Monday, August 4, 2014

Farm to Fabric Challenge, reminder and an extension for you!

I can't believe it's August already. This summer is flying by for me, and as it draws to a close, so too does the deadline to enter the Farm to Fabric Challenge, hosted by American Made Brand Fabric. I've told you about the challenge before, but if you need a bit of a refresher, the challenge is a juried exhibition of quilts made exclusively from Clothworks' American Made Brand cotton solids that speaks to the theme Celebrating Farm to Fabric.

What does it mean to you, your family, or your community to bring fabric production back to America to use in your American made quilts? The exhibit will premiere at the International Quilt Market and Festival, October 25-November 2, 2014. I'm honored to be one of the jurors, along with Alissa Haight Carlton and Pokey Bolton.

The deadline to enter your quilts has been extended to August 31, 2014, so you've still got time to make something, even if you haven't started yet. The quilts must measure a minimum of 25" x 25" and must have hanging sleeves attached. The quilts must be made specifically for the challenge and must not have been published (including in magazines or blogs) prior to November 2014. You'll be notified no later than September 12, 2014 if your quilt is selected for the exhibition, and the quilt must arrive in Houston, Texas by October 1, 2014.

For more information on the challenge, please visit American Made Brand's page on the show.

I'll be sharing more about my newest quilt, Harvest, shown above, later this week, so stay tuned!

Friday, July 4, 2014

prepping for Sisters

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you enjoy you're holiday. I'm spending part of the day preparing for my trip to Sisters, Oregon for Quilters Affair, where I'll be teaching all next week. There is still some room in my classes, so maybe some of you can join me! Here's what I'll be teaching:

On Monday, I'm teaching my You + Me quilt, my pattern that was inspired by a vintage quilt. It is made of four large quilt blocks that are constructed through piecing strips of fabric together, so we'll learn the techniques of strip piecing and working in large scale. Using three solid colored cottons and simple construction, You + Me creates a strong graphic design that is at once both modern and timeless. The quilt is really easy to construct and comes together quickly, and the class is suitable for both beginner and advanced quilters alike.

On Tuesday, I'm teaching my Ohio Supernova, my modern spin on the traditional Ohio Star pattern. In this version, the scale of the block has been dramatically increased so that it makes up the vast majority of the finished work. Using solid colored cottons and simple construction, the Ohio Supernova packs quite a visual punch, and is suitable for both beginner and advanced quilters alike.

On Wednesday, I'm teaching my Basic Improvisational Quilting class. Improvisational quilting is a fundamental component of modern quilting. In this hands-on workshop, learn how to let go and begin to design intuitively, to create completely unique and one-of-a-kind quilt blocks through a variety of improvisational techniques. From completely random piecing, to improvised blocks with a bit more structure, this workshop will challenge you to think about quilting in a whole new light. Students will be asked to bring a bag of scrap fabric in various sizes as a starting point for their improvisational work.

On Thursday, I'm giving two lectures. The first is Everyday Inspiration in Modern Quits. Many quilters today are finding inspiration in a variety of places in their everyday worlds. Join me for an exciting look at how some of today’s quilters find inspiration just about anywhere and everywhere – from a parking lot to a work of fine art, and everything in between. I will also encourage you to do the same, and I will share tips on how you can bring your everyday world into your own designs.

The second lecture is on Integrating Tradition in Today's Modern Quilt Designs. Many modern quilters, myself included,  integrate traditional components in their quilts; this is often done through the use of traditional patterns, blocks, or techniques. Then, he or she adds their own spin to these traditional components to make them more fresh and modern. Join me for an in-depth look at my process of merging tradition with modernity in quilting.

And finally, on Friday I'm teaching my Blume, otherwise known as Gelassenheit, quilt. Gelassenheit is my  modern take on a traditional Dresden Plate quilt pattern. Only one Dresden Plate block is used in the pattern, but its size is much larger than those found in more traditional versions. The background of this quilt is pieced to create a striped effect, which gives the overall design a lot of movement. This class is best suited for intermediate quilters, although a confident beginner can also complete this pattern. 

I'll also be in Sisters for the quilt show on Saturday, and then I head home on Sunday. I'm so excited to be spending a week teaching and lecturing, and I hope to see some of you there. You can find out more information about Quilters Affair and still register for classes, including some of mine, at

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Large-Scale Piecing, my contribution to Lucky Spool's Essential Guild to Modern Quilt Making

Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making: From Color to Quilting: 10 Workshops by Your Favorite Teachers 
(Lucky Spool Media; Distributed by The Taunton Press; June 2014; $28.95)

Today is my stop on the blog tour of the new book Lucky Spool's Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making, which is being released this month. I love this book, and am quite honored to be included in it. The book is really an all-inclusive guide to modern quilt making, and is structured so that each chapter is a different workshop, led by the best teachers in the field of modern quilting, including Denyse Schmidt, Jacquie Gering, and Angela Walters, and each focusing on his or her specialty. In it you will learn the principles and composition of color, how to piece with solids and prints, multiple curved piecing techniques, the fundamentals of improv and paper piecing, tips and tricks for large-scale piecing, applying alternate grid work to your quilt tops, and modern machine quilting. There are also sixteen patterns that explore all of the techniques that are covered in the book, as well as a gallery of 50 modern quilts. 

My chapter in the Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making is on Large-Scale Piecing. In it I share all of my favorite tips and techniques for achieving great results while working in a large-scale format, including how to create oversize blocks and large areas of negative space, playing with scale and composition, fabric selection and cutting, and construction techniques. My pattern for the book is called Ebb and Flow and it features a large-scale churn dash design.

I really love this quilt because it's such a simplified design and it comes together quite quickly, but it has such a strong visual presence. I made the original one for the book using Kona Parchment, Kona Cadet, and Kona Artichoke, and I can't wait to make another in a totally different color palette. I think black, white, and gray could be pretty amazing.

My original Anni quilt is also included in the gallery of modern quilts that was curated by Heather Grant.

In celebration of the book's release, the Taunton Press, distributor of the book, is offering a 20% discount on it if you order it through their store until July 21. Please use the code EGQM20 during check out for the discount.

Be sure to follow along all of the stops of the tour to learn more about the Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making. Here's the schedule:

6/23  ++ Chapter 1: Principles of Color taught by Kari Vojtechovsky
6/24 ++  Chapter 2: Working with Solids taught by Alissa Haight Carlton
6/25 ++  Chapter 3: Working with Prints taught by Dan Rouse
6/26 ++ Chapter 4: Improvisational Patchwork taught by Denyse Schmidt
6/27 ++ Chapter 5: The Alternate Grid taught by Jacquie Gering
6/30 ++ Chapter 6: Circles and Curves taught by Cheryl Arkison
7/01 ++ Chapter 7: Paper Piecing taught by Penny Layman
7/02 ++ Chapter 8: Large-Scale Piecing taught by Heather Jones
7/03 ++ Chapter 9: Modern Machine Quilting taught by Angela Walters
7/04 ++ Chapter 10: A Study of Modern Quilts curated by Heather Grant

And learn more about Lucky Spool Media and see what other amazing books editor Susanne Woods has in the works at

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

new patterns and a sale!

Whew! It's been so busy around here, although I haven't been able to show you many things lately since most of my time has been devoted to working on projects for my upcoming book. So, I'm glad that I can finally share these with you! This has been quite a labor of love, as we've finally got my new patterns formatted for instant download as a PDF in my etsy shop, as well as ready for print. I've been contacted by a large distributor, and I'm in the process of getting everything ready to them, so I hope that you'll see some of my Heather Jones Studio modern quilting patterns on the shelves of some of your favorite fabric and quilt store soon!

Let me tell you a little about each one of the new patterns. First up is my Radiance quilt. This is one of my favorites, although to be honest, I feel like that about all of them, especially as I'm constructing them. But really, I love this one. This quilt was inspired by the Arrow Crown, a traditional quilt pattern. As you can see in my version, I've increased the scale of the block so much so that it makes up the entire front of the quilt. It consists of half square triangles and squares, so it comes together pretty quickly. I used four solid cotton fabrics, all from the American Made Brand line: White, Light Yellow, Dark Butter, and Dark Yellow. 

And here's a peek at one of the interior pages of the pattern. Jeff and I worked really hard to come up with a layout that I think works really well, and looks really nice, if I do say so myself. 

Next up is Fly Away, which again, is one of my favorites. I really love the navy and hot pink that I used in this version, but I think it would look amazing in many other color combinations as well. This quilt is based on the traditional Winged Square pattern and again, I've increased the scale so that one block makes up the entire quilt. It's got more half square triangles and, due to the increase in size of the patchwork units, it goes together pretty quickly as well. I used three American Made Brand solids for this quilt: Light Khaki, Light Navy, and Dark Raspberry. 

Take Me Higher is another brand new pattern of mine. This design was actually destined for my book, but it didn't turn out quite like I had thought it would, so I scrapped it and came up with another project in its place. This quilt is a block based design, each of which is identical, but the pattern comes from the placement of the blocks, and changing the orientation of some of them. I used four American Made Brand solids: Dark Butter, Dark Taupe, Aqua, and Olive. 

Next up is Blume, which is the pattern for my Gelassenheit quilt, which you can see here and on the header of my blog. The background of this quilt contains four strip pieced blocks and it features a large Dresden Plate that is appliqued to the center of it. This quilt is not quite as simple to construct as many of my other patterns, but I think it is suitable for a confident beginner quilter, as well as those with more quilting experience. I've made the instructions very detailed and the pattern includes two full-scale template pieces, one for the Dresden Plate and the other for the center circle. 

You may have seen this quilt before, but not in these colors. This is my You + Me quilt, which was originally published in the inaugural issue of Generation Q back in 2012. When I designed this quilt a few years ago, I had planned to use these colors of red, pink, and white in its construction. But the folks at GenQ asked me to make it in other colors for the magazine, which I happily did. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to make this quilt in my original colors though, and I'm also glad to finally have the pattern available to you as well. This uses three American Made Brand solids: White, Light Pink, and Light Red. 

Here's another quilt that you may recognize. This is my Anni quilt, although remade in a new colorway. This is the first time I've offered the pattern for this quilt too, and I'm glad to finally have it to share. The original quilt was made in a monochromatic colorway of four shades of pink, but I used a totally different color story for this version. This uses four different American Made Brand fabrics in Cream, Dark Turquoise, Dark Aqua, and Light Gray. 

And lastly, while this pattern is not new, I have totally reworked it. This is my Ohio Supernova and it was one of the first patterns that I wrote. The pattern has been completely redesigned now, allowing it to have less piecing, particularly in the borders of the quilt. 

All of these patterns are available for instant download in my etsy shop. And to celebrate their release, they are all on sale through June 30, 2014 for 15% off. Just use the code SUMMER in your checkout to receive the discounted price. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

winner of my American Made Brand blog tour giveaway

I'm sorry for the delay in choosing a winner for my stop of the American Made Brand blog tour, so without further adieu, the winner is lucky number 125, khowardquilts. Congratulations!! I'm off to email you now!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

QuiltCon 2015

I'm really excited to share with you that I'm lecturing at QuiltCon, the biennial conference of the Modern Quilt Guild, next February in Austin, Texas. I'll be presenting two lectures, actually. The first, Large Scale Piecing, takes place Friday, February 20 from 11:00-11:45 am, and the second, Color Theory for the Modern Quilter is later that same day from 4:00-4:45 pm. 

Registration for my lectures, as well as all of the amazing workshops and lectures, starts June 24. For more information, please visit I hope to see you in Austin!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

American Made Tour: Ohio license block and a giveaway!

Welcome! Today is my stop on the American Made Brand Tour. I'm here to represent my home state of Ohio. If you are just joining in on the tour, one designer per state was asked to create a license plate themed quilt block that was inspired by their home state. The finished block must measure 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" and it must also include the name of the state as well. The blog tour began last week and runs for a few more weeks, so be sure to  keep up with all of the great fun, designs, and giveaways. Without further adieu, here is my block!

My block is a truncated Ohio Star quilt block, which is a traditional pattern that dates to the early 1800s. Here's how I made it.

I chose three colors of American Made Brand fabric to work with: Cream, Dark Gold, and Light Gray.

I knew that I wanted to incorporate an Ohio Star in my design somehow, so I drew a few ideas in my sketchbook.

I decided to create a 12 1/2" square Ohio Star block as the basis of my design. To make this block, you'll need two 5 1/4" squares of Dark Gold, two 5 1/4" squares of Light Gray, one 4 1/2" square of Cream, and four 4 1/2" squares of Light Gray.

Cut all four 5 1/4" squares along the diagonal, and then again along the other diagonal with a rotary cutter and straight edge. 

This will give you eight quarter square triangles of Dark Gold and Light Gray fabric.

Lay them out in the following order, and sew one Gray to one Dark Gold, along the short edge of the triangle. Be careful not to pull or tug the fabrics at this point; as the bias edges of the fabric have been cut, they can easily distort if they are handled too much. 

Sew all seams with a 1/4" allowance. I use a piece of moleskin that I place 1/4" away from my needle as a sewing guide. Thanks again, Jill, for that tip!

Once you have sewn the two units from the quarter square triangles, sew them together to create a complete quarter square triangle unit.

Repeat these steps three more times to create a total of four quarter square triangle units, and arrange them with the rest of the squares as shown above. 

 Sew the three rows together to finish the block. It should measure 12 1/2" square when constructed. 

The finished size of the license plate block needs to be 6 1/2" by 12 1/2" so I knew that I would need to cut some of it down. I used my 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" ruler as a guide to determine where I wanted to place my cutting lines. 

I moved the ruler around the block until I found an area that I wanted to remain after cutting it down.

And I used some leftover yardage to cover up the areas that would be removed before I made my final decision.

Once I picked where my cutting lines would be, I drew them on the block with a pencil and straight edge. Please note: do not cut the block down yet. 

I sketched out some hand lettering for the word Ohio on graph paper, and taped it to a window so I could easily transfer it to my quilt block. 

I then taped the block over the text and used a water soluble marker to trace the lettering on the block. I've posted my hand lettering here in case you'd like to use it as well. 

Next up is a little hand embroidery. I used Coats Dual Duty Button and Carpet thread for the hand stitching of the letters. I've used this thread a number of times for handwork and I really love it. I used a doubled strand of thread for this project.

I placed my quilt block in a hoop and began stitching. 

Feel free to use any embroidery stitch that you'd like. I used a simple back stitch for mine.

Once I was done stitching, I misted my text with a bit of water to dissolve the water soluble marker and lightly pressed the block with a hot iron. Then I cut the block to the 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" size required, using my cutting lines and a rotary cutter and straight edge.

I had a lot of fun making this block, and now I want to do more hand stitching! Maybe I can once all of my deadlines for my book are finished. 

And now on to the giveaway! The wonderful folks at Clothworks have generously provided a beautiful fat quarter bundle of American Made Fabrics for one lucky winner. To enter, please leave a comment below and tell me a bit about your home state. Be sure to leave your email address in the comment so I can notify you if you're the winner. I'll choose one winner randomly on June 6, 2014, and the contest is only open to residents of the US. Good luck!

Be sure to visit all of the stops on the American Made Brand Tour!! Check out all 50 of the amazing designs!

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