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A Continuation: How I get it all done….

So last I left you nap time was still happening and I had finished a blog post.  Well I ran around the kitchen trying to get everything I could done before the kids were awake.

I knew I wanted to tackle as much supper prep as I could so I put potatoes in the Instant Pot, then took a pan put carrots and brussel sprouts in it and laid that on top of the potatoes.  I do this all the time…cooking several things in the Instant Pot at the same time.  As long as their cooking time is close to the same it’s not a problems.  I put extra carrots in purposely..I’ll warm them up in the microwave for the kiddos tomorrow.  I also added extra potatoes as Karl and like fried potatoes.

All of this saves time later.  I also put a ham in the oven so it would be ready when Karl got home.  This was a Tuesday of last week and he has a night class on Tuesdays.  I like to have supper ready the minute he walks in the door.

The kiddos woke and I finished out the day of childcare.  I’ve learned a few tricks like setting an alarm to go off 15 minutes before childcare closes.  That was the kids can have their stuff picked up before their parents come and I don’t spend the evening doing it.

This day I got a message from a mom asking if her guy could stay late.  I said sure.  I close at 5pm and she was hoping to be here by 5:20ish.  After hours care is super laid back.  I let myself do my own things and the kids hang out…more like grandma care.  Well I asked this guy if he wanted to help me quilt.  He said yes.  He brought a stool up to the kitchen island and we “quilted”.  He was my counter.  I grabbed this that I told you I had in this morning’s post and started cutting.  We got done in about 15 minutes.

I didn’t cut up the pieces at the bottom of the photo.  All the other strips were brown based.  Although these match, I’m not sure if I want them for something else.  That stripe would make a great binding if there’s enough.  Being I really have not idea what this quilt is going to be, it’s okay if I wait on these.

There were these finished pinwheel blocks.  These are what started me on thinking about making pinwheels.  Hmm.  These are bigger than what I cut.  That’s okay.

I cut them down.  Rather than taking them apart…I just cut the block apart.
This all went on the stairs to take up to the sewing room tonight.  I’ll set the tote by the sewing machine and get to it sometime.

My little guy was still here so I grabbed these bonus triangles that were gifted to me and started squaring them to the size of the smallest square which was 3″.
The little guys mom came.  We visited a bit.  Karl came home.  We ate supper and I cleaned the kitchen.  I left the squares there for tomorrow and decided to write another blog post.

I was halfway through with that and Kalissa called.  I put my phone on speaker, went out to the kitchen and finished trimming the square while we chatted.  
We were still chatting so I grabbed the white based fabric and started cutting it.  I’m out of white based strings.  Anyway, after I had cut a few strips I decided that I really didn’t want this for the baby quilt.  I kept cutting anyway.  I’m going to make a red, white and black quilt as graduation gift so I’ll just have these cut out way in advance.

Kalissa and I got done chatting and I went back to writing my blog post….

Once that was done it was about 8:45pm and decided to go up and sew.  Borders went on the baby quilt that I had cut borders for but while that was happening, I started sewing the half square triangles that I had cut out in the morning as a leader and ender.

I was a little nervous about how that wild Kaffe fabric would look on this small baby quilt….I think I like it.
What do you think? Continue reading

ROAD TRIP…Karl Style

Karl and I ran away on Sunday.  His birthday was the 5th.  Mine is the 14th so we took off and decided to hang out for the day and live up our common birthdays.  I told Karl I was up for anything.  He could plan the day…and he did.  When Karl plans anything a coffee shop or brewery is always involved.  I knew that but I didn’t know it would involve so many stops….

It’s okay it was a super fun day.

The morning started with a stop in Fayette at the Sweets Cafe.  I told you Karl is into coffee shops and breweries.  Well if the coffee shop is also a bakery, well, bonus points.

I am not a coffee drinker at all.  I can’t do straight up coffee and I never could.  I can do an ice coffee and actually like them and I find I can do a latte.  So I got a latte and Karl got coffee then we picked out five sweet treats and got a sixth one for free.

They were all yummy looking and hard to choose from.

We were back on the road again but not without a selfie first.  Here we are…. Continue reading

Ask Jo: Those White Based Neutrals

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.

Sharon said, “I love your version of this quilt – it sparkles! I was wondering which ruler you ended up using for this”.

I used the companion angle ruler.

Cindy asked, “What a wonderful one! What size is your unfinished hour glass unit, thank you?”

The blocks finished at 3 1/2″.

Myra wrote, “Still loving the hourglass quilt.  Question…how much thought do give to color placement?  Do you randomly pick two greens, oranges, etc. or do you audition before sewing?”

When I pick that fabric for the quilt, I’m fairly careful.  I don’t pick any green.  Greens can be so picky.  There is lime green, olive green and forest green to name a few.  For this quilt…I used from lime green to primary green.  If it was olivey or foresty green, I didn’t use it.  Pinks went from light to raspberry but I tried to avoid peachy pinks.  I always test that out by laying a piece of white based neutral next to the fabric and a cream based neutral next to the fabric.  I wanted the color to compliment the white based fabric most.

For the Hourglass quilt, being it was bright colors, I didn’t use white based neutrals that have a lot of black coloring in them.  (You know…the kind of black and white neutrals that are in the black and white section of the quilt shop)  I used white that had print colors similar to the print colors in the quilt.

Once the blocks are all made, I do not put them up on a design wall or floor layout.  I try to shuffle the stacks a bit but I just grab and sew them together.  If two fabric fall together so be it.  It bothers me not one ounce.  I know others would be bothered…I’m just not.  I’m sewing for fun not perfection.  If I can avoid them touching I do but if they end up touching I’m okay with that too.

Judith said, “You are seriously into white neutrals Jo. It’s a great looking store. I want to see a close up of the gnome material. What great fun to find what you need”.

I am seriously into neutrals.  I didn’t used to be but that’s changed in the last few years every since I made our “Thanks to You!” quilt.

I made it first in this version…which was done with quite a lot of Civil War scraps.

I later went on and made this version in brights.  I learned that I loved loud and busy background prints.  I’d like to say no white on white fabrics for me but that’s not true either.  I’ll used them and use them often but only if they are mixed with something loud.

I loved the star quilt and later went on to make our Plus Fun quilt that was published in McCalls Quilting Magazine.  Read more about that HERE.

It’s a super easy quilt…just alternate blocks of a plus block and and neutral nine patch block.  It was so fun to make though.

Ruby even liked it….

Carla a blog reader wrote:  “Seeing this quilt (the Hourglass quilt) has made me realize I need to rethink my thoughts on low-value prints. You use a lot of so-called neutrals that actually do contain a lot of color. That whole side of quilting always trips me up.”

It was about when I made the Plus Fun quilt that I realized I needed to rethink what I used for neutrals.  I realized I love loud and busy backgrounds.  Look close at the picture above with Ruby.  Imagine that quilt made with white on white fabric.  It would lose the fun and zest.  I love it busy.

Anyway….I used so much of my fabric stash of white based neutrals up on these two quilts that I started buying white based neutrals whenever I went to fabric stores.  I am a cheapskate without a huge fabric budget and I love lots of variety so I typically only buy quarter yards or fat quarters.  Oh my though, it sure can make a fun quilt!!

This year I have made several quilts with white based neutrals and it’s really took a big hit on my stash.

I made the pink Geese on a String….

I made the purple Geese on a String….

I made the Crooked Courthouse Steps….

I made the Hourglass quilt.

…and I made the Wild Child quilt.

Even that had some fun white based neutrals.

..and I made the Jewel Box quilt.

This one has lots of fun neutrals!!
All of these are have neutrals that SING.  I love it.  Long ago if I went to the quilt store, I could come out with a pretty little stack of Civil War fat quarters.  There wouldn’t have been a neutral in the bunch.  Not anymore…I go to a fabric store and all I buy are neutrals.

I believe that these make the quilt fun and zippy, especially in scrap quilts which is really all I make.  I love pretty much all types and styles of quilts.  I appreciate the work and love that goes into all of them.  But if it’s a quilt I’m making, it’s going to be scrappy and the background prints are going to be a scrappy and busy and loud and a mixture of fun.  So if you find me at the quilt store, I’ll be looking for neutrals…that is if my pocket book can handle it.

Ask Jo: Longarm Quilt Machine Follow Up

I had a ton of responses after last week’s post on my longarm quilting machine.  I have an APQS Millenium that I purchased after having lots of problems with my Pfaff Grand Quilter and Next Generation Frame.   Read the previous post HERE  to get all the details.

Here are some of the follow up comments.

Janet made a comment, “You also have to be physically able to do it (longarming). There is a lot of bending involved.”

This is a very good point.  I had shoulder issues for some time.  Running the quilting machine was really hard on my injured shoulder.  For the most part my shoulder is better now and I’m not having trouble but your physical health is something one should consider when buying a machine.

Many people commented that you should try a machine out before you buy.  Then would be a great time to test how it might be for you physically.  Does it bother a bum shoulder?


Doris G asked, “Where do you buy your longarm quilting patterns? I have a Juki QVP and I love it but I would like to buy more patterns to download on it. ”

ALL of the machine quilting I do is free motion.  I do some custom and some edge to edge.  I do not have a computerized machine.  I do not use pantos so, I have no experience with buying patterns (motifs).
As you can see, I’m no pro but I’m content with the work I do for my own quilts.  This is my custom work.

Because I only do free motion, I don’t buy patterns to download.   However, in the comments Becky said, “Urban Elementz is my source of Pantos and I usually buy thread from Superior Threads and Aurifil. I buy at the Houston Quilt Show for better deals.”

I personally have heard that Urban Elementz is a popular place.


Joanne wrote:  Continue reading