Memory Lane

Christmas time does this to me, does it do it to you?  Memories come flooding in.

I took my first quilting class in 1980, in 1985 I made my first ‘new quilt made to look olde’, and it is this quilt ‘Hattie’s Baskets’.  I named it for a friend of my moms.

I’ve never looked back on this journey of ‘making new quilts to look olde’.

I loved the antique quilts I would see at quilt shows, loved the quirks in them, and loved the fabrics.  Some things don’t change. I wanted to make my quilts to feel like that. I still love small size quilts, traditional patterns and vintage look to fabrics.  Perhaps I should add, certain colors appeal to me more than others, and every quilt I make does have a spot that it would look good in our home.  Made for me, and shared with you.

Hattie's Baskets, 1985, 24x24

Hattie’s Baskets, 1985, 24×24

Now remember, this is ‘back in the day’, I made templates, cut out the pieces including seam allowance, arranged all four blocks to look scrappy and olde, I even turned a couple of pieces over and used the back side up.  This was arranged on a card table in the living room (no design wall yet, no dedicated sewing room either).  I hand pieced this quilt top, eye-balled a stitching line, it is hand quilted with black HQ thread (again eyeballed the lines), and I even added the binding by hand, then sewing it down.  Notice how wide the binding is?   🙂

We gain skills with practice.

HQ on 6inch block, black HQ thread

HQ on 6inch block, black HQ thread

I wanted to make one quilt entirely by hand, check.  Quilts come in all sizes.

I added my signature to the back with a small running stitch, careful not to go through the batting into the front.

signed this quilt by stitching my name and date

signed this quilt by stitching my name and date

Please note, I documented that it took from April to December in 1985 to complete this small quilt of 24″ x 24″.  I only stitched information to the back of a quilt once.

The dark red print, the black inner framing border and binding and the backing are all from early Jinny Beyer fabric lines. The other pieces are from my beginning ‘fabric collection’.

I prefer to sign my quilts on the back with a Pigma Pen these days: name, year, city, state, no stories.

I enjoyed the quiltmaking process then, still do when I have time.

Thought you may be amused at a little Jo history.

magnificent fussy cutting!

We will be headed to Australia mid November, during which time we will attend ‘Quilts in the Barn’, an annual exhibit of quilts, a vendor will be selling new fabrics, kits, etc, another will have antique quilts for sale.

Quilts In The Barn Raffle 2015

Quilts In The Barn Raffle 2015

If you would like a sneak peek at the raffle quilt, made with Jo fabrics, go to this link:

http://quiltsinthebarnaus.blogspot.com

In Linda’s Blog post, she is showing pieces and parts of the raffle quilt, there will be a big reveal later on her Blog ‘Quilts in the Barn’.

I’m honored the gorgeous quilt was made with my fabrics, and in awe of their fussy cutting details to make beautiful quilts!

We are looking forward to another great time with our friends in Australia.

I think one of the reasons I quilt, there is ‘always, always, always’ something to learn.

Happy Stitching, and maybe some fussy cutting will be involved?

Jo

new in my web store

Greetings!

How can August almost be gone?  So much yet to do, and Fall is just around the corner!

I’m still waiting on my order to restock the ‘Quilt Dots’ for you, hopefully they will arrive next week.

I have a couple of new items in my web-store, seems I always need another bag for a take-a-long project.  I chose red and lime green for us this time, they won’t get lost in your sewing tote.

Check them out here in my shop.

Red Project Bag

Red Project Bag

Green Project Bag

Green Project Bag

Happiness is having a couple of very successful sewing days at the studio.  Of course with the expert help of Mary and Cindy last Saturday, and today with Phyllis, was nice to wind up projects that were ‘on the wall’. A few tops/batting/backings were boxed up today and are on their way to my long arm machine quilter to do her magic.

Grilled corn on the cob tonight, better get to the kitchen and do my part.

Wishes for a great weekend!

 

Happy New Year!

Dear friends,

Reality check for me – one day crossing into the New Year isn’t really going to make a difference in my life, it is actually just another day, but it is also the first day of the rest of my life.

What I’m doing is making changes for a happier, healthier and more fun life.

I’m looking forward to 2015 with renewed energy, looking forward to ‘focus and change’.

Best wishes for ‘your’ choices in the New Year, I wish you many hours of happy stitching or whatever makes you happy.  That is what counts, what makes ‘us’ happy.

Cheers and wishes for a very Happy New Year!

Jo, Russ and of course the fur-kids

 

 

 

 

Blast from the Past – 1999

A friend in Iowa emailed me that she had bought a bundle of magazines recently and was going through them, she found these two issues of American Patchwork & Quilting  . . .  would I like her to send them to me.  Yes please!

 

What fun to see these articles again, so I decided to share my fun with you.

First the envelope please . . . . beautiful calligraphy!

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Magazine cover August 1999, Issue #39

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American Churn Dash small quilt

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Set Shot to enjoy . . .

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Sweet yes?  15 years later I still use this small quilt during the summer.  Machine pieced Hand quilted.

 

Next up . . . .

Magazine cover, October 1999, Issue 40

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Framed Log Cabin Mini Runner

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I used to sell my small hand quilted quilts, sell my Custom Framed small quilts, then quilters wanted patterns to make their own, I stopped selling the originals in 2003.  I have a few hanging in our home, still love them!

This framed Log Cabin runner hangs in our living room, I never get tired of seeing it or the others I have, brings back many memories of the Folk Art Show days ‘back east’.

Machine pieced, hand quilted.

IMG_4843

 

Sure has been an interesting journey, from selling my small quilts for about 15 years, custom framing small quilts to sell, followed by publishing patterns for quilters, vending at Quilt Market since 1995, moved on to book publishing, my first book was ‘Small Quilts for Framing’ in 2000 (long out of print), followed by more quilts in magazines, a few TV show tapings, self published more books, designing fabric, and offering JLW Club for quilt shops.

If you read my Blog you will see some of these framed quilts still in use, if you are new to my Blog, sit back, get a cuppa and enjoy.

I’ve given myself the gift of time this year, calling it a Sabbatical, sewing on some other projects, enjoying a couple get aways with girls friends, travels with Russ, patio time, not living a deadline driven year, is kinda nice and deserved.

It is TGIF – have a wonderful weekend, hope you get some sewing time, I’m going to!

Jo

 

 

 

 

More on Hexagons !!

This is what I’ve worked on the past two afternoons, thought I should share with you.  No it didn’t take me all of two afternoons, was worked on in between other stuff.  Multi-tasking!

I started this project around a year ago, it was a take-a-long project with no deadline.  No deadline and no pressure equals fun for me.

I had a trip to NYC in January to work on fabric lines, this project went with me, I stitched on it in the evenings, I was at the point of sewing flowers together to create diagonal rows.  Had an unexpected delay in Chicago O’Hare, a 7 hour delay, lucky for me I had this in my carry on (I always have sewing in my carry on along with a book).  I had an extended opportunity to sew!  I found a quiet gate – the amazing thing was the gate stayed quiet all the time I was there – lucky me.  I stitched, watched some snow removal, had a Starbucks, wasn’t bad at all.  When I got home I almost had a top.

The project rested, then I decided it was time to finish adding hexagons to the edges where needed, mission accomplished, then was interrupted with other stuff and once again this rested.

Finally it was time to complete the top, had to study it for a while to figure out how to proceed.  I’ve never finished a hexi project, so I was flying by you know what.  Logic is a good thing to use when faced with things like this.  I knew I would have to remove the edge papers, so I gave the top a good pressing with steam first.  Then I removed stitches and edge papers very carefully so as to not stretch anything.

Next, trim away excess of the hexagons to have a nice edge.  Note the 1/4″ ruler lines down the center of the light hexagons.

trimming side 1

You will have two opposite borders to trim like this.  Notice that I have the 1/4″ ruler marks lined up, so that when I sew the border to the top, my sewing line will be in the correct position.  Yes it looks weird, but trust me.

trimming side 2

You will have 2 remaining sides like this, to trim away.  My hexagons are 5/8″, so I had to think about where I was cutting so that my seam allowance would be down the center of the hexagon.

portion of top, trimmed

This is a portion of my quilt top, cropped to show you what the two sides looked like trimmed.

pressing

Next step, is to press the edges outwards so I can sew the border to the top.

sewed border to top

I measured across my top at both ends, then cut two borders to this one length (mine were the same because I didn’t pull or stretch the top), I pinned about every 1 1/2″ to 2″, pinned closely so nothing would stretch.  I carefully pressed the seam allowance toward the border.  I measured across my top including the first borders at both ends, then cut two borders to this one length, Again I pinned about every 1 1/2″ to 2″, sewed, then carefully pressed the seam allowance toward the border.

In this picture I’ve sewn the border to the quilt top, now I will trim away the little tips that protrude.  See how easy this is!

press toward the border

I’ve pressed the seam allowance toward the border – looks nice doesn’t it.

You can do this too!

Voila!  quilt top

Here is my finished quilt top – I really love how this turned out.  It measures 35″ x 40″.

I ‘think’ I’m just going to add a backing, no batting, I’m not sure yet.  Or I ‘may’ hand quilt this and finish with binding.  No deadline, will figure it out one of these days.  In the meantime it will be draped over the drying rack at the studio – a quilt top in waiting.

Hopefully this will encourage you to proceed with your hexagon project!  Happy Stitching!

 

 

 

 

More pictures

These pictures are from Christmas – thought that you may enjoy seeing them as they are not all red/green like you may have thought I would use.   🙂

When you read this I’ll be in NYC working on future fabric lines for us.  Since that work is ‘top secret’, this will amuse you for now I hope.

Bought this 'Q' when I was in McKinney, TX last Fall, it is on the wall at the studio, thinking of moving it to another place on the wall with some other stuff.

Bought this ‘Q’ when I was in McKinney, TX last Fall, it is on the wall at the studio, thinking of moving it to another location on the wall with some other stuff, stay tuned.

 

Manassas quilt for JLW Club 13 for this year - I really love this quit, will use it at home soon.

‘Manassas’ quilt from JLW Club 13 for this year – I really love this quit, will use it at home soon.

 

Basket Parade from the new JLW Club 13 - this is what I see from my comfy chair when stitching, I really love this quilt!

‘Basket Parade’ from the new JLW Club 13 – this is what I see from my comfy chair when stitching, I really love this quilt!

 

This is 'Watson' in the dry sink in the living room before Christmas - also from JLW Club 13.

This is ‘Watson’ quilt in the dry sink in the living room before Christmas – also from JLW Club 13.

 

bucket bench I bought in PA last Fall, love how deep it is and perfect for quilt display, antique dough box on top.

Bucket bench bought in PA last Fall, love how deep it is and perfect for quilt display, antique dough box on top.

 

Reproduction bucket bench with Christmas decor - fun to move things around and make room for Christmas!

Reproduction tall bucket bench with Christmas decor – fun to move things around and make room for Christmas!

 

Winterberries quilt (Coming Home book) - one of my most favorite quilts.

‘Winterberries’ quilt (Coming Home book) – one of my most favorite quilts.

 

top of the cupboard that houses some of our pottery collection - changed it up this year with pottery, a doll quilt and repro red basket.

top of the cupboard that houses some of our pottery collection in the dining room – changed the top setting  this year with pottery, a doll quilt, repro red basket and beautiful artificial greens.

 

new to me antique Log Cabin quilt (Houston Fall 2013), 'over the cupboard door' - love to display quilts here.

New to me antique Log Cabin quilt (Houston Fall 2013), ‘over the cupboard door’ – love to display quilts here.

 

Repeat - I did this same display in 2012 - really loved it, so why not repeat!

I did this same display in 2012 – really enjoyed the simplicity, so why not repeat!   (quilt from JLW Club 10)

 

Pottery Shards quilt on the wall (JLW club 11), using the red/cream hexi tree skirt again.

‘Pottery Shards’ quilt on the wall (JLW club 11), using the red/cream hexi tree skirt again.  ‘Leftovers’ quilt under the carved rocking horse (JLW Club 7).

 

This display inspired by Pinterest - I have a neat carrier and selected redware plates, added nice artificial greens.  The little runner is used every year for maybe 15 or more years now.

This display inspired by Pinterest – I have a neat carrier and selected redware plates, added nice artificial greens. The little runner is used every year for maybe 15 or more years now.

Shhhh, the carrier is still on the cupboard in the dining room – want to enjoy it for a while longer.

Last but not least - Watson quilt looks good with Rolly Poly Santa on wheels and feather tree in antique redware pot.

Last but not least – ‘Watson’ quilt looks good with Rolly Poly Santa on wheels and feather tree in antique redware jar.

Have fun looking and see what you can get done for Christmas 2014!

Happy Stitching!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

As we have passed quietly, maybe not so quietly, into 2014 – I want to wish us all good health and all the sewing time we want/need.

Time for friends – lunches, chats.
Time for family – gatherings, phone calls.
Time for living – you fill in the blank that makes you happy.
Warm Wishes to each and every one of you for the New Year!
Jo

 

PS – I  posted this to the JoMortonStitchers Yahoo Group this morning,  seems appropriate to share with you too!

Yes, I have been quiet, I’m taking some me time.

Harvest time

I went to Omaha October 1st for errands and an hair appointment.  Harvest was getting under way, the fields of beans and corn were golden in color, combines were in some fields clearing row after row of crops, followed by big wagons to hold the results.  Beautiful Fall day with gorgeous blue skies!

I want to share this quilt with you – you have time to get it made to enjoy this Fall!  If that doesn’t work into your schedule, work on it now to be ready for Fall 2014.  I bet you already have some fabric on your shelf that will work for this quilt.

If you are not a blue person, make the star blocks in your favorite color to go with a gorgeous cheddar zig zag setting.  Just a thought.

Really how long is your list of quilts you want to make?  Mine is really, really long, but I’m not sharing how many are on my list, because my list changes of course – we are women and can change our minds.   🙂

I named this quilt ‘Pickin’s Lane’ it is in my ‘Timeless’ book, the small size book on your shelf – look hard, you will find it and can begin cutting.

Pickin's Lane quilt

Pickin’s Lane quilt – beautifully quilted by Maggi Honeyman, Plano, Texas