Ask Jo: Spider Web String and More

Marilyn wrote:
Jo- I am making the spider string quilt and would like to know what pattern will you use to quilt it. I have chosen black with tiny polka dots for my background.

Marilyn is referring to this quilt….

Marilyn was wondering how I chose to quilt it.  I tried to so a little drawing to show how.  For the most part it’s about as continuous sewing as I could get and still be custom quilting.  The drawing below is primitive I know but I think you can get the idea.

The outer string border was just a back and forth straight line…you can see that noted in BLUE.

The inner border, noted in YELLOW, is a loop.

The WEB part of the design is noted in ORANGE.  I arched in a curve from corner to corner.  For the first row I only did the top arch closest to the inner border.  On my swipe back I finished off the triangles.  In the other rows I only did the top half of the web and in the swipe back I did the lower section.

For the solid area, noted in in green I did a flower.  I started in the FAR left of the black section.  From there I did the top half of the flower all the way across the row.  On the swipe back I did the bottom half of the flower.

As I went along I learned to stop at the far left and pick up the loop design in the narrow border to travel to the next section of the quilt.  I didn’t have to stop and start to do the inner border.

In the end I was happy with the design…my execution of it…needs practice.  My friend Carla who does the longarming got new bigger wheels for her set up.  I’m wondering if I might benefit from that as well.  I feel like my set up isn’t running as smooth as it once did.  I also keep telling myself PRACTICE more.

Here’s a picture of the back of the quilt…That might help you see the quilting design.

Another look….

Next comes a question from Joan:  “Are you hand sewing the double wedding ring or attaching by machine? I missed the beginning of this one.”

I am machine sewing the entire quilt.  No hand stitching for this girl.  You can learn more about the quilt with tips for making your own double wedding ring quilt HERE.

From Kim:
Jo, your crumb quilt screams fun & is such an excellent choice for kids. I know you are a resourceful person & use “what’s on hand” first but I am curious do you have a “go to solid red”? Is there a certain solid red that you consider a must in your stash?

Kim wrote that after seeing the center portion of baby Friedman’s quilt….

I do have a go to red that I prefer.

This was the first crumb quilt I made…That’s Kalissa as a teenager sleeping under it.  I loved the red I had for this one.
When I made the next one which turned out to be Carvers, I didn’t have enough of the original red so used this red.
It’s okay but somehow the red seamed “cheaper” looking to me.

That’s about the time I started being more “color aware”.  Kelli and I ended up getting a Bella Solid color chart.

Open it up and there are swatches of all the Bella Solid colors there are.
My go to for any “cream based” projects is Country Red.  If using white based I still use a darker red…the “Christmas Red”.    Others work great too but these are my go to’s.  

The charts are available at Fat Quarter Shop HERE.  We got ours from Moda when we were writing our book.  They gave it to us…thank heavens…the chart is kind of expensive but if you’re a mom and have everything you need…ask for it for a present.

We also have the Moda Marbles chart and the Essential Dot chart.
We use them regularly.  I used the Bella Solid Chart to pick the center color of my Spider Web quilt…it’s Charcoal.

I think that wraps up this edition of “Ask Jo”.  If you have questions please leave them in the comments or send me an email at

3 thoughts on “Ask Jo: Spider Web String and More”

  1. Carol Lorraine Stearns

    I’ve been cross stitching lately, you have inspired me for that. A new pattern arrived and I decided I would just use up my stash. The alphabet has a variety of red threads, nearly the same but not quite. Kind of fun for that as well.

  2. My next quilt is a spider web and I’ve already been wondering how to quilt it. Your design is great. Special thanks for explaining the track you take to simplify the quilting. I ‘m sure I can do this on my DSM. Thanks!

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