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Puzzling with Paola Jo~ How To Make a Quilt WITHOUT a Pattern

Paola Jo’s second class available on MKQuilts is about Making a Quilt WITHOUT a Pattern, but rather using a Technique for two types of blocks… a 9 Patch Block and Fussy Cutting a Directional Print into the Correct Size Plain Block to off set the pieced blocks.

Paola Jo shows you how to figure things out… how to start with a basic sketch of what you kinda sorta want and what fabric you have in your stash… make it fit… and put together a wonderful quilt… the way Grandma used to make quilts!

This class is plumb full of Helpful Hints on how to puzzle things out… especially with hands-on and visual methods: tricks with rulers and painters tape, measuring hints, pressing tips, lay out on a design wall, time saving piecing tricks… and so much more.

Planning, Puzzling, Piecing 9Patch

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You can now purchase my Online Class… FMQ: Stabilize~Details~Fills

Labyrinth Walk from The Guilty Quilter, pieced by Amanda, quilted by Paola Jo

Yeaaay! My first class is now for sale! Click the link above.


Dragonflies above the Grass, pieced by Jodi, quilted by Paola Jo

FMQ: Stabilize~Details~Fills

In this first class, Paola Jo teaches you the secrets to easier Free Motion Quilting (FMQ): Stabilize~Details~Fills… This technique will minimize many FMQ issues…

A few reasons why S~D~F is So Important in FMQ…

1~ Keeps quilt flat & square (minimize wonkiness)

2~ Consistency of FMQ (shapes and sizes)

3~ Manage lumpy bumpy areas

4~ Borders & Turning

…just to name a few…


Tanzania, pieced by Sheri, quilted by Paola Jo

Plus…Paola Jo’s Philosophy about Oopsies and being Real is very encouraging…(you could apply this to many things in life…it’s worth the price of admission all by itself!)

I love the Skitch app

The Summarizing Seder-izing is inspiring…  (showing samples of how to apply S~D~F to several quilting styles…) You will want to take all the upcoming classes to learn more of Paola Jo’s creative secrets and enjoy your Free Motion Quilting!  Grab a cup of coffee and join me!

Suburbs, pieced by Carmen, quilted by Paola Jo from SederQuilts



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Paola Jo’s FMQ Classes will be available soon! You can learn to do this!
The starting block… a Disappearing 9 Patch of Cherrywood and Batiks Clotheslined by Paola Jo

MK invited me to join her Quilters Community, to offer online classes specializing in FMQ on her hosting site… MKQuilts Video Training Store

… I said Yes!

MK Quilts HQ PSP & Sim (computerized)

This week has been a rollercoaster of excitement,  late nights and learning curves …

I had no idea how long an upload would take… or why it could not finalize…

but I think the video files are all completed… a few more clicks and they will be available for viewing!

Paola Jo’s FMQ (Hand Guided)
MK calls it: “crazy awesome magic”

Our introductory video highlights our similarities and differences in how we approach the same Disappearing 9Patch Block …

MK using HandiQuilter ProStitcher Premium Simulation software, then stitching by computer (PSP) …

Puzzling with Paola on SKITCH

and Paola Jo using Skitch to draw on photos to plan her “crazy awesome Free Motion magic”, then stitching it out all Free Hand…

You CAN learn to quilt like this! …using a computer guided system, or totally free hand… or a combination of BOTH! …we offer Oodles of Options!

Grab a cup of coffee or lemonade and a banana bread muffin… and enjoy our intro video… (oops… more computer stuff to upload or download or embed… I’ll add it as soon as I puzzle it out again…)   Tutoluu!

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Exciting News!!! MKQuilts has invited me to Teach FMQ Classes on her hosting site!

I am so excited! Some of you might know Melissa… aka MK from… She and Paul (aka Mr. MK) have invited me to teach FMQ classes online on their Hosting Site at! This opportunity is an answer to prayers for me, and is a win-win-win situation for all of us…

Let me back up… Melissa and I have so much in common!  We are both busy Professional Longarm Quilters, both using Handi Quilters with ProSticher (PS), and have been following each other for awhile on Facebook… (Please follow us on our Facebook sites… there is always lots of good info and photos and questions etc on our FB pages!) … We share our musical talents at our local churches… We are each head-over-heals in love with our husbands, we each have a daughter living out west, (I am doubly blessed, I have a daughter who lives less than an hour from me in Minnesota, and my western daughter has two little boys… I love being a mom… and being a grandma is even better!) … Both MK and I are from Minnesota (she now lives in Florida)… We both upgraded to PS Premium as soon as it was available, and started posting Quilting Tutorials on Youtube about the same time a year ago. (If you haven’t already been watching and following us on YouTube… oh my! You should! You can search for either one or both of us, or better yet, Subscribe to each of us! We have so much FREE info to share with you on our YouTube channels!)  We both love Wiggle Ditch! (We both have videos about Wiggle Ditch)  We often have similar content… (How to load a quilt on a Longarm frame with Leader Grips and/or magnets and/or zippers)…  the list goes on and on… but here is the BIG DIFFERENCE… MK’s quilting is focused on Computerized Quilting (PS) pre planning in Simulation Mode (Sim Style) and saving lots of info on a flash stick; mine is focused on Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) usually planned out by drawing in Skitch, marking with chalk or FriXion markers, Flathead pins, and saving lots of photos as I quilt…  Her way (the MK WAY) of using PS Sim is so helpful, she started offering classes, in person and online. (I strongly recommend you take her classes on Best Practices for Pantos, Layout & Rendering, and Whole Cloth!) ?We are two peas in a pod!?

MK was planning a trip back home (only about an hour from me) last spring and was looking for quilt shops or home studios to teach her HQ ProStitcher Simulator classes… I wanted to take her classes and offered to host her in my studio… so Melissa decided to also visit her cousin near by… come to find out, she lives about a mile from me, we go to the same church, and usually sat just a pew or two from each other!!!

Needless to say, when we finally met in person, Melissa and I hit it off! Right away! And now… Melissa has offered to host me on her website, through her Video Training Store… look for Paola Jo’s Free Featured Videos, and watch for my FMQ CLASSES, and PUZZLING & PLANNING Without a Pattern classes for sale or rent, coming soon! And if you haven’t already seen or rented MK’s quilting videos… you must check her out, too!

I will add more to this post… but for now… it is way past my bed time … again… so please watch the video… thank you… thank you… thank you❤️

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Quick Tip Tuesday~ Rotary Cutting 2 Sets of Multi Layered Strips with 2 Rulers

This is a great tutorial… showing you lots of details on my helpful hints to use a rotary cutter with TWO Rulers… my favorite O’LIPFA 5″x 24″ ruler with a no-slip handle (it has two pins that you push down through the fabric into the cutting mat to hold things in place… i LOVE it!) … and a 16.5″ big square ruler… and my quick tips on how to cut TWO SETS of Multiple Layers of fabric into 6″ squares.

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Paola’s Pillow Party

What to Do with Batting Scraps? Make a Memory Shirt Pillow!

Paola’s Pillow Party


Join Paola Jo for a fun-filled half hour tutorial on transforming a cute T-shirt



custom quilting prep on memory pillows


(or lounge pants, or orphan blocks, fuzzy fabric,




or your mama’s old favorite bathrobe… you get the idea)

add a poem: “Made from a top I used to wear, When you see this, Remember me there”

into a huggable snuggle,

Faux Flange Binding

displayable decorative memory pillow!

Oodles of Options








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Quick Tip Tuesday Video Tutorial~Fixing Oopsies

Life took a few rough and sad turns this past year. So we changed the pace and focus for a while. (I might share more about that later.)  I’ve been busy on my Facebook page and YouTube, and now hope to start paying some attention to my website again (…and Pinterest and Instagram… goodness, so much to keep up on!)

Hopefully the links for my Quick Tip Tuesday video tutorials will work easy peasy …. Please check them out and subscribe to my YouTube Seder Quilts channel…  (it’s free, and then you can easily see all my helpful videos!)

This tutorial is on fixing the not quite so perfect Start and Stop points of Computerized quilting with FreeMotion quilying.  I hope you find it helpful… I like to be helpful!

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Clotheslining. How to cut your piecing time in half!

Clotheslining your quilt top…

If I never teach you anything else, please remember this tutorial and SHARE it with your friends (or at least the ones you like… or at least the ones who like to quilt!)

Chain stitching
Chain stitching

First of all… Think of CHAIN PIECING…

Don't cut that thread!
Don’t cut that thread!

You will stitch the entire FIRST TWO COLUMNS of pieces together, (PAIRS OF SQUARES) one set right after the other, WITHOUT CUTTING THEM APART… making a chain, or more precisely a kite tail.

Kite tail
Kite tail

Second… Think of COLUMNS, not rows. (Trust me, this is the most important paradigm to change, it will cut your piecing time in half! I promise!)
You will sew (or add) an entire column at a time.
They will all be connected by the chained thread, creating a clothesline of kite tails.

Third… Think of TURNING PAGES OF A BOOK. (Or like taping several sheets of music together, so they balance on your music stand.)
I will teach you to stack and label your columns with numbered pins. Then add “one page” to each row, as you chain your columns.

This works best with squares; it works for a little 9-patch block, or for your entire king sized quilt top. I will use a 9-patch block in this example, 3 columns by 3 rows.

Numbered, Flat head pins
Numbered, Flat head pins

Label some flat head pins with sets of numbers.
How many columns in your block (or quilt top)?
You don’t need any “ones”, just start with 2,3,4… As many as columns.

Many blocks, labeled & stacked
Many blocks, labeled TOP & CENTER, and stacked

(If you are doing lots of blocks, then you need that many sets)

Fuzzy back table cloth aka design wall
Fuzzy back table cloth aka design wall

First, lay out your design on the floor, or a DESIGN WALL (or a flannel back tablecloth).

Lay out block
Lay out block

Next, you will label and stack your columns with numbered pins.

Pin the corresponding number TOP & CENTER of each piece in the TOP ROW. (This is especially important for Directional Print fabrics, you’ll always know which end is up by the little pin holes… Yes, you are welcome.)
Left to right.. (Leave the first one blank,) then 2,3, etc…

Fold 2nd column onto first
Fold 2nd column onto first

The second column is folded onto the first column, and chain pieced into a kite tail.

Kite tail
Kite tail- keep the completed column together, but snip the thread at the bottom of the tail. ~note the pin labels Top & Center!

The third column is stacked with the top piece on top, pin through Top & Center.

Now think of Turning Pages of a Book, as you add the “third page” to each row… Still chain piecing the columns…

Add the next piece, as if turning the pages in a book, from the next stack, adding one to each row, as you continue to chain the columns
Add the next piece, as if turning the pages in a book, from the next stack, adding one to each row, as you continue to chain the columns


All three columns chained together.
All three columns chained together.

Now press your seams, fold the row over, stitch your horizontal seams…

Press seams to the dark side
Press seams to the dark side

The intersecting seams will nest together perfectly!

Please excuse the dark thread, don't report me to the quilt police.
Please excuse the dark thread, don’t report me to the quilt police.
Clotheslining will cut your piecing time in half, and give you much nicer intersecting points!
Clotheslining will cut your piecing time in half, and give you much nicer intersecting points!
The "chained" thread acts like a pin to hold things together
The “chained” thread acts like a pin to hold things together
Press or lean the seams in opposite directions to nest perfectly together
Press or lean the seams in opposite directions to nest perfectly together

(NOW… IF you were doing a larger block, or a whole quilt top, you would stack 1&2 folded together with a pin through the first pair.

Then STACK the REST of the columns. Always keep the TOP piece on the TOP of each stack.

Start on the far right, with the last column.
Pick up the top piece, and go down the column, adding the next piece to the bottom the stack.
Pin the number through the entire stack, keeping it TOP & CENTER.
Set the stack down.

Stack the next column, keeping the TOP piece ON TOP.
Pin the number through the entire stack, keeping it TOP & CENTER.
Set each new stack on top of the previously stacked pieces (biggest # on bottom).

Watch for future posts featuring larger blocks and/or whole quilt tops.

See Clotheslining…(the short version) NOW… at

You’ll find your favorite quilts are SederQuilts!

Contact me at

Please comment below. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Like and Share me with your friends.

My name is Paola Jo, and I want to be your favorite LongArm Quilter!

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Flowers for Hattie Jo

#ProjectQUILTING challenge quilt week 3. It’s all about that Thread.

Finished. Just in the nick of time. Displayed on the slightly melting snow.

Flowers for Hattie Jo

Its the tiniest quilt I’ve ever made, only 10×11″. I like Batiks and Cherrywood together… they play so well together. There are no wrong sides, the colors are true through and through, and the longer you look…the more you see.. lots of layers and shadows.

It is a quilt, I used two layers of Hobbs Heirloom batting. It has an optional pillow back… I might stuff it later to be kept on a bed, but for now I’ll display it with some of my favorite photos.

I started with the idea to have many different flowers, but used inspiration from our daughter’s wedding bouquet, and stayed with mainly daisy type mums, and the tiny 5-petal star-flowers she always likes. There is one carnation, I like them because they last so much longer than most flowers. Most are stitched with layers of creams, yellows, and golds, with a hint of pinks and burgundy. I threw three colorful flowers and a few leaves in there, too.

This has been an emotional month. How can you love and miss someone so tiny, you never saw, and will have to wait till eternity to meet? ?

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Project QUILTING Challenge 3 All about that Thread

Kim Lapacek from PersimonDreams of Wisconsin has some awesome quilt challenges… I love the Focus Through the Prism Challenge quilts using Cherrywood fabrics on the snowy deer fence! (I will attempt to attach her links… Wish me well. If it doesn’t show here, look her up, she’s cool.)

This morning I was half dreaming of her recent confetti challenge (week1) and kicking myself that I didn’t give it a try, since I had some pretty, albeit silly, ideas in my wee-early morning thoughts… then, when I propped open my eyes to check Facebook… I realized we don’t have to partake of ALL the weekly challenges… And there is still time to enter THIS WEEK’s challenge (3: it’s all about that Thread) … it’s only Friday, deadline is Sunday noon… Plenty of time! So I hopped out of bed like a little bunny, finished attaching the binding to a client quilt,


dug through my stash of Cherrywood and batik fabrics, grabbed an armful of Aurifil and Maderia spools, turned on my iron, and the HandiQuilter, and decided to jump in! …Well, right after a cup of coffee…

So… Here’s my process… Press and pin a Cherrywood & batting sandwich onto my HandiQuilter…

Cherrywood & Aurifil

stare at the pretty subdued images, listen to it, and then start interpreting what is already there,


by adding layers of thread. It’s like painting…

More thread colors

I saw lots of flowers and leaves.

I chose a fat quarter of Cherrywood in a rich dark brownish burgundy, and two coordinating batiks… Decided I did not have time to appliqué bits and pieces, so I put aside the aqua blue batik for another time, and kept the multi green-gold-burgundy forest batik for binding.

Then the flowers started to emerge…


Layer upon layer of color… But keeping it quiet and subdued…

I might add more greens… If there’s enough time tomorrow…

Challenge 3 Thread

… Then to add the back folds and binding… It will be a little pillow…

Flowers for Hattie Jo.