Category Archives: Ask Jo

Ask Jo: Friendship Ball and More…

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.

Barabara wrote:
Hi Jo!, Love your blog! The ball is called a Friendship Ball and is used to send little gifts to a friend and then the ball gets passed on. I had one and my friend and I passed it back and forth for years, sometime during Christmas or birthdays but other times it would arrive out of the blue with a little “thinking of you” gift inside. So special. Amazon has these and it will include a card explaining the tradition and a delightful little poem about the treasure of friendships. “A ball is a circle, No beginning, no end, It keeps us together, Like our circle of friends. The treasure inside for just you to see, Is the treasure of friendship, You have granted to me.” Written by Alda Ellis.”

I checked on Amazon…They did have them.  THIS is the link.  Below is a picture of the ball.

Oh my… I love the idea.  It is so sweet.  I wanted to make sure to share it with all of you as I’m guessing I’m not going to be the only who loved the idea.

Here is a reminder of what mine looked like…

The two are so similar it makes me believe that Barbara and a few others who suggested it was a friendship ball are right.

I made a guess that it was for potpourri, and some of you agreed…others of you guessed it was a yarn or string holder.  I think it could be used for any of those, but after looking at it and hearing about Friendship Balls, I really think that Barbara might be right.  Thanks to everyone who commented.  I love reading your opinions on items like this.

You might remember that I was thinking about putting my cross stitch piece from Maxine on this cabinet thinking it would lean on my vintage picnic basket…but then was worried that the vibration from my longarm might knock it off?
Well, Laurie wrote about this and said: Continue reading

Ask Jo: Questions, Comments and a Way to Help

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.

First up from Gloria:
Remember the fabric that I used for the Halloween quilt that everyone was waiting for.   This one…

Midnight Magic 2 Ghost Tiny Stars Yardage | SKU# 24106-11
Gloria called and told me that it was not available through the link I had provided and that they were indeed sold out.

People are looking for it so they can make our quilt Halloween Hoopla.  This was the print I used.  The fabric was on backorder and a product of supply chain issues.

This is the print.  It is called Midnight Magic 2 Ghost Tiny Stars.  If you type “Midnight Magic 2 Ghost Tiny Stars” into your search engine, I think you’ll find some places where it is still available.

I know many of us are heartbroken for the people of Ukraine.  All of us want to do something but don’t know what to do.  I’ve seen quilters quilting with blue and yellow the colors of the Ukraine flag.  I’ve seen stitchers working on special cross stitch projects to mark this point in history like this freebie… Continue reading

Ask Jo: Shirts and Barn Quilts

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.

There has been a lot of talking in the comment section of people wanting the pattern for a quilt that was featured in a recent Community Quilt post.  You can read it all HERE.

This is the quilt.  Kathleen finished the quilt.  Isn’t it so cute??  Initially I thought it was a Lori Holt quilt but I was wrong.

A kind blog reader, Janice, hunted down the patterh.  You can find the pattern HERE.  It is offered as a PDF so you can download it instantly!!

Red Barns Quilt Pattern - PDF VERSION
So cute.  I thought it was appropriate to share here as so many of you asked.

Another blog reader, Nancy, let me know that the Midnight Magic 2 fabric that I used for the background of the Halloween quilt is in stock at Fat Quarter Shop.  This is the print and you can find it HERE.

Midnight Magic 2 Ghost Tiny Stars Yardage | SKU# 24106-11
Halloween Hoopla was published in the October 2021 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.


This is the quilt…

You might remember that this is the quilt that many of you sent fabric to me so I could make it.  There has a been an issue getting the fabric for the background in and it’s finally here.

I’m sure other shops have it in now too.  It’s called Midnight Magic II Ghost Tiny Stars if you’re looking.

Thanks Nancy for letting us know.

The other topic that was asked of me is… Continue reading

Ask Jo:

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

Lynn wrote:
I just picked up the February 2022 issue of Better Homes & Gardens American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine with your gorgeous “Inspired by the Past” quilt on the cover. I am in love with it!  I am fairly new to quilting, but after looking over your instructions, I think I can do this!  I have a few questions, though:  How many different medium and dark prints did you use, and how much of each one? Also, how many different cream prints did you use, and how much of each one?

Oh Lynn. I’m not going to be the best help in answering your questions.

I am a true-to-the-heart scrappy quilter.  I have never counted how many different fabrics I’ve used when I make any quilt.  I know some of the fabrics were repeated but most often paired with a piece of different fabric.  When I made this I contacted Marcus Fabrics and told them I was making a scrappy quilt and they sent me a box of fabric.  It was all different sizes and there were end the bolt, odd cuts, and scraps that were sent to me.  I made the quilt with them.  From looking at the original quilt I noticed there was black in the quilt-I don’t typically use a lot-so when I requested fabric I asked for bright colored reproduction fabrics plus black.

If I were buying fabric for this from a quilt I would buy fat quarters or 1/4 yard cuts of as many different fabrics as possible staying away from browns or dark prints (except black).

Take a copy of the magazine and study it…You can see from these pictures that this was a few-rules quilt.  The block below mixes two different golds that make it almost hard to differentiate.

This block uses two different stripes and the stripes go every which way.  The block below that used the same color in the middle as come of the points.

The block below the center and the pink almost don’t match… again, in this one the stripes go the same direction.


In the green and yellow block you only see half of, the two greens are technically different but aren’t they oh so close in shade.

Really, this was an anything goes quilt.  I really don’t think you can go wrong.  Speaking of going wrong…look at my quilt.  See the lower 16 patch on the bottom left.  I never noticed it before.  Two of the exact same prints are side to side.

In the big picture of the quilt, I’ve never noticed that.

In the picture below you can see that some of the blocks have a super busy background print.  Some are simple and plain prints.

The quilt was inspired by the vintage quilt.  This is one of the… Continue reading