Old Log Cabin blocks – finally assembled

I’ve been doing some cleaning out at the studio, also re-organizing, did some purging, the purge went to other homes and donated to charity quilts.  I’m very happy that it is now easier to work at the studio.

However, I kind of unearthed some things that I hadn’t seen for a while.  I kept them, now to figure out what to do with the keepers.  This is about one plastic bin of Log Cabin blocks.

I used to sell small quilts at Folk Art Shows in the 1990’s.  I would sew blocks and also hired a friend to sew ‘sets’ of Log Cabin blocks.  I would use them in assorted quilts.  In my cleaning mode I found a treasure trove of over 60 Log Cabin blocks.

I’ve played with them on the design wall, re-arranged the blocks several times, tried several settings, tried to arrange to make a few smaller quilts, nothing spoke to me.  I put them back in the plastic bin and on a shelf in the closet.

Recently I was looking at Pinterest and a Log Cabin setting jumped out at me. . . .

Log Cabin - setting

I have some Log Cabin blocks, I think I can have my version of this quilt soon!

Below is what my version looks like, and it was sewn together last Saturday, because it was a Sewing Saturday!

And . . . I still have some blocks left over, will play with them another day.

I think I’ve selected a border fabric (brown print of course), will have to piece the border strips because I only bought one yard, it is OK with me, what is a seam here or there, it is called ‘make do’.

I ‘always’ cut lengthwise strips for borders, I don’t cut from selvage to selvage, it is too stretchy for me.  Now, here is the exception . . . if the border fabric is a stripe, and I like how it looks cut cross wise.  I will stay-stitch the outer edge of the border before sending the quilt out for machine quilting.  There are ways to work around ‘rules’, because ‘there are no rules’, there are ‘many options’.

Jo's Log Cabin

What do you think?  I’m happy that I’m using up some of the blocks, mostly because the blocks are really nice, the result looks antique to me.

I’ll send this out to be machine quilted one of these days, right now am busy getting ready for my Retreat here in Nebraska City next week.

Happy Sewing!

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!



Magazine cover August 1999, Issue #39



American Churn Dash small quilt


Set Shot to enjoy . . .


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



Framed Log Cabin Mini Runner



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.



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!






Great News – Haberdashery!

Great News!
Haberdashery bundle
I ordered the Haberdashery line for my August Retreat, the ladies have placed their orders, now you get an opportunity to purchase it from Jo’s webstore.
I’m offering Fat Quarter bundles, Half Yard cuts, and One Yard cuts.
This is a limited time offer.
I plan to offer Melodies in Jo’s webstore when it arrives next month.
Happy Stitching!
Haberdashery by Jo Morton July 2014

Haberdashery by Jo Morton July 2014

quilt storage – short version

This comments was on my 4th of July post:

I love every one of these beauties. My question is, how do you store everything: keeping the fold lines out, what containers or storage do you suggest, stop the pieces from fading? Thank you for sharing. . . .


This is my reply – a short version of course

I have 3 cupboards full of quilts, no containers or bins for storage.  Quilts folded across the foot of the bed get changed out to avoid fading, also keep blinds drawn in bedroom.

Re: fold lines

1. I do use 100% cotton batting in all my quilts, the hard to find Mountain Mist Blue Ribbon batting.

2. I fold 2 to 3 ‘like size’ quilts together to buffer the folds, refold a couple times of year, the inside quilt moves to another position.

3. Never fold a quilt on the center, I fold off center, and on mid size quilts fold into thirds (again 2 or three quilts layered).

4. Always fold with the quilt top on the outside, the hard creases are on the inside folds.

5. These are all things I figured out on my own, mostly due to traveling with quilts and want them to look as good as possible when taken out of the suitcase or in rare occasions shipped, also applies to quilts in cupboards. Be sure to have barrier fabric between quilt and wood.

6. For these reasons I fold up my quilts after a lecture and thank people for offering to help, but I’d rather do it myself, rather than go back to room and re-fold for return trip.

Hope this info is helpful in some small way to your care of your quilts.

Here is a picture of one of my cupboards full of quilts, the top two shelves are Jo Quilts.  The bottom two shelves are antique quilts or antique tops.


Have a great day that hopefully includes some sewing time!


New line shipping soon

‘Haberdashery’ a new small group arriving soon in your local/favorite Quilt Shop – 11 pieces, consisting of soft tans and soft grays for backgrounds and a sweet floral that combines the two color ways.

I know you will have fun playing and sewing with these!

4 of the patterns are Mill Engravings, the detail is lovely.




Haberdashery bundle

I think you need at least a FQ Bundle, don’t you?

Happy Stitching!




Happy 4th of July!

American Flag Lady - vintage

American Flag Lady – vintage


I want to share some of my Americana/Patriotic quilts and how I’m using them this year.  Hope this is inspiring to you!

studio set

This setting is at the studio, the runner is in my Banner Day book.  I’ve had the stool for a long time, my uncle built it for me and a friend painted it in stars and stripes.  I’ve always loved Americana in our home.  Some years I’ve had a summer tree decorated with Americana.  The pincushion was made by Candy Hargrove, love it!  The doll was made by a lady I met at Road to CA a few years ago, she has since moved to another state, she sold some handmade items though Fat Quarter Quilt Shop in Vista, CA and I was lucky enough to buy this one.

Chloe with Americana pillows

Chloe resting against Patriotic pillows, will have to get the hand vac out I’m sure.

Patriotic Snowball quilt from Banner Day book

Petit Snowball quilt in Patriotic colors for summer, pattern in my Banner Day book.  I keep thinking I should make one of these in Christmas colors or Fall colors too.

repro doll quilt atop a document box on bucket bench

Repro doll quilt from several years ago, this year it is resting atop a document box on a tall bucket bench with a rye straw basket on it.  Americana happiness peeking out.  :-)

Liberty Star Sampler from Banner Day

Liberty Star Sampler quilt from my Banner Day book. This year over the cupboard door, last year over a wing chair.  Mine is cotton on cotton, but it could certainly be wool appliqué on cotton!

Eagle Medallion from 2001, over the loveseat in the den

Eagle Medallion from 2001, still love this quilt, this summer it is over the loveseat in the den where I stitch.  The book that the pattern was in, is out of print of course, 2001 is a long time ago in quilt years.

Courthouse Steps from Remembrances book

Decided to change out the quilt over the cupboard door with this Courthouse Steps from my Remembrances book.  I don’t have enough places to display quilts, what to do?  Change them out so I can enjoy them all!

flagpincushion in Banner Day book

And last, but not least . . . must sew with flag pincushion this time of year.

Safe travels over the long weekend.  Enjoy time with friends and family and maybe time for a stitch or two.




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.

trimming side 1

You will have two opposite borders to trim like this.  Notice that I have the 1/4″ 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 quito top, cropped to show you what the two sides looked like trimmed.


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!






My newest fabric line ‘Woodlands’ began shipping recently.

Picture this for inspiration . . .

Redwood forest in northern CA

Redwood forest in northern CA


creek in the woods for a touch of blue

creek in the woods for a touch of blue

Rye straw basket with quilt beginnings

Rye straw basket with lots of HST for a new quilt

Woodlands with Dovetails batiks – so beautiful together.

Lady of the Lake blocks for a new quilt

Lady of the Lake blocks for a new quilt

Love these blocks – it was so much fun combining the Jo Prints with Jo batiks.

coming together

coming together

My quilt is out for machine quilting while I’m gone to Tennessee, patience for the final reveal.

In the meantime, this will keep you busy, it is the FTU (free to use) pattern for ‘Woodlands’ designed and made by Candy Hargrove of Kansas City, machine quilted by Maggi Honeyman in Plano, TX.  Really gorgeous!  Love my ‘Woodlands’ line with ‘Toasted’ fabric line, don’t you?

Woodlands FTU available by clicking on this image

Woodlands by Candy Hargrove
Click on image to download the free pattern

I see many happy hours of sewing ahead!


Good Morning

I always have good intentions to Blog, other things seem to occupy my time.  My machine sewing Retreat was last week, now I’m mid packing to leave today for Tennessee.  I’m teaching at ‘A Mountain Quilt Fest’ in Pigeon Forge next week.  I have 5 days of teaching that includes 6 classes and 1 lecture.  Russ gets to enjoy the Smokies while I work, is something wrong with this picture?  :-)

Russ and I are adding a couple of days before the event to spend the weekend with a cousin that lives north of Knoxville.  Will be fun and wonderful to spend time with family.  After teaching we plan to drive on to Asheville and see Biltmore Estate, I think since watching Downton Abbey it will be interesting!

In the meantime I have a couple of things to share with you.

I have a quilt in this issue:  and my name is on the cover at the top along with my friend Nancy Mahoney!

magazine cover

magazine cover – on newsstands now


Dutch Delight or Dutch Baskets

Dutch Delight or Dutch Baskets


Perfect for the Holidays!

Perfect for the Holidays!

I bought an antique quilt block years ago in Houston, maybe 10 years?  I finally got around to re-creating it and making a quilt. I like that there is piecing and appliqué in each block. The blocks finish at 12″, so this project moves along nicely.  Enjoy making yours!