What Happens When You Take a Workshop with Heather Jones?

by Nicole

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Heather Jones.


To celebrate her birthday, my friend, Michelle from Factotum of Arts, had arranged for Heather to come and teach a group of us about large-scale piecing. What a treat! I’ve experimented with large-scale piecing in the past and was eager to hear an expert talk about it.

Related: A Super-Sized Quilt Block

Heather gave us all a copy of her Fly Away quilt pattern – one of her large-scale quilts, along with scraps of her first soon-to-be released fabric collection with Robert Kaufman.


She then showed us a few examples of large-scale quilts that she has made. Here is her Ohio Star quilt.


Here’s another one of her large-scale quilts – an improv log cabin.


Then she walked us through the Fly Away quilt.


Here she is demonstrating how she makes half-square triangles.


And then we got to work making our own Fly Away quilt. I started mine at the workshop, but because I like to do more chatting than stitching at these types of events, I had to finish it at home. Here it is – aqua and yellow on a background of snow. Fly_Away_Quilt_Top

With its large pieces, the top came together fairly quickly. If one were to focus and not get distracted by chatting, children, housework and whatnot, it is possible to put one of these tops together in an afternoon. And for a quilt of this size – 72″ by 72″ – that is near-instant gratification!

As no birthday celebration is complete without cake, we took a break from stitching to enjoy a hunk of chocolate cake in honor of Michelle’s birthday.


We also surprised Michelle with a collaborative quilt that we made specially for her from paper pieced blocks of birds from her homeland of New Zealand (pattern by TartanKiwi).


Here are the blocks I contributed.


It was a joy to spend the day with Heather, Michelle and friends. And soon I’ll have a finished Fly Away quilt to keep as a memento of the day.

Nicole Neblett signoff Modern Quilting blog

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Debbie June 8, 2016 - 4:46 pm

Pretty darn cool and love your quilt top!

Nicole June 9, 2016 - 12:06 am

Thanks, Debbie! It was a treat indeed!

Meredithe June 8, 2016 - 6:48 pm

What a fabulous day you had! Love your colour way.

Nicole June 9, 2016 - 12:07 am

Thanks, Meredithe! And it’s not pink and orange!

Rachel June 8, 2016 - 8:59 pm

Love everything about this post! How wonderful to take a class with Heather and the NZ bird quilt is so beautiful!

Nicole June 9, 2016 - 12:07 am

Thank you, Rachel! It was a wonderful experience and I learned a lot about NZ birds!

Nicole June 9, 2016 - 12:07 am

Thank you, Rachel! It was a wonderful experience and I learned a lot about NZ birds!

Camille Lechliter June 8, 2016 - 10:27 pm

Michelle was in the US! I would have loved to meet her. Sigh. Wanted to let you know also that I recently took a class with Heather on the Marakesh quilt (Kansas City, KS). I love the quilts and will be doing more – and can’t wait for her fabric line to come out!

Nicole June 9, 2016 - 12:08 am

Yes, Michelle lives in the U.S.!
That must have been a great class. Heather showed us the Marakesh quilt. Quite stunning!

Jenny M June 8, 2016 - 11:14 pm

Thanks for sharing your class photos ~ all beautiful quilts and the bird quilt looks so beautiful.

Nicole June 9, 2016 - 12:09 am

Thanks, Jenny! It was a fun experience, one I will treasure!

Margaret (margiestitcher) June 9, 2016 - 1:28 am

sounds like a fun time and you have a lovely quilt there, cake looks delicious and the quilt you all made as a present a true work of art

bobbi dougherty June 9, 2016 - 10:36 am

I love that quilt. So pretty and easy and clean, lolol. Your bird is awesome too! I downloaded that pattern too. My niece write a blog called Waked up and her thing is feathers and bluebirds. She is in Charlotte NC. And for some reason, I thought you were in DC, lol. I see you are in Durham NC. Cool. Thanks for the share!

Marla June 9, 2016 - 11:28 am

Looks like such a fun day! The bird quilt that you all made for Michelle is amazing and will always be a reminder of your friendship!

Rosemary Bolton June 9, 2016 - 7:28 pm

I love this gathering. Great ideas and such fun… and cake!

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