My love of antique quilts has led me into a life as an author, teacher, lecturer and designer of traditional fabric lines.
I continue my study of our ancestral quiltmaking and create my interpretations of 19th Century quilts by imitating colors and styles from period pieces. My smaller quilt re-creations complement furnishing in country, traditional or contemporary settings. My husband says: “Jo took her first quilting class and hasn’t been home since.” You may agree with Russ.
I was introduced to quilting in 1979, took my first quilting class in early 1980 and haven’t put the needle down since. In 1982, I began teaching quiltmaking and by 1985 was creating small quilts with the charm of the antique, or my “new quilts with vintage charm.”
I began selling small quilts in 1988, traveled east to exhibit at juried Folk Art Shows in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New England. Once a year I’d exhibit at the Designer Craftsman Show (a juried, invitational show) near Philadelphia, a retail venue for the serious collector of American craftsmanship.
When I began publishing patterns (1995), I gradually stopped traveling to the Folk Art Shows and concentrated on making my designs available to other quiltmakers. I’ve self-published dozens of patterns, 15 of my Jo’s Little Women’s Club, and to date 22 books. I’m now publishing with Martingale & Co., my first book with them is titled ‘Jo’s Little Favorites’, a must have!
My passion is to help other quilters learn techniques I’ve developed, and to nourish their creativity for making their own versions of reproduction style quilts.
My quilts have been listed in Early American Life magazine, Directory of American Traditional Crafts annually from 1990 through 2002. I stopped submitting in 2003 since I no longer sell my quilts.
In 1998, I licensed some of my quilts to Heart of America, publishers of framed art prints. Heart of America sold their business in 2008 and the license was terminated.
In April of 2000, I taped episode #603 of ‘Simply Quilts’ with Alex Anderson. I have taped two episodes of ‘Love of Quilting’ with Fons & Porter, #1408 (Cinnamon Stars) and #1805 (Triangle Roundup), these programs air on PBS. In August of 2010, I taped episode #808 for ‘The Quilt Show’, an online subscription quilt channel.
I live in Nebraska City, Nebraska with husband Russ and now one kitty, Chloe.