Ask Jo: Cameras and Quilts

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.

Kay asked:
“Jo please consider doing a blog about your excellent photos — you get such perfect shots of your kids and grandkids, and all your sewing — tell us how you do it — type of camera. special lenses? we need the details to improve our pictures. I enjoy all of your writing. You have a special talent for making things clear!”

Oh Kay, thank you for the compliment.  I have no fancy camera.  I buy the latest iPhone when it comes time for me to renew.  Right now I have an iPhone 13pro.  Being I’m a blogger, I justify the best phone so I have the best camera.  Honestly, I buy a phone more for the camera than for anything else.  Silly, I know, but I use my camera so much.

I do ZERO editing of my photos except cropping or turning the orientation.  I give all of the credit to my phone.

I don’t use a lot of filters or anything like that…I just point and snap.  I am guessing it’s more luck than anything.

I had some questions about straight line quilting after I showed these pictures…

Kate asked:
Oh my Jo, you accomplished so much – you were on a good roll! The quilts are so beautiful. Your daughters are so fortunate to have you to finish their projects, as us mothers do so willingly. How far apart do you do the quilting when you straight line quilt? I know it doesn’t matter but I’m interested in what you do.”

Diane in WA asked:
Great quilts. Very inspiring. When you talk about straight line quilting, I am wondering if you lock your machine and how. I would like to figure out how to set my machine up for straight line quilting. Getting antsy to sew again. Have been spending the last week with the grandkids. No sewing with five kids under five!

I do have channel locks on my long arm that could allow me to do straight line quilting.  I don’t use them though.  I tried one time and I don’t think my quilt was perfectly square on the frame so the lines didn’t follow the quilt.

I just eye ball it.  You can see the block above.  The center square and the square around it is 2″ finished.  I like to avoid the seam if possible so in this case, I put two lines down each 2″ portion of the block, two seams in the top, two through the center and two through the bottom portion.  I use the foot of the machine as the guide.  I make the quilting line a “foot” away from each side of the seam.

Maybe this picture will help you see where I put the quilting lines.

I love straight-line quilting.  It is so neat looking and it’s SUPER easy.  If you are new to machine quilting your own quilts, I highly recommend trying this first.

Again…many thanks to Mary from Country Threads for first blogging about straight line machine quilting.

I got a couple of comments about our quilt that was published in the latest issue of Quilter’s World.

A couple of you were wondering about the two blocks in the quilt that are “different”.  Did you notice them?  A couple of sharp-eyed viewers sure did.

Check out the bottom row, block second from the right.  You can see the center of the block is different.

Most of the blocks have a pinwheel center.  That one has a broken dish center.  I’ll let you hunt and find the other block with the broken dish center.

Then I made this quilt, I had no intention of sending it for publishing.  My only thought when making and designing it was to check my quilt leftovers off of my UFO list.  Well, me, I don’t care if the center of the quilt blocks are different.  To me, it even adds interest.  How many of you saw the one different block and looked to see if there were more?  It kept you drawn to the quilt.

I wanted to use up all of the pieces I had so when I ran across a couple of centers that were in the broken dishes setting, I just went with it and used them as is.

Pat wrote:
The link to the Primitive Gatherings does not appear to be working. Please advise. Thank you!

I had added a link to the first installment of instruction for the Oh Say Can You Sew quilt from Primitive Gatherings.  Sadly, the link not longer works.

It’s so hard as I write many of my blog posts a day or two in advance.  For example, last weekend I looked at my calender and saw that this week it totally busy for me.  I know I wouldn’t get the time I needed to write blog posts so I worked ahead and wrote posts.

This week is crazy busy.  I have had people (all family) here all day and even overnight since Monday morning including Kelli’s kids and Kalissa’s with Kelli’s family overnight.  I’ll have Kalissa’s boys here two upcoming overnights and will have them all day.  I scheduled a play day with my former childcare kiddos on Wednesday.   Kayla is coming on Thursday with Jasper and will likely be staying through the weekend.  I have Kelli’s kids on Saturday.  It’s set to be crazy.  You can see why I thought I wouldn’t have time to write blog posts!!

When life is so busy, I write posts ahead and schedule them.  The Monday post was just that.  When I wrote the post, the link was working and available.  When it was published, it was no longer available.  Primitive Gatherings must have taken it down.

This often happens when I tell you that a book is available through Kindle Unlimited for free.  When I write the post, it was free but a few days later when you read the post, Amazon has taken it off the free list.  I’m sorry that happens.  It’s the nature of the way I have to blog.

I had another reader mention that she was frustrated with reading one of my blog posts that included our daughter Kelli and her family.  In writing, I didn’t mention that Kelli is my daughter.  The person commenting is new to the blog and wasn’t aware of our family.  I apologize for this.  I try really hard to include that information as I know there are always new readers finding me.  I have another bunch of readers that are sometimes frustrated because I include so many links to Amazon or previous posts.  I can’t win.  It’s totally okay as I can understand all of the frustrations.

So…how to handle them and the whys of it all..

First off, if I mention someone’s name and you don’t know who it is but really want to know who it is…Please refer back to my About pageHERE is the link.  I have all of our kids and grandkids listed there.  I just went through and updated to make sure things are current.  You can find that About Page anytime.  It’s at the top of the blog.

About the MANY links.  I do that as a convenience to you and a proactive measure for myself.  Previously I didn’t add links.  I would get lots of emails from blog readers asking for a link…asking what brand of something I use…asking where to find the item I mentioned.  This eliminates the many emails I was getting saving you time and my time.  If you don’t like the links, don’t click on them.  Simply ignore them.  Overall, I think they are way more helpful than annoying.

I think that wraps up things on my end of this edition of Ask Jo.  If I missed something, feel free to leave a comment.  That’s the best way to ask.  THANKS!!

25 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Cameras and Quilts”

  1. thanks for the straight line quilting tips. I always tried with the channel locks and was unhappy with my results.

  2. Thank you very much for your quick answer to my camera question. I’m calling my Apple seller right now for more details!

    I think all your posts are surprisingly clear and detailed, considering how much you do. I love all your cross-references that help us learn more. Keep up the good work!

  3. Dianne winter

    I like straight line quilting a nd meandering with loops the best. I guess because it doesn’t show so much “oops”. All your quilts are so pretty. How do you make a scrappy quilt look so pretty.

  4. Before I quilted myself, I collected antique quilts, and I have to tell you that unusual, or turned blocks, or what’s called Humility blocks, were common. I have many quilts from the 1800s and they have blocks like that. I love those quilts! Yes, I spotted yours.

  5. I taught at the university level for over 30 years. One hard and fast rule that I learned is “You never please everyone.” You give a step by step guide on how to do an assignment; someone in the class wants two hours of lectures on how to do it. Someone feels like they need optional supplemental reading; another person is upset that you would expect them to do more reading even though it is optional and only for people who want to do it. Etc, etc. This note is to let you know that we understand how frustrating the back and forth can be. By the way, I loved teaching in spite of the “Grr” moments. Your blog is such a blessing. Don’t get overwhelmed. We will learn.

  6. Oh Marianne, I wish you could do a show and tell! I love looking at antique and vintage quilt. And Jo, you handle every comment and complaint with such patience and grace. I can’t imagine someone getting annoyed by any of your content. You and Mary are the only blogs I regularly read. Time is valuable and only you 2 make the cut ;-D

  7. I sometimes quilt horizontal and vertical on kids quilts but make them look like puzzle pieces. This creates perfectly imperfect lines since I quilt on my domestic machine

  8. Thanks for all you do to keep this blog running… usually twice a day. I’m always amazed at how you handle questions and situations with grace and poise. You definitely give it your all and your best. Thank you!!!

  9. I love all the links. Not sure why they would bother people, because it’s easy to use them to jump to another page, or to just ignore them! Please keep them up – I’ve ordered several things that I didn’t know I needed!

    1. I agree with you. Links are simply underlined words and don’t require any more time than reading the rest.

      Lighten up folks. The last thing I want is for Jo to get frustrated with so much criticism that she stops. I love the quilty sharing, the cross stitch sharing, Grandma antics, grandkid antics, kid reports……I mean, what’s not to love at this blog? Jo is one of the most optimistic and generous people I’ve found in the Blogoverse. And she has plenty to be angry and bitter about at her young age! Yet she doesn’t.

      Hugs to you Jo. Thanks for being YOU! :-)

  10. Hi Jo, thank you for all you do, especially writing these blogs. I’m amazed at the amount of work you do, what with your quilting, involvement with providing quilts for charities, caring for your family, childcare kids, and then blogging on top of all that. I have to say I’m equally amazed at the complaints you appear to get, and the graciousness of your responses. For the people who complain about not knowing various family members, there is a perfectly clear “about” link at the top of the page, anyone can see it and click on it to find out about the family, what Jo does etc, it’s not hard, it’s what I did. As for the links, if you don’t want to use them, ignore, it’s that easy. I’m not sure why you need to apologise, Jo. It’s not your fault if people don’t use their eyes or their common sense….

  11. Judith M Fairchild

    Thank you Jo, for answering Kay’s questions. I was wondering about how “perfect” your pictures are. My girl has an I phone. I told her the last time the subject of phones came up that was what I wanted. Her pics are so much better than mine. As tonlink problem I just read on by if it’s something I know is out of reach currently. But they’re there if I need them. It makes life simpler. Thanks for gaining for answering questions.

  12. This hasnothing to do about this about these questions, but I have someone else to ask.

    A week or more ago you were showing a quilt pattern on the web. I would like to know the name of the quilt pattern.

    A brief description of the pattern
    It was done in blues. The middle had 4 pieced of dark blue
    The rest was made from half square triangles of white and blue.

    Hopefully this is enough information

    1. I’m sorry Pat. I don’t know the name of the patterns that are sent through the community quilts. If I recognize one I do comment. You can welcome to go to the blog at and scroll back to where you find the exact quilt. Then you can copy that link and put it with a comment. That way someone might be able to see the quilt you are referring to and they might know.

    2. Susan from Michigan

      Perhaps do you mean the quilt on the cover of Miss Rosie’s Spice of Life Quilts? Jo mentioned it in the blog post entitled “Best package ever”. I can’t recall the name of the quilt pattern at the moment.

  13. Oh boy, so much entitlement from your readers!

    My husband got one of the new phones for his birthday. I am amazed at the photos he’s been taking with it. Makes me want to upgrade!

    Did you know that if you want to identify a plant you can take a photo of it, then in photos click on the i button, then a leaf appears over the plant and if you touch that it will tell you the plant name. So cool.

    Thanks for all the incredible content you have for us to read.

  14. Kathryn Martin

    I really appreciate the links. Otherwise it can take me a long time to find things online, and sometimes I don’t ever find them.

  15. Susan from Michigan

    Perhaps do you mean the quilt on the cover of Miss Rosie’s Spice of Life Quilts? Jo mentioned it in the blog post entitled “Best package ever”. I can’t recall the name of the quilt pattern at the moment.

  16. All I can say is one can never make everyone happy and quite honestly it is not our job to do so. In my world my personal happiness and that of my family and close friends comes first and foremost. If I’m happy everyone else around me that truly matters to me is pretty content as well and that is what makes my world go round. I so appreciate this blog post, Jo.

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