Stars and more Stars

Greetings in the New Year!

I have great hopes of finishing projects this year, making a dent in WIP’s, and of course start new ones, we always have to do that.

Below I want to share a little story of 4″ sawtooth star quilts.  ‘Hickory Road’ arrived here toward Fall last year.  Since I’m shifting gears a wee bit, you know like off the road for teaching travels, 2016 was the last year.  It really is time for Russ and Jo to do some traveling with no work involved. And, of course, have time for friends and family visit. A little road trips with friends, coffee, lunch, an afternoon of stitching, maybe happy hour?

Trips to see friends and family in other states is on our agenda this year.

I’m happily designing fabric lines with Moda, and also happily publishing through Martingale.  This has made my life much easier.  I’m also going to the Ambassador Wellness Center (aka gym) for walking and using machines, per a coach, every other day. Eating better, the trick is to stay healthy, not to take meds if possible.

And . . . I need to sort through close to 25 years of accumulation (TMI), purge old paperwork, stacks of old magazines, sorting through file drawers, figure out what we have to keep forever, what to keep for 7 years, and what can be sent to recycle.  I won’t mention closets but they need attention too. The studio is a top secret mess.  I think if I spend an hour here and/or there it will get done, eventually, and that is perfect for me.

I did a purchased book purge, donated them to the IQSC in Lincoln.  They then sort the donation, if something is in there that they don’t have in their library, that is where the book goes.  If they have it, the books are priced and sold in their gift shop.  That is a big win-win for me.

So . . . need to get back on track . . . my thought is to use a block from a recent book with Martingale in a project, you have the directions to make the block, then you can make the quilt too!

The first top I made with ‘Hickory Road’, of course in Jo fashion, I threw in some pieces from ‘Spice It Up’, ‘Jo’s Shirtings’ and from ‘Reflections’.  It is all about color for me, not just the line.

Hint – sort and store fabrics by color, then it is so easy to use older pieces with a new line.  Kind of justifies fabric purchases when you use it, not your fault if you didn’t realize you needed to buy less.  That is my story and I’m sticking to it.  But, then there is always the next quilt is my justification, most always scrappy!

You will find the block in ‘Jo’s Little Favorites III’ with Martingale – quilt is named “Star Shine” – 4″ sawtooth star. You bought the book, now use it in other ways, could end up being a very favorite book.

JLFIII – Star Shine

Here is my top, recently sandwiched and am in the process of hand quilting it.

Sawtooth Stars

Now, if you tip the book quilt for a straight set, not on-point, voila!  Make 12 blocks, but change the background to the dark fabric, the star points are the light fabric and a medium fabric in the center. Add a narrow border, maybe 2″ finished?? (cut 2 1/2″, maybe you want yours wider?).

Finally below is the second quilt I sewed with ‘Hickory Road’ and once again added blues and a brown print from ‘Timeless’ line, and some more brown prints and background prints from ‘Spice It Up’. These 4″ blocks are two fabrics this time, with light backgrounds.

‘Hickory Road’ Stars

‘Hickory Road’ will ship to your local or fav quilt shop this month, now you are prepared!  Still a Girl Scout.

Wishes for loads of good sewing projects and finishes in 2019!



Stars and more Stars — 11 Comments

  1. Jo, you are amazing. I’m so glad you have pared down your schedule. There is so much for you and your husband see and do together. And I’m very glad that you will still be designing. We were just looking at a layer cake of “Jo’s Shirtings” this morning at Quilt Club. Of course we all love it. Enjoy 2019!

  2. Jo, I have your books and a portion of your fabrics and have never made a quilt. I have been dreaming of the time in my life that I will and it will come late this coming summer. I shopped for fabrics and the books when I didn’t have much…or any hope that life would allow some pleasure and it helped me get my mojo back and move forward. I am 60 now and went very part time this past fall. My little paychecks are mine to spend as I wish and my husband is adding a room onto our house for me to quilt, stitch, hook, and punch in. I want to work with cotton and wool. I want to do needle turn applique too. I could probably read your books to you I have poured over them so many times. My daughter asked years ago Why her. Why this quilter. My answer was (and still is) The colors and prints. The colors and combos of them make my heart swoon. Soon I will have little quilts everywhere. I hope you will keep designing for awhile but I sure understand the need for down time, family and friend time, something & somewhere different time. Time for you to work less and enjoy free time more. Happy 2019. It’s going to be a good year. By the way, I work at the YMCA and exercise is very important as we age. Our heart is a muscle and needs a workout daily. My saying “If you don’t use it, you loose it.” Go girl.

    • Krissy, thank you for your story and pep talk. Totally agree on use it or loose it, go to the gym, keep moving. We are also eating healthier and less. Enjoy your time sewing in you soon to be new space, you must have a loving and understand DH. Thank you for liking my fabrics and books, I think my colors are traditional and calm. My quilts are very happy in our 90 year old home, with antiques (pine mostly) and good reproduction furniture.

  3. I love your story—sounds so much like where I’m at in my life. Thanks for all your designs, books and fabric designs. You bring joy to so many. Happy new year and safe travels!

  4. I can’t wait to get started again, making smaller quilts are easier to display when your house is full of big windows, the ones I have made with your patterns that are so well written keep my spirits lifted even as I’m drowning in other larger projects. Thank you.
    Happy New Year!

  5. What a lovely post! Before I retired, I worked in a Geriatric Admission unit and was so saddened by the number of times i listened to a couple or one spouse talked about plans that were deferred or set aside only to lose the opportunity to enjoy something they looked forward to. Good for you to reset priorities – Enjoy your new schedule!

  6. Thank you for sharing your year ahead – it is hopefully my plan for 2019 and maybe longer. Since I stitch, knit as well as quilt – I will only start a new project if I feel that I have cut through a good portion of my cleaning out and finishing up of projects! Happy New Year!

  7. So glad to hear you are going to enjoy life with your hubby, we need to always remember our time on earth is limited and if we keep putting off what we love we may never get to do it and end up with a life of regrets. I am to that point myself, kept telling myself the last 10 years I’d get back to quilting after I retire and do a little traveling too, but I’m 71 and still working. My terminally ill sister moved in with me so traveling is out for now also. I now plan on starting a small Jo quilt to get me back in the swing of it, I need the relaxation I get from quilting. I am a long time fan of your patterns and fabrics and have a good supply to pick from but still need more, of both. lol
    And exercise, well, that is coming too, already started but it is slow going as I have persistent tendonitis but I know I’ll feel SO much better after I get back in shape. Best of luck and good health to you and Russ in the New Year!

  8. So glad you are slowing down. i Have all your book and yes I think I will look at it differently. Can’t wait to see your new fabric. Kathy and I plan to go to market in spring. Hope we can meet up.

  9. Love this blog post. I am glad you are looking after you. I love the possibilities always with your patterns and your fabric combos. Spoiler alert…I bought so much of your fabric from first line on…I will be mixing old fabric and new for a lifetime. Life is very good!

  10. Hi Jo, I really admire you for taking some time for yourself. I love the Star Shine quilt and thank you for showing us how 1 block can be placed & used different ways, changing the entire look. Now to find the book in my sewing room. Safe travels!

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