Ask Jo: Follow Ups

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…

I have some follow-ups to share with you.

Do you remember this community quilt that Cheryl and Ann Dee?  It was this one.  (It was shared HERE)


Cheryl and I both thought the stars were interesting and commented on that in the post.  A blog reader said that she thought the pattern was Bonnie Hunter’s Smokey Mountain Stars.  You can find the free pattern HERE.

If you want the layout that is shown for the community quilt above, you would need to make these blocks for vertical star points….

…and theses blocks for the horizontal star points.

In Bonnie’s version… she only uses this block for the star points.


I really like either layout.  This is a great design for a community quilt or any quilt that will be gifted.  It’s not to hard and can be scrappy like Bonnie’s or planned Ann Dee’s.

In my post about all the goodies that came my way from Kim, (find the story about Kim HERE) there were a lot of polka dot fabrics.  I said someday I might like to make a quilt that was all polka dot.  A blog reader Mike sent these pictures of a polka dot quilt…


How FUN!!  I really like all the polka dots.


In all my time on earth, I don’t know that I’ve ever had a sad face after seeing a polka dot.  I think polka dots just make me think HAPPY!!

Thanks so much for sharing the quilt!!

Samantha left a message in the comments after I told you about Kim’s visit when she left a lot of goodies.  (Find that post HERE)
How odd that you chose to use a sewing machine and listen to an audiobook when expecting a visitor. No wonder you didn’t hear her knocking. Too bad of you.”

Here is what I can tell you about Kim’s visit.  She was driving through and stopping.  She was crossing several states.  When our family is driving we never predict time well.  We end up needing to stop…someone has to go to the bathroom.  We are terrible at calculating time. When Kim mentioned a time, I anticipated it to be a moving target.   I have a doorbell and as far as I know, I have never “not heard it before”.  I have a dog and she typically alerts me to everything so I didn’t think there was a problem with my sewing while I anticipated Kim’s arrival.  Besides I had put stain on the dining floor and couldn’t move about freely on the main floor of my house.  My dining room is in the middle of the house and I can’t go from room to room without going through the dining room.  Anytime I needed to go from room to room, I had to go outdoors and around the house to do it…plus I didn’t want Rosie on the floor.  Sewing was about the only thing I could do while waiting.  I have expressed my regret to Kim.  This was only an unfortunate thing that happened but being Kim’s family lives close, we have an opportunity to meet at another time.

I got an email from Linda asking:  “You probably have been asked this before BUT please share the name and source for the snap together padding under your Longarm quilting machine.  I currently have cardboard under my legs to protect my wood floor.”

Amazon is my source for most everything.  I have these….


They are awesome and are about $20.  It really does help to have them on the floor at my longarm machine.  Kramer bought them for me.  HERE is the link.

While I was looking for the link for Linda I saw these….

HERE is the link for these.  There are other ones with lighter “wood grain”.  I’m adding these to my wish list.  Actually I think I’ll add them as my reward if I really get the quilting room completely under control.  I think the wood grain ones would look so much better in my sewing room.

Susie Q asked:
“I am curious as to why you no longer have the Acuqui machine…..”

Hmmm… that is a long story.  I’ll try to give you the short version.

I was given my Accuquilt Go as I was a blogger and they were doing a huge promotion for them.  MANY bloggers got one from the company for free and they got one to give away along with dies to one of their blog readers.

I was super excited about it at the time.  Who wouldn’t be?

Well then after having one I got a little frustrated with how expensive the dies were and how much space it took to store them.

Right now if you want a Double Wedding Ring die, it’s listed at $99??  I can’t afford that.

Well, then Accuquilt came out with a promo thing…if you did a video and posted it on Youtube, they would give the creator of the video a free die.  I was all about that and went on to create many videos and I got a free die each time I did.  I loved the arrangement.  I made 31 videos for them.  The videos are still available and you can find them HERE.

From there Accuquilt contacted me and asked me if I would be willing to write patterns for them.  Well sure I would.  The deal was that they would pay me a commission for each pattern that sold.  I was thrilled.

I went on and wrote around five patterns for them.  (the are available for free-find them on the right  sidebar on the blog in the free pattern section) Well, that’s when the relationship went bad.  They wouldn’t pay me.  I was to paid quarterly and time passes and no check came.  It was about the end of the next quarter and still no pay.  Almost a year later…still no pay.  I quit writing patterns and doing videos as I didn’t want to endorse them if I was getting no pay.  After a year I decided to publicly call them out.  After that, I was paid within a week.  People who previously wouldn’t answer emails answered emails.  It was amazing the attention I go once I publicly said they were a company that wasn’t treating people right.

I’m sure they’ve cleaned up their act now and I don’t hold any animosity towards them.  What is past, is past.

For me, at this point, I don’t have the space for an Accuquilt…especially all of the dies.  If you are thinking of buying one, please plan space to keep all of the dies.  Please know that the mat that is put on top of the dies wears out and new ones need to be purchased so there is a continued expense to it.  The price of the dies does add up and nowadays I’m on a smaller budget so I won’t be buying one in the future due to cost and space.

I do know that there are people that have difficulty with using a rotary cutter and love them.  I know Bonnie Hunter has one and uses it for cutting strips.  I think she has a big version.

I hope that answers your question.

So that’s it for this version of Ask Jo.  I have to tell you all I have gone through my email trying to get to the bottom of it and start anew.  If you have written an email before July of this year and I haven’t responded, please write again.  My email got so out of hand when I was mask sewing and in an effort to get it under control, I deleted much of it this past week without even reading it.  I know that sounds terrible but at some point, it’s virtually impossible to catch up on 500 emails especially when more are coming in.  It’s not that your message wasn’t important…I’m just terrible at any bookwork and was overwhelmed when I was making masks.  Thanks for understanding.

19 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Follow Ups

  1. joann cassidy

    I use my Accuquilt Go for scraps. All my leftovers get cut into 2.5, 4, 5 inch squares. Recently I needed over 300 2.5″ squares from some fat eighths. Zipped right through them!
    But you’re right about the costs. I got a deal while I was working at a fabric store.

  2. Kimberly Clark

    I have many of the same sentiments about accuquilt. I have dies that I really thought I would use and they have just sat unopened! The wedding ring die and the hexie die have been worn out! Hence the need to replace! EXPENSIVE!!! For as much money as they were I don’t think I should be shelling out more!!!
    Ok, my rant is over and I feel better! LOL!

  3. Kim J LeMere

    Jo, my trip to Iowa and meeting up with you was VERY fluid and I was pleased to finally see your lovely home, gorgeous flowers and what a nice town Waucoma is. We will meet in the future since I come to Iowa a few times every year, more fabric treasures will be delivered. The porch was a perfect drop spot.
    I really like the polka dot quilt that Mike shared and yes polka dots are just happy shapes. I have used a Accuquilt Go that a friend has shared and I don’t feel compelled to own one. My quilting space is rather small so space is an issue for me. I didn’t know that the dies were so costly, Yikes.

  4. Judith Fairchild

    I think you nailed it when seeing polka dots make you happy. My sister Nancy had a brown dress with white inch size polka dots. I was hoping she would get tired of it and hand it down. That never happened by the time she was ready to hand it on. I had gotten about 6 inches taller and to developed around. I love polka dots.

  5. Janine Baker

    Thanks for the info on the Star quilt-very handy indeed! I too have always loved polka dots. I always get a little hot under the collar when I read someone “correcting” you for something. What ever happened to “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”?!!! I’m glad it didn’t bother Kim as much as it apparently bothered others! Hugs to all,

  6. jennifer

    i can’t believe people leave snarky comments on your blog, about your life! even if somebody “thought” you should be more available to answer the door, why in the world would they write that in the comments?! just keep scrolling… sheesh!
    you sure are productive! i try to use your example and use my time more wisely-i homeschool my 2 youngest (13 & 14) and watch my 3 grandchildren several days a week (4, 2½ and 4mo.) time is short- we better use it well!
    we have a beagle, too- Walker. he’s a good dog, but a loud barker! does rosie bark so loud?! i never knew that until we adopted him..
    i’m a faithful reader, seldom commenter.

  7. Lynne Nicholson UK

    Jo I love my AccuQuilt when I bought it 5 years ago it was the only one that was semi easy to get (only available in one place) here in the UK. Since then another company started making the Gemini Build A Block System which is more compact, the dies are thin metal dies but you have to use several plates and a metal shim to use them through a paper crafting die machine and the dies can be used for paper and other media. They are cheaper so getting the equivalent of all 5 sizes of the Qubes costs about the same as the 2 largest Qubes. For me the dies are essential as I’m registered blind and couldn’t continue cutting my own fabric without it.

  8. Teresa Black

    I Agee. No snarky comments please! I enjoy your blog and have learned a lot — and I’m considerably older than you

  9. Robin

    I always love your follow up posts, and I especially love the floor mats with a wood grain to them. If I decide to make the purchase it will be through your store! Samantha’s snarky didn’t even deserve a reaction. I have a Ring doorbell that goes through my phone and I’ve still missed visitors. BE KIND! If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. Goodness, there is too much hate in the world, let’s just all be kind. I have an Accuquilt Go with several dies but I just never think to use it. I snagged some dies for $5.00 each at a garange sale but they aren’t anything I will likely ever use. It’s not a bargain if I’m not going to use them. After your comment about loving polka dot quilts I went upstairs to my quilt stash to take a picture of mine to send you. I guess I gave it way because it’s nowhere to be found. Hmm, wonder who I gave it to.

  10. Joy

    You shouldn’t have to offer an explanation of why you missed a visitor. It was unfortunate, but Kim’s okay with it and hopefully you can meet in the future. I often miss phone calls because I always seem to be away from the phone when it rings. Only one person has ever made a snarky comment about it and I just ignored them.

    Thanks for the info on the Accuquilt as I’ve been contemplating getting one to cut strips but really can’t justify the price.

  11. Paula Nordt

    I have been disappointed with some of my Accuquilt dies. I have three different squares that have a slight bow on one side, and a triangle with that problem also. Accuquilt suggested that it is “operator error”. I tried all of their suggestions to no avail. So for some things it’s more accurate to just cut them with my rotary cutter. I would love the wedding ring die, but so expensive, and I’m not good with curves yet anyway.

  12. Mary F Nelson

    My local quilt shop has a couple of Accuquilt cutters and many dies. I am able to go in and “rent” time on them. That is the perfect way for me to get cutting done quickly and they are able to generate a little revenue on their investment.
    As or the comment-my motto is just because you think it, doesn’t mean you need to say(write) it.

  13. Stearns Carol

    I have an accuquilt and use it mainly for strips and HST and circles when I do a circle. The HST dies are magnificent. They cut off the dog ears and there is virtually no squaring up! Yay. I hate that part. However, I have discovered that the dies cut the pieces slightly smaller than I would cut them myself. Bonnie teaches us to lay the line of the ruler onto the fabric. This makes the piece just a tad bit bigger than the die cuts. So I have to make adjustments. I recently made a quilt with plenty of HST in it is and used the 3″ finished HST die. It was so much easier.

  14. Jean

    Once again I am completely flabbergasted that someone would take the time to write a note to criticize you. You write your blog with intelligence and thoughtfulness and total goodness, especially because you are sharing your life with total strangers (who become friends!), so to be criticized for missing a doorbell is ridiculous. Ignore the trolls, there are too many of them out there, and feel some sympathy for the unhappiness that must motivate them to criticize other people.

  15. brenda

    really thankful for the full disclosure on the acrquilt. just what i would not need is to find room for something so unweildy to say nothing of the expense.
    have to agree with other readers about no snarky comments. we are not your parents

  16. Jo Post author

    Lynne…Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree that if I have a disability I would buy and Accuquilt again. I would do anything to continue to enjoy a craft I love and I’m so happy Accuquilt and other cutting systems have helped people stay active.

  17. Jo Post author

    Rosie does not bark…THANKFULLY as I know beagle can be barkers. Ruby was a barker and our vet recommended a citronella dog bark collar. If the dog barks, the collar sprays them and they don’t’ like it. It was helpful with Ruby. Here is a link. https://amzn.to/305qNB0

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