Category Archives: Quilting

Ask Jo: How I cut square so quickly

Hello, and welcome to another edition of “Ask Jo”.  I get many comments and questions from all sorts of places, the comment section here, Youtube, email, and from our Facebook group.  Sometimes I think others of you might want to know the answers as well so I answer them here on the blog.

In today’s feature I am answering only one question.   I figured it might be enough for one blog post.  The question comes from Nancy.

Nancy asked:
“Would you be kind enough to share how you cut your fabric squares? It is amazing how many squares you have  cut for your Halloween quilt already.”

Here is one of the blocks from my Halloween quilt.


The block is a little deceiving.  Looking at it you might think that I pieced everyone of those pieces individually together.  The truth is, I didn’t.  The center of the block was all done via strip piecing.

If you’re a seasoned quilter, you’ve done strip piecing.  If you’re newer to quilting, you might not recognize something that is strip pieced.  The center of this block was entirely strip pieced.

What does that mean??  Let me explain… Continue reading

How I Make Half Square Triangles

Everyone had seen me making triangles as of late.  I’m been busy working on my Holy Toledo quilt and it is LOADED with half-square triangles.

If you are new to quilting, a half-square triangle is what you see in this quilt.  The square is made up of two triangles, typically one light and one dark, and when that happens in the quilting world, that unit is known as a half-square triangle.

Many new quilters don’t like them.  They are sewn on the diagonal, they are easy to get wrong especially for beginners.  There are many methods of making them.  The trick is to find the method that works best for you…and over the years, this is the method I have had much success with.

Recently Donna sent me a note and asked me what method I use.  I promised her that I would write about it…and today I am.  I also made a video that shows you how I did it.

First, I’ll talk you through it with pictures.  I use and easy angle ruler.  You can find one HERE on Amazon.  If you have an Essential Angle Ruler, that will work too.


I need triangles that finish at 2″ in the quilt so as a rule of thumb, I cut strips that are 1/2″ LARGER than the size of the FINISHED piece in the quilt.   I layer the pieces together with a dark light, dark light.  I am cutting two sets at once.  I do this a lot and typically on a normal day, I might cut as many as 8 layers at once.  This day I was only cutting four.  In the video, I give you a good description of exactly how to cut.

From there I take my pieces… Continue reading

Quilts of 2014

I am going back in the archives and pulling all of the quilts I made in 2014.  I’m making a big of a parade with them.  Sit back and enjoy the parade of the quilts of 2014.

I hadn’t put these all together on one page until 2021.  I have other years to catch up on too but thought, I’ll do 2014.  We were remodeling the house.  That will be an easy year.  WRONG.  That was likely one of the most prolific years ever.

Grab some coffee…this is a long one.

The first quilt for the year was Odds and Ends.

Kelli started me on making this when a quilt magazine came out, she said-let’s both make one, and me wanting to encourage her to sew, said sure.  (at this point Kelli was sewing some but not a lot)  That was back in June of 2010 as the pattern was in American Patchwork and Quilting’s June 2010 issue.  3 1/2 years later…Kelli finished hers!!  (here’s a picture of hers)  me…I didn’t finish mine until 2014.

OddsandEnds
This quilt is in the rotation of quilts that I keep for my own bed.  I love it!
OddsandEnds-5
You can read more about the quilt HERE.

We had a quilt in a magazine.    It was in this magazine.

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We called it Stars in Formation.

I’m sorry I don’t which issue it was.

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You can read more about it HERE.

This quilt was actually Kayla’s finish…She made the quilt and I quilted it.

KaylaQuilt-1

It’s off-center…wonky and random-a total modern look!   Can you believe she sewed it on her treadle??

At first, I didn’t know how to tackle the quilting and then I thought…Just go…and I did.  I was worried about those big borders along two of the sides but it was actually really fun!

KaylaQuilt-2

I got lots of practice holding the ruler and moving the machine with one hand.

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I looked back and saw this quilt and am shocked I was so brave with my quilting!!

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The back…well it almost has a modern whole cloth quilt look to it.  FUN!!

KaylaQuilt-back
You can read that post HERE.

I took an old orphan block and make it into a pincushion.

Pincushion

In fact, the orphan block was in a bag of scrap fabric I bought at Goodwill some time back.  I ended up giving this to Kelli.

I made the Candy Wishes quilt.  This was a Moda Bake Shop project.

quilt-2I made it after the powers that be at Moda Bake Shop challenged us, designers, to make projects from the small Candy packs.  The packs that have 2 1/2″ squares.  Well, I was the only person that designed a quilt from one candy pack!  You can get the free pattern HERE.

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It is a SUPER fast quilt to make.  You can read the whole post about it HERE.

This is Miss Rosie Schnibbles pattern.  Kelli did the top and and I finished it.

Lincoln

This is our Pin Up Star Table Runner. Read about it and find the free pattern HERE.
PinupStarTableRunner-1

The table runner is pretty big.  It ends up being 17″ x 53″.

To make the table runner you need the printable directions to make the block which you can find HERE.  To get the expanded directions to make the table runner,  click on this link, Pinup Star Table Runner, for the free printable pattern. You can always find the pattern on right side bar of the blog.  Look for it under the name Pin Up Star Table Runner.

This is our Square Dance quilt.

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It was featured in Quiltmaker magazine.  Sadly I can’t tell you which issue.  I only know that it was likely an early 2014 issue.Ruby-3
Kelli and I both shed MANY tears over this quilt.  You’ll have to go and read the whole story about the quilt HERE.

Ruby-4 In the end we loved the quilt but to get to the point of loving it, took some time.  This is a quilt I will never give away.  Too many memories are attached to it!

2014 was the year Kelli and I were busy sewing behind the scenes.  Kelli was laid of from work.  I wasn’t doing childcare.  We were sewing like mad women.  Here is a stack of the quilts we made for the book.  You can read more about it HERE.  11 of these went into the book.  The remaining quilts went on to be featured in magazines.

FridayFinish
We had a quilt block featured in Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks.

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We made more of our block and made this quilt.  No pattern has been released for this so far.

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Maybe someday.

This is a pattern from Nine-Patch Gatherings by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.  This was Kelli’s quilt.  I did the machine quilting and binding.

Quilt-1It is really more of a table topper.

Sneaker Treads was a quilt we had featured in Quilty Magazine.  This was in the March/April 2014 issue.
Sneaker-Treads-1
We later went on and used the scraps to make this quilt…
Butter Churn
churnDashEnjoy the free pattern that you can find HERE for our Butter Churn quilt.

Kelli made this table topper. I did all the quilting and binding.
FF-1

I made Kelli’s wedding quilt!!  You can read all about it HERE.
DoubleWeddingRing-labelWedding-1This pattern was later published in American Patchwork and Quilting.

Little Twister is the next pattern up.  Again, Kelli made the top.  I finished it.
littleTwister

Irish Stars is out next quilt.  It was featured in this issue of Quiltmaker.
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This one was a favorite of mine.  We gifted it to a dear friend.  I designed it.  Kelli sewed the top.  I finished it.

Irish-Stars-You can read more about it HERE.

I made this baby quilt for a dear little baby in my life.  She grew up to be one of my childcare kiddos.
BabyQuilt-1

You can read more about the quilt HERE.  You can get it by following this link Scrappy Star Baby Quilt.

This was our Red White and Ohh quilt.  It made the cover of American Patchwork and Quilting.  You can read all about it HERE.
Red-White-and-OohHere is the whole quilt.
Red-White-and-Ooh-1
I finished up Kelli’s Talkin’ Turkey quilt.  Read all about it HERE.  This quilt is from Bonnie Hunter’s String Fling book.  Find the book HERE.

TalkingTurkey-1

Here is my Smith Mountain Morning Quilt…Read all about it HERE.  Find the book for the pattern HERE.

Smith-Mountain-Morning-I gifted this quilt to Karl.
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I made two quilts for wedding presents.  Both of the recipients were graduates of our local school but had moved away.  I thought it would be a great way to use up scrap and to make them wedding quilts.  Read more about them HERE.

Quilts-1

Moda’s line Chantilly was the fabric for this…  I made this from the leftovers of…

BabyQuilt-11There two quilts.  They were featured in Quiltmaker magazine.

quilts

For our project we got four jelly rolls from Moda’s Chantilly line.  We divided out the fabrics selecting 16 different prints for one quilt and 16 for the other.  We pulled those same 16 prints from each of the jelly rolls.  Then we made 4 huge, identical trip around the world blocks.  We put the four blocks together and had an entire quilt top.  Then we did it all over again to make the second quilt.  The quilts are great throws finishing at 64 inches square.

Scrappy-Trip-1

Here are the two all laid out.  They fabrics really were from the same jelly rolls.  I just selected the fabric carefully.  Read more about them HERE.

Scrappy-Trip-2

This is our Jimmy John quilt.  I made it for my brother and his wife for their anniversary.  You can read more about it HERE.

JimmyJohn-2  Here’s the link to the printable pattern for Jimmy John.  This has been one of the most popular free patterns on the blog.

Here is our A Star is Born quilt…Read more about it HERE.
A-Star-is-born-1-1Kelli and I did write some instructions to make the quilt.  I think it would make a fun two color quilt too.  Anyway, you can find the FREE printable instructions here.

I made our wedge pincushion.  You can read more about it HERE.  There is a tutorial with it that shows exactly how to make one.

Pincushion-

We had a Christmas quilt featured on the front cover of Quilty Magazine.

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This was out Ins and Outs Pattern.  This was so fun to make!!
InsandOuts-2-1It is a free pattern on the blog that you can find HERE.  This is another popular free pattern and great for jelly rolls.

This was our Ring Aroung the Rosies pattern.  You can read more about it HERE.   The free pattern is HERE.

RamblingRose-1

I made this for a nursing home resident.  Kalissa got close to her and talked to me about her.  She had been a long time quilter.  She had a photo book of the quilts she made.  They were beautiful and many were hand pieced or hand quilted.  Kalissa felt so sad that she didn’t have a quilt for her bed at the nursing home so for Christmas, she asked to have the residents name for the Christmas gift giving.  Then Kalissa asked me to make a quilt for her and this is the quilt I made.  Kalissa gifted it to her and she was so excited.  I got to meet her and it was so special.

RamblingRose-2-1
With the leftovers from the quilt we made this baby quilt…

We offered our Stacking Bricks quilt as a free pattern.  Read more about HERE and find the free pattern.

BabyQuilt

This was yet another free pattern we had on the blog.  This is Meet in the Middle.  We made it along with all of these quilts in 2014!  WOW.  You can read more about the quilt HERE and find the pattern link there as well.

MeetintheMiddle1-4

Many of you have made this quilt and it’s been a popular free pattern on the blog.

This was my second Easy Street Mystery from Bonnie Hunter.

EasyStreet-

I completely changed the colors.  You can read more about it HERE.

I finished this pincushion…It’a a Primitive Gatherings pattern.  I made this one in 2014 and later in 2020 I finished a second one.

Pincushion-2

We were busy designing thing and this was our offering for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks magazine for the Fall issue.
QMMS-140050-KRAMER (2)
We went on, took the block and made this quilt with it.  You can read more about it HERE.
MonsterMash

We had another Moda Bake Shop project, Step Up.  You can read more about it HERE.  You can get the free pattern HERE.

StepUp-2This was made with a dog print fabric.  We donated this to the local pet rescue.

Celtic Solstice got finished.  I was so glad.  This one had me pulling hairs as I screwed up a spot and did colors wrong.  I thought to fix it but ended up liking mine better.  Read more about it HERE.

celtic-solstice-1-1

This quilt is in the spare bedroom on the bed.  It looks great in there with the wall colors.

This is our Cinder block quilt.  Kelli did the sewing on this one.
Cinder-block-quilt-1-1It was featured in Quiltmaker.  This quilt would be awesome to make for somone who like Vintage Farmhouse.  Read more about it HERE.
Quiltmaker-2

MoMo’s Avant Garden from Moda fabric inspired this quilt.  I just loved the line so had to design something with it. I submitted the design to Moda Bake shop and it was published there.  Read more about it HERE.  Find the free pattern HERE.
GardenGirl-I love quilts that don’t have white as the background color.
GardenGirl-3

This is our Chocolate Covered Cherries Quilt.  We wrote up a free printable pattern for the quilt.  I designed it.  Kelli sewed it…I finished it.   You can find it here.   Read more about the quilt HERE.

Chocolate-Covered-Cherries-12

We made a Halloween Table Runner….

Halloween-table-runner-free-pattern

We put together a easy to read pattern to make the table runner.  You can find it by following this link.

Here is another Rail Fence quilt.  I made a total of three that year.
Rail-Fence-Quilt-1This one was a wedding present too.

I redid someone else’s UFO and made this…

Quilt
I quilted my cousin’s Bargello quilt.
DonnaQuilt
I machine quilted several charity quilts.  This was the early beginnings of my charity quilting.  The tops that were sent to me were all quilted by me!!  At the time I wasn’t working a regular job.  I was blogging and working on my early learning website, Making Learning Fun.  I had a lot more free time.

Here are the ones I finished.  They are in no particular order.

Star-1
Charity-quilt-1
CharityQuilt
charityQuilt
quilt-1
Charity-1charityquilt
quilt-
CharityQuilt
CharityQuilt-1charity
CharityQuilt-2
WOW…Here I thought that 2014 would be an easy year to do.  It totally wasn’t.  It was a very busy year!!

I hope you enjoyed this parade of quilts from 2014.  I have other parades of quilts done.  You can find those under the “Quilts” tab under the banner at the top of the page.

Living with Quilts

Lots of times you all leave a comment or I see something that prompts me to write a post.  Today’s prompt came from Joan.

Joan wrote, “Greetings, Jo! I have popped into your blog numerous times, but I just recently started following you. We have a lot in common :)  Do you keep all your quilts? Gift them? Sell them? I have soooo many (many Bonnie patterns, too). We just did a big remodel of our living room and kitchen. I had a Jenny Lind changing table I used as a quilt corral in the living room. Now I am looking at it and wondering if I have too many quilts. I have given many of them away. But it’s like giving away children (of which I have eight), if you know what I mean. Wondering what happens to yours.”

I gift a lot of quilts.  Many go to benefits.  Some go to charity.  Some are wedding, graduation, or childcare gifts.  I give baby quilts to relatives and people we are close to.  It doesn’t bother me to gift or give them.  My kids all have several quilts from me too.

Typically a gifted quilt is one that isn’t “my colors” or “is an easier quilt” or is one that is made with precuts.  I never give my very favorite ones away.  If I know I am going to gift a quilt I often pick colors that aren’t my favorite or a quilt that isn’t exactly my style so it’s easier to give.

As far as knowing if you have “too many” quilts, I think that is a question each of us has to ask ourselves from time to time.

I thought I would take you on a tour of my home and show you how I display some of my quilts.

This is a built in cabinet in my dining room.  Most people would display dishes there…not me.  The entire thing is quilts…17 of them.

I have a ladder in my… Continue reading