Ask Jo: From Shirts to Blog Posts to a Big THANK YOU!!

Hello, and welcome to another edition of “Ask Jo”.  I get many comments and questions from all sorts of places, the comment section here, Youtube, email, and from our Facebook group.  Sometimes I think others of you might want to know the answers as well so I answer them here on the blog.   Today I’m addressing a few of the questions.

The first question came from Brinda:
There was no information in the article regarding how many shirts it took to actually make that quilt and was wondering if y’all kept track of how many shirts you actually had to cut up to make it?  (The one in the magazine) Even an estimate would be helpful.”

This question was about our Fly the Flag quilt…

This quilt is in the current issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.

I do love making quilts from clothing for utilitarian purposes and because they are so amazingly soft the instant they are finished.  The quilts feel warm and loved.  I have made MANY quilts from recycled clothing.  I actually keep storage binds with strips all cut in 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2, and 3″ strips.  My daughter Kelli and I often “share” shirts.  She will take the front and I’ll take the back or she’ll give me the sleeve of a shirt if she knows I’m saving a specific color.

Because I used an odd sleeve she gifted me or because I cut the quilt from strips that were already cut, it’s really hard to say how many shirts.  Also, I love a scrappy variety so I have a larger variety than actually using one entire shirt in the quilt.  In general, you would need 2 1/2″ strips that are 15″ long in both white and colored for each block.  Does that make sense?  I’d guess you could get three from each long sleeve, six from the back, four from each front…a guess would be 16 from each shirt.  I actually think it would be higher than that but who knows.  It would differ greatly if you have an extra-large vs a small.  I recommend staying away from ladies’ shirts as they often have darts that are hard to workaround.  The count as to the number of the blocks from a shirt will also differ if you are cutting around an ink stain or some other blemish on the shirt.

I would suggest buying what you can find and start making the quilt.  If you need more, buy more.

There was much confusion over a blog post that published for about 30 seconds and then disappeared here on the blog.  I have had multiple people comment and wonder what happened to the post.

Let me explain.  I write blog posts in advance and schedule them.  For example, I’ll go through spurts and listen to two books over a weekend.  Everyone here on the blog isn’t a reader so I work to schedule the posts out over a period of time BUT…I don’t want to forget to write the post and I want to write it while it’s fresh in my mind so I write it and then schedule it to post in a few days or even in a week.

To keep up my schedule of posting twice a day I often don’t have time to actually write two posts a day so on days when I have more time, I write more posts…or on days when something comes to me to write.  It’s true.  Occasionally I sit down at the computer and I can’t think of what to write about.

Other times, I need to sit at the computer and write posts but my family is here and I don’t leave them to write blog posts.

Another thing that happens is I will get charity quilts in from five people over one weekend.  Obviously, to make the blog interesting, I like to keep a variety of posts so I don’t put together five charity quilt posts all in a row.  That means I have to use the scheduling button.

This is what part of my computer screen looks like when I write posts.  Do you see where it says publish immediately?

If I hit the edit button I can change the date and time that I want the post to be published on.  You can see I scheduled this post you are currently reading for April 16th.  I actually wrote this post the morning of April 10th.

Typically I start writing a post, I stop to add in the photos and while they are loading I go over to this area and schedule the time and date I want it to post.  The pictures load.

On this day, I wrote this post over nap time.  In between writing a Fed Ex guy showed up and rang the doorbell, my phone rang and I was trying to make a batch of cookies so had to periodically jump up and down to take the cookies out of the oven.

I didn’t get the post finished.  The baby woke up.

So…I sat down at the computer that evening after we had “big family supper” and I was fretting over not getting any blog posts finished over naptime.  Then I remembered all I really needed to do was read through the post and hit schedule.

So I read through it and hit the button.  If you look again at the two pictures, the button starts out as reading “Publish”.  It turns into the word “Schedule” once the date is put in.  The buttons are the exact same color.  They are in the exact same place.  So, I hit the button.  In the hubbub of the day, I hadn’t put the date in so the button still said “Publish” not “Schedule”.  So what I had written published.  I realized my mistake immediately.  I quickly went to change it.  UGH.  Seriously only 20 seconds had likely passed but it went live.

Some people saw the beginning of the post but couldn’t read it all.  That means I’ve been fielding questions over the week as to where the post went.  Did they miss something?  Was my blog working?

So…Here’s what I can say about that post.  If this ever happens again, you will not miss a post.  It will reappear later.

This is typical life for me.  Writing blog posts with undivided focused attention is not a thing that ever happens for me.  The dog wants out.  My phone rings.  I have to leave mid-post.  So that is often the reason for typos…my run-on sentences…my publishing something when it wasn’t meant to be published.

My life is a series of stops and starts with lots of interruptions.  I have a friend that has said to me that maybe I need to not do as much with my kids and grandkids, that I need to set more boundaries with them so I can focus on things.

NOPE.  Wrong girl.  That is not me.

I gave up a career.  I followed my man.  I was the stay-at-home mom forfeiting money and a big retirement.  Having our kids here coming in and out of my house is my reward.  They are everything I want.  Do I miss the retirement money, sure, but I would miss seeing the kids and having them as a huge part of my life even more.

If hanging with the kids means living a start-and-stop life with many interruptions…if it means a blog post here or there have typos and schedule incorrectly, that’s something I’m willing to trade.

For the record, the blog post was the kitchen post and it scheduled when it was supposed to on April 13th.  You can read that post HERE.

Seriously though…I think the blog program needs to redo its buttons so the “Publish” and “Schedule” buttons are a little more different.

I want to take a second to thank everyone for the messages you left congratulating our family on the new babies.  I’ve been left messages everywhere from my email, to Facebook to here on the blog.  We’re so thrilled the boys arrived safely.  I’ll have to write a post and tell you a little more about the delivery…it was a little scary.  For now, all are well and safe and that’s all that matters.

10 thoughts on “Ask Jo: From Shirts to Blog Posts to a Big THANK YOU!!”

  1. So glad you’re a normal everyday person with a passion for the important stuff- family, children and creating… You keep life interesting on our side of the blog. God Bless your growing family.

  2. Honestly, I wish more young women (and even young men) had your attitude about the importance of family. The world would be a better place.

  3. I think your priorities are perfect—you live a great life, and everyone around you seems happy. I wouldn’t change a thing! I hope we hear more about those baby boys, with photos…such a wonderful thing, born healthy, a good weight and into a family that is both busy, loving and full of excitement…! Enjoy your weekend…it is obvious you made the right choice!

  4. I actually have no idea how many shirts it takes to make a quilt. So, this is just an estimate. I think I had purchased 15 mens shirts (mostly large and extra large with long sleeves) and made Holy Toledo which is 76 x 92. I used some shirts from a previous shirt quilt to add in for variety and still have quite a bit of my 15 shirts left. I also made a pieced backing with those shirts. I used the sleeves and fronts first and saved the back of the shirts for the back of the quilt. I also saved one XL shirt for the binding, I actually did single fold binding cut on the bias, instead of the regular binding.
    There is a lot of fabric in those shirts. But you want variety, so the more the better, right?

  5. Mary Etherington

    Fabulous quilt, Jo! On the subject of applique- I, too, LOVE applique but I can’t hold the needle anymore due to arthritis. So I’m going to learn invisible machine applique! I haven’t started yet – got some other things to finish first but I can’t wait to start!

  6. I can’t imagine telling someone that a blog should be a priority over family :-( I for one, am so happy for your kids/grands that you want to be present for them as #1 priority. Many in our country don’t have these important relationships!

    You do Jo, I’ll do me :-) I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I’m sure there will be family stories next week :-)

  7. I loved June’s comment of “You keep life interesting on our side of the blog”. I love the variety of things you talk about, the good and the bad. I enjoyed today’s post about blog writing. I have no interest in writing a blog, but I liked hearing a little info about it. You are “My blog friend, Jo” when I share stories with my husband. Keep on doing life and thank you for sharing with us. Praying things continue to go well with the babies.

  8. Stephani in N. TX

    Glad this post started out with your quilt from the most recent APQ magazine issue. I thought that issue was great, quilt after quilt were wonderful including yours. Your life and your blog have so much interest because of your family, don’t change a thing, other than the tech stuff on your computer. We have had several deaths in our family over the past few months. Thank goodness there are children to look forward with and to keep us entertained. I smile every time I think of the new life that has come into your family.

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