, the pattern is FREE!!

I have gotten this question time and time again…Patti asked, “I love this quilt kit and am dying to find it! I know it was from a while ago but if you know of anyone who would like to sell this quilt kit I would love to buy it. I only started quilting five years ago and this kit was prior to my time.”  The quilt she is talking about is the Civil War Tribute quilt.  I machine quilted two of them this year and I am always getting requests from people who want to make it, wish they had the kit, or want some lead on trying to track it down.  As far as I know, it is out of print.  If you know of anyone who has the pattern or kit and wants to sell it.  This is Patti’s contact info.

This comment came from June:  “I LOVE the colors of this quilt! And wherever did you get that “ruler” under your sewing machine foot (next-to-last picture) with the lines on it? That would be such a help!

This is the picture that June was referencing… Continue reading