new word for me

As you know we are headed to Pennsylvania Monday morning Aug 27th, need to be at The Old Country Store in Intercourse, PA on Thursday, Aug 30th, to guide Museum Tours of my quilts on exhibit this year, do book signings, and they have added a couple of fun things.

I’ve been advised that this trip (work and mini vacation) is a ‘workcation’.  I think this word aptly describes our trip!  Feel free to use this new word.

It is a jugging act to get everything covered here at home besides getting packed.  Dear friend Sheri is house sitting, kitty sitting and taking care of incoming mail and packages, it is a big job.  She has been in training for several years, so it all is in good hands.

In the ongoing endeavor to organize and keep track of things, last week I found a cupboard that would work for quilt storage.  There are cupboard criteria for quilts, deep enough, this one is 17″ deep, wide enough, this one is 32″, tall enough, this one surpasses that criteria.

new cupboard to keep antique quilts and large Jo quilts in view

I no longer have a big stack of quilts in the bottom of the closet (shame on me), I can ‘see’ what I have, no more ‘big digs’ to locate a quilt.  Yea!

This cupboard is old windows used for the cupboard doors, what I call new old furniture.  I think you could think of it as recycling in a really good way.

I think you have noticed there is an empty top shelf, think of that as shopping opportunity space!

So you know, I’m writing a few blog posts and will ‘publish’ them while I’m away.  This should help in not having a big Blog absence.

Happy stitching!


Eggs & Bacon

I don’t just make quilts, I use them in our home, actually all over our home.  I love the design, the texture and color quilts add to a room or setting.  I can’t imagine life without quilts.  I love to look at my quilts and the memories associated with many of them, what was going on in my life at the time.  Interesting and beautiful how memories are sewn into quilts.

Since I really do use them, perhaps this will help you understand why I love brown so much. Here is a picture of the ‘Eggs & Bacon’ quilt from JLW Club 11 (the current Club), on the harvest table in our dining room, with a redware trencher featured in the middle of the quilt.   The colors are so beautiful together, warm and inviting to me.

If you are a JLW Club Member, the quilt was named while hanging in my booth in Houston last Fall, a number of ladies walked into the booth and said, that quilt looks like eggs and bacon from afar!  We all thought that was funny, and then thought it would make a fun name for the quilt.

Eggs & Bacon’ quilt on the harvest table in our dining room.

I hope you are making the JLW Club quilts in your colors to enjoy in your home.

My friend Betsy, made green eggs and ham – use your imagination.  It is a beautiful runner for her dining room table.  Betsy also lives with quilts all over her home, we are kindred spirits.




Reminder – fabric covered boxes

In between working in my office I’ve spent a little time at the studio, organizing.  Little by little it is improving!

I have the beautiful Quilted Koala boxes, I have filled part of them (see my July 20th blog post), now it was time to do something with the others.

I had a plastic bin that held my collection of Cindy Blackberg stamps for hand piecing.  Here is what I did, I’ve almost filled a large box!  I’d better get stitching!

Quilted Koala fabric covered box how safely keeping my collection of stamps from my friend Cindy.


If you are in need of some of these beautiful boxes and bins covered in Jo fabric, you can enjoy a ‘Friends and Family’ 20% discount on in-stock items ordered by August 31, 2012.  Only 10 more days!

Go to:

enter the code: ‘jomorton’

and click ‘apply coupon’ at checkout.

I can’t think of a more beautiful way for you to organize in your home.  Enjoy!


New quilt

We are working on a new quilt, I need 1″ x 2″ finished Flying Geese units in the blocks we are making.  You won’t recognize the fabrics in the picture as they are from the new lines  ‘Leesburg’ and ‘Toasted’.  I have fabric so we can get busy sewing.

‘Leesburg’ should be shipping shortly to your local or favorite quilt shop.  ‘Toasted’ ships later.  The difference is the time between flying in fabric so designers can get sewing done, and the slow boat with yours.

We are using the 1″ x 2″ Bloc Loc ruler to square up the Flying Geese.  Tip – we are using the 28mm or small Olfa rotary cutter, it feels safer to use when trimming these little sweeties.  Safety first.  I love how the Bloc Loc ruler nests into the seams and stays put when trimming. I have the 60 mm rotary cutters at the studio for most of our cutting and trimming.

Ruler laying on top of an untrimmed block, a trimmed block above it.


The blocks are going together nicely since the units are the correct size.

Stay tuned, quilt will be revealed around Market time in Houston.

John Hewson panel

If you haven’t heard of John Hewson, read a little about him here:

He is considered America’s first calico printer in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s.  I think these panels are so very beautiful and was excited when Andover was able to work with Winterthur Museum to offer reproductions of the wood block images.  I hope you have been able to find some of these panels because you won’t see them come around again any time soon.

I feel like I was able to re-create a piece of history.  Here is the top I made last Fall and showed at Market in Houston.

My re-creation of a quilt in the collection at the American Folk Art Museum in NYC.

It has since been beautifully machine quilted and bound.  The stripe from ‘Elizabethtown’ was the perfect outer border for me.

Here is the antique quilt when it was on exhibit at the Folk Art Museum, Spring 2011.

Antique quilt in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum, NYC.



Memory Lane

I was refolding quilts that reside in the jelly cupboard in our living room and pulled this one out to enjoy for a while.  I made it before joining Andover Fabrics, so no Jo fabrics in it.

I named it ‘Forever Nines’, it is one of the quilts where I was playing with the 1 1/2″ finished Nine Patch blocks, so it is another small quilt.  Deceiving isn’t it.

Looks like I didn’t straighten the top border edge, it has a bulge, maybe that happened while hand quilting the diagonal lines, it can happen when quilting bias lines, should be more careful.  Does being imperfect add to the charm or make it feel more vintage?

I had pulled several red/rust prints to audition for the setting fabric and couldn’t make up my mind, so I decided to use them all.  I like my answer.

This quilt was published in American Patchwork and Quilting, issue 61, Mar/April 2003, page 34.

Forever Nines, published in APQ in 2003

Here is a close up of the hand quilting, I saw the design used in the alternate square on an antique quilt and thought it would look good on my quilt.  What do you think?


hand quilted by Jo, guess you can tell I like to hand quilt

I wonder if any of you handquilt anymore?  I try to do at least a couple small pieces a year.  There is something about the dimples of hand quilting and the way the quilt feels and drapes when hand quilted.  Vintage appeal.

I’m still using Mountain Mist 100% cotton batting in my small quilts that I hand quilt (I can split this batting easily), I found some recently on-line and ordered more than one batt.

I am still using MM Blue Ribbon in my large quilts that are long arm machine quilted.

Happy quilting either by hand or the electric needle!




You be the judge.

I saw this the other day, went by the house the next day as I made sure I had my camera along, Russ was driving and slowed so I could get this snap.


Quiltmaker magazine !!!

cover of the new Quiltmaker magazine, Sept/Oct issue, see my name on the cover!

Here is what you will find inside:

Jo’s Stars in Quiltmaker magzine!


Long time ago (about a year ago) in a studio not too far away . . . we made some sweet little 3″ Sawtooth Stars using Ember Reds & Evergreens, Toasty and Sweet Emilie.   I hadn’t made a zig zag setting for a while – let’s do that!   I selected a neutral print for the zig zag and a soft print for the border, both from Sweet Emilie.  As it was being sewn together the quilt began to feel ‘very familiar’.   Hummmm. . . .

Without looking or thinking, we made the same quilt ‘again’, meaning we had made a quilt with the exact same number of blocks, same size blocks, and zig zag setting, but different border treatment and of course different colors.  Well, duh!    See what happens when you really like something.

I sent the new quilt along with the old quilt to Maggi Honeyman in Texas who machine quilted the first quilt, as I wanted the newer quilt quilted the same, I loved what she did.

I decided to offer the new quilt to Quiltmaker and sent along the story and the picture of the first quilt.  They were interested in the darker colors that felt like Fall.  I still love the first quilt that we made in 2007, however the new quilt has soft charm.

What do you think?

Here is the inadvertent re-make:

newer zig zag, I think I’ll call this quilt ‘Emilie’.

I will enjoy both of them.

Now ‘you’ know the rest of the story.