Ask Jo: Recipes to Cross Stitch to English Paper Piecing

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 questions are about a variety of things.

The first question comes from the comment section:
I don’t cross stitch, but was given a group of circle cross stitch in frames- Christmas pictures. I love them but hate the plastic circle frames as they look so cheap. Does anyone have ideas how I could incorporate them together or change them to look their best? Circle cut mats? Sewn as appliques? I appreciate any ideas.”

I have done two circle finishes and I like both of them. Each has been on a circular container. These can often be found at thrift stores or at Hobby Lobby-type places.

This first one is from Heart and Hand called Needle and Thread. You can purchase the pattern HERE. You can read all about how I finished it HERE. This was a thrift store container.

This is my other circle finish…also on a container. This is Pins and Orts from Heartstring Samplery. You can find the pattern HERE. You can read how I finished it HERE.

I am guessing blog readers have other ideas on how to finish a small piece. Please share them in the comment section.

Someone asked me the name of this piece…I can’t find the comment to specifically reply to it so I’m replying here.

It’s called Rudolph and Friends. You can purchase it HERE. It’s from With Thy Needle and Thread.

You can read about my stitching and finishing of the project HERE.

Megan asked about my UFOs.
I love the English paperpiecing ufo. Do you know the name of the pattern? I am working on my first English paperpiecing project and finding it hard to find patterns other than grandmother’s garden.”

The UFO Megan is referring to is this one…

I started this long ago and really loved it. I had no pattern. I was just making it using the picture you see as inspiration.

Here is a close-up picture. I previously read a blog called Simply Libby. It is no longer in existence. I had saved pictures of the quilt at the time and have kept them in with the box of pieces. I think it’s so pretty. I haven’t touched this in years. Since I started cross-stitching, my evening chair time is spent with cross stitch rather than English paper piecing.

From time to time I’ve thought to give this away…but I haven’t and won’t. I’m guessing at some point cross stitch will get harder for me to do and then I’ll pick this up again. It will be lovely to have a great start on it.

I wrote a different blog post about this some time ago. You can read it HERE.

Another blog reader asked what cookbook my Brownie Delight recipe was in.

This recipe is a family favorite. You can get the recipe and read more about it HERE.

It originally came from the 2000 Quick Cooking Taste of Home recipe book. This one…

There are quite a few recipes that our family has picked as favorites in this book.

I always write the favorite recipes that I want to make again and again in the inside cover of the cookbooks. Then I can find the recipes easily.

Sue wrote:
Hi Jo…I just love your blog. I have been a regular on Marys’s blog for a long time and she led me to yours. Now I have two favorite blogs. I also love your videos. You really inspired me to cut scraps into strips and now I want to watch the one about squares. I am drowning in scraps, so this inspiration comes at a much needed time. When you refer to your “buckets”, what are your favorite sizes and shapes to store your strips and squares? I am trying to cut some each day. I think I will use them even more now and it won’t be so hard to find them. I like the idea of buying less and using more of what I already own.”

First off, all of the videos Sue is talking about can be found HERE on my YouTube channel. Second what I mean by “buckets”. I guess I don’t know why I refer to them as “buckets” as they are actually totes.

Here are the totes…on the left are the reproduction fabric set. On the right the bright colored fabric set.

Here is the set for the recycled shirt fabric.

I have these smaller ones for batik fabric. I keep each of the genres of fabric separate. Sometimes I mix some batik and reproduction fabrics in a quilt but I still keep them in separate totes. I keep 1 1/2, 2, 2 1/2 and 3 1/2. I sometimes have some 5″ squares in the 3 1/2″ bucket. I use that size the least.

I probably use 2″ the most.

That’s the round up of questions for this post. As always ask questions. I never mind answering.

12 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Recipes to Cross Stitch to English Paper Piecing”

  1. Megan may want toGoogle Tales of Cloth for some fresh EPP ideas. The gal is in Australia, so look closely at the prices, they might be in AUD and our exchange rate is usually very favorable. She also has a book on Amazon called The Seedling Quilts with several designs in it. Paper Pieces is a US mfg and is another great resource for EPP and related ideas.

  2. I also write names of recipes I like in the front of my cookbooks. Sometimes when there are a lot of favorites in one, I buy a secondhand copy for one of my children. Before giving it to them, I copy the favorites with page numbers on the first page.

  3. I had another question, while you’re gathering questions. I have fallen into a longarm acquisition, and I’m wondering what thread you use for yours? I know people have favorites, but I know nothing about it. I’ve been accumulating Aurifil to use with my Bernina to do quilting, but I know it’s too fine to use with a true longarm. Any help from anyone would be appreciated. Just for reference, the machine is a Tin Lizzie
    Ansley 26. And, yes I know they are no longer in business, but I’m taking my chances for the price. It’s too good to pass up.

    1. I have a Tin Lizzie also Tammie even older than yours and i use So Fine by Superior Threads in top and bottom and in my domestic machine also. Works for me you might want to try it.

  4. Here’s another idea for scrap storage. I separate mine by colour, trying to keep them in ‘relatively’ neat piles, then put each colour in separate large ziploc bags. I snip off a little corner of each bag to let air in. I throw all the bags into a tote bin. It’s easy to pick out the colour you want. I also separate specialty fabrics, such as Christmas, Halloween, kids. This has worked great for me for years.

  5. Thank you for sharing these questions and answers. It is always good to hear how others sort and store their fabric scraps. I wish I had learned the best way when I started quilting so I may have kept it done as I accumulated. Now I work on them but it is so overwhelming.

  6. Try
    Paper pieces They sell lots of different shapes and sizes. Also kits for paper piecing
    Katja Marek. Free patterns beautiful stuff
    Willie Hammerschmidt. Unbelievable quilts

  7. As an FYI, sealed plastic bins of fabric can be quite hazardous to your health, especially for fabrics not pre-washed. Imported and some US fabrics are treated against rot. They are stored for long periods of time and so they are treated against rot and insects. The main chemical is formaldehyde. If you don’t wash it out it stays in the fabric. When properly aired it is ok but when kept in sealed plastic bins it outgassed so when you open the bin it comes out at you, usually directly at your face. Open the bin near a window if possible. Many long time fabric shop owners developed strange neuro symptoms, severe headaches, etc until the chemical component was figured out. Better to use open shelving with our packages ng fabric tightly or use care when opening fabric stored in bins. I prewash everything before it comes in the house.

    1. i also pre wash everything before it comes into our home. so many years of allergies. I do not even wear new clothing before prewashing for the same reason. Thank you for the additional information. So many things are imported and we just do not know what has been added to dyes etc.

  8. My rug hooking wool, by volour, is stored/stacked same as jo’s. My quilting fabric is put into “kits”, ie:, gabric, pattern, maybe backing, stored in mid sized totes ; stacked, with a count on the end. YES, I have way rmto many, but T least its organized. My “stash”, consists of 4 totes, 1 black & white, solids, 1 coloured solids, 1 only blue prints, last all coloured prints. Totes are sizes I can lift. I’m soon 79. With some mobility issues. I’ve done this for yrs, because all survived a house fire with extreme smoke damage. I’m also an antique dealer (64 yrs, in September), YES I have too much stuff. I’m an admitted collector, not a hoarder ( there’s a great difference), but was taught storage ideas from a young age. Utube…’Just get it done ‘, Karen Brown, great site, all kinds of ideas, yseful for any craft ir home. She focuses on quilts, but useful anywhere. Her January “de clutter), series is amazing!!! Look it up, everyone. Happy q’ing, rug hooking, Life everyone.

  9. For finishing small circular designs, your reader should try tart tins. I’ve finished literally a dozen or more smalls this way. I am hoping to be able to stitch Pins and Orts small enough to fit into another tin as well.

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