Ask Jo: This and That

Every once in awhile I take questions, comments and emails that were sent to me and respond to them here on the blog…today is one of those days.

From Christine who sent me my 18″ doll patterns, “P.S. I know you are very busy, but have you made any doll clothes from those patterns yet?”

This is as far as they have gotten…to my bed side table to read at night.

Honestly, busy isn’t the word for it.  I’ve been swamped and being sick hasn’t helped and no, I’m not better yet.  First off I love childcare but getting up and going is a challenge.  You might remember the post showing me trying to juggle schedules to fit families in…well that seems to be a weekly thing.  I’ve had a part time child leave.  I’ve have a family move from part time afternoon hours to full time hours.  It’s all good but that’s left me scrambling to see who I have room for.  I also have people calling about when baby spots might be open. It’s a real juggling act.

On top of that getting registered is a process…smoke detectors in each child occupied room…nothing with in three feet of the furnace….paper work and more paper work on kids.  Contracts and policies have to be written.  I need immunization and health records on all kids.  Remember me and my hate of paper work…UGH.  There is so much.

Then I got Childnet certified which is another credential with another whole set of paperwork and guidelines that have to be adhered to and kept track of.

Now I am working on getting all my kids into the food program records so I can be reimbursed for meals fed to them.  It’s paperwork with a capital “P”.

I took an on line class plus two in person classes as I have to have training hours in.  For the most part there are no trainings over the summer so I had to squeeze them in while I still could.

Next after these hurtles I am going to be part of QRS.  It’s another whole pack of paper work and checklists to get another credential.  After that…I hope to slow down and just maintain.

On top of that I have to actually do housework now.  I know…it’s hard to believe..but I can do it.  (new readers…just note housework and I aren’t friends)  Worst of all..I have had one week of feeling healthy since March 1st.

I did pull a piece of fabric out of a box of scrap that a reader sent in hopes of making the cute little jacket on the bottom right hand corner of the pattern…that’s as close as I’ve gotten.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a year or two before I get to them.  I just love collecting them and reading the patterns and wishing and debating on fabric.  Even if I never sew a thing from the pattern, I just love the looking, planning and dreaming part of it all.  Thanks again Christine!

Childcare will settle down some.  It’s the first few months that are the hardest.  Besides, even if it stays the way it is, I still love it…I’d love to feel more healthy though…oh and I have two quilt for wedding this summer that have to be done.

After seeing our Sneaker Treads quilt JoAnne asks, “I am making your Sneaker Threads quilt pattern which appeared in the Mar/Apr 2014 issue of Quilty; however, it is not coming together as I would like. Can you please tell me the measurement of the blocks from Instruction #1. Thank you.”  

You can read about it here.


Sneaker Treads Digital Pattern
This quilt is 58 x 65.


Here is something most readers might not know.  We didn’t write the pattern.  When we do things for magazines, we never write the pattern.  We simply submit the quilt-they accept it.  We make it and never write out formal instructions for ourselves.  We send it off.  They write the pattern for the magazine.  Often they don’t construct the pattern anything like we would or did.  If we make something for American Patchwork and Quilting we do sent some VERY rough basic instructions but they completely write them in their own format.

Here’s something else you might find hard to believe….we don’t have a copy of the magazine so have no idea what they said in instruction #1.  I know most people would keep a record of and copy of everywhere they were published.  We just don’t.  Remember I hate having piles of stuff around that I’m not using…we pass them on to others.  I am sure my copy was passed on to the nursing home in Ossian.  The ladies their enjoy quilting magazines as so many of them once quilted.

I am very sorry I can’t be of more help JoAnne.  I know it seems crazy that we can’t help with the instructions of our own quilt.

Along this same topic remember Bonnie Hunter has the cover quilt on Quiltmaker?  I love the quilt and want to make it.

I started reading the directions and said UGH…Bonnie couldn’t have written these directions as they aren’t in her style.  I want to make the quilt completely scrappy like the one shown but only Bonnie writes directions that are truly scrappy friendly.   I ended up talking to Kelli and we started asking ourselves how would Bonnie have written this?  Since then the blocks made much more sense to me.  The directions that were written are fine, but once a quilter gets used to the writings of a particular designer, they get spoiled.  Yes…Bonnie spoiled me.

I think that’s why so many quilters get hooked on a certain designer and continue to stay with them…their directions make the most sense.

Well that wraps up this version of Ask Jo…Keep the questions and comments coming.

4 thoughts on “Ask Jo: This and That”

  1. Jo – you are so correct when it comes to quilt pattern directions! I just recently was browsing a quilt magazine and found a quilt I was interested in making. After looking at the directions, I put it back on the shelf and moved on. I too was spoiled by Bonnie Hunter’s format but I want to give you credit for Country Girl Modern. I am finishing up Bohemian Rhapsody and it was one of the easiest to follow. That pattern is so versatile I can see myself making this in many styles of fabric.

  2. Hi Jo,
    Had to laugh at the part about Bonnie not writing the instructions. I read them once and said to myself, “That doesn’t make sense. I have made many of Bonnie’s quilts and so just read what each block needed and started cutting. in the way I have been “taught”. Now that you say Bonnie must not have written theses, it makes total sense! So I am spoiled too!

  3. I must admit that I have not made any quilts by Bonnie but I did buy that particular magazine thinking I will make the quilt. Yikes, how confusing the instructions are so think I will just admire the cover instead.

  4. It’s funny that you mention that quilt magazines write their own instructions for the quilts in their magazines. I suspected as much quite some time ago and noticed that for some reason quilt magazines seem to take a longer more complicated approach to making a block/quilt. I have learned to just figure it out and do it my way but for those less skilled at quilt making it can be a challenge. Even though it would mean more work for the author/maker of the quilt, I wish magazines would publish directions written by the maker as they know the best way to construct it. Just my humble opinion.

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