Author Archives: Jo

New Free Pattern: Flying Geese Table Topper

Some time ago I finished up this little table topper.

A sweet blog reader had sent me a pile of flying geese blocks that were finished but not sewn into anything.  I went to lay them out to make a little table topper but was short a couple of blocks.  Serendipity, I happen to have the same black fabric in my stash so I made two more blocks.

I sewed them into this table topper.

I had a couple of blog readers ask if I would write a pattern for this.  It sat and sat and I didn’t get to it but recently I decided I wanted to get my Fall stuff out and decorate.  I figured it would be a great time to write the pattern for this so you all could make one too.

Of course, you don’t need to make it black and cheddar.  You could stitch this up in any color for any season…or no season at all.  All you need is… Continue reading

Thrifty Finds

I thought I would share some thrifty find that have come my way.  I didn’t find all of these on one trip.  They’ve happened over the last few trips.

I have this set of salt and pepper shakers.  People comment about them all of the time when I post a picture of my sampler wall.  People comment and say, “My grandma had those” and other similar things.


I bought these new in vintage packaging some time ago at the thrift store for 50 cents.  I was happy to have found them as I love vintage and love wood.  I thought they would be cute for decorating with my antique things.

Imagine my surprise when I hit the thrift store and found the set you see below.  I have never seen them….oh, so cute on their little shelf plus there are friends now too.  Cinnamon, paprika, cloves, and nutmeg were there!!


Oh, my word…So cute.  Of course, it had to go home with me.  I spent $3 for the set.  It was my find of the day.  I don’t have it hung up yet.  I’m waiting for one of my girls to me home so they can help me find a good spot for it.

On another day I picked up this… Continue reading

Cross Stitch Update

I’m so lucky to have people watching out for me (ahem, enabling me!)  Mary from the Chicken Scratch blog sent me some pictures of cross stitch she saw AQS Quilt Show in Des Moines.  You can read more about the quilt show on her blog HERE.  Apparently, there happen to be some cross-stitch pieces on display as well.  It was fun to see the pictures.  I caught myself saying I have that chart and that chart and I stitched that one.  But the one that really caught my eye was the red one.  Oh my.  I hadn’t seen that one before.


Shucks.  There was no tag or info for me to identify who stitched it.  Hmm.

I’ve been looking for a red sampler to stitch.  So many people have a wall of red samplers.  I don’t know that I want to do that…but, I’d love to stitch one.  I had so much fun stitching the first Red Bird Sampler we did as a stitch along.  Hmm.

That’s it.  I’ll ask Judy at Patchwork Times.  She might know.  So I sent a message to Judy.  She was quick to reply saying she thought it was Folk Art Sampler.  She even provided a link to the chart.  THANKS, Judy!!  You can see the chart HERE on 123 Stitch.


It’s so pretty.  I really like it…but that border is a lot of backstitch and I hate backstitch.  It might be worth it though.  It’s so pretty.

So…I put the chart on my wish list and I’ll think about it.  It is really pretty…don’t you think?

Enough of that…onto what I stitched… Continue reading

What I’m Reading: Riding the Lightning

I was looking for a book that wasn’t historical fiction.  I’ve said before that it’s my favorite genre but it is also taxing to read as it’s often very emotional.  So what did I pick instead?  Riding the Lightning:  A Year in the Life of a New York City Paramedic by Anthony Almojera.


I am often drawn to the First Responder and medical books.  I think that’s because my husband was a volunteer First Responder and Fireman and two of my daughters are nurses.

I love the book…it was so interesting.  The paramedic that wrote the book shares a lot about his own personal family and also shared his experience living and working in New York when Covid 19 first hit.

If I really wanted a book that wasn’t emotionally taxing to read, this is one I shouldn’t have picked.  Oh my.  I feel terrible for the Emergency Medical Services personnel that were on the front lines when we all knew so little about the virus.

Here is what Amazon had to say:
Continue reading