Ask Jo:

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

Lynn wrote:
I just picked up the February 2022 issue of Better Homes & Gardens American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine with your gorgeous “Inspired by the Past” quilt on the cover. I am in love with it!  I am fairly new to quilting, but after looking over your instructions, I think I can do this!  I have a few questions, though:  How many different medium and dark prints did you use, and how much of each one? Also, how many different cream prints did you use, and how much of each one?

Oh Lynn. I’m not going to be the best help in answering your questions.

I am a true-to-the-heart scrappy quilter.  I have never counted how many different fabrics I’ve used when I make any quilt.  I know some of the fabrics were repeated but most often paired with a piece of different fabric.  When I made this I contacted Marcus Fabrics and told them I was making a scrappy quilt and they sent me a box of fabric.  It was all different sizes and there were end the bolt, odd cuts, and scraps that were sent to me.  I made the quilt with them.  From looking at the original quilt I noticed there was black in the quilt-I don’t typically use a lot-so when I requested fabric I asked for bright colored reproduction fabrics plus black.

If I were buying fabric for this from a quilt I would buy fat quarters or 1/4 yard cuts of as many different fabrics as possible staying away from browns or dark prints (except black).

Take a copy of the magazine and study it…You can see from these pictures that this was a few-rules quilt.  The block below mixes two different golds that make it almost hard to differentiate.

This block uses two different stripes and the stripes go every which way.  The block below that used the same color in the middle as come of the points.

The block below the center and the pink almost don’t match… again, in this one the stripes go the same direction.

In the green and yellow block you only see half of, the two greens are technically different but aren’t they oh so close in shade.

Really, this was an anything goes quilt.  I really don’t think you can go wrong.  Speaking of going wrong…look at my quilt.  See the lower 16 patch on the bottom left.  I never noticed it before.  Two of the exact same prints are side to side.

In the big picture of the quilt, I’ve never noticed that.

In the picture below you can see that some of the blocks have a super busy background print.  Some are simple and plain prints.

The quilt was inspired by the vintage quilt.  This is one of the… blocks from that quilt.  I just love the make-do of it.  They didn’t have a big enough piece for the center.  They didn’t have enough of the black square.  They didn’t have enough of the white in the top row.

That happened in so many of the blocks.

Ran out of background print?  Sub something in.

The quilt, to me, was charming just like it was when I first found it.

Sometimes I think in our quilting we want things to be perfect.  I totally understand that.  We put a lot of time and money into the project.  There is something special about this quilt that has me sometimes wondering if we overthink it all.

So now Lynn, you can see that I’m likely not the best person to ask about fabric suggestions because if it were me and the quilt wasn’t being made for publication, I’d likely have tried to reproduce it in the exactly mis-match scrap it together fashion that the original quilter used.  The best I can tell you is to buy LOTS of different quarter yard cuts and mix and match to your heart’s content.

Wendy wrote:
Happy New Year! Love the “Kind Words” roll. What pattern is that? I would love to make one. Seeing that every day would be a gentle reminder of how important a few kind words could be to someone. I am new to your blog and enjoy seeing your beautiful quilts and cross-stitch projects. Thank you.”

Kind Words was one of my favorite stitches from last year.  I saw it on a Brenda and the Serial Starter.  Someone had made one for them and gifted it.  I loved it then and immediately searched for the pattern.

It’s a Notforgetten Farm chart. I think she has PDF downloads so you can start stitching today. HERE is the link. I stitched mine on a scrap 40 count linen of Vintage Country Mocha.

Daisy asked:
Prayers and good vibes sent your way. What color of embroidery thread did you use on the sampler? Love it.”

I think but I’m not sure that Daisy is asking the thread color for Kind Words.  I used Black Coffee by Classic Colorworks.

Classic Colorworks Embroidery Floss BLACK COFFEE   5 Yard image 1
Denise asked:

“This may have been asked already but is there a pattern for the red Sampler Quilt? Thank You”

This quilt was a quilt along through Lori Holt’s Bee in my Bonnet blog. Over the course of the quilt along we made three blocks a week from some of her books. I know she still has all of the info on her blog.

I tried to look it up and provide a link but I didn’t see a landing page for the quilt along.  I will give you THIS LINK.  I think that will give you the beginning information.  She also did a Youtube video about the quilt along so I encourage you to check that out as well.

I had a great time with the quilt along.

Previous to this quilt along I focused almost exclusively on one quilt designer.  All of the quilts I made were hers.  I loved it.  It was fun.  BUT…I don’t think I expanded my quilting knowledge.  This quilt was so good for me.

Lori Holt has different techniques.  She does things other ways…some I love, some I didn’t.  But, it was really good for me and a great learning experience to practice and see what I liked and not to get stuck in a box of what only one designer does.

I am not knocking any designers at all.  We all have our ways and habits and that’s what makes us, us.  I just think exposure to more ways introduces us to methods or techniques that might fit better with us.

Here’s an example of something I learned from Lori.

Remember those green blocks I was working on??

I sewed them together without a quilt design in mind…only a block design.

Later I sat down at the computer and tried to come up with a design.  This is what I came up with.

Only problem…the corners needed to have half square triangles.  UGH.  In my old way of thinking I would have thought that I would have needed to rip the blocks apart, make half square triangles for the corners, and resew the blocks back together.

NOT TRUE.  Lori Hole has a different method.

When she wants half-square triangles in the corner she completes the whole block and then lays a smaller square on the corner and “snowballs” the whole block.

Here I have the two red corners done.

After I saw Lori’s method I thought DUH!  Of course, that works.  Because of it stepping out of my box and becoming more familiar with different designers’ ideas and methods, I learned something that has become valuable to me as a quilter.

Well…that question sure lead me down a bunny trail!! HA!

Anyway…I best go get something done.  Thanks for the questions, everyone!!  If you have others, as always, leave them in the comments and I’ll get to them.

5 thoughts on “Ask Jo:”

  1. Thanks for answering and explaining readers’ questions. I always enjoy reading the questions and your answers. Thanks, Jo!

  2. This quilt is so beautiful. I am a terrible scrap quilter. I just can not pick up any piece and sew them together. In my head things have to blend and match. This is one habit I’d like to break for sure.

  3. Judith Fairchild

    Really good explanation of scrap quilts. Momquilted like that if she didn’t have quite enough of one material she would look for a close match or a complementary opposite. He questions were thoughtful and fun to read your answers.

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