Ask Jo: Perfect Match Question and Comments

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.

Today’s topic is all about our quilt that was featured in the 2022 Fall Issue of Quilts and More.  You can get the magazine HERE on Amazon.  This quilt…

This quilt has a bit of an epic story.  Epic in this case means long, not spectacular.  So let me start at the beginning, November of 2021.  At that time I was contacted by the magazine.  Being I’m a regular contributor they periodically contact me to see if I have something they could use last minute…and that’s what this contact was about.

They needed a project for immediate publication.  I sent them pictures of this quilt…

They accepted it right away and I sent it off.  You can read more about it HERE.

Well, that got me thinking that they likely needed more quilts for upcoming publications so I quickly designed a quilt with the idea of using a layer cake in mind.  That was the Perfect Match quilt.

They accepted that immediately.  I left the fabrics up to them saying I would make it in whatever fabric they wanted.  I was told great.  They would get back to me.  This was in November.  I had a deadline date of February 1st.

Fast forward to mid December.  I still had not heard from them.  I was now taking oral chemo and could see it was starting to get me foggy and not feeling quite as good.  I was nervous I was going to get sicker so I wrote a note saying I needed to know what fabric they wanted to use so I could get this quilt made.  I explained that I had cancer and was going through treatment.  A few days later I got a message with three options of fabric lines.  Two were Riley Blake designs and one was from Moda.

I like Riley Blake fabrics but don’t have any direct contact info for anyone there so…I opted to go with Moda because I have regular contacts with several people there.  Anything to get the fabric here faster as I was getting sicker and sicker.

Well, my request came in about the same time as the holidays rolled in.  People were out of the office taking family time and then inventory was starting in.  I didn’t get my fabric until January.  UGH.  Now I was feeling worse.

Remember that terrible acne, so bad I could barely touch my face?  Then came the terrible mouth sores, headaches, raging blood pressure, and isolation.  YEP.  That was time I finally had everything to start the quilt.

Because of the delay in getting everything, I ordered extra fabric.  It’s a good thing I did.

I struggled through making the quilt top.  This is what I made…Imagine it only as top.  I wasn’t feeling well at all by this point so even though I normally could have handled the longarming.  I contacted my friend Carla and asked her to do it.  Carla said yes but now I put her in a crunch.  I wrote to the magazine and they said no worries.  Just get it in when you can.

By now I got a notification that the gal at the magazine that I had been working with moved on and found a new job.  I wondered if that was why the slow responses when I was trying to hear back from them on the fabric selection.

Then Carla contacted me.  She thought there was something wrong with the quilt.  She was having trouble seeing the pattern and consistency in it to do the longarming.  She sent pictures to me.  Oh, my word.  I was sick…only this time, sick because Carla was right.  The quilt was wrong.

To clarify.  The quilt is okay as is but it isn’t how it was meant to be.  Look at the picture below.  See how the individual squares are lined up and centered.  That is how I meant the quilt to be.  In the photo above, they are not centered and lined up.

I’d like to also point out that the first quilt I made used a darker gray and the one that was published used a lighter gray.  Which one do you like better?  I think it popped a little more on the darker gray…but the lighter is softer.  Pick whichever for the look you’re going for.


Here is a close-up picture to help you see my error.


Isn’t Carla’s quilting fabulous??

By now it was the beginning of February.  I was feeling a little bit better.  The headaches were easing.  My mouth was terrible but I didn’t need my mouth to help me sew.  So over the course of a weekend, I sewed the top and got it to Carla.

I asked for an extension from the magazine and they granted it.  Carla went all out and finished this for me in record time.  I was so grateful.

Carla gave the “wrong” top back to me.  You can read more about it HERE.

Many of you said you couldn’t see what was wrong with the first quilt.  You are right…it’s a good enough quilt in its own right, just not the quilt I intended.  I did finish it and donated it to Ukraine.  I’m sure whoever got the quilt doesn’t really care if the individual squares line up or not.

Now for a question from Deb K.  She asked:
How did you cut the layer cake for Perfect Match. Just found the magazine and had bought the layer cake this spring eggnog you were working on it.

I did make mine using a layer cake.  If you are super careful you can get it out.  The magazine opted to write the directions using fat quarters as they didn’t want someone who made a cutting error to be frustrated.  If you haven’t bought fabric for it yet I suggest getting a layer cake and one 1/2 yard cut of your favorite prints from the line. That way if you do make a mistake cutting, you can always just make a couple of extra blocks using your favorite print.

This is how I cut my layer cake.  I didn’t have any squares left from the fabric line so this is just a piece of fabric that I cut to the 10″ square size.  This quilt could easily be made with scraps.

Please keep in mind, that I can’t give you all of the exact measurements of everything as the magazine owns the pattern.  They wrote it.


Cut your 10″ square in half so you have a two 5 x 10″ pieces.  With the left half, cut two 5 x 5″ squares.  From the other half cut the four 2″ squares.

Cut the 3 1/2″ square and the two 1 1/2″ squares for the doll quilt.

Cut two extra 2″ squares.

It should look like this…

Do that for however many doll quilt blocks you need.  Then stop cutting the 3 1/2″ pieces and only cut the 1 1/2″ pieces you need for the blocks that only need a single square.

If you cut the way I explained, from each block you can get, the pieces needed to make two large blocks you see on the left, the doll block on the lower right, the individual squares on the middle right, and what you see at the very top in the only waste you’ll have.

You can see why I said you have to cut carefully.

I hope that all makes sense.

If you’ve read all the way through this post, you’re in luck.  I have a giveaway.  I didn’t announce it at the beginning of the post because I wanted to treat loyal readers.  It looks like you are likely one of them.

I have one layer cake by Moda from The Sea and Me line designed by Stacy Iest Hsu.  It’s the exact line I used to make the quilt.  I’d like to give it away to you!  I purposely ordered an extra layer cake hoping I wouldn’t need it and could gift one.  MANY thanks to Moda for providing it.

THE GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED:  Many thanks to all who entered.

The only thing you need to do is leave a comment and tell me how long you’ve been a quilter.  I’ll pick a winner in a couple of days.  THANKS so much.

Here are some links that you might want to check out.
The Chemo Quilt Finish
The Quilts and More Finish
Link to get Magazine with Pattern
Link to Carla’s Longarm Quilting Inspirations Facebook Page

So now I think you know the whole story about our Perfect Match/Chemo Brain quilt.

394 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Perfect Match Question and Comments

  1. Barbara

    A friend pointed me to your blog several years ago and I have been following you ever since. I love scrap quilts and simple designs. I really like this quilt.
    I started sewing when I was 12 years and I will be 88 in October. I was in 4H and took Home Ec in school.
    All of my fabric was feed sacks. My grandmother monitored my sewing and if something was not right she made me rip and redo it. To this day if I know it’s not right I can’t leave it….I have to fix it .I made feed sack shirts for myself and my sister and brothers. Through the years I sewed clothing for ny kids and grandkids, including wedding and bridesmaid dresses. Now I mostly sew quilts.
    Love your blog, and look forward to it each day.i

    Reply
  2. Christine H

    I’ve been quilting for about 20 years … just found a quilt top I’d made in 2003 and it’s finally getting made into a quilt!

    Reply
  3. Linda M White

    After a work injury left me disabled, I had been a nurse, I was lost and struggling with finding who I was and feeling useless. That was in 2003. In 2010, my sisters-in-law convinced me to join them in their yearly get together for a week of crafting and sewing. They are all quilters, and taught me the basics. I refined my skills with blogs and videos, but didn’t find it satisfying until I discovered community quilting. I loved the idea of comfort quilts and that became my mission. I have made and gifted over 400 comfort quilts since 2010.

    Reply
  4. Kris in WI

    Let’s see…2022-1974 = 48 years of quilting! I hate to admit that I have just found the perfect sashing for my hand-pieced Dresden Plate blocks that date back to the 1976 Bicentennial. My 1967 Singer made quilts for kids, teens, graduations, and first apartments, babies, weddings, LWR, and now just for fun. What a trip back in time!

    Reply
  5. Maria L Zook

    I enjoy reading about your daily life and your family. I grew up sewing, butt switched entirely to quilting about 1995 when I bought a portable machine and began going to classes. So that makes for 27 years of fun and quilting therapy.

    Reply
  6. Linda M White

    I left a comment already, but it seems not to have posted so I’m trying again. I learned to quilt in 2010 and fell in love with making community comfort quilts. I became disabled in 2003 and struggled with feeling useful until I discovered comfort quilts. Since then I have made and donated over 400 comfort quilts in several countries as well as here in the US.

    Reply
  7. Jane

    I’ve been quilting about thirteen years. Still a lot of quilts I want to make. Enjoy your blog. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  8. Terri in BC

    Thank you for the opportunity! I took my first quilting classes at the ripe old age of 18, and 44 years later I am still doing it. Thank goodness for the rotary cutter, as that is when I really started to actually “quilt”. PS: my first project is still not finished – I’m using the blocks to learn how to free-motion my own quilts.

    Reply
  9. Darlene Walker

    I don’t quilt…yet…but it’s on my bucket list! You inspire me, and I have purchased and cut strips to make your Meet in the Middle quilt. Hopefully this winter. I’ve followed your blog for a few years now and feel like we’re friends! I admire your sunny outlook and how you make lemonade out of lemons! Just wanted to share how much I enjoy your blog!

    Reply
  10. Ellen Cooper

    I’ve been quilting for 12 years. I’m the only person in my family to do it since my great grandmother died in the early 60’s.

    Reply
  11. Carolyn in Illinois

    My daughter actually got me interested about 20 years ago. Now, if I could just get my UFO’s actually quilted!

    Reply
  12. Marsha

    I’ve been sewing since 7th grade and quilting since 1990. Taking a beginning quilting class from Threads of Traditions quilt store in a near by town.
    Marsha D

    Reply
  13. Christine M

    I have been quilting for about 8 years. Mainly sewing prayer quilts for the ministry I belong to. But now I’ve gotten back into cross stitching and am torn between the two hobbies. I’m always asking myself: which should I spend the majority of my time on?

    Reply
  14. Loretta Daniels

    I have we been sewing since 4/H days probably age 8-9. That was a long time ago . Quilting since the early 1980’s.

    Reply
  15. Sandi

    I learned to quilt in 1986. My friends mom taught me. My first quilt was a log cabin, queen size and I hand quilted it. I still have it but it has seen better days. Hugs,

    Reply
  16. Peggy

    I taught myself to quilt when I was 16 for a class project. My dad had gotten transferred to CA and they didn’t have many classed to offer me that I had not already taken. So, I took home ec (yes, I am that old) and was allowed to make a quilt that would take the semester to make. I made a dresden plate and still have it today. That was back in 1976!!

    Reply
  17. Barbara Geiger

    Sewing since high school and made baby quilts in the early 80s for my babies but started really quilting about 25 years ago. Thanks for the opportunity!

    Reply
  18. brendalynne1

    i think your darker gray lets there be a more dynamic contrast. just more lively in general.
    My first quilting experience began with marking around the templates my grandmother and aunt cut from the lightweight cardboards that were in men’s shirts. we also got to cut them out after marking. After that we graduated to going to the ladies’ quilting in the church basement. even left in our much too large stitches because we were learning. It has been on again off again with quilting around life’s challenges. I think the learning and the reminiscing is what is so nice about seeing your emails pop onto the screen.

    Reply
  19. Kim from TN

    I’ve been quilting about 20 years. I like the fabric line you chose to use, and Carla did an amazing job. Wow!

    Reply
  20. Sally Warren

    I made my first quilt in 1990. It was a doll size log cabin. I donated it to a fund raiser for Meals on Wheels. The lady who was the highest bidder gave it back to me as a wedding present a few years later. She said it’s something that I should keep! Such a sweet memory.

    Reply
  21. Fran

    I started quilting in the 80’s. I dabbled with starting projects for ages. Then with the arrival of the next generation of family, I have managed to make a baby quilt + toddler quilt for each new member of our family. I’m now working on larger quilts for the rest of the family.

    Reply
  22. Maria in Tucson

    I loved the 9-patch quilts my grandmother made for me. I learned to sew at 7 and was gifted a machine at 9, but I didn’t dare learn to quilt. I had a tiny inclining of how much space I would want…. so I refused to let myself start until I could have a dedicated room. I bought my first house in 2000, assigned a bedroom – and I took off. The “room” moved with me to a different house, and now it has grown up – it’s a free-standing studio in the back yard…..

    Reply
  23. Kathy Rockey

    I started in 1976. My Nursing School roommate invited me to her home for the weekend and her grandmother sent us back to school with a shoebox full of snickerdoodles and another one with a hand pieced Jacob’s ladder block, fabric scraps and the cardboard templates to make the block. It became my oldest son’s baby quilt several years later.

    Reply
  24. Kathy Wilson

    I’ve been quilting on and off since I was 16 years old. My first quilt was for a high school boyfriend. I’ve never kept track of how many I’ve made. I wish I had!!

    Reply
  25. Dianne R

    Jo, both of your quilts are beautiful. If you hadn’t t told us your mistake I wouldn’t have noticed it. I started quilting when I was 11 and that was in 1972. It’s been 50 years. It was a pattern I saw in my grandmother’s 1920 quilt pattern catalog. It had embroidered baskets and hand appliquéd flowers. I used an old white sheet to make the blocks and the fabric was whatever scraps were available: cotton, double knit, felt, etc. I still have the quilt. I’ve made hundreds of quilts, but that first one is the biggest one I’ve made. I had no fear as a young person and no quilt police were around to tell me to try something easier.

    Reply
  26. CHARLOTTE MC CAIG

    This is a bit hard to answer. I started quilting, rather, makes ng quilt tops, in the early 1980’s. I stopped in the late 80’s and concentrated on clothing…I sold a little be of my own d signs. Now I’ve realized I have more clothes…and fabric…to last a lifetime so I’m trying to ease my way back to Quilting. I’m only interested in modern designs, I’m done with traditional. My problem is lack of fabrics! I got rid of all my quilt fabric and supplies so now I’m thrifting cotton wovens. Have had some luck recently but still need some to have better choices.

    Reply
  27. Deb in Idaho

    I have been a garment sewer all my life . Learned to quilt from my mother in law . I took up quilting when I retired 5 1/2 years ago. Now teaching my daughter to quilt , and she love it.

    Reply
  28. Pat Bozarth

    I went on a quilt hop bus trip with quilting friend. I was just going for the ride. The first quilt shop I saw a quilt that I fell in love with. It was a simple one & I knew I could make it. That was 23 years ago & the rest is history. I sew almost every day making charity quilts. Keeps me off the streets & keeps me sane!!!

    Reply
  29. Sheri Gleichauf

    I started quilting early 70’s. I started working in 1985 and continued sewing, but not much quilting. When I retired in 2002 my retirement plan was to quilt. I missed the creative, relaxing, satisfying reward of quilting. I joined a local quilt guild and am rewarded daily with the joy that quilting has brought into my life

    Reply
  30. Sheila Fernkopf

    I have been a quilter for 35 years! I could write a really long post but will spare you the details. I love making quilts and always quilt them myself. Thank you Jo!

    Reply
  31. Aileen

    I made my first quilt about 10 years ago , I thought it was the ugliest quilt . I gave it to my oldest daughter and she loves it . I think I’ve improved , but still learning . Thanks for the opportunity to win.

    Reply
  32. Mary Jane

    I’ve been a seamstress for like 40 yrs and then quilter for 20+ yrs. Enjoy quilting for church, quilts of Valor and family

    Reply
  33. Carolyn S.

    My first quilt was made when my 42 year old daughter was graduating from high school – so I guess I’ve been quilting for 24 years. I had been sewing garments for years, but was frustrated with things that didn’t fit right and the wasted cost behind them. I liked sewing so decided to transition into a sewing medium that didn’t have to “fit”!! I am a self-taught quilter using library books and finishing by hand until about 10 years ago. The first web site I remember using is The Quilters Cache.

    Reply
  34. Janet Orr

    Pretty quilts! It took me a moment to find the “mistake” but it is still a fabulous quilt.

    I’ve been quilting since around 1981. My mom and I joined a quilt guild together and had many happy times attending meetings and making quilts.

    Love that fabric line!

    Reply
  35. Stacie

    I have been a quilter for around 15 years now. I started out as a charity quilter. I just love this hobby. It fills my creative heart.

    Reply
  36. Mary Phillips

    I have been quilting off and on for over 40 years. Now that I am retired, it gives me peace to sit and sew and design large and small quilts. Most scraps are sewn into lap quilts for the nursing homes.

    Reply
  37. Helen Reimers

    Started quilting in 1982. My Mom and I were watching Georgia Bonestell quilt on PBS. Since Mama taught me to see when I was a kid, I thought I could do it. And I told my Mama I could. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “Go for it”. And I did.

    Reply
  38. JanetB

    I started a quilt in 1986 for my husband. The top is made and it is halfway hand quilted. My husband passed away last month and I didn’t get it finished for him. I retired in 2011. I bought a long arm and built a quilt studio to house it, so I’ve probably been quilting in earnest for 11 years.

    Reply
  39. Juls E

    I started quilting in the late 60s while still in high school. I wanted to try anything fabric related, influenced by the quilts my great grandmothers had made. So, that makes it more than 50 years.

    Reply
  40. Erena Rieflin

    I learned sewing on a treadle machine in 1956 in Germany when I was in 8th grade. I started quilting in 1975, that was 11 years after I arrived in the United States. I have been quilting ever since. That’s 47 years.

    Reply
  41. Carol San Diego

    I have loved quilting for almost 25 years! I’ve sewn since I was a teenager- sewing clothes for school and summer outfits. When I had my children I made shirts, shorts and Halloween costumes for them- such fun!

    Reply
  42. Marianne Wells

    Hi Jo, i have been quilting for almost 21 years. My first introduction was through a rural education evening class. We made a Christmas wall hanging that i still use. A neighbour taught the project over a number of weeks at our local school. I still tease her for sucking me into the “vortex of insanity “ that this hobby can be, ha! ha!

    Reply
  43. Virginia Grenier

    I tried quilting as a teenager, taking a class but when I was told I HAD to hand quilt, I walked away. Fast forward to 1987 and I am pregnant with my first child and decided to heck with the “rules” I’m going to make a baby quilt and quilt it by MACHINE. What a rebel I was. LOL So, I’ve been quilting 35 years!

    Reply
  44. Carla

    I made simple patchwork quilts in the 90s for my kids who were born already, but I didn’t think of myself as a quilter. Fast forward to the early 2000s. My mom started talking about the quilting days (a Spring Fling and a Fall Ball) held by the LQS in her small town. For 2 years in a row we drove up and while my hubby visited with my dad and I would pop in at the church and visit with my mom. I’d hang out for a bit, knitting usually, and meet her friends then go home. Until the year I signed up to go. I don’t know the exact date, but I can remember what a special time it was. I continued to attend with my mom until they stopped having the event. I will cherish those memories. I may not be a very accurate quilter, but I enjoy the process. Blessings!

    Reply
  45. Roxanne

    They are both great quilts! I like the light grey fabric for this lovely layer cake!

    I’ve been quilting just over 40 years!

    Reply
  46. Meri Drake

    I started quilting in 1981 with a baby quilt for my daughter. My Mom was a quilter and was so happy to share her knowledge (and fabric ) with me! I’ve been at it ever since with occasional lulls in productivity. I started my 5 year old granddaughter sewing on a Featherweight so hopefully she’ll catch the bug, too!

    Reply
  47. Cody

    I made my first quilt 27yrs ago for my youngest son. We told him that it was a magic quilt to get him to settle down and go to sleep at night. I made some placemats around the same time, but wasn’t really
    liking what I was making, it wasn’t good enough in my eyes. Mostly because I didn’t take my time and make good cuts or straight 1/4 inch seams. I put it away for probably 20 years went on to so many other crafts and picked it back up again when my grandchildren started arriving. I haven’t stopped since and I have improved so much with each quilt, and because of your blog, I’ve tried scrap quilts and have made a few of them. I’m happier with my work and I don’t stress if there is a small error. No one notices it but me.
    I still have that first quilt that I made for my son tucked away in a closet.

    Reply
  48. Karen H

    Hi Jo, I made my first quilt back around 1981, back in the days before rotary cutters and mats, and all the other handy quilting tools. It didn’t turn out the greatest, but it was a learning experience. I still have it. A few years later, I made a dresden plate quilt, with stenciled blocks. I still have that one too, it was on our bed for many years, and it’s about worn out. After that, we were in to the 90’s, and rotary cutters and mats were available. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! I love both of your versions of the quilt. So, to answer the question, I have been a quilter for over 40 years!

    Reply
  49. Debra Broyles

    thanks so much for the opportunity to win the layer cake. you are so generous Jo. i just love you and your blog.
    i have been a quilt for about 18 years. i have made lots of quilts, but have somehow gotten into a funk of slowing down. i need to get busy. i have about 20 quilts kitted that i would love to make. three of them are halloween and three of them are christmas. i guess i really need to get busy. my quilter is three weeks out. oh goodness!!! time is flying by.
    love reading your blog. the cross stitch pieces are really calling to me. i have ordered both the red bird pieces and plan on getting busy very soon. see – sooooo much to do. take care Jo. love ya.

    Reply
  50. Mary Durham

    I’ve been quilting since 1984 when I made a log cabin baby quilt for my first child.

    I love both versions of the quilt, but you’re right about the prints standing out better with the darker background.

    Reply
  51. Shep

    The first quilt I made was in 1975! Then a long period of sewing clothing and costuming. Picked it up again in 1984. I LOVE QUILTING!! Thank you for sharing your world and creativity with us all!

    Reply
  52. Laura Dixon

    Love both quilts! I have been piecing quilts for 40 years, but would simply tie them off. Then I became disabled 10 years ago and decided to learn to free motion quilt on a domestic machine. 3 years ago I entered our county fair with a pattern of my own design and won a first place ribbon! I make the quilts to donate to youth in foster care, and the teens who age out of the system. I have made many of your patterns and love the blog. Glad you are still at it, despite your health concerns.

    Reply
  53. Paula James

    I started making my own clothes when I was 11. Then later made my childrens’ clothes and then the grandchildren’s clothes. Boy, that’s a lot of clothing. Way back when I was 10 years old I thought about making a quilt and pieced some fabric but didn’t have anyone to show me what to do. Several years ago when the great grandchildren started coming, I started making baby quilts. Now I make donation quilts plus the baby quilts. I have so many pastel scraps that I am making 3 quilts at once all in pastels. A log cabin, a quilt of houses and a crumb. I’m still going to have scraps. How does that happen that the scraps grow?

    Reply
  54. Sally Richter

    Thanks for the opportunity to win the layer cake! Sew beautiful! I have been quilting since 1990 when I got married and met my hubby’s grandma that quilted. We totally bonded over quilting, which was great because I never knew my grandparents. She’s now passed on to a better place and I have been keeping up with her tradition of quilt making and donating to many places and benefits. Although she always hand quilted, not me, I’m a machine girl and loving it.

    Reply
  55. Mary Twom

    Jo, you’re my hero! I want to be just like you when I grow up! Thanks so much for all you do for us! Would be so fun to win this lovely layer cake. Blessings

    Reply
  56. Sandra G.

    I’ve been sewing since I was 8-9 but didn’t really get into quilting until the end of the 80’s when I found Elenore Burns of Quilt in a Day on PBS channels.
    Love seeing all of your quilts.

    Reply
  57. Janice N.

    I’ve been a quilter for 30 years. Both of the quilts are beautiful. I know you said the first quilt was not the pattern you wanted, I prefer that one over the second one.

    Reply
  58. Sarah

    I took my first block of the month class in 2004. And I am still hooked on quilting and I look forward to reading your blog!

    Reply
  59. Wenda

    I have been a quilter since 2001, but a sewist for 48 years. I just went to an antique show with over 2000 vendors and what did I buy – another sewing machine!
    Love your blog and I always read to the end though I might skim through some of the cross-stitch entries from time to time. I like how you have something for everyone!
    Love this fabric and your quilt!

    Reply
  60. Chris B

    Hi Jo. I’ve been a serious quilter for about 25 years. I promised myself that when I completed my graduate degree quilting would be my reward. And it has been rewarding!!
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    Reply
  61. LisaS

    I love reading your blog! I have been a quilter since 1994 AND have become a cross stitcher again because of you.

    Reply

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