Ask Jo: From the Comment Section

Every so often questions and comments come from readers that I think others would like to hear my response too.  That’s when I feature them on the blog.  This is one of those days.

After my blog post about buying clearance plants from the garden center last fall (read the post HERE if you missed it) and planting clematis’, Pat in Michigan wrote:
“I wonder if you can give me some tips on growing clematis. I don’t seem to have success with them. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks”

Before I could answer another blog reader, Barb, answered with the exact response I was going to say, “Hi Pat, just a tip that came from my master gardener friend, clematis like their roots shaded. She told me to plant a hosta or another plant at the base of it to shade the roots. Worked like a charm for me.”

One more thing I might add is to watch your varieties. Even though they are all clematis’ doesn’t mean they all like the same amount of sun. Check the labels before you buy to make sure what shade/sun they prefer.

Next up Loretta asked, “Too too cute. I’m luvn Chubby Bunny. He’s perfect just the way you finished it….no bow needed.
Where did you get the long alphabet pillow?”

I think Loretta is referring to this pillow in my dough bowl.

The designer Lizzie Kate (now retired from designing anything new), has a whole series of “string” designs. All are long and narrow like this. She sold the right to her pattern to 123Stitch. They are the only place selling them now. You can find them in THIS LINK. I also have the Snowy String stitched.

Dawn asked:
“How do you figure out what count fabric to use also where do you get the patterns? Thank you”

I buy most all of my supplies through my local (1 hour away) needlework shop, The Stitchery Nook. They also have an online presence that you can find HERE.

That was the easy part of the question…The figuring out what kind of linen is harder. I encourage you to not over think it though. If it were me, I would start out with a simple project on 28 count linen…or Aida. One of our stitch alongs would be great!

Something like one of the bird samplers from Heart in Hand is a good beginning project. You can see them in THIS LINK. Below are several piece that I’ve stitched from October House. They would also be a great pattern for a beginner. You can find them HERE.

If you want to start stitching and haven’t, I encourage you to find a pattern you like and then call the Stitchery Nook. Either, Liz, Sherri, or Mary will answer the phone. Just tell them you are a brand-new stitcher. Tell them you don’t know anything about fabric but you want to start stitching. They will put everything together for you. They are wonderful and so helpful. I know for sure that you get good personalized service. You can find their contact info HERE. If they happen to be busy with in-store customers, they will give you a callback. They can even send you pictures and you can approve the items they are picking out for you.

Once you finish a couple of projects, you will be on the way to picking things out on your own. It’s so fun!! Addicting…but fun.

Cindy in NE Iowa asked:
“Hi Jo, Would you let us know where you are buying batting from? I would like to get your credit if you can link to your Amazon preference or recommendation if you are using a vendor there. Thank you!!”

Hi Cindy…thanks for thinking of me and thanks for asking.

For my personal quilts I typically like Warm and Natural. I buy it by the roll or two every year on Black Friday when all the sales are on. I try to guess how much I might need for the upcoming year and buy accordingly. I don’t buy unless it’s 50% off and free shipping. I don’t get any commission from Joann’s.

For the community quilters, I buy Pellon brand 80/20 by the roll from Walmart. You can find it HERE. It is about $5.86 a roll. None of the finishers ever complain about it. I don’t believe it’s as drapey as Warm and Natural but still very nice and more economical. I think it typically is about $40 a roll cheaper if I am buying the Pellon vs the Warm and Natural on 50% off sale. I don’t get any commission on that either.

Buying from Amazon is more expensive for batting so I don’t buy from there.

Thanks so much for asking. I hope that is helpful to someone to know all of the batting info. I keep Pellon here and will use it on community quilts that I donate.

It’s all a personal preference. I don’t “value” my finished quilt projects in a way that I spend the extra money on bamboo batting and the like. If I had all the money, I think my preference would be to become a batting expert with a stash of Quilter’s Dream, Hobbs, and Warm and Natural then pick which be perfect for a particular quilt…but alas…I don’t have the time to study the options and don’t have the room to store some of each of the brands. I am perfectly content with Warm and Natural.

That was a nice rounded out batch of questions. Thanks so much for asking them!!

7 thoughts on “Ask Jo: From the Comment Section”

  1. Hi, when searching the link for the Lizzie Kate alphabet put Lizzie Kate string in the website search box and all 8 come up. Otherwise there are over 500 Lizzie Kate patterns to look through, which is nice but a bit time consuming and possibly expensive. Regards from England on a sunny spring morning

  2. Jo,
    I use Hobbs 80/20 and I buy it by the roll from Marshall Dry Goods. They have had the best prices on battings for me. Prayers for healing for you.

    1. I was going to suggest them also. Our guild uses there batting for charity quilts. Some of my friends go there for shopping also. We aren’t too far away from it.

  3. Thank you for sharing these questions and answers. I have always liked Warm and Natural batting, but have used others but didn’t like as well. I always enjoy seeing your cross stitch pieces because they are so beautiful!

  4. I remember my Grandmother saying clematis roots like to be shaded (like you said) and her other tip was “they don’t like wet feet” so plant them where there’s good drainage. And yes, some varieties bloom just in the Fall, so it’s best to read the tag. By the way, I save my plant tags for a few years.

  5. Let me add a comment about clematis. Some clematis come back on the previous year’s vines. So don’t prune those. Like others have said “read the tag”. My husband chopped off my clematis vines two falls ago so, last year I didn’t have many blooms.

  6. I learn so much about stitching on this site. I would like to know what metal planter you use at Kramer grave for his flowers. I believe you shared a picture with us, but I can’t find it. I need to do something at my mother’s grave and yours looked perfect.

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