Heather Jones, author of Quilt Local

heather jones: quilt local

By guest blogger Heather Jones, author, speaker and teacher

CININNATI, OH  My first solo book, Quilt Local: Finding Inspiration in the Everyday, is quite honestly a labor of love. I was first approached about five years ago to write a book at a time when I was just starting to quilt regularly. Frankly, I was still trying to find my creative voice.

I declined and instead focused on creating work that was meaningful to me. A few years later, I was approached by my amazing editor, Melanie Falick. The time was finally right and that I was ready to write this book.

Quilt Local contains twenty quilting projects, each in two colorways, that were inspired by places and things in my everyday life.

Inspiration section of Quilt Local by Heather Jones

With my background in fine art and art history, I’ve always been interested in creating my own work, rather than copying others—which is not always the norm in the craft of quilting.

Generally speaking, many people make quilts based on patterns, thereby reproducing what has already been done. The quilts that excite me most are those that don’t look like anything else; those that have a beautiful originality to them.

Design of Mason quilt by Heather Jones

When I started quilting in earnest around 2010, I began making quilts that were inspired by things I saw in my everyday life.

Mason quilt by Heather Jones

One of my first quilts was Mason Quilt. I designed that pattern based on a painted grid in the parking lot of a big box store near my house. Although I surely had seen the parking lot many, many times before, I was drawn to the bold graphic design of the lines and bar of the grid. For whatever reason, I saw it differently one day.

While it’s great to draw inspiration from exotic locations, I think it’s even more special to find beauty in things that we see everyday.

I have two young children, so I don’t travel much. I love that I don’t have to go far from home to see the beauty that surrounds me. That is the thought behind my book’s title, Quilt Local. It’s all about finding inspiration and beauty in my environment. And beauty surrounds us all, no matter where we live.

Third Street quilt by Heather Jones

I get really excited when I get inspired by things that most people wouldn’t even notice—like a painted grid in a parking lot, or even an abandoned building. I love when that spark of creativity hits. It’s like a unexpected gift—one that I can’t predict but when it does, it’s the best.

In Quilt Local, I offer tips and techniques that I use to help focus and be open to this type of creativity.

Central Parkway quilts by Heather Jones

In order to push myself creatively, I made each project in the book in two colorways. It’s amazing how different the same pattern can look just by changing the colors or fabrics. Each project contains construction instructions plus a mini lesson in color theory and fabric selection.

I often find that people see a quilt pattern and want to reproduce it exactly as shown. What’s more exciting to me is when quilters add a bit of themselves to a pattern I’ve created. Hopefully by showing two versions of each project, readers will gain the confidence to experiment with their own choices for colors or fabrics.

Dayton quilt by Heather Jones

While I am often labeled a modern quilter, I think it’s important to acknowledge that my work is, in fact, steeped in history and tradition. For centuries, quilt makers have been inspired by places and objects in their everyday lives.

Think of Churn Dash, Rail Fence, Flying Geese, Log Cabin, and hundreds of other quilt patterns developed in the past. The (mostly) women who made these quilts had a desire to create beautiful, functional objects, and drew upon what they saw in their daily lives as inspiration for their work. I am honored to carry on this tradition.

To visit Heather’s website +click here


You may also like

my one-yard challenge
my one-yard challenge
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  I challenged myself to make a baby quilt using just one yard of yukata cotton and sti...
Read More
four garden quilts
four garden quilts
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  On April 13, Jane Sassaman wrote this Instagram post: I have put together a few texti...
Read More
joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free
joe cunningham: quiltmaking as a way to be free
By Joe Cunningham SAN FRANCISCO  When I started making quilts 40 years ago I learned that there were certain tech...
Read More
allie aller: the happy quilter
allie aller: the happy quilter
Editor Note: I asked Allison Aller what makes her happy. Allie had lots to say about this topic! PB By Allison Aller,...
Read More
iron talk
iron talk
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  Last week my iron gushed all over a quilt project. The good news—it wasn’t rusty wate...
Read More
yukata cotton devotees
yukata cotton devotees
By Patricia Belyea WAUCONDA WA  At Okan Arts, our big thing is vintage Japanese yukata cottons. We’re crazy about the...
Read More


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published