Ask Jo: Edition #10 or so.

Every so often I pick questions that come up from readers either through email or through the comment section.  Today is one of those days.

From Belinda:  Hi, I see that you made a quilt some time ago of Moda “Swanky” Do you know where I may get ahold of some of this fabric…. just need to finish a quilt! Been searnching the net. Thank you, Belinda”

This is my quilt that I made with “Swanky”.  You can read more about the quilt here along with the pattern.  No Belinda, sadly I don’t have any left overs of Swanky.  I know how frustrating that can be to have a quilt in progress but not being able to find the fabric.  It’s happened to me many times.  Luckily Swanky is a fabric line that I think would be easy to find a coordinating fabric even if it doesn’t match.  So many lines are in similar bright colors that might work..but we might lucky and I have a reader who has some and willing to share.  Does anyone have any yardage of Swanky??  If you do leave a comment in the comment section or email me at

The next comment from Libby, “Glad to see your Smith Mountain Morning is something other than the plaids in Bonnie’s because that is what I have planned for mine and I wasn’t sure it would be as attractive as hers. I am using the blue and brown color scheme too, mainly because I think that is what attracted my husband to the quilt. But I’m not sure he’s going to want it with some of my flowery scraps in there! I did test blocks and have decided that the quarter square and pinwheel centers need more light/dark contrast. I hate to put all that effort into matching up the intersecting seams and not have the work show! It will be my first really scrappy (read that uncontrolled) quilt.”

About the center pinwheels….  Kelli had made one before I started mine.

When I started mine, Kelli advised me to not make the pinwheels in the center of the star blocks.  She said they don’t show up for how much work they are.   She suggested that I just put hour glass blocks that are in the center of the chimney and cornerstone blocks in the center of the stars too and that’s what I am doing.  Here’s how they look.


I don’t think it changes the pattern a lot but I do think that it’s really makes it easier.

After writing a post about finding a hand made dishcloth at the thrift store, I got a note a from a reader Tisha asking if I she could send me some hand made dishcloths.  The next thing I knew a package came in the mail with some all handmade by Tisha.


I had to promise that I would use them…and yes I will but I did concede that I am saving them for the new house.  It will be such a treat to have something nice and new!!  THANKS Tisha.  It’s one of the best gifts ever!!  I am so lucky.

That’s what is new from the comments section and in the mail box.  Feel free to drop a note anytime and I’ll try to answer it either here on the blog or personally.

Each day as a count down to Thanksgiving I write about something I am thankful for.

Today I am thankful that I have finally after years and years, found a place that I feel like I fit in…right here on the world wide web.  I’ve never fit the regular mold.  I made my first doll quilt as a kid and my first bed quilt as a young 20 something mom.  I sewed and lived a simple life as mom and wife to my brood.  Often in the community where we live comments come my way along the lines that I don’t work…what is my job anyway..quilting is for old people…you can’t possible make money with an internet job…you’re not working so you can volunteer…those type of comments that aren’t out right criticisms..but criticism non the less…and often a bit painful for me.  I honestly think people think I am sitting home watching soap operas all day long.

Having the blog somehow makes me feel a little more legitimate.  As you read my blog everyone can see that yes, even though I am at home, I do work.  I am busy.  I do volunteer.  I am taking care of my family.  You know that I am giving back to the community…doing my part and working to care for my kiddos even though the kids aren’t home anymore…you read it in my daily blog posts.  If you’re a long time reader you know that I also created a large free early learning printables website, Making Learning Fun, and that it started out as a hobby and turned into a job.  You can see that I am actually not watching soap operas all day long.

I will still get snide comments from people in my community who criticize and I am honestly finally getting to the point that it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to because there are a whole lot more people that use my website or read my blog and appreciate having a little peak into what’s happening here at the Junction.  Thanks readers for giving me a place to fit in.


23 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Edition #10 or so.”

  1. Wow—Imagine what the world would be like if some of those people would live and let live..You know–I think those people are just jealous of you….You are talented —you make beautiful quilts –you can cook- you know how to shop and find values -you have a husband and children that love you….You are going to move into a fantastic home soon……It takes a lot of time and effort to do all that you do on the level you do it at…..I am always hurt when people do that to me too…

    It is kind of funny even—-you would never get all you get done watching soaps….or maybe you are using mirrors..You are one of the ” glue people” who hold the country together…I love reading your blog and you have taught me much…..

  2. People who criticize are very unhappy people and I think they are always looking for somebody to degrade! You don’t have to listen or reply to them, even though I probably would also. How sad their lives must be!

    You keep on doing what you do as all of your followers enjoy your blog and you sharing your life with us. Oh and tell Tisha that I’d love some of her dishcloths. I use mine will love them!

  3. I think there are two kinds of people who ‘criticize/negatively comment’ on other people’s lives. Those who don’t like their own lives and wish they were doing something more or less, and those who simply don’t realize what they are saying. Redirecting the hurtful comment back to them politely may help change this. As in, “Oh, you have plenty of time to help with the community dinner next week. You’re at home all day.” Response, “Community dinner? Oh, I already have plans. But what are you doing to help out?”

  4. Im glad that you found the blogging worlds too! To me, you are one of the rock stars of the quilting world. I look at quilt blogs through a website but yours and Bonnie Hunters are the only ones to which I subscribe! If we lived closer, I would consider you a friend. Anyone who loves beagles is alright with me! :)

  5. I know the feeling. I was a stay at home/farmwife/mom when my kids were growing up and also got comments that since you don’t work you can do – insert whatever. They would call and ask as they were lounging around after work. I always said they needed to follow me around for a day if they think I don’t work. I left a good job and chose to stay home when our oldest was born because I didn’t want someone else raising my child and telling me about all his first, I wanted to be there. And if you are honest with yourself by the time you pay to drive to town, pay a babysitter, pay for a meal and pay for nice work clothes you make way more staying home, making your own meals, cutting coupons and shopping the bargains than going to work and the rewards are far greater. I worried about being able to make it on one less income but we made it work and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. You are awesome in all you get accomplished – don’t know how you do it. My guess is they are just jealous of you.

  6. I am also thankful that I stayed home when my 4 kids were young. I, like KMA cut corners to make it work. I would get comments from other Moms at soccer or scouts when asked if I worked, I would say no as I knew they meant did I work outside the home and I would always get that oh response… but one day a Mom almost berated me and I told her that staying home w/your kids, taking care of all the housework, cooking etc was more work than any other job. I think the other ladies are right, some are just jealous.

  7. I will never understand people who cast stones. I am in awe of your life and the work you and your hubby do. You have raised great kids who have an admirable work ethic. I would imagine those who criticize are secretly jealous.

    Your Smith Mountain Morning looks great. If you have hints for sewing the cornerstones on the cornerstone blocks, I’d appreciate it. I’ve got one in my UFO pile and I just know that Bonnie had a trick for sewing these.

  8. Jo, Don’t pay attention to the people who criticize you. They probably are very unhappy with their life and are jealous of you. I enjoy reading your Blog everyday. It’s nice to hear about what your working on, your family, and the recipes. I am grateful for having Blogs like yours to read everyday.

  9. I’m so glad you are a blogger – for example – you have just saved me hours of time. I am just gathering fabrics for a Smith Mountain Morning, and this post about doing hourglass units rather than pinwheels in the block centers is a fabulous idea – and will make my quilt get done faster and look better. Thanks for all you do.

  10. I have heard several women say that they work full time because it is easier than being a stay at home mom! And having done both over the years I can only agree. I stay much busier staying at home than I ever did at work! And my family benefits from better meals, a cleaner house, more time for fun and a happy Mom! I often times think that if some of these people with the negative statements followed you around for a day, they would be totally “done-in” before dinner time!

  11. Belinda could post at http://WWW.missing for the Swanky line of fabric. I always have great luck for my customers.
    People are so rude to make comments! Who cares if you were sitting home eating bon bons! I’m glad your not…I enjoy your blog. :-)

  12. Being a stay-at-home mom is an extremely important ‘job’. And the fruits of your labors are evident…wonderful, productive, well adjusted, loving offspring. Yes…the glue that holds this country together and so sorely needed. You are an terrific example…THANK YOU!

  13. Hi! I found an etsy shop that carries some swanky fabric! I think that you can request yardage in bigger pieces as well.. Usually when I run out of fabric I go to etsy or I just google the fabric and usually I get lucky!

    Just copy and paste :).. Oh and I totally know the feeling of people thinking you do nothing all day,, It is ridicolous! I think that they are just unhappy with their own lives.. and obviously they have too little to do, since they have time to sit around and think about others lives!! I am happy that you are ignoring them. :) Thank you for a great website and a wonderful Bonnie challenge! :)

  14. I was surprised to read that you hear comments like that. Obviously, these are people who don’t know you. I, too , would love to have you as a neighbor. Your blog is the first one I look up each day! I admire you greatly and your family, too. I wish you only the best!

  15. You can’t please all the people all the time said one smart man. Ignore them. I like what you do and raising kids is the MOST important job in the entire world.

  16. I hate that you have to be on the receiving end of these comments. I always worked as a paralegal because DH worked construction (great pay for 6 months, then no work for 6 months). I always pushed myself to “make up” for my children being in daycare-afternoon ball games, scouts, music lessons, etc. Plus I had a garden and always put my produce up. Looking back, that was a full-time job and hard work!! All that creative stuff you do is very hard work. “Brain stuff” is more exhausting than physical labor at the end of the day. You have lots to show for your work-day too. Tell those people to match what you do every day!!! Rewards that you “earn” cannot be matched. Even IRS has started calculating the value of the “stay-at-home mom/teacher/chauffer/gardener/psychologist/etc”. If you were paid “going wage” for what you do, you probably earn $75,000 or more per year!!

  17. I love reading your blog. If those naysayers did what you do on a daily basis they would see how busy you are. I cant believe there are still people out there that have to be so judgemental on women that dont work outside of the home . Come on people it is 2013 going on 2014!!! Keep doing what you do and know that you have a great following on your blog. Ignore the comments from ignorant people……..

  18. A teacher gave some advice to my daughter the other day. The ending was “People who mind, don’t matter and people who matter, don’t mind” – Dr. Seuss. Thought that was a good one to hang onto when I hear hurtful things. Anyone who would say anything negative to you obviously doesn’t know you.

    Love the hourglass centers in the SMM. After having made 49 of the pinwheel centers for my SMM I agree that the low visual impact is not worth how much trouble they were. Wish I had thought to substitute with the hour glass. Good thinking Kelli!!

  19. Dear Jo,
    I’ve heard all that guff too. I’m a stay at home mom, and even though my children are grown–I’m still mom. Now, I take care of my honey and myself. If I never do anything more I will still be important to someone,and we don’t need to apologize for, or defend who and what we are. Be proud of yourself for you are a work of art, and a fine artiste!

  20. I second and third all those positive comments above me. Insensitive, bitter people making petty comments probably are very unsatisfied with their own life. Your blog is one of my daily stops even if I can’t always stay long enough to comment. You were even the inspiration for me to start my own blog so I could link up with your linkys. Keep up doing what you’re doing, obviously you’ve found your calling.

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