Ask Jo: No Purist Here

I recently had two comments from blog readers that I am sharing today…On is from Mary…the other from someone who was mean-spirited.  After careful consideration, I am writing about those comments today.  Please note, I very much appreciated Mary’s comments.

Mary said:
Jo, I’ve never seen you give instructions on how to iron your finished cross stitch projects. I lay my piece face down on a terry cloth towel and cover it with a damp linen towel. Press on the linen towel side. It steams the piece and the stitches stand out because they go into the thickness of the terry towel and they don’t get flattened. They come out great.”

(What I write next is not in any way directed at Mary or her comment.  I appreciate her question so much and it has given me a way to write about some of the frustrations of being a blogger.  I thank her for her comment that I hope will help us all see that that there are many acceptable ways)

Great question and Mary…I’ll likely never answer your question here on the blog.  There seem to be a few things that I’ve learned to keep my opinion to myself.  How to iron cross stitch pieces is one of them.

Seriously, if I would openly admit that I spray the piece with spray starch and then just iron it on the front side, I would have a whole host of people jump on me and tell me that I’m doing it wrong.

I would hear all about how I’m not leaving the stitches fluffy.  I would be told that I’m ruining my piece.  I would have people agast that the threads might run.

Oh, my word…you all have no idea what it’s like for bloggers if they “open a can of worms”.

There are some things, I just try to avoid.
-prewashing fabric
-how much machine quilting they like or don’t like
-how many WIPS (works in progress) are acceptable
-what dog behavior is acceptable
-political opinions
-how often to replace things
-using sheets as backings for quilts

Sadly the comments and emails people leave aren’t always phrased in a friendly manner either and most of the really nasty ones come in emails.  Words like “I can’t believe you would do that” have come my way before.

On second thought…I am going to tell you how I iron my cross stitch pieces.

I …spray them with starch.

I lay them on my wool mat right side up.

I iron right over the stitches.

I don’t care one single bit if my stitches are flattened.  I actually like them that way.  I like for the stitches to feel like they are flat and part of the fabric.  I like them to look and feel absorbed.

I’m super lazy.  I want things done quickly.  I don’t want to go find the towel.  It’s so much quicker to just iron it.  Being I don’t care that the stitches are flat, that’s what I do.  I spray it with starch (yes I know it might compromise the longevity of the archival process…but I’m lazy and don’t care) and iron it with the linen setting on my iron.

I know this method is not popular with many…and even likely unpopular with most.  That’s totally okay.  I don’t mind one bit that people have methods or opinions that are different than mine.  It’s totally okay with me.  Just don’t write me a nasty note about it.  I’m 56 years old and can make a decision about ironing all on my own.

I am not saying either way is better or worse.  I’m not on a campaign trail trying to convince anyone my way is better…because, truthfully, it probably isn’t.  But, it’s my piece and I don’t care.

So…that’s why I don’t blog about how I press things.
-I know my method isn’t accepted by most
-I know it likely isn’t long-term best down the road
The main reason I don’t blog about how I press linen…I don’t want to hear the feedback and people telling me I’m doing it wrong. I’ve already thought it through and come to the decision that I don’t care and am willing to take the risks.  I don’t need someone to tell me how to “do it right”.

Please know that whenever I do a tutorial or write anything, I am not endorsing that as the only way to do something.  In the past, I have written about how I sort my fabric as “white-based” or “cream-based”.  You can find those posts HERE and HERE and HERE.  In those posts, I’m only telling you what I do.  I am not and never will tell you that whatever you do is wrong.

I’m totally on the team of “you do you”.

At least I’m on the “you do you bandwagon” until things become hurtful.

Typically I don’t censor comments left here on the blog.  YES, I delete the spam comments but that’s it.  I do believe in freedom of speech…but I recently had a very nasty comment left here that would have been hurtful to many and I took my right as the owner of the blog and deleted this hurtful, inappropriate comment.

The commenter wrote that she wasn’t impressed with any of the quilts she saw on the blog and she hand quilted everything because she was a purist.  Keep in mind, that this is the very-very toned-down version.  What she wrote was actually mean…

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt when they leave comments like this.  I try to be understanding that they are likely very sad in their own life.  I try to reason that maybe they have something medical that affects them but at some point…No.  I’m not leaving mean hurtful statements in the comment section that would hurt many and criticize the work they are doing.

I ended up writing to the lady who left the comment and I told her:  “There are no purists here”.

It’s a very real thing that bloggers have become more and more frustrated with the nasty comments blog readers leave.  Many of us who are often appreciated for being open with our lives are starting to feel like we might not want the door quite so open.  After all, who wants to deal with “purists”…not me.

I’m not going to let the purist get me.  Instead, I am going to praise Mary for opening a discussion on the ways of ironing cross-stitch pieces.  Many thanks to Mary who outlined a great way to iron your cross stitch pieces in her comment at the beginning of this post.  If you are ironing your pieces what Mary suggested is probably the most common and accepted way to iron cross stitch pieces.  I also want to thank her for the timing of her comment.  It gave me a great segway into being able to write about my frustrations with the “purist” commenter and it gave me a way to tell you about how I iron my pieces as normally, I wouldn’t have “opened that can of worms”.

Feel free to chime in and tell us what method you use to iron your pieces.

Also, please note my blog is and always will be a “you-do-you” community and there truly are no purists here.

104 thoughts on “Ask Jo: No Purist Here”

  1. Every single cross stitch I did in the past were done exactly like you do yours. I also use sheets as backings for quilts almost every single time. Because I’m lazy and it’s easier, plus I find such beautiful sheets! I remember when I first started quilting and a group of my quilting friends and I went to a quilt show, this was 17 years ago, and machine quilting had just taken off. One of the women told us that ‘in her opinion’, it just was not a quilt unless it was hand quilted’. I looked at her then and thought she was nuts. I knew I would make beautiful quilts and none would be hand quilted and they would be called Quilts. I know it’s hard to be so middle of the road when blogging. When I read a blog that I disagree with, I always think of what someone said to me once ‘that’s why they have horse racing’. I have chosen to stop reading some blogs because of various reasons and that’s my choice. But I choose to not be mean.

  2. Sweet Jo, I have been reading your blog daily for YEARS, and one of the many reasons I love your blog so much is because of your “you do YOU” attitude. I think your quilts are fantastic, and I love that you are so open and down to earth. Please don’t let the Negative Nellie’s discourage you! 99.9% of your readers adore you, and the rest can just unsubscribe.

    Kathy in CA

    1. I totally agree with Kathy. I so appreciate your positive attitude and willingness to help us all grow in our craft. It breaks my heart that some feel the need to be so hurtful. It is so unnecessary. Take heart Jo that most of us think you are amazing!

    2. I also agree with Kathy B. I appreciate your openness and willingness to share. I have learned so much through what you’ve written. THANK YOU!

  3. Maybe no purists but a lot of love and real old fashioned common sense and great advice. I had just retired and started quilting when I found your blog. The pandemic had started so no classes for me. I just watched you tube video and read your blog along with Bonnie Hunter and a couple others and built up my confidence to try more difficult patterns. Don’t change for anyone but yourself, I love your family and your blog.

  4. I’m so sorry to hear that people are giving you grief.
    I appreciate you sharing your quilting, cross-stitching, and your life.

  5. You go girl! There are so many negative happenings in the world and we would all feel personally better if we look for positive thoughts.
    I also know that not being perfect with everything is very gratifying as it gives us room to grow … or not!
    I know were my mistakes are but let others try to find them all. Good luck with that.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, family, quilting and cross stitch and life in general!

  6. I for one appreciate that you take the time from your day—most every day—to write posts that we enjoy reading. I love hearing about your family, and about your quilting and cross stitching! How rude of someone to leave such a nasty comment.
    You just keep doing you, Jo, and I’ll continue to enjoy each of your posts! Thank you!!

  7. Kathleen Phelan

    Dear Jo, I think your quilts are the prettiest and nicest quilts I have ever seen! I really think that two years of Covid quarantining has brought out the worst in some people. I also like your method of pressing your cross stitch pieces. Pay that purist no mind!!!

  8. I believe that just like there are “no quilt Police” we each have our own style and flair (think The Nanny) and we do things our own way (you do you). Some of those things are the way we were taught. I not only quilt, and cross stitch, I also crochet. I crocheted for many years before I learned to read and pattern, I taught myself to cross stitch, long before there were you tube tutorials to help, and found out many years after I had done several pieces that I was doing things backwards from the way most folks. You doing you, means you spend “you”r time however makes you happiest, or able to accomplish the most (i.e. community quilts). Don’t let anyone rain on your parade! PS I always iron my cross stitch from the back with lots of steam.

  9. Good for you for speaking up. Don’t let a few “mean girls” spoil what you love doing. I love your blog and all your hints. I also enjoy hearing about your family and am amazed at the creativity in your family. Please continue to do what makes you happy. It makes you who you are❤️

  10. I read your blog to see how different people do their sewing etc. it’s good to get other peoples perspective of life and crafts (and fabric obsessions) thanks for having your blog ..I read it every day ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  11. Cynthia from Nebraska

    Well before I got to the part where you wrote “you do you,” that is exactly what I thought! I would, however, like to know more about your not pre-washing (I don’t, either). Have you ever had trouble because of it? Do you mix unwashed and prewashed (like things that come from the thrift store or are donated) fabric in one quilt? How do you wash your quilt when it’s finished? I like knowing how other people do things! Sorry you had a troll on your site.

    1. Jill McCaughey

      I ALWAYS prewash my fabric before it enters the sewing room…one SAturday evening I decided to make a red and white quilt (you know where I’m going on this, don’t you?) and hadn’t pre washed the quilt store quality fabric, but proceeded to make 12 lovely schoolhouse blocks. The reds ran when I washed the quilt to fluff it up, and I could never get the colour out. A very sad experience, to say the least. Even batik fat quarters get rinsed in hot water in the sink, I can tell if it bleeds that I need to keep rinsing it before using. Some fabrics have chemicals to keep them smooth, and I would rather take the time to rinse and press the unsewn piece than have it create problems later. After I dry the yardage, I just smooth it and fold, don’t press till I am ready to work with it, and it’s probably wrinkled from storage, so why m;are more work by pressing it twice? Jill in Calgary/Phoenix

  12. “You do you! There are no purists here!” That’s why you’re a great blogger! That’s why we love you! You are real!

  13. Pam Pennington

    You GO girl. You should not have to deal with nasty comments from people that just want to be negative. I have to curl my fingers on Facebook and blog comments to not respond to some of those people. I have decided that they should not be engaged because I think that is what many of them want. It is hard for me and I for one think bloggers should be more willing to delete those “haters”. There is a difference between doing things a different way and being ugly and mean about the way others do things. I am in awe of all you get accomplished and yes, I have a different opinion on some topics but I also am adult enough to know it is my opinion and you did not ask me for my opinion. It is your blog and you keep writing it your way and doing things your way. I enjoy your posts even if I disagree, lol. And there you go, my unsolicited opinion. Have a great day and keep ironing your cross-stitch your way. No one is going to suffer for it! Nor will they suffer for your approach on any other subject. Thanks for spending your time with us.

  14. Jo, it is such a shame that some people have to be so critical and mean-spirited. Sadly, that seems to be a trend in our country these days. Of course there are many ways to do many things! I am also in the “you do you” camp.

  15. Some people like to make themselves feel superior by trying to make other people feel inferior. Mean people suck. Delete those comments immediately and try not to give them another thought. We like your blog because you are a normal person doing normal things – cooking, crafts, quilts – and helping the rest of us normal people do the same. Love you, Jo!!

  16. Chiming in here too …..I am also in the ‘you do you…you be you ” camp…..I’m not sure when it ever became OK to tell someone else what to do, how to feel, what to believe …about anything. Each one of us are unique in all that we are….let’s embrace every wonderful thing about every single person. ♥️♥️

  17. Here’s my thoughts on Ms. Purist…
    If the only acceptable way to quilt is hand quilting then I would have NEVER made a quilt – and I love piecing quilts!
    I love the designing, the fabric selection, the sewing, and hand stitching binding.
    I do not enjoy the quilting process , and only do it on small simple projects. I “quilt by check” and this is perfect for me. It’s what I choose to spend my money on and I’ve never been disappointed with the results. I tell my long arm quilter what I’m envisioning and she does the magic.
    Just my two cents on this topic.

  18. I don’t understand why anyone feels the need to write nasty comments stating that they don’t like anything about a blog. If they don’t like it why do they continue reading it? Move on and save everyone, including themselves, the bad feelings generated by their nasty comments.

  19. Cynthia from Nebraska

    Sorry if this posts twice…
    I hadn’t read very far into this blog before I thought, “you do you.” HA! Trolls. Block them and give them no further thought. HOWEVER, I would love to hear about not prewashing (I don’t, either). Have you ever had a problem because of that? Do you mix unwashed fabric with prewashed fabric (like you might get from a reader in the mail or at the thrift store) in the same quilt? I have mostly unwashed fabric but some I received from others that is either prewashed or…I’m just not sure. When and how do you wash your finished quilts? I like to hear how other people do things!

  20. I just cannot wrap my mind around how very nasty, mean, vile, and cruel people, especially crafting WOMEN, can behave. Just plain ugly! I’ve recently contemplated giving up my YouTube channel due to the Uglies of this world but if I do that they win and I’m just not havin’ that. I stand with you, Jo, good for you standing up to that horrid horrid woman.

    The quilts you share are always gorgeous! Works of art each and every one of them. Not just yours but all you share with us here on the Blog. I do wish you well and comforted by this.


  21. As a blogger I do understand and it does get under my skin and I have been known to block those readers who leave a mean spirited comment. And everybody has to do their own thing – for instance I don’t use sheets as backings because I really WANT to use up all my fabric before I die. I hate piecing backs but it does use up my half yards. Ah, the life of a blogger – and like you there are some subjects I will never touch – politics is at the top of the list! Haha!

  22. Hooray for jo . Guess there are quilt police and cross stitch police . I love the do it your own way attitude . It’s supposed to be about enjoying our journey . So all you police out there , just chill out .

  23. That gal may call herself a purist, but I would have a different name for her. All your quilts are beautiful!!! Because I was taught many, many years ago how to iron my cross stitching pieces, I, too, press on a towel. I didn’t know of another way, but like you said, to each their own (more or less). Something I was also taught and try to do, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything! Anyway, one of the reasons I love your blog is that you are down to earth, nothing fancy, but always are inspiring whether with your quilts, cross stitching, your decorating ideas, or food things. Also I relate because I was reared on farm, five kids in family – close together – so grandkids close too.

  24. You go girl! Do it your way!
    And share what you want to share!
    You have always said “this is the way I prefer” but others do it differently.
    And I love, love, love your quilts and wish I could do as well!

  25. I’m always surprised that people would write such mean and hurtful things! I’ve followed your blog for so long, I feel like you’re my neighbor! I want to share something with you that a local pizza restaurant does here with bad reviews. He is so popular, he posts the comments on Facebook and his loyal fans take care of the rest! And…they do! Im guessing you are trying to avoid a huge ‘to-do’ here. Everyone should play nice. But, if you’ve ever just had it, it’s an idea!

  26. Wouldnt you think it would be easier to just click on the unsubscribe at the top of the page than to get one’s knickers in a knot and have to take the time to construct an ugly email ????
    Keep up the good work. Thank you

  27. Patty McDonald in Southern California

    I love this post too. Years ago (like 35 years) when I first started quilting, I taught myself from a book. Then I started taking classes. I heard so many ‘experts’ advice on how quilting is suppose to be done. I thought those ladies coming across the prairie, in the 1800 s, didn’t follow the experts. The same with cross stitching. I know what ‘experts’ aka ‘purists’ think but I do the best I can while enjoying the process. I love your quilts and cross stitching!!

  28. Oh my! last time I heard the “hand quilting purist” type comment was the early 1990s. I am sorry someone tried to spread their negativity and glad you nipped it in the bud. I don’t understand why a person like that doesn’t just scroll on to another site. Jo, be assured that you bring joy, to so many readers. Thanks for sharing your llife with us

  29. Like Karen, I’ve always ironed my finished cross stitch from the back, using steam. That said, I have never ever finished as many pieces as you have Jo! I agree with “you do you”. We all need to find our happy place (and some folks need to stay in theirs)! Love your blog–it’s always good to see and hear how others do things. It’s an opportunity to learn, and isn’t that how we grow? Blessings to you and your family.

  30. Jo, I am so happy that you aren’t a purist, I am absolutely not. I’ve heard people get criticized for not having perfect seams etc, it is discouraging to hear that. I used to hand quilt, not anymore, I too am lazy. I love all of your quilts, and have learned a lot from you. Mine quilts are small, but I love them all. I even use my embroidery machine to quilt them. The most important thing is enjoying what you do, right?

  31. Connie Schofield

    It’s good to know there are many ways to do everything. Everyone has choices and hearing the many different ways to do something helps people make a choice on what they prefer.

  32. Elizabeth Rodgers

    Well, I for one consider you and your family very important to my life. I have learned quilting, cooking, gardening, large loving families, shopping, and just how to face life, I enjoy you and your family so much, Please never change,

  33. Jo, sometimes when you post how you do something, I’m like “yes!” That’s how I do it and so does Jo. I used to quilt with a friend, but she was so opinionated about color and patterns, etc. that it wasn’t fun to quilt with her anymore. Life is too short to follow a blog that you don’t like. There are as many blogs out there as there are opinions. I chose the ones to follow that give me joy. You do that for me, Jo. I love your quilt patterns, your family, and you. Thank you for all you do. Keep blogging!

  34. I agree with ;your post and response to the nasty reader. I enjoy finding out about all the different ways people do things. I try ones out that I think I may like and sometimes I like them better than the way I had been doing things. I have been inspired by many of your posts and love what you do.
    I do have a question though. What is the purpose of spraying starch on your cross stitch when you press it? Does it stabilize the fabric for framing? Maybe I just answered my own question.

  35. Hi Jo, I love reading your blog so much daily, feel like I know you and if we were in the same town, we would be friends. Please don’t let anyone nasty bring you down! You get so much accomplished I am always in total amazement and awe!
    Love from Arizona!

  36. If I didn’t like what you wrote, then I wouldn’t have followed you all this time, keep on doing your thing and enjoy it as we all do…then block the …….s and you or us won’t see their stupid and hateful BS!

  37. Sandra J Bogoniewski

    Bravo! That’s what I love about this blog! I’ve been reading for, I think, 2 and a half years, though I rarely comment. I love to hear all the different ways you do things and all the different things you talk about. I grew up in a craft and quilt shop and learned to do it all by hand, and also learned in every other area of life to do with what I have, so that carried over. More recently I’ve had to step in to an empty role and lead a church quilt group that works with all donated materials – not at all how I used to do things. I couldn’t have done all this ‘making do’ this past year if I hadn’t been reading your blog and seeing all the different creative ways things are put together – especially by the amazing Cresco Ladies! I wish I had the time and resources to be one of your volunteer finishers (maybe someday). I wish I could FIND sheets to use as backing! I wish we were neighbors! But I’ll just be content to be an internet neighbor, and I’ll try to leave a more than just occasional encouraging/appreciative comment.

  38. Oh,Jo, thank you for generously sharing “You”! Its why I follow you! I love your quilts and your home and your family! I’m amazed with all you do and its always fun to see what Jo is up to.
    I’m a recovering perfectionist! Seriously, I’ve never had it all quite together. I have had a job, family, developmentally disabled son and a fascination with a hundred crafts!
    Do what you love and if you’re willing to share with us daily I say “Thank you”!!

  39. I used a pressing cloth because that’s what Mom taught me to do. Don’t we all take Mom’s lessons to heart? ;-)

    When I started quilting, my initial mentor told me I had to prewash everything….so I did. Then I got to be friends with my LQS owner and she said “stop that-it doesn’t make a difference”. So I quit. I’ve not had any issues with my quilts. I know I mix prewash with no-wash still.

    I wonder what I would do if I self-taught? I wouldn’t know anyone’s “rules”. Yup, YOU DO YOU!

    I appreciate what you do here on your blog. I cannot IMAGINE the time and energy and organization it takes for you to do your blog posts. The photos, the tutorials, the kids, the grandkids, the publication work/application process/decision matrix. I’m betting you still work 60 hour weeks! Thank you :-)

  40. Colleen in Oregon

    I remember nearly laughing my head off at a quilt shop owner who told me I needed to learn how to quilt because I didn’t push my needle with the same part of my finger as she did. I’d been quilting for 30 years when she told me that! I wish I had known the phrase “you do you” at that time. I would have used it on her! God bless you Jo!

  41. Judith M Fairchild

    Dear Jo, I’m all for you do you. I haveearned and enjoyed so much reading all your blogs. I’ll admit the hardest of your blogs to read is when you lost your husband. But your openess about how you felt broke a barrier I had put up when I lost my beloved so many years ago. You have helped me so much. I ran into a purist many years ago I had gone to the store to buy backing and other fabrics. The lady that waited on me asked what I needed so much fabric for. I told her I was making a quilt and loved doing it. She asked me how I pieced my quilt and I said by machine. She said oh no that’s not quilting. You “Have to piece by hand I said I see. Took my material and left. I never went to that fabric section unless she wasn’t there. It does hurt.

  42. Margaret in North Texasm

    I’m of the school “if you can’t say something nice–keep your thoughts to yourself”. Unsubscribe!!

  43. I’ve been stitching since the 70s. I have no idea why it took me decades, but a few years ago I realized that I needed to quit worrying so much over something that brings me joy. When I’m dead it won’t matter to me if if the Best Press I sprayed on the back of my stitching will deteriorate the threads. It also won’t matter to me if I leave behind stitching or quilting WIPs, or if I never get things framed, or sandwiched and quilted. Hugs from AZ.

  44. Hi Jo, I’m on your team of “you do you” too! I will never understand people whose need it is to complain about everything and everyone! Variety is the spice of life…find the flavor you like as an individual and let everyone else do the same for themselves!

  45. Angela J Short

    ♡♡♡♡♡ Love your blog. A wall quilt that says “You Do You & Let It Be” would be cool! ☆☆☆☆☆ Thank you for having your blog! I admire you Jo! ♡♡♡♡♡

  46. Purists are ok, as long as they live their life and leave me alone to do my life. I figure bakers would be out of business if it weren’t for nonbakers like me. Cake decorating not being a skill set of mine. If I prefer to quilt by check then another woman is earning money. It’s a win -win. Lovely cakes and quilts for me and earned income for others. For all the handquilters- congrats – always admire the your work!

  47. Reading your blog and all the comments after has helped me learn a new way of doing something. I have used sheets, have put water in my iron etc….. somethings that have been discussed I have incorporated into my quilting life, others not so much. I appreciate that you give us a place to discuss, share and learn. I hope that I have always been kind in my responses. Carry on Jo, you do you.

  48. Cindy Gordineer

    I bought a mug a long time ago that says “Feel Free to Go Away Mad” and I live by it. We don’t have to agree and if you think we do, then feel free to go away mad. I do me and don’t let it bother me if you think I should do me differently. It’s incredibly freeing.

  49. Yay for you, Jo. Love the phrase–you do you.
    As for the quilt purist, doesn’t she realize that if everyone quilts her way, it will be a dying art. Besides, longarm quilters need to make a living, too! And, as others have said, if she doesn’t like what she sees on your blog, she could just unsubscribe. As for me, I love your blog and your common-sense, arms-wide-open attitude. You make my day!

  50. Sounds to me like everyone represented here so far echoes exactly how I feel about it all!! We love you and eagerly look for your posts every morning and every evening. You make my day! Keep on doing “You” for all of us (and yourself) and ignore the crazy people who need to get a life in order to stop trying to ruin other people’s lives.

    Thank you for all you do!!

  51. Annette from Sisters, OR

    “YOU DO YOU” is now going to made into a sampler by me soon. I was introduced to your blog by Mary E. of Country Threads about a year ago and have enjoyed it ever since. I’m always amazed and appreciative that you both can share your down to earth daily lives so articulately. THANK YOU!

  52. The wide world of all crafts and arts exists for the personal expression of the crafter or artist. Thank you Jo for sharing openly your approach to whatever you endeavor. There are some posts I cruise through, others I dwell longer on, but each and every post is LOOKED FORWARD TO because you are REAL. Stay true to you!

  53. I have a (positive!) comment about using sheets as quilt backing (which I have done).
    A few years back I sewed bright pillowcases out of quilting cotton for my husband to use during motel stays with his job. Those pillowcases completely WORE OUT! Poly/cotton sheets, which might make HAND quilting more challenging, will likely outlast the quilt itself!

    My mom always brought the backing to the front to bind a quilt; I sew on a separate binding and hand-stitch it down. Both result in completed quilts.

    The goal is a finished and usable product, right? Any port in a storm, or, as you say, “You do you!”

    Thanks for your honesty! I look forward to your posts every day.

  54. Jo, keep your chin up and keep on keeping on! I enjoy your blog and always learn something new. I heard Jenny Doan speaking last weekend. She said “always be nice”. I’m working hard to always be nice! You do a great job and I enjoy reading about your family too.

  55. So sad someone has to be mean. I guess it’s the world we live in. As for me I don’t let them bother me. I do me. Good for you to stand up to the bully’s

  56. Jo – I love your attitude! “You do you” is exactly what we all need to do in our private lives! What does it matter how we finish a project or do a craft if we are happy with it?
    Your ‘troll’ needs to move on – and I sincerely hope she does. Perhaps she is one of those folks who get some sort of pleasure out of being “right” or being in control. The rest of us enjoy your blog, want to hear about your life and family, and love the inspiration you share so often – and we’ll still be here reading!!!

  57. Hi jo, l just finished a small quilt with a winter sheet on back and binding coming round to the front stitched down by machine! Something cosy for a little child, not for the quilt police! Keep up the good work, best wishes from Sandy

  58. I read other blogs here and there, but I follow yours because you do you and continually help others in so many ways. I would echo every comment above that praises you and thanks you. I have only been quilting for couple years and self taught so love all the different ways people do things and get the same result. I probably would have started quilting several years ago if I woulda coulda ignored an incident of negativity in my church quilting group. They had asked if I would like to help quilt the raffle quilts. I was excited to learn, contribute and belong. The wrong person decided to “teach” me how to hand quilt. she went to the quilt and pointed out all the “errors” of others and said she would need to rip them all out and redo them. At that point I decided it was not the place for me, and never went back. I so wish I would have spoken up. I recently was asked to help again and I nicely said I couldn’t do it to their standards so I decline. They cannot get people to help until those few are gone. So you continue to do you because “you” is the best.

  59. Hi Jo, I am very sorry that you have received and do receive unkind replies to your blog. I totally get that you are sharing your life and your quilts and cross stitch, and that you are not telling people how they must do things. Actually I feel rather privileged that you share your life with us all as you do. I love reading about your beautiful family, and seeing your quilts and cross stitch, and also your way of doing things, it’s all learning for me. Sometimes I feel a bit intimidated by what you appear to achieve but that is my problem and not yours. In fact, I love your very accepting approach as expressed by your phrase “you do you”. Mary’s suggestion about how to iron a finished cross stitch sounds good but what you do also sounds fine, each to their own is my feeling on it all. And what on earth is wrong with using a sheet for quilt backing?? I think it’s a great idea, I’m using a flannelette sheet for my own quilt and will have enough for another quilt. It’s often a lot more economical than buying quilt backing which can be expensive. You keep doing what you do Jo, and don’t worry about the so called purists, they can stew in their own juice! I for one think you and your family are terrific.
    God bless you, Kathy

  60. While your quilt’s might not be my taste, I am always impressed how you can take strips, small pieces and scraps and come up with such interesting designs. I have a hard time using scraps sp I admire those who can. As for pressing cross stitch, I’m not sure there is a right or wrong way. It’s what works for you. Keep on being Jo. Ignore the nasty woman. She’s not worth your thoughts.

  61. Dear Jo, I left a reply but not sure if it sent, so I’m posting again. I agree with all the other comments, I think you and your family are wonderful and I also love your “you do you” approach, it’s so freeing and accepting. I am also a quilter and cross stitcher. I can’t remember how I ironed my cross stitches, maybe I didn’t iron them at all, (it’s been a while since I framed one) but if I did, all I ever did was iron it face down under a tea towel or something. Your way sounds fine, and all your cross stitches look beautiful so what you do obviously doesn’t do any harm. I don’t know why people have to be so picky about how things “must” be done, and then criticise. Maybe it makes them feel better. If so, they are the poorer for it. I love your posts, and I learn a lot from them. Using sheets for quilt backing is very sensible. Backing fabric is expensive. Who cares what the purists think! Let them stew in their own juice! You keep doing what you do and we’ll keep reading, enjoying and learning from your blogs.

  62. What a meanie,,, I love your motto You Do You, I see a cross stitch wall hanging or a quilted wall hanger coming on. Jo I thank you as many others do at your free attitude in quilting, you have taught me to enjoy quilting, instead getting my knickers in a twist over not so perfect seams and YAY its ok to fudge it. like you say , the recipients of your finished quilts, do not care, as they know its made for them with love and makes them feel special. A material hug to wrap up in. Love the family news and Rosie on quilts is a highlight, I always look out for that image. She always look so proud sitting there on her mummy’s creation.
    Jo keep being you , that’s why I follow you , I drool over your cross stitch pieces , I adore the Anniversaries of the heart piece so much so I am gathering supplies to make my own, it will probably be a lifetime in the making, but oh so enjoyable. THANK YOU

  63. Il faut continuer comme ça Jo, j’ai hâte tous les jours de lire ton blog. Je lis depuis la France et je me régale. J’apprends énormément de choses et je suis bien certaine qu’il n’existe aucune méthode mieux qu’une autre pour tout et il faut juste avoir la méthode qui nous convient, c’est comme ça pour tout dans la vie. Surtout ne tiens pas compte des puristes et des donneuses de leçon et continue de nous enchanter avec tes conseils. Ne change rien avec nous et un grand grand merci pour tout ce que tu fais.

  64. Jo,
    you’re doing everything right, everyone can do whatever they want. I’m also 56 years old and don’t let anyone tell me how to do something other people think.
    Keep it going. All the best.

  65. Bonjour Jo !
    Tout d’abord, je tiens à vous féliciter pour tous vos articles, qu’ils concernent le point de croix ou les courtepointes.
    Pour le repassage de mes pièces, je fais comme vous, j’utilise l’amidon, mais en aucun cas je ne critique celles qui font autrement. Chacune doit faire comme il lui plait et comme cela lui convient. Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec vous, il y a tellement de façons de faire que tout le monde peut choisir sa méthode. J’aime beaucoup travailler sur mes quilts à l’ancienne, en traçant mes lignes de couture et en cousant à la main, c’est ce que je fait quand je transporte mon ouvrage tous les mardis à mon club. Mais j’adore aussi utiliser mes règles de coupe et ma machine à coudre. Il y a eu tellement d’évolutions en la matière ! Et pour notre plus grande joie. J’aime tout ce qui me facilite la vie, tout comme j’aime la tradition, ce n’est pas incompatible. Je compte sur vous pour continuer à nous montrer votre extraordinaire travail et nous faire des tutoriels et vidéos trés intéressants et faciles à comprendre. J’aime aussi beaucoup suivre la famille Kramer qui est une belle famille, je voyage avec vous chez une famille américiane, moi la petite française. Je vous envoie toute mon amitié. Affectueusement, Fabienne

  66. Definitely no purist here I see my sewing friend unpicking because something doesn’t match quite right and I think life’s too short to be doing that….
    Love your blog Jo keep at it

    1. As a longtime reader, I do admire your productivity and wish I had your energy. Regarding using sheets for backing, back in the day, before long arm quilting, hand quilting through a sheet was very difficult because of the higher thread count. I remember going to quilt shows where machine quilted quilts were rare and looked down upon. How times have changed. There is room for so many different approaches to needle craft. Hand quilting to me is like meditation, but I “quilt by check” also. Give those grand babies a hug for me. You are blessed.

  67. Thank you for the explanation as I currently have a piece needing to be pressed. Now, do you ever wash your pireces because they got dirty?
    And thank you for not being political. There are two bloggers I follow who make political comments that are on the other side of my beliefs. This totally annoys me. When you have 80,000 followers, at least half of them don’t believe as you do so why make those comments if its going to alienate them? Thanks for all you contribute.

  68. Wow,we can all agree to disagree but why be nasty? It’s hard to believe that people leave nasty comments like that ! I don’t do as much cross stitch as I used to but my stitching always seemed a bit grubby and needed washing before pressing…..can you imagine the field day of comments that would unleash? Thanks for sharing especially” you do you”. Totally agree…….Thanks for sharing.

  69. Laurie Williams

    For many years I have quilted tops sent to me by Jo to be donated as finished community quilts. I read this woman’s hurtful and nasty comments as they were directed towards the ten quilts I had finished. Those scrappy crumb quilts made with everything under the rainbow were sent to me by a blog reader, Graziella P. who is a fairly new, but very passionate quilter. I was horrified that she might see this person’s comments and it might cause her pain or distress. I was worried it would hurt her and was grateful to Jo for deleting the comment. Personally I was inspired to quilt three large custom beautiful quilts to prove the commenter wrong about my skill level. Lol. You have to get your motivation wherever you find it. We should never forget that our words have the power to do good…and the direct opposite also.

    1. Laurie. I am so sorry you saw this comment. I deleted it as soon as possible as I didn’t want you or the creators of the tops to be offended by the rude comments. Thanks you for the great work you do. So many people are blessed by it.

  70. Once I took two back to back workshops with two well known and “pioneer” cross stitchers. Oh my, what a revelation. One taught a method of stitching one direction of the cross at a time and the other was every counted cross stitch done individually. Was interesting to hear the reasons, and by the way one was actually telling you how the back should look. My take away, I could use and do use both methods for my work and have even modified them to how I work. I have taught many to count cross stitch and my “rule” for that is to give the basics but there are many variables that work for everyone. You do you is a perfect statement about it. Also this applies to quilting. I,myself, like to feel like I have creative ownership over my whole quilting process. But many would not be quilting if they had to do all the work. What makes me sad is those that have someone do a part of the quilt process but do not acknowledge them. Like knitting, crocheting or other needle craft, it is fabric, needle, thread/yarn, and scissors. All else is subjective really.
    We all love your honesty, thank you for sharing your life. I love your quilts and your blog.

  71. Voicing ones opinion whether pro or con, is one thing, but trying to hurt someone in the process in totally uncalled for. So sorry some mean spirited person tried to do that to you. Even though we know how you are and that you can put things behind you, it still hurts when someone attacts you personally. Know that you are loved as is evident by the amount of readers you have. Love you Jo. Keep up the GOOD work.

  72. Wow! I didn’t know there were any ‘purists’ left nowadays! I’ve been quilting since 1991, self-taught, and remember the slow acceptance of long arm quilting. It wasn’t ‘proper’ unless it was hand-quilted, but quilting on your domestic or long arm machine is totally accepted today.
    I used to do cross stitch reproduction samplers before I got hooked on quilting. I never used a hoop on my linen, my husband would make a pine frame that I would stretch the linen onto the frame with staples. Worked out well for me as I needed no ironing when done!

  73. I see comments all the time on blogs, etc that I can’t believe people really put in print! What ever happened to “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. I was raised with that reminder frequently when I was younger, and it just became a habit as an adult. People “hide” behind that computer monitor and feel that because you can’t see their faces it’s ok to be mean, rude, nasty people. I have a hard time understanding why if you are unhappy in your life you must inflict yourself onto others. We love you to the moon & back Jo and I feel closer to you than a few of my own family members! If wishes came true, I’d have a chance to meet & give you a couple “Thank You” hugs for all the joy & education you’ve brought into my life. I love you like family, Hugs,

  74. Hi Jo – I love your blog because you’re honest about the way you do things and you always tell people to do what they want to do. No hard and fast rules. Keep being you.

  75. Hmmm, I wonder how many of the hand-quilters from back in the day would have hand-quilted had they had modern-day technology and conveniences – such as electricity, fancy sewing machines, long-arm machines, etc.? My husband resisted using cell phones for years, stating that we’ve gotten along for YEARS without cell phones. Among my many “discussions” with him included that people “got along” for years without indoor plumbing. Does he want to give that up, too? LOL!! I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I have followed you for years, and I’m not even a quilter! I just enjoyed seeing your quilts and how you do things. Keep on keepin’ on, Jo!

  76. Dear Jo, I did not expect to read comments in french on your blog today!! What a pleasure, we lived there for three years and my french was never very good. But the sisters at church mostly accepted my efforts at communication and I kept trying. We can all do the same with quilting, cross stitching, etc.! I think eventually we each develop a “thick skin” and we don’t let the stings and arrows in to our hearts to fester there. They just bounce off the stone wall around the outside. Because WE are all more important to God than someone else’s opinion. Take Care! Drive Safe!

  77. All I can say is “Good Grief” and “Oh my word”. Ladies, ladies. We are to love one another!!!!! Please “Don’t Be Cruel”. The way one does something is not always the best for another! Jo you do beautiful work and I look forward to hearing from you!!!

  78. its moments like that confirm my distaste for social media. it has given us the idea that we can say anything we please, without the editing we would apply in real, face to face conversation. …but really? did we not learn anything from the children’s movie, Bambi? Thumper quotes his mother saying, “if you cant say somethin nice, don’t say nothing at all”. its just that simple!!

  79. Jo, I am so sorry that someone would waste your time on mean comments. I so appreciate your blog. I love your quilts and your laid back attitude. Thank you so much for being willing to share your life and blog about it. Don’t let her nasty attitude get you down, we love you. Kramer Strong!

  80. Great post, Jo. My cross stitch gets ironed without the benefit of a towel. Most of them are mounted on sticky boards. My quilts aren’t perfect. My quarter inch seam is close, but doesn’t always make it. I just finished one that had a couple of popped seams. But, that’s o.k. Life is to short to be a purist. You keep doing you and I’ll keep reading about you and your lovely family. By the way, thanks to you I’ve been able to try my had at some scrap quilting, and absolutely love it. Keep doing what you’re doing!!

  81. When someone says they are a purist, I have to wonder how they decided at what point in history that methods & materials developed developed later are not “pure”. Yes, hand quilting was the standard for centuries. But so was hand piecing and applique. What about the materials & tools? Do they use anything more modern than hand needle, scissor, paper or cardboard templates? If so, how can they consider themselves a purist? It’s fine to say you prefer hand quilting, not cool to trash someone else’s machine quilting.
    Those kind of people remind me of reading the 70s-80s Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine letters to the editor and seeing people nearly having the vapors over showing anything new, and OMG the outrage over showing art quilts in the magazine, especially those with political messages or naked women. Some people need to get over themselves!
    Love your quilts and their scrappiness!

  82. What a shame that some people feel compelled to express their negativity and dampen the passion and budding talents of others. Your place has always been a welcome and safe haven for me and my various levels of skill. I, for one, am glad you spread kindness, both in quilts and verbal comfort. You do you is a great way for everyone to get along. And if they can’t do that, well then, just get along little doughie!!

  83. Melissa Bennett

    Wow. It’s been fun reading the comments…obviously we all follow you because we appreciate your stories about your life and have all prayed and rooted for your good health
    I also love to follow what projects you are finishing. I have been loving the stitch alongs…. that said I have a few thoughts.. I have a few quilts that I made in the early 70s…I backed them with sheets. Now the quilts are falling apart but the sheets are still in good shape…and last thought. If I am going to go to all the work of piecing and designing a quilt I would prefer to machine quilt because the quilts I have hand quilted are pulling apart and I think machine quilting preserves the quilt better… all you do Jo❤️ you have brought me lots of great pleasures and I’m sorry someone thought differently…looking forward to lots more projects to make!!!

  84. You are such an inspiration to all of us. Continue with your words of wisdom and showing us your fantastic quilts!

  85. Hi Jo,
    Late to the comment party :) I remember hearing from somewhere, someone who does historical quilt research, who indicated that when sewing machines first became popular, and were the single most expensive item in a woman’s home, that women showed off their machine quilting because it showed off the fact they owned a sewing machine!! Apparently there are MANY examples from the late 1800 that are all machine made. lol obviously not purist!

  86. Hi Jo,
    I was away and catching up on your column. I didn’t read the 98 comments above so this might be a repeat but I press my cross stitch exactly as you do and I like it and its nice to know other people do that also. Others can do want they want. Your cream based and white based sorting system was a game changer for me and it is wonderful. Please continue to share what you do.

  87. Oh my! I love so many of your quilts. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t like them as well or why they would feel the need to leave such a comment. Too bad the commenter wasn’t a manners purist as well….

  88. Dear Jo,
    This is the second time today that I’ve written to a blogger, saying what I’m going to say to you – If someone writes nasty comments, then it’s a reflection of them, not you. You just keep being you x

  89. “I’m 56 years old and can make a decision about ironing all on my own.”
    ROTFLOL!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!
    Jo, I am so sorry you get “meaned at.” It is not fair and you deserve better.
    Thank you for ‘doing you.” It is refreshing!

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