Ask Jo: Birthday Quilt and More

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.

After I made my list of UFOs for Country Threads’ Dirty Dozen Challenge, (Find that HERE) Betty from Canada asked:
What ever happened to the quilt blocks that we all sent you? Or did I miss something?

I think this is the quilt that Betty is referring to….

For my 50th birthday many of you sent quilt blocks to welcome me into my 50’s.  Kelli and I put the blocks together and actually created a quilt that had this as the front….

Birthday-Quilt-09and this as the back…

Birthday-Quilt-11Yep.  There were so many blocks that I had a two sided quilt.  How fun.

You can read more about the quilt HERE.

Crystal wrote:
Thank you for the link for the mat! Have not been able to try it yet, but hoping for great things! I had been debating one for quite some time and this made my mind up.”

This came after I wrote about the coupon code for the Nido mats….

I’ve been getting lots of feedback from those of you who ordered them.  Most are thanking me for telling about the mats or comments about how this brand really doesn’t smell like other brands.  I’m so happy you all are happy with the mats.  Although the promo is over, know that these mats are about the cheapest on the market even without the promo code and serious…they don’t smell like others.  It’s totally worth it.

After I talked about my cross stitch project (read about it HERE) and having to rip a portion of it out Horseangel wrote:

I was taught to start in the center of the project and work out from there. It makes doing border designs and Kettering designs easier. Why didn’t you start in the center first before working on your borders? You probably wouldn’t have had to rip anything out (I rarely have to rip out stitches) that way.

In answer, I guess I was self taught.  I didn’t think there was a right or wrong place to start and honestly, I still don’t think there is.  For me I got off because I counted wrong one time thinking two squares in the border design were suppose to line up and in reality they were supposed to be one square off.  I stitched making that assumption and didn’t count again.  I never recounted until the next time I picked up the project.  It was too late by then.  Although I was discouraged, it’s not a big deal…if a person gets to worked up by ripping out, they probably won’t enjoy cross stitch.  Even the most experienced cross stitchers rip out from time to time.

I do think the next time I do a project I might not start in the very center necessarily but might do the center first so I have that as a reference for the border and can check myself more often.  We’ll see.  I’m not a pro cross stitcher.

Do you all remember the Harriet’s Legacy quilt that was a UFO sent to me and LaNan finished it?  This quilt…..
Read about it HERE if you missed it.

A blog reader sent this to me as an unfinished quilt.  I sent it to LaNan.  She finished it and donated it to Shetek Lutheran Ministries.  I heard from several of you who attended the camp as a child and loved it.  Well they had the benefit and quilt was sold.  Here is the most exciting news….the quilt sold for $1200.  WOW….isn’t the crazy awesome!!  I am so proud of the good work the charity quilting project is doing and this is proof!!

About the same quilt Sue asked, “I still love civil war reproduction fabrics and did find the quilt pattern online. However, I didn’t see any fabric requirements in the pattern. The picture you show appears to be from a magazine in 2006. If so, can you provide the name of the magazine? Thanks.”

The pattern Harriet’s Legacy is a free downloadable pattern that can be found by following THIS LINK.

I ended up sending the 365 on to LaNan…This one….

She said she won’t get to it until this winter and will likely be modifying it some.  She also said she doesn’t have a lot of Civil War scraps and the 365 quilt needs them.  I did pass some along but I’m sure she could use more.  If anyone has some fat quarters and want to send them on to LaNan, let me know and I’ll pass along her email to you.  Here’s my email address:

I did a blog post about my mail…I mentioned that some of the pieces might be good for my Scrap Vortex quilt.

Sue Swank asked, “What is a quilt vortex? I find your blog so inspirational. Thank you.

You can find out more about a scrap vortex quilt by following THIS LINK to Crazy Mom Quilts blog.  Several years ago she had a quilt along to make one.  Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll see the weekly updates she made.

After I did a reposting of our quilt Candy Wishes (Find the free quilt pattern HERE) blog reader Mary asked, “What size is a candy pack? If in your directions, sorry I missed it. I am asking because if using scraps, do not know what size to cut. Otherwise, instructions are great. (I know I can find this elsewhere, but think it would be helpful if part of instructions.) Thank you

I googled the answer and found this, “One of the first manufacturers to come out with pre-cuts is Moda Fabrics. They have become so popular, that many manufacturers are following suit. There are many different types of precuts, but mini charms usually come in packs of 42 squares that measure 2 1/2″ and they have pinked edges”

Thank you for the constructive suggestion.  I sometimes forget to include such information.

We have this free Christmas Star Quilt pattern on our blog.  (Find the FREE PATTERN HERE)

Charlotte asked, “What are the amounts of fabric needed for this quilt? I have no stash! I would like to make it In patriotic colors. Thank you

Sadly..I have no idea.  I don’t have the quilt anymore either.  For us we just grabbed our 2 1/2″ strip bucket and started sewing.  My best suggestion for you would be to go to a quilt shop and buy 12 or so fat quarters (you’ll need a little more white or cream) in each color and start with that.

If there is a great quilting mathematician that has more time than I do to figure it out yardage, feel free to figure it out and leave a note in the comment section.

The last question of the day comes from Barbara, “Is there a pattern available for Rustic Charm?

This was a quilt we had published in American Patchwork and Quilting….you can read more about it HERE.

This was in the August 2019 issue.  The cover looks like this…

You can find it HERE on Amazon.

I think that wraps up the latest bunch of questions and comments.  If you are wanting to contact me because I missed your question, you can reach me HERE.

11 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Birthday Quilt and More”

  1. I was taught to sew when I was a very young child. Cross stitch soon became my favourite. I was taught to start in the centre and work outwards evenly. It helps to keep the work square a bit like hand quilting some patchwork. I didn’t learn patchwork until I was about ten. Love your blog Jo.

  2. Where you start in cross stitch is a matter of personal preference. I think it depends on how your brain works. People start upper left, upper right, center, center top, center bottom and lower left (my preference). Some do centers first and others do border first. My preference is to start lower left and work up and across at the same time finishing top border last. I do a lot of counting and cross checking and rarely have to rip. Some people never rip and just make it work. And I never, ever trust a border pattern to be an exact repeat all the way around. I check each section as I do it. Many times ’cause that’s the way my brain works.

  3. Quick estimate for the Christmas Star fabric requirements (in EQ) 2-1/8 yards of green, 2-1/2 yards of red and 4-5/8 yards of background. As with anything calculated in EQ, your actual mileage may vary. Happy sewing!

  4. Judith Fairchild

    Thank you No for posting the answers to questions I really like your double sided quilt.
    Thanks Ila for checking the yardages on E.q. for those of us who don’t have it. I generally buy a minimum of an extra half yard of each color to allow for mistakes.

  5. Judith Fairchild

    Thank you Jo for posting the answers to questions I really like your double sided quilt.
    Thanks Ila for checking the yardages on E.q. for those of us who don’t have it. I generally buy a minimum of an extra half yard of each color to allow for mistakes.

  6. Thanks for the question posts. They are always interesting. When I first learned counted cross stitch, the pattern said to mark a grid. I use one strand of floss and run basting type stitches in a 10 x 10 grid. Most patterns have a darker line representing every 10 lines. I still mis-count every now and then, but I can start anywhere I want on the pattern and be assured my design will be centered and I also have a built-in check point every 10 stitches. It works great.

  7. Hi Jo, you might consider putting in a grid onto your linen. A long running stitch every 10 or 20 threads. Especially on complicated designs. Just pull out the basted stitches when they get in your way. It helps a lot when you are trying to count 100 threads to the right and up 22, and so on and so on. You’ll be able to find you place on the linen quickly by counting by 10 or 20. Yes, it does take time to do it but it takes much more time and frustration removing stitches! I also mark the grid on a photocopy of the pattern. I know from experience how horrible it is to realize the whole of the design is not going to fit on the cloth because of a mis-count at the beginning of the project.

    Also, I have found snips like these very useful when taking a stitch out that’s surrounded by other stitches.’s+snip+a+st%2Caps%2C247&sr=8-1\

    I’m glad you took 2 days off and did only what you wanted to do! That’s the way to enjoy retirement!! Plus doing things like this is good self-care!

  8. Jo, I have really poor vision so when I cross-stitch I use Cajun Red Line fishing line to make 10 square grids all across my fabric. it really helps and is super easy to remove when I’m finished stitching. I still get off a stitch or two but that’s due to my eyesight.

  9. I made a counting error on a large 1976 sampler I made for my mom and dad, and had to revise the pattern just the tiniest bit. When we hung it on the wall, I told them there was a mistake. Years and years later when my folks sold the house, my “baby” sister asked me where the mistake was, as she (and the family) had tried to find it for years. It was actually a “one thread wrong” mistake, I had started a motif dog one thread too high. His ears were three flat stitches instead of three perky stitches. No one ever noticed. So a small error can be interesting!

  10. I, too, am a self-taught cross stitcher. I always start in the upper left corner and complete sections before I move on. If I mess up, I usually haven’t gotten too far before I notice. Good work, Jo!

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