Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that you and your families have a wonderful holiday!

All my best to all of you......Jo Ann

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alphabet Tags

I have been busy this last week putting together my new block of the month...Alphabet Tags....I thought you might like a peek....It is a stitchery with a little color...

There are of course 26 blocks .....and lots of piecing...plaids and prints....

.....I almost have the top together ...and I am going to hand utility quilt it.

It will be one of the Loft's blocks of the month starting in January.

Today is party day for my Wool Crazy I am off to the Loft....Bye for now...Jo Ann

Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks

Hey everyone....Hope you have plans to gather together with all of your families this Thansgiving Day. Gene and I are lucky enough to have our sons and their families with us. I tried to convince my oldest, Andy that he would love to cook, but he said he would do Christmas Eve if I would do Thanksgiving...and the deal was struck!

The stitchery above is one I designed for a class a few years ago....It's a quick little project combining things I love...stitching, wool and homespun....

As of last Tuesday, I still hadn't taken out the pilgrims and turkeys....the shelves were full of witches and cats....but since I am now on for Thanksgiving, I thought I best pull down the boxes. I am so glad I was forced to do it, because I love these pieces....

This Pilgrim looks like she has found all sorts of bounty for her feast...I have pumpkins and fall leaves everywhere...(we don't have as many outside as many of we have to put them inside!

I have had this turkey for years....he is right in my entry this season...ready to greet our guests
He has lots of friends scattered throughout our rooms, but he is still my favorite!

......and this final shot is taken from our front door looking into our living room...I took it about 7 am and the light isn't too good....but I hope you get the picture. I will hate taking fall decorations down ....but the boxes of Christmas folk art are calling....

This has been a hard year for our family with Megan's illness. I want to send a special thanks to all of you for all of your encouragement, prayers and kind notes throughout. It has meant so much to all of us. THANK YOU.

I hope that you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and this year brings you many things to be thankful for. All my best ....Jo Ann

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's Christmas at the Loft

I know that it is a long time since I blogged, but I have almost been living at The Country Loft. For two weeks we all were working on new kits galore and also found time to decorate the store. Sharon already showed lots of great things on the store's blog (just check my side-bar) and Paulette of Sweet-P (also on the bar) has spent days showing her shopping time there (thanks Paulette!) I am just adding my two cents worth.....

Kathy spent all last week moving everything in the shop....My Crazy at Home things became part of this great display in the living room....Don't you love this Santa??? The cone shaped boxes were home to some snowman spoolie kits....just one of our 20 new Christmas kits)

Kathy Cardiff of the Cottage at Cardiff Farms designed this pin cushion for us....a little wool branch and berries...

....and I designed this little sewing kit....a bag to take your snowman cushion, scissors and thread in....the cushion is in a little pie tin....

....and here is part of the main table....Kathy used my "Angels Surround Us" as the cloth on this display....the kit on this table is a snowman gift card holder....that can be an ornament too....

.....and here is the little tree in the kitchen....those are my crazy Christmas stockings....I designed them before I did Wool they are actually in cottons and homespuns (yes I do own other fabric!!!!)

It was a great day and we all had such a good time....I was the cashier and I want to thank all of those very patient people who waited....and waited and laughed and made new friends ...and probably waited some more! It was such fun to see so many familiar faces and meet lots of new people too!

Today I am finally spending a day at home....Gene will be glad to see that he can't write his name on the furniture and that the hardwood floors have been swept! I hope that you are having a wonderful Tuesday......Jo Ann

Monday, October 31, 2011


Last Friday morning Megan, Sophie and I went out for a quick bite at a favorite place of theirs in Northwest Portland....Elephants...

We always enjoy their pastries and coffee (or in Sophie's case hot chocolate)....but all of the wonderful displays keep your eyes busy as well...

Who could resist these tick or treat bags? .....and I loved this display of pumpkins.....

It really got you in the spirit of the day.....I hope that your day is filled with lots of treats and very few tricks. If you are in La Mesa stop by the Loft and trick or treat Sharon and I.

Happy Halloween....Jo Ann

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back to Portland

Tomorrow morning I fly up to Portland for a visit. I had blocked out these days to go to Houston for Quilt Market....but I wasn't quite together for that! So, I figured I would go up and see Megan, John and the kids.

This photo was taken last year right after I moved up there to help out. I am looking forward to seeing the fall leaves. Houses in Portland are all decked out for Halloween and it is such fun to go down the streets and check them out.

Megan will be having the 4th infusion of Ippy while I am there. We won't find out the results until late November or even early December. Thanks again so much for all of your words of encouragement....they mean so much....

I have been out of my studio since mid-August when we got a long term house guest. It was so exciting to move back in a few weeks ago....Now I can make those late night and early morning visits.....We got a new bed for our guest....and it is very tempting ....:)))) The pillows on it were gifts that I gave to The Country Loft fall birthday girls..

Have a great week, Jo Ann

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The mystery is solved......

Last week I finished my mystery quilt! It is now hanging in the Loft all done...and the pattern is back from the printer and mom is folding it. It is a mystery no longer, but has come together as Folk Branches. I am about ready to start the borders on a wool version and hope to put them together (with some small projects) in a book by Spring....It is the Country Loft's stitchery block of the month for this year.....

For the first time in almost a year I taught doll classes on Friday and Saturday at The Loft....whenever I teach you can make the doll I offer or one of my old ones that you might have missed....Clara decided to do "Little Ones" is the girl all dressed for Halloween. Clara is doing hers in Christmas colors....(the dolls did not eat the goodies on the table....I think that the sewers took care of them)

Susan is busy putting on hair for her Stardust Annie.....

....and here is Kay's finished doll. She is covered in stardust with a little help from old fashioned mica.

Tammy is almost done with hers....She gave her a great wool skirt. We all had a great time being back together. The dolls take on such different personalities as their makers work on is so fun to watch!

Hope you are enjoying fall weather today.....we have high 90' is way too hot for October!!!!

Happy Sewing...Jo Ann

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In the Woods

I got an email from Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine with a sneak peek at my project that will be in the winter issue.....

You know I love easy and quick and this table mat is both. It will be a good one to use for gifts. You'll be able to make LOTS of them!

You can find the magazine soon at your favorite quilt shop (of course The Country Loft carries it)...or if you subscribe for a year (and mention you heard about it on my blog) you can get a free pattern.

I have been working on blocks of the month this week. I put the binding on and worked on the finishing pattern for Folk Branches (my mystery quilt). Then I drew lots of the stitcheries for Alphabet Tags....Hopefully I will be able to stitch some soon and give you a look... It will be the stitchery block at the Loft next year.

We've had rain in San Diego the last few days and it just makes me want to scoot down in my favorite chair and sew. So far not too much of that has been happening.

Hope your Thursday has been a good one.....Jo Ann

Friday, September 30, 2011

Still Wool Crazy

I must be the world's worst about taking photos. I have four ongoing wool crazy groups at the Loft and every time they meet I swear that I will take some photos....and I always forget! Well, finally at my last group of the month I remembered!

I love seeing them in progress....and how each person adds their own touch....The one above is Joan's.....she is trying out some stitching on her joins.....

....and this one is Arlene's.....don't you love the candy corn?...and the spider web?

.....and although it is not a crazy I thought you might like to see the start of my mystery quilt....Folk Branches being put together. I am hand quilting it (huge utility stitches in pearl cotton).....I never quite know how a quilt will be finished until it is done.....and I do have to make a finish it up pattern before December.

I am spending the day with my Mom today. It is always fun to have some time to chat and hear her great stories from her childhood in Nebraska. Tomorrow is her 93rd birthday.

Have a great Friday....Jo Ann

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pirates in Portland

Last Thursday Gene and I took an early flight to Portland. We hadn't seen Megan in a couple of months and her family for almost three. We had a great time going to Nick's football practice, Sophie's ballet class and then Nick's soccer game..... Finally Saturday afternoon we helped Sophie celebrate her fourth birthday.....

Megan draped the den with crepe paper and hung some balloons....It was a pirate party. All the kids got pirate bandanas and eye patches and plastic swords. They had a great time eating pirate cupcakes and pirate booty.....

.....and going on a treasure hunt ....Gene and I hid the clues that Megan had made at the school ...on a bridge....and in the park (all within 2 blocks) and the "pirates" swarmed after them...

This is Sophie coming off the bridge....The final clue took them back to the house to find their treasure (the party goodie bags) in a chest.....

I don't know about the kids, but the grandparents were tired out ! What fun to be there and to get to be part of the celebration.

Next time you are in Portland watch out for pirates!

Friday, September 16, 2011


I want to thank Nancy of who just ran a give away for my daughter Megan's Fund......and also a special thanks to her friends, Sharon and LaVon who donated such wonderful prizes. You guys are the BEST!

Go on over to her blog and find out who the winners are. Thanks so much to all of you who donated. Megan is just overwhelmed by all your love and generosity.

Hugs to you are all wonderful.....Jo Ann

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


There is something about cats and jack-o-lanterns that I just love. When I teach a class at the Loft I usually give a free pattern to those who come to class....and this is the one I gave out to my Wool Jacks classes. I finished him off with some of the new Primitive Gatherings needle and wool cottons that I couldn't resist at the shop. (I bet some of you thought the borders were wool :))))

I had lots of fun making is definitely quick and easy. Kathy is going to kit some of them up for those of you who missed out at class time.

Have you decorated for FALL yet?

Pumpkins just seem to brighten the day....Jo Ann

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It is that time of year all over the country! Soccer season has started. Our Saturdays will now be spent watching our grandkids play....but look at how considerate my three oldest grandkids are. They all picked #10 as their number! They wanted to make it easier for the old grandparents to remember who to cheer for.

...and the first day was beautiful. It was in the low 70's with a kind of weather!

Hope your week is a "10" and someone cheers for you too.....Jo Ann

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Halloween Stitchery

I love Fall and I love designing fall projects! In my last post I showed you my new classes..I am so sorry that the patterns for these are not for sale yet......but then I remembered that I do have a new stitchery at the Loft that is! You can buy this as a kit by calling The Country Loft (619 466-5411). Just ask them for "Halloween Cat". The kit includes the pattern and the fabric you need to make it with (including batting and backing) for $12.95....

As you can see by the stitcheries I have been doing this past few months that I am really into adding x's inside almost all my designs. Of course you can do the stitchery without them, but they almost look nude to me now....:))))

I changed the decorations in my house to Fall on Saturday. My grandson Timothy is always thrilled when a new season goes up in the house....and my husband is too because it means that the house gets clean...:))) (I ask you, isn't sewing more important?)

Hope your week has gotten off to a great start.....Jo Ann

Thursday, September 1, 2011

FALL classes

Last Saturday the fall class schedule came out at the Loft. I have been busy the last several weeks making up my samples and patterns for my new classes. I haven't taught during the last two schedules since I have been in Portland with I felt a little bit rusty in designing, but here are the new ones.....

This doll is called Stardust Annie....she has a pocket full of stars and stardust....

.....and this is Wool Snow....a little bit of crazy piecing on the side.

......and here is "We're not Scary" ....I had fun combining the wool, stitchery and throwing in a few buttons......fall stitcheries are always such fun!

.....and finally Wool Jacks......

I wish you were all close by so that you could join us for class! Jo Ann

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Country Loft Outdoor Quilt Show

Every summer The Country Loft has an outdoor quilt show to show off all the wonderful work of our customers. I snapped a few quick photos but if you would like to see the whole show you can go to . Joe will be posting them in the next few days if he hasn't already. (You can see past quilt shows too)

The small quilt hanging on the stair rail is a beautiful crazy quilt....sorry I didn't get a close-up!

Every part of the yard is draped with quilts of all sizes...with some rugs, dolls, etc. thrown in...

The show is always near the end of August. Maybe some of you can come next year!

Before I close, I wanted to thank Nancy of for the wonderful giveaway she is running on her blog for Megan's Fund. Thanks also to Sharon and Lavon who have donated such great things. You guys are the best.

My best to you all......Jo Ann

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Yesterday The Country Loft had their annual Outdoor Quilt Show and Sew for the Cure Quilt Sale. Here are some of the women waiting in line to be the first to see the quilts as we hang them. A wonderful group of women called the Sit and Stitchers meet several Wednesdays a month a sew all year round. Then many quilters in the community donate their creations to the cause. Over the years, the money has been donated to many different organizations who do work related to cancer. This year they decided to set up a fund for my daughter Megan to help cover some of the out of pocket expenses of her treatment. (Unfortunately we found out in August that her tumors have begun to grow again. ) Needless to say my family was blown away by them thinking to do this!

Here are some of the quilts that were for sale at the event. The response was overwhelming. I just could not believe how many people came up to me to say how happy they were that the money was going to someone they know. I want to thank each and every one of you for your generosity. (for more photos of the sale and the day go to )

It was an unbelievable day and when I called Megan and John to tell them about it they were just stunned. I cannot say Thank You enough. John asked me to give all of you big hugs. If I missed you on Saturday, consider yourself hugged now! My best to you all, Jo Ann

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Not one, but two winners!

I have had so much fun reading all your comments this week! Thanks so much for all the nice things you had to say. I was so excited how many people joined in all the fun....and I apologize for those of you who couldn't leave direct comments, but had to email me. Everyone was included in the drawing...those who commented on the facebook link; the emails and the comments that made it onto the blog.

My grandson, Timothy is over at our house today and I roped him into picking the winning name....He picked out one and then we decided that there were so many slips still left in the box that he would just have to pick there are two lucky winners.

......and they are......

Congratulations! I hope you have fun making your Brown Bag....and I will be mailing them as soon as I get your addresses. Just email them to me at

....and here is what you will be making....a "Jack Bag" to hang on a doorknob or fill with Halloween treats!

Now that I know how fun a give-away drawing is I will try to do more! Thanks again to all of you who joined in.... Happy Saturday, Jo Ann

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Would you like a Brown Bag?

Once a month at The Country Loft I teach 3 sessions of a class we call "Brown Bag". Here is how it works. You pack up a small sewing kit....some scissors, a needle and some pins and come to the shop. You have no idea what you will be making. Everything you need is in the bag that is handed out to you. It could be anything....a needle case....a pincushion...a small stitchery....a ???? You just have to trust me that it may be something you LOVE (some you love more than others).

This month I thought that I would see if one of you would like to be part of the fun. I will give you a hint is something for FALL....I NEVER give hints to the people in the shop...:))) If you would like to have this kit sent to you, just comment on this blog by Friday and I will put your name in the drawing.

I hope you WIN! I will reveal the secret project when I announce the winner....

GOOD LUCK......Jo Ann

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Unexpected

Gene and I are back from our camping trip and I wanted to share the most amazing thing that happened when we were in Monterey, California. We were driving around the back streets of the town. Gene always loves to see what is going on in the neighborhoods. We were in the middle of an area with cute older homes when we turned a corner and spied the local grammar school. Just as we started to move onto the street this deer ran across the road in front of us. He had come right up a street. Of course I didn't have my camera handy (do we ever). We looked at him with mouths hanging open and he just looked right back. Eventually we turned onto the street he had come up. We drove about 2 blocks and I made Gene go around the block to see if we could spot him again. Sure enough he was still there gazing down the street. Right as I started to open my door to find the camera a doe and 2 fawns came up the same street and jumped onto the lawn with him.....Of course still no camera...but then I remembered my phone. His family started off across the school lawn, but he stopped and looked at me like he was thinking, "will you take the shot already!" and finally I did and here he is. After he ran off we drove around trying to find a green area where they could live. Several blocks away there was a military base with a stand of trees that bordered it. It was so amazing to see them in this setting. Of course we never spotted one deer while we were camping!

I hope some amazing things have happened in your life this week......Jo Ann