Meet Jo Glover–The BigStitch Quilter

big stitch quilting

BigStitch Quilting by Jo Glover

Big Stitch quilting has gotten to be a big deal in the past few years, so I was thrilled when Jo Glover, who published the original directions for BigStitch Quilting, spoke to our guild last year.  She agreed to be interviewed for this blog.  Here’s what she said about her development of the technique:

Jo Glover photo

Jo Glover

“In 1988, when I started quilting, I was more interested in the line designs of the quilting, rather than the patchwork.  It frustrated me that my fine hand quilting–natural thread on muslin background–didn’t show.”

“In 1991, I went to Japan and saw their sashiko with its strong visual impact.  Thick light thread on solid dark fabric.”

big stitch quilting

Another sample of Jo’s BigStitch Quilting

 “Upon my return to the US, I started using a high contrast #8 pearl cotton, longer stitches, with the traditional rocker motion of hand quilting with a hoop and thimble.
I was pleased to find that larger scale designs looked good with the longer, thicker stitches.  The new needlepunched cotton battings permitted a longer distance between quilting lines.”

BigStitch quilting

Jo Demonstrates BigStitch Quilting

“BigStitch was coined in the booklet I wrote and copywrited in 1993 (under my name at the time, Jo Walters).  It still sells.”   [You can get a copy of Jo’s booklet directly from her for $7.50; just e-mail her at GloverGirl52 at gmail dot com for her mailing address, and of course give her your address.]
 “To reach a wider audience, I uploaded a series of BigStitch lessons.  They are available at no cost on YouTube; just search “BigStitch Jo Glover” for the 5 lessons and Gallery.  I’m for the preservation of hand quilting.” [Here is the link to Jo’s YouTube lessons.  I am so impressed that she did this!]
BigStitch quilting

Matisse’s Goldfish, by Jo Glover

 “Right now, I’m stitching straight lines about 1/3 inch apart, using crochet thread AND NO HOOP OR THIMBLE, ssshhhh.  My friend Jane Cole brought this style, called chiku-chiku, to my attention.  (Chiku-chiku is the sound a sewing machine makes when stitching) Jane got it from Quiltmania magazine, issue # 100, in an article featuring the originator, Akiko Ike.”

Jo Glover quilting

Pillow with close lines of BigStitch quilting by Jo Glover

 “Mixing fine hand quilting, BigStitch, and machine quilting (and now, chiku-chiku) in the same quilt is fantastic.  I do prefer solids or hand dyed fabrics to showcase the hand stitching.  I see many Modern quilters featuring their machine quilting on solids, and that’s great.”
Quilt by Jo Glover

Amerika Blooms by Jo Glover

 “Quilters I have known and loved include Gwen Marston, Jonathan Shannon, my friend Jane Cole, the Gee’s Bend quilters, Fran Skiles, Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen, and Yoshiko Jinzenji.”

17 thoughts on “Meet Jo Glover–The BigStitch Quilter

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