Friday, September 28, 2012

Blogger's Bar Hop Quiltalong

My friend Scott of Blue Nickel Studios has organized another quilt along this fall and it starts next week. The "Blogger's Bar Hop Quiltalong" features fabrics generously supplied by Clothworks from their European Taupe VIII collection by Kinkame. And the "bar" name derives from the fact that Scott has asked each designer to create a block that focuses on rectangles, or bars, in it's layout.  It's not that kind of a bar hop. ;)

Each designer was given four fat quarters from the collection and we could add one solid and one print of our choice OR two solids if we wanted to. The other requirement was that we had to use at lease one rectangle (bar) in the block somewhere. All of the blocks will finish to a 12" x 12" size (unfinished blocks will measure 12 1/2" x 12 1/2"). Please feel free to post your blocks to our flickr group as you create along with us.

Here's the line up of designers taking part in the quilt along:

October 1  Amy Ellis
October 2  Lynn Harris   
October 3  me!    
October 4  Jackie Kunkel    
October 5  Ashley Jones
October 6  Emily Cier 
October 7  Scott Hansen
October 8  Jan Peoples
October 9  April Rosenthal
October 10 Amy Lobsiger
October 11  Cara Quilts
October 12  Konda Luckau
October 13  Alethea Ballard
October 14  Charlie Scott

I can't wait to share my block with you next week!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

tutorial: scrappy improv wall hanging

If you are anything like me, you have a ton of fabric scraps leftover from various projects, and you can't just toss them. So, I'm always looking for ways to use my scraps up and I designed this simple project to do just that. It's a scrappy wall hanging and it's my latest project for the Riley Blake Design Team.  Head on over to the Riley Blake blog for the tutorial, complete with step by step instructions on how to make your own.

Monday, September 24, 2012

the final day!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you who have voted for me as a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made Awards. Today is the last day of the competition, so please take a second and cast one final vote for me. As you know, winning an award like this would do so much for a small business like mine.

It will be interesting to see who the winner is. He or she will be chosen in part, based on the number of votes he or she received on the site, but the maker's product, as well as final judging by the editors of Martha Stewart Living, also plays a significant role in the scoring. And as I said before, it's an honor to have even made it this far. I'm one of 23 crafters out of over 2000 total applicants. Pretty amazing, if I do say so myself.

Here's a link to my profile again. Thank you for taking the time to vote, and for spreading the word to your friends, too. I really appreciate it! xoxo

Sunday, September 23, 2012

the Makerie Sewing

I'm so excited to finally be able to share with you that I'll be teaching this spring at the Makerie Sewing, a fantastic retreat in Boulder, Colorado April 18-21, 2013. To say that I'm incredibly honored to be a part of this one-time only special retreat, focused on sewing and textiles, would be an understatement. There are going to be so many amazing workshops offering something for everyone, and as a participant you will get to take four of them with four different teachers, giving you two full days of incredible instruction.

So, just who are these other teachers?? Check it out...

Amy Butler

Cal Patch

Jenny Hart

Liesl Gibson

Kaari Meng

Tamar Mogendorff

I told you it's going to be amazing! I seriously keep pinching myself when I think of how incredible this is going to be. Registration for the retreat begins tomorrow, so be sure to head over to the Makerie Sewing site to sign up. To learn more about the original Makerie retreat, and to see gorgeous photos of past events, please visit

Thank you again, Ali and Liesl, for inviting me to be a part of this. And I hope to see you in Boulder next April!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quilters Take Manhattan 2012

This past weekend was the second annual Quilters Take Manhattan event, the fundraiser for the Quilt Alliance, and Jeff and I were lucky enough to head to NYC to attend. The first part of the program was held at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Here's Amy Milne, Executive Director of the Quilt Alliance, at the start of the program. Amy is an amazing person and the work she and the rest of the board of the Quilt Alliance do is so important, from documenting quilts and their makers, to making those quilts and their stories accessible to so many, and everything in between. I really encourage you to take some time to check out the Quilt Alliance if you're not familiar with them already.

The highlight of the day for me was listening to Meg Cox interview Denyse Schmidt for the Quilters Save Our Stories Project. It was so interesting to me to hear how Denyse got her start and what led her to the world of quilting. She seemed to arrive at it in a bit of a round about way, which is similar to my story as well. Denyse was asked to bring one of her signature quilts to speak about during the interview, and she brought this amazing one. It had a large improv log cabin block in the lower right section, floating on a bed of creamy white. Seriously amazing. I especially loved the two bars on the top and left that extend from the block into the negative space.

Here's a detail where you can see the log cabin block a bit better.

Hello, Denyse!

And a close up of the improvised log cabin. 

Denyse had brought some of her quilts from her latest book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration: 20  New Designs with Historic Roots, and it was so fun to see so many of them in person. If you're familiar with the book, which you should be, you may have seen them before, so I thought it would be fun to share some details of them with you.

Seriously stunning, right?

There was also an appearance by author Jennifer Chiaverini, but I just realized that I didn't get any photos of that. I think by that point I was still in a bit of shock because when Denyse was asked who inspires her during the interview, she mentioned Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Martin, me (woah!), and Luke Haynes, in that order. To say I was floored, and totally humbled as well, would be an understatement. I have to say though, it's really quite amazing thing when you find out that people who you admire so greatly, admire you as well.

Moving on...that evening was the second portion of the Quilters Take Manhattan, which was a cocktail party at the loft home of Victoria Findley-Wolfe. She graciously hosted us in her amazing space, and invited us to make some blocks in her studio.

Our musical entertainment was provided by Alan Jabbour on the fiddle. Alan is the former president of the Quilt Alliance and former director of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. What a treasure.

 And Denyse joined in with some good old soft shoe stepping...

And these aren't the best photos, but we were all a little warm and sleepy at this point (or at least I was), but here is Denyse and I, and below I'm with Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S and I.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend. I can't thank Denyse and Liesl enough for their kind words, encouragement, and advice. I have more to share from my time in NYC, and I'll do that soon.

And in other news, thank you again to all who have voted for me as a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made Contest. Please continue to vote once a day, through September 24. To be a finalist is an incredible honor but to win would truly be life changing. Here's a link to my profile where you can cast your vote. Every vote counts and I could really use your help and support! Thanks again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

you guys rock!

Seriously. I am so honored to be part of the handmade community and I'm so grateful to all of you who are helping me spread the word about me being a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made Audience Choice Awards. Countless friends and family members have posted the information on their facebook pages, friends have blogged about it, it's been on the facebook pages of some awesome companies that I work with (Sew4Home, Pellon, Sew Mama Sew, Coats and Clark, Riley Blake Designs) and it even made it to CraftGossip and the local Fox news affiliate today! And a special thank you to Maureen Cracknell for sharing it, and for giving me lots of support and encouragement, too.  I don't consider myself a very good marketer, but we're making the rounds for sure. It's amazing how generous some people can be when you ask for help! Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

While the winner of the competition will be chosen only in part on the number of votes he or she receives, I feel like every one counts. So, if you're up for it, please help by continuing to vote once a day, every day, through September 24. And tell your friends, too! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

vintage quilt monday :: my great-grandfather's grandmother's garden quilt

Thanks again for joining me for another installment of my Vintage Quilt Monday series. This quilt actually belongs to my mom, and it once belonged to her grandfather. He passed away before I was born so I never knew him, but she says that he always kept this quilt at the foot of his bed. We're not sure who made it, or when it was made, but I love it. It's a Grandmother's Garden design, all hand pieced from hundreds of little hexagons, and hand quilted as well. 

It's not in the best shape, and there are places where there the fabric has worn from use.

But there are still places that are in great shape, like this flower. The blue floral fabric reminds me of a Katie Jump Rope print.

There are some areas that have faded,

some holes, 

and some rust stains.

It's backed with a thin cotton muslin.

And it looks like there is a thin layer of cotton batting.

And I love how the sunlight shines through the fabrics. It reminds of of stained glass.

And thank you also for all of your help, support, and kind words in my adventure of being a finalist for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards. I still need your help, and would love your votes daily through Sept. 24. Thanks again!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I need your help, please

Those of you who know me well, know that I don't like to ask for help, at all. But, this time I really need if. As some of you may already know, I found out on Friday that I am one of 100 finalists for the Audience Choice Awards in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s inaugural “American Made,” a multimedia celebration of American artists, artisans and entrepreneurs. The search for the Audience Choice winner began last month with over 2000 applicants, and I was selected as a finalist by the editors of Martha Stewart Living. The fact that I am a finalist and have made it this far is beyond exciting and incredibly humbling to me, to tell you the truth. And now I’m asking for your help.

And here's where you and your friends come in. The winner of this award will be selected, in part, based on the amount of votes that he or she receives on the Martha Stewart American Made website. Voting is open now and runs through September 24, and you are able to vote once a day. So I am asking for your vote, and to help me spread the word, please. 

I know you are all extremely busy, but if you (and anyone else you may know who would be interested) are up for it, you can vote once a day, now through September 24. Please vote, and vote often!!

The Audience Choice winner will be announced on October 8, will receive $10,000 to further his or her business and a trip to New York City to be part of the inaugural “American Made” event next month, and will be featured in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living
Winning this award would be life changing for my family and I. It would allow me to do many things that I have wanted to do for a long time to help grow my business including creating paper patterns of my quilt designs for wider distribution, exhibiting at national trade shows so that my voice will be heard by even more people, and starting a series of workshops where I teach and share my love of modern quilting and design.
To vote, and to learn more about the award, please visit my profile here:

And thank you to all of you who have already voted for me. I'm so grateful for all of the support and encouragement that I've received so far from my family and friends. I couldn't do this without you!

Friday, September 7, 2012

and even more big news:: I'm a finalist for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards

I have to admit I'm shaking a little as I type this, because I found out this morning that I am a finalist for the Martha Stewart American Made Awards.

Those of you who know me, know how big of a fan I am of Martha. And I seriously owe her for making me a better baker, a better maker, a better crafter, a better home keeper, and a better decorator. And to be chosen a finalist is a huge honor, in and of itself.

When I nominated myself, I had to submit a 1500 word essay on my American story. I'd like to share it with you here:

My name is Heather Jones and I am a designer and modern quilter. As the founder and former president of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild, I love to encourage and inspire others. My inspiration comes from everyday places and non traditional things that many people wouldn't notice (think an old metal silo, works of art, or a painted grid in a parking lot), and I'm always excited by the challenge to translate that inspiration into my work. Three of my original quilts were chosen as winners of the Modern Quilt Guild’s Project Modern Challenges, a year-long national quilting competition.
My creative business, Olive & Ollie, began after the birth of my first child, and I made clothing for children. I created fresh, modern designs that I sold in my etsy shop and at select retail locations throughout the US. While I love designing for children, my passion has shifted to quilting and I am now focusing on creating modern quilts and producing patterns for sale. I recently completed my first line, currently available as PDFs, and I plan to produce them on paper for wider distribution.
Additionally, I have launched a line of handmade quilts. I make each one with the finest fabrics and the utmost attention to quality. I have a great respect for the art of quilt making and I feel profoundly responsible to carry on the American craft of quilting, with a modern design sensibility. As such, I am beginning to teach courses on modern quilting in a number of venues across the country.

Now, I'm asking for your help. There will be grand prize winner of that will be honored at the American Made event in NYC next month, will be featured in Martha Stewart Living magazine, and receive a $10,000 grant. The Audience Choice Winner will be selected, in part based on audience vote, and I would love your support. You can vote once a day through September 24, and here's a link to my page on their site:

If I win, I will use the money to produce paper versions of my patterns so that they may be distributed through stores around the county, and perhaps even around the world. I will also use the funds to start a series of handmade workshops that I've been dreaming up, and to have my first booth at the International Quilt Market. 

Thank you in advance for your support. I appreciate it more than you know.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

big news :: modern quilts from the blogging universe

I'm so excited to be able to share with you some information about an amazing project that I've been working on. My latest collaborative book, Modern Quilts from the Blogging World, has been released for presale on Amazon and Martingale's website! The book is published by Martingale and was curated by Karen Burns, who happens to be one of the sweetest people I've ever met. It hits stores in December and I couldn't be more honored to be included in such a fabulous publication. The book is full of some great work, and here are some of my favorites.

I love Monica's quilt and that dark gray really makes everything pop, doesn't it?

Katy's spin on the Dreseden Plate is pretty fabulous.

my Quilt Camp buddy Jeni's star quilt is so fun!

And I love the movement and color choices in John's quilt.

And here's my contribution, my Silo quilt. You might remember that this is the quilt that was chosen as a winner of the Modern Quilt Guild's Project Modern Challenge Four, by none other than Denyse Schmidt. She had some really nice things to say about it...

As I said, the book comes out in December, just in time for the holidays, so it will be perfect for gift-giving for your fabric loving friends. Or, yourself! Stay tuned for more information on the book, and I'll be giving away at least one copy to one of my readers as well.

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