All About Jo

Hello and WELCOME to Jo’s Country Junction.   I am glad you found your way to my blog.  If you want to reach me personally send an email to

If you have charity quilt tops or quilting supplies that you would to donate, please do to the donation page on the blog, FIND IT HERE, and find a worthy place to donate to.  These charity quilt makers appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity so much!  If you are unsure of who to donate to, feel free to contact me and I can help.

I am not very good at talking about myself but here’s a bit.  I’ve been blogging here since 2009.  That’s a long time.  Through the years readers have watched the lives of my family unfold from weddings to the gutting and remodeling of a foreclosure house, to farm life, to publishing quilts, to the births of grandchildren, death of my husband, and now my new life with Jerry.  I use my blog as somewhat of a journal and open it up and let you all in.

I was married to a self-proclaimed redneck…and I loved him like crazy-still do actually.  Sadly on June 2nd of 2019, he lost his battle to lung cancer that had metastasized to his bones.  We had been married for 32 1/2 years and we were very happy.

God blessed us with five great kids who continue to keep my life busy in a good way.  They can really make me smile…what more can a mom ask for?..except maybe grandkids.

Here’s the rundown on the kids:
Kelli is married to Jason.  She’s a nurse at a rural hospital in the Med/surg unit.  Kelli and I often team up together and work on quilts.  Jason is a farmer raising steers and crop farming with his family.  They have Georgia, twin boys, Eli and Emmet.

Kayla is married to Spencer.  She was a family consumer sciences teacher (Home Ec).  She now is working in administration in the West Dubuque School system. She is the one who originally got me blogging.  Spencer is an industrial electrician. They have Jasper and a yellow lab named Bruce.

Buck (real name is Kasjen) has kids with Lora.  Buck works with a large home builder as the jack of all trades who supervises the building of apartment complexes and homes.  He is often busy with side jobs.  They have three kids …Scotty is the oldest, Lucy is the middle child, and Lilly is the youngest.  They share joint custody of the kiddos.

Karl is single and currently lives four houses down from me.  He was in Houston Texas teaching 2nd grade until Kramer got sick.  He decided Texas was too far away.  He now works in Human Resources and focuses on Spanish translation in HR for a large pig producer.

Kalissa is married to Craig.  They live right in the same town I do so I end up blogging about them a little more than the other kids.  Kalissa is a nurse and has a blog at ThePinkShoelaces.  Craig works at the farm that Kramer used to work at.  It’s a 2000 acre farm with just under 1000 head of cattle.  They have three boys…Carver, Gannon, and Anders.

I work part-time at the local vet office by day and blogger/quilter/cross stitcher by night.  I also have a website  It is an early learning printable site that I worked on to help teachers, parents, and childcare providers to have projects that were educational for the kids they work with. I have a passion for children and believe the best way I can help them is by helping the people who care for them.  Previously I was an in-home childcare provider and also did work teaching adult continuing education classes to childcare providers.

I am a very active Grandma and very active with my adult kids.  We are a little bit too close sometimes…  HA!  Not a day ever passes that I don’t hear from most of the kids.  It’s okay.  I love it…but it keeps me busy.

If you have read the blog you know that I love my family, quilting, antiquing, reading, gardening, thrifting, and cooking.  I am not into house cleaning or decorating.  After Kramer’s passing, I’ve started to chronicle life as a widow.

In 2009, the house started to feel a little empty so I begged my husband to let me get a house dog.  I actually told him, that either we get a dog or we look into adopting a child.  He quickly said, “Let’s get a dog!”…first we had our rescue dog Gracie who passed away in 2012.  Then I had Ruby who passed away in 2019…and now I have Rosie.  All are beagles.

I started fostering dogs with a local rescue group in the Fall of 2022.  I ended up adopting my first dog Izzy.  She’s an Australian Shepherd/doodle mix.  She looks like a black poodle.

In 2015 our daughter Kelli and I published a quilting book.  We aren’t publishing books anymore but we do have many quilts published through magazines, American Patchwork and Quilting, Quiltmaker, McCalls Quilting, and Primitive Quilts and More are where you can find us.

Several years ago I started a mission to help others through quilting.  I now organize a network of longarmers who finish quilt tops for others and then the longarmers donate the finished quilts to worthy charities and benefits in their area.  I never dreamed it would expand to what it is today.

A very recent development in my life is that I met a new man Jerry.  My daughter Kalissa set us up and we started dating in May of 2024.  He’s a wonderful man.  I never thought I would get a second chance at love…but here I am- Happy and ready for the next adventure.  Jerry makes me laugh, tolerates my dogs, my hobbies, and my kids.  Who could ask for more? I’m just thrilled that he’s come into my life.

New posts here happen often.  You can look for about 7 new posts a week…  I am very honored that you take time out of your day to stop by and read the blog.

If you have a question…ask.  Truly, I help if I can.

I am a real simple girl with a real simple life and I hope it always stays that way.

87 thoughts on “All About Jo”

  1. Jo,
    I am the manager of Windy Moon Quilts in Reno/Sparks, NV. I saw your quilt ON THE BRIGHT SIDE in the Better Homes and Garden American Patchwork and Quilting February 2018 –issue 150. I am curious if you have this pattern available to sale outside of the magazine. If you do, do you sell wholesale to quilt stores?
    Look forward to hearing back from you.
    Karen Evans, Manager
    Windy Moon Quilts
    4400 Spokane St
    Reno, NV 89512
    (775) 323-4777

    1. No..the pattern is only available via the magazine. They sell back issues if you are looking for the pattern for several of you to use.

      1. On a separate matter Jo I was inquiring if I could get a pinch of your trailing african violet. your plant is so gorgeous and i have always wanted one. My email address is and my address is: 9395 Harritt Road Space 192, Lakeside CA 92040.
        thanks for your consideration.

        1. YES. BUT. The temperatures here are WAY cold. I don’t think it would make it through the mail system. Please email me in April and will send it then when temperatures are above freezing.

  2. Not only do I do cross stitch, but I did the one you are working on-Everything Changed. And bought the frame, but don’t have it on my wall yet. I am an avid quilter, but last year after being diagnosed with metastatic renal cell carcinoma 13 years after having a kidney removed because of cancer, I wanted something really inspirational so I got into cross stitch again. I’m working on one now about faith is the bird that sings before dawn. When you talked about your cancer issues I could emphasize.
    I love your long magnet idea, hope they decide to make one. And I will check out that site. I’ve ordered from Everything Crosstitch. And there are a couple nice shops about an hour from me. I just need to be able to work faster. My craft room is really piled up.

    1. Jean, I just read your reply here and I am very interested in the pattern that you say is about faith is the bird that sings before dawn. I have not been able to find it, but that quote speaks very brightly in my heart. So if you get this and can reply back, I will check for replies since it does not give you my email address. But you can also reply to Thanks.

  3. I use to receive your blog.
    Enjoyed so much. Do not receive at this time………I have registered my e-mail but no blog.
    Please help me get this blog in my e-mail.

    1. Kristie Partain

      Not sure if this is the right place to request notices for your blog. Just found it this morning. Love it! It’s like having a friend next door. Not sure how blogs work and am wondering if there is a way to read previous entries you have written.
      Enjoy your day

      1. Hi Kristie. WELCOME!! I love having new readers. If you go to my entire blog is at your fingertips. I’ve been writing since 2009. If you want you can sign up for the blog to come to you via emails. That is on the right-hand column. If you follow Jo’s Country Junction on Facebook the updates will come right to your Facebook feed. If you want to go back and read for the archives you can find the year you’d like to start with. Some of the favorites are our house remodel. You’ll find the in 2014 and 2015.

  4. My wife, Maureen (Marty) Potter loves your blog. She is a quilter. I have bought her four sewing machines over the years. She is using the Sweet 16 I bought her for free motion quilting. I had to learn a little bit about quilting to help buy the right equipment. I would buy her the big, computerized free motion machine but she says it costs too much and I can’t think of a place to put it in our house.

    I am writing to ask your opinion on blog design. I would like to start a traveling blog and have read what I can find about starting a blog. My concerns right now are not making a mistake on what host or platform I choose. Do you have any recommendations? I am asking you because you have done it and have a great blog.

    1. UGH. I’m not really good at blog advice Wally. My daughter Kayla takes care of all of that for me. I know how to write a post and insert pictures but not a lot more. I do like Blog spot but prefer to have a domain name that doesn’t have the in the name. That’s me…whatever you do as long as you are patient and consistent, it usually works!

  5. Dear Jo, been thinking about you, Kramer and the kids and the challenges in your lives at this time. The blessings are the babies! I so admired how you went from one birth, to the hospital, then another birth, another visit and the pics of you & Kramer with the little ones…You are blessed with such a wonderful family and I know you are the rock within your gatherings. I pray for you daily Jo… I have started to collect men’s shirts for a quilt! Do you prefer 100% cotton or do you also used cotton/poly shirts? Can you tell me how you cut them apart to get the most fabric from each shirt. Also, can you explain the Krumcake quilts? I’m not sure if these are strip quilts or what??? I’m learning alot from your blog, Ty Jo. Take good care of yourself during these trying times, be kind to yourself and rest!!!

  6. Hi Jo, I’ve noticed when I visit your blog (twice a day!) it says “Not secure” in the address. I just learned about it from Wanda at Here is what she says to fix that….

    For all of you who still have http:// as the beginning of your blog address, this isn’t safe any more. Blogger has already set it to https:// for everyone but you need to take one more step. In Blogger go to your settings in the Basic page and change the HTTPS DIRECT to YES. In Bloglovin my blog came up as Not Secure until I changed that setting to YES. You don’t want the bad guys getting into your account and messing with it. I’m visiting a lot of blogs that still come up with the Not Secure at the beginning of the address and you need the setting enabled to forward your visitors to the secure https:// setting.

    I went ahead and fixed my own blog and now the “not secure” is no longer there. Check it out!

  7. You might want to update your Blog statement. It says your book in coming out in 2015. So much has happened since then. Just sayin’.

  8. I could read the first page of your “cancer news” but the second page will not come through. Therefore I don’t know your outcome. I’m praying you are cancer free. But I can’t find out. Better check your blog something is wrong. Thank you.

  9. Would you be interested in a bunch of embroidery floss? I have a drawer full that is not being used. I actually prefer to use thread for the little embroidery I do. Anyway, would you like it?

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  11. Jo, You need to update the section about your dogs since you now have Rosie and Ruby is in heaven with Roger, Jody and Gracie.

    1. AH!!! Sherri…I wrote this last month before Ruby died. Then I auto scheduled it. Oh my word. Thanks for the eagle eyes.

  12. Hi Jo
    I started one of your pattern a few years ago and now I can not find my pattern.
    The pattern is called
    Chain of Faith.
    Is there any way for
    Me to get this pattern?

  13. Jo-
    Thanks so much for the baby burp cloth pattern on your website – it’s just what I was looking for and you are so generous to put the free instructions online. I’m fairly new to sewing and I have a question for you about this pattern. Why do you make the inner piece of flannel a wee bit smaller than the top and bottom pieces? Does it make it fray better, or is it easier to sew that way? I cut out my pieces all the same size (oops!) but haven’t stitched anything together yet. So if you tell me it’s important to cut the inner, middle piece smaller than I can do that. Thank you!

    1. Hi Deb. I likely doesn’t make a difference if your inner one is the same size but I do believe that it frays a little nicer and there isn’t so much bulk to snip through at the end.

  14. Hi Jo!!
    I’m a newish quilter and I came across one of your patterns mentioned in a Facebook group– Stair Steps I believe? I reverse-imaged searched and *think* it’s the right one, a riff on a rail fence with half square triangles. From cruising around this site, it looks like I’d need to track down a copy of that magazine from 2016 to get the pattern– yes?

    Thank you so much!

  15. Jo– Yes it is, and with a little digging I see I can get the digital issue of that month. Thank you for your reply! I really enjoy your blog.

  16. Rachel Anderson

    I just ordered Tops and Bottoms digital pattern. I’m not seeing it in my email. Usually when I order a digital pattern, the download shows up almost immediately in my email. I’m wondering if I should be looking somewhere else? Thanks, Jo


    Dear Jo,
    I just came across one of your quilt designs on Facebook today. The quilter kindly pointed me over here to meet you. I find your blog delightful and full of great love. Thank you for the choices you have made. I am finding the donations ideas very helpful for decluttering my sewing room. Thank you very much. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family and all your helpers and projects. Thank you for being an inspiration. I am signing up for your blog today and can not wait to get to know you even better. Hugs and much love always.
    Mary Katherine Cartier

  18. Christina Coats

    Dear Jo
    Have found you while looking for an easy quick to make lap quilt for sister in law. The self sashing disappearing nine patch fits the bill. Especially as I want to applique jig saw shapes in some of the middle squares as she loves jigsaws.
    As someone who has been classed as clinically highly vulnerable by the UK government. Has had myself and over 2 1/2 million others locked down since last March! Thank God we have a vaccine now in place and soon I can receive it. I pray it will allow all of us some much needed normalcy again.
    Reading of your kindness and your followers has been inspirational. Once Christmas sewing is completed I have joined in making throws for babies and young children in hospitals in Wiltshire UK. All thanks to you all. Keep up your good work and as a friend of mine has a saying. ” Me Time makes me a better Me ” & my own Me time is sewing and planning and quite often reorganising my wee sewing room.
    Look forward to reading your blog and it’s good to know I can ask a quilting question to someone who knows so much.
    Many thanks
    Happy Christmas and Happy New Year.

  19. Hi Jo, I have been a fan of yours for a long time but never posted here before, but today I wanted to buy
    your black and white quilt pattern and I don’t have a paypal but on other sites I can pay with a credit card
    through paypal. So I just thought it would be easier to ask you if that is how it works here on your site.
    Thanks, Fran

    1. Hi Fran, during checkout when there is an opportunity to login with Paypal, scroll down and choose check out without account. Shoot me an email if I can help!

  20. Hi, Jo! Happy New Year! Your cross stitch post arrived via this morning’s Google headlines. Really enjoyed getting to know you. Please add me to your blog subscription list. Cheers!

    1. Hi Sherry. Welcome. I can’t sign you up for the email list. You have to do that yourself. Go to the home page and check the right-hand column. You’ll see a spot there to enter your email address.

  21. Patti from Iowa

    Jo: I just found your website. I am looking for the Civil War Tribute quilt kit or the pattern so I can attempt to piece it together myself. I left a comment but I don’t know that it took. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  22. Jo, I have been getting your newsletter for years and read every word. I have unsubscribed from many quilt blogs, but yours is always so very interesting! You are down to earth, and always have such wonderful quilts in scrappy designs (my favorite by far!)
    I just have to tell you (again!) how much I admire you, and how inspiring you are to me. Thank you for sharing your ideas, your photos, your videos, your newsletter and your time with everyone!

  23. Jo, I’ve been trying to use your Double Wedding Ring instructions to work on my dwr quilt. Don’t know if it’s my computers or the Internet gods just being contrary, but several pages are not complete. I’m trying to find your fabric-saving cutting techniques, but on this page , this is the only text that shows up:

    We have a page with all the Double Wedding Ring steps here. Hey…are we ready to get started on your Double Wedding Ring Quilt? Last week I suggested you need to: -decide on your pattern size -make templates (optional) -pick your fabrics -get a 28mm small rotary cutter (optional) I told you that I am […]

    Usually clicking on […] brings up the rest of a webpage, but I’ve tried several times on different computers and nothing happens.

    Used the archive to search your original blog posts about the dwr (July 18, 2018); that page says, “Now onto the cutting instructions for the CENTERS and MELONS…Continue reading

    Continue reading is gray; clicking on it takes you to a page called Double Wedding Ring Quilt Along that says, “Below you will find the links to the posts about our DWR Quilt Along”, but the page is blank.

    If the issue isn’t my computer or Internet connection, I hope these details help you figure out what’s going on with those pages.

    Don’t you just hate it when technology turns on you? When I was a computer coordinator/teacher, I loved using the computers, but hated the time it took to figure out glitches like this.

    When we lived in Maine, I also enjoyed shoveling snow (when it was light and fluffy), but I certainly don’t miss it now :). Hope you are staying warm and cozy. Down here in south Texas, we are horrified at weather reports for Iowa showing all those minus degree temps! Everyone here is complaining bitterly about the fact that today is the last of our beautiful 70+ days and one morning next week, it’s only supposed to be 25° with possibility of snow. Bet that sounds like spring to you :).

    Thanks for all the info you share. I so enjoy reading your blog posts.


    1. Margaret. This is fixed. I was curious and looked into this. It is all fixed now. I am looking back and according to the dates, we were deep in the middle of my husband’s battle with lung cancer when I was working on this page and the quilt. I dropped the ball on this project in the middle of his battle. I’m happy to say it should be all fixed now. Sorry for your frustrations.

  24. Can you tell me where I can find the pattern Hip to be Square? The link tells how it was quilted but not the pattern. Thanks! Love your work

  25. i Jo

    Those orphan book blocks you have are from a pattern called Book Nerd by Angela Pingel. It is a fat quarter friendly pattern. I have made it and it was so much fun.

  26. I have a box of fabric scraps of all sizes. I can mail it to you if you want scraps.
    I am trying to down size and haven’t the heart to throw any out, especially knowing there are folks that could use them.
    Just let me know where to mail them

    1. Sue that sounds great. I love scraps and if it’s something I can’t use, I pass them on. I have some charity quilters that use them too!

  27. Is there a reason why your blog is not showing up on Bloglovin feed? I follow you daily and was worried something had happened to your family. Now I see that I’m just not receiving them but that all is well.

  28. Theresa Leppert

    I just got my copy of American Patchwork and Quilting . I want to make it in your original colors. I thought I saved the picture but can’t find it. How could I see it again? I love everything you write about your family. I live on a farm have children and Grandchildren Life is never boring and I love it. Thanks for sharing yours. Theresa

  29. Hi Jo, I live in England and know you enjoy British tv. Have you watched Endeavour? It’s the early years of Morse who’s a detective. Both programmes are great who dunnits. There is a new programme called Vigil is worth a watch if you can get it.
    I enjoy reading your blog over my first cup of tea of the day
    Take care
    Sandra Kerrod

  30. I would like info on where to find cross stitch kits for beginners. I like the style that you are stitching. Thank you very much

    1. Jo I used to get your blog in my email but suddenly not receiving it anymore. How or where to I sign up again so that I get it.

      1. You likely need to unsubscribe and then resubscribe. I can’t do anything on my end to help you. There is always the option of coming directly…or following the blog on Facebook.

  31. I have asked numerous times for you to remove me from your emails. What do you need me to do???????
    It used to be fun to get one a day, now everytime you think, there is another email. TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST!

    1. I am not involved in any way to remove people from an email list. When you signed up for it, you did through a different company, not Jo’s Country Junction. You need to go through the company you signed up through to unsubscribe.

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  34. I’m trying to make the spectacular quilt that was on the cover of the Feb 22 magazine. (Inspired by the past). Although I’m an experienced quilter, I’m having serious problems. The directions are difficult to understand. Aside from that, I cut out fabric for a block and got started. In steps 1, 2, and 3, I used two “medium or dark” prints, 2 3/8 inch squares, sewn on the diagonal to create new squares, each made with two different colored triangles. In step 4, I attached a 2″ cream colored square to one of these two-triangle pieces and discovered that the 2″ square is a good bit smaller so that it’s not going to be possible to get a good pieced outcome. Should I simply make the 2″ squares bigger?

    1. Hi Ellen. Sadly, I designed the quilt and “made it my way”. I send it to the magazine and they write the directions in their own format and methods. I never used their pattern so I really can’t answer your question. I’m so sorry. I used an easy angle ruler for the triangles I sew and don’t to the draw a line and sew method.

  35. On a separate matter Jo I was inquiring if I could get a pinch of your trailing african violet. your plant is so gorgeous and i have always wanted one. My email address is and my address is: 9395 Harritt Road Space 192, Lakeside CA 92040.
    thanks for your consideration.

  36. good morning Jo. i am writing to ask if there is anyway possible that you could show how you finish a cross stitch piece with the borders, fringe and stuffing? i have quite a few very small finishes that i would like to finish this way as a little pillow. any help you can provide to me would be awesome thanks so much. avid fan.

  37. Christine Jensen

    I sent a message to Carla through Instagram regarding a quilt to be machine quilted.
    I haven’t heard anything. Would you please forward my email to her?

    Thanks you.

    1. Chris…I passed the message to Carla. I know she was just with family over the weekend and probably was social media free. I’m sure she’ll get in touch with you. Jo

  38. Tracie Van Gee

    Hi Jo, did you finish All creatures great and small?
    so adorable.
    what fabric did you use and is there a picture somewhere of it finished or further along?
    thank you

  39. Jo, just wanted to let you know that Willam Kent Krueger will be speaking at Decorah Iowa on October 5th. He has lots of events in Minnesota but I don’t know if any of the towns are near you. Check his website for his events schedule.

  40. Cindy Wienstroer

    Jo, just read the Fat Quarter shop has Blackbird Design patterns on sale till end of Nov. I have read you like their patterns. Hope you find some you like.

  41. Hi Jo, I am making your Stars and Scraps Forever quilt and wonder if you have a blank version of the quilt layout that I could print off that I could use to put in my own colors.

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