Machine Quilting Classes and Hands-on Workshops

Workshop photoThe Joy of teaching – Joanie considers each teaching event an opportunity to provide in-depth instruction targeting one essential skill. Her teaching style is nurturing with confidence gained over many years of applying her free-motion machine quilting theory when teaching thousands of students. Many innovative and time-saving techniques provide students with a solid foundation to rely on for a lifetime. Informative hand-outs with step-by-step clearly written instructions and stitching guides are includes with each class. These factors have led to the comment overheard  as students were leaving the classroom, “Joanie’s classes are the gold standard!”

Information on planning an event and for student preparation is available on the Booking Help page.

Click on a category of Workshops or scroll down the page to read the entire list.
Creating Quilting Designs Workshops (all quilting styles, any skill level, no machine)
Easy Machine Quilting (beginning level, sewing machine)
Refined Free-Motion Workshops (intermediate skills, sewing machine)
Background Filler Free-Motion Workshops (confident beginner and beyond, sewing machine)
Basic Quiltmaking Skills (beginning level, zigzag sewing machine)

Creating Quilting Designs Workshops

Great quilts begin with a well thought out plan. Joanie brings a wealth of knowledge and many practical skills after 40 years of quilting, training in art and graphic design, and her career as an interior decorator. Her design workshops include conceptualizing the quilts theme, working out details of assembling and quilting the entire surface on graph paper, and creating full-size templates to fill it with meaningful imagery and background textures. Enjoy a relaxed, supportive atmosphere where each student is inspired to find the key to their own personal creative style. No machines required. All experience levels, any quilting technique, hand quilting, domestic or longarm machine quilting. Design workshops require the use of light boxes and a copy machine/desktop printer with enlarging and reducing capabilities and a supply of paper and ink.

Choosing, Adapting and Using Quilting Designs

Half-day Lecture/demo or Full-day, Hands-on Workshop, All quilters, Any skill level

Choosing and Adapting Quilting DesignsA small fee covers pre-cut paper templates supplied for class. Prior to class, students sew a quilt top used to learn the process.

 

Plan for a day of fun and discovery creating your own quilting designs using Joanie’s easy paper template method that can be applied to all of your future quilted projects! Using simple tools and skills from the art world, learn to manipulate almost any image, including photographs, quilting stencils and designs on paper, to fill the quilt top with perfectly coordinating squares, triangles and multi-sized borders. Consideration for how the designs can be quilted with continuous line stitching is taught.

Prior to the full-day workshop, students constructs a simple quilt top that is used to demonstrate how various spaces are divided and filled and to show a variety of marking procedures. After this class, you will never again be at a loss when your pattern suggests, “quilt as desired!”

Choosing and Adapting Quilting Designs

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My Sentimental Journey Design Workshop

Full-day, Hands-on Workshop, All quilters, Any skill level

My Sentimental Journey design workshopThis workshop can be expanded to a multi-day format; students design their own wholecloth quilt capturing personal expression and then learn to begin to machine quilt their design.

 

This workshop offer a truly creative look at filling the empty spaces a quilt by looking beyond the quilting world for sources of inspiration. Students are encouraged to let their quilts speak with an enthusiastic voice, expressing stories developed in an invigorating brainstorming session. They enjoy the atmosphere of a design studio observing how a theme is conceived, developed and supported with construction processes, the elements of good design, and how to use simple artist’s tools for planning a design.

Joanie shows how her quilts use images to enhance their theme, maximize the effective use of color, thread illustration and quilted background textures. Come join the fun in this exciting and informative class for all quilters with a commitment to creating original designs.

My Sentimental Journey workshop image

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Oodles of Doodles; From Pencil Sketch to Stitching Line

Full-day, Hands-on Workshop, All quilters, Any skill level

Oodles of Doodles workshopClass fee covers the Oodles of Doodles handout containing extensive fill pattern illustrations and stitching instructions.

 

Discover the delight of creating your own background fill patterns for free-motion quilting. This wonderfully creative presentation covers the basic structure of background fillers, how the fundamentals of refined free-motion quilting apply when stitching these patterns on your quilts and the importance of imprinting the driving plan in your brain before you stitch a new pattern.

In this drawing workshop, (no machines are used), students watch the illustrations of an abundance of creative patterns and textures on the screen, hear the concepts of how they are structured for machine quilting, examine many beautifully stitched examples gathered to unlock creativity and then put pencil to paper to create fill patterns that fit their own unique style. What could be more fun and satisfying than that!

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​Easy Machine Quilting Hands-on Workshops

These classes are intended to be fun and easy; inviting you in to get a quick glimpse of free-motion quilting without the stress. Like all of Joanie’s classes, they are based on getting it right the first time. The projects are chosen for beginners; however the fundamentals taught could be a refresher course for those with machine quilting experience. Her goal is for each student to take home the confidence in the operation of their machine for the essential free-motion quilting process, teaching the lifelong skills needed to complete your future quilts. Students follow a well written pattern for an original project that is designed specifically to teach each step of a technique without an expectation of prior experience.

Coffee Break Mug Coasters and Coffee Bean Gift Bag

3 Hour Easy Hands-on Free-motion Workshop, Any Skill Level

Coffee Break workshopA kit including the Coffee Break pattern, all  fabrics, batting and thread prepared for you, ready to start quilting!

 

Discover how simple and fun free-motion quilting can be! Joanie shares her successful techniques that will set your mind at ease and get you started in free-motion quilting without stress. Put these skills into action stitching this fast, fused and fun set of coffee mug coasters and matching coffee bean gift bag.Come and enjoy many inspiring quilted examples of this concept.

This class is designed for you to set your mind at ease  The project is geared for beginners; however the fundamentals taught could be a refresher course for those with machine quilting experience. Each step of the project is covered, right through the binding. The project is so darn cute and makes a great gift for any coffee loving friend.

Coffee Break workshop

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Sassy Sewing Tool Caddy, Easy Free-motion

Full or Half-day Easy Free-motion Hands-on Workshop, Any Skill Level

Sewing Caddy workshopKit including pattern, fabrics, batting and thread  allows maximum time for stitching.

 

Learn to listen as PRINTED FABRIC indicates how it can be quilted without any marking! Joanie guides you through this easy process including her fundamentals of free-motion quilting while constructing this sassy sewing tool caddy.

Joanie’s has designed this easy free-motion class for beginning free-motion quilters. She has masterfully chosen the fabric to guide you to stitch curls, circles, spirals and headbands without any frustration. Students will be having such a good time stitching; they won’t realize the feed-dogs are down! Enjoy many creatively quilted examples of how this technique can be used for your projects will be on display.

Sewing Caddy workshop

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The Secret Voice Hidden in your Fabric

Full-day Hands-on Sampler Workshop, Any Skill Level

Secret Voice workshopA kit including the Secret Voice sampler pattern, all fabrics, batting and thread will be prepared for each student.

 

Discover the outstanding dimension that can be achieved when PRINTED FABRICS are quilted just as the manufacturer printed them. Learn to listen as the fabric indicates how it can be quilted without any marking!

Joanie has designed a sampler of patterned fabrics chosen to demonstrate how your fabric choices can be the basis for inventive quilting patterns. She will guide you through each step of this fun project using some wacky, faux construction techniques that get the top assembled quickly allowing plenty of time to learn free-motion machine quilting including her fundamentals of machine quilting. This is a fun and easy process targeting beginner and beyond experience level.

Secret Voice workshop

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Refined Free-motion Workshops

If you have the desire to use your home sewing machine successfully for refined free-motion quilting, these classes have been designed especially for you! Time with Joanie by your side in a hands-on environment will provide you with the information and confidence to complete quilts on the machine you already own. You will gain the satisfaction of turning you quilt top or a solid piece of fabric into a multi-dimensional object of art. Joanie offers her formula for success including the supplies and the basic techniques of heirloom machine quilting. You are ready for this class if you have had some previous machine quilting experience and/or have a strong desire to learn. Best machines required. Students are always welcome to bring extra practice bundles to stitch on in class and save their project supplies to use at home after class.

Ho-Ho-Ho Fancy Refined Free-Motion Fun

3 Hour Hands-on Workshop, Confident Beginner and Beyond

Ho Ho Ho WorkshopKit with the Ho-Ho-Ho pattern, tension and fill pattern guides, fundamentals of free-motion, fabrics for cuff, stocking and lining, the batting and thread will be prepared for you.

 

If you admire the elegance of wholecloth quilts with refined free-motion quilting and would like to give it a try, Joanie has the perfect workshop planned for you. This is a beginning level refined free-motion workshop where you will learn all of the information necessary to be successful when you drop those feed-dogs.

Joanie shares her expertise in each step of the process including; selecting and preparing appropriate supplies, stabilizing the fabric, marking the design, pin basting the layers and setting up the machine. Time is planned to practicing essential free-motion basics including perfecting the tension of your machine. Be amazed at your results stitching this graceful Ho-Ho-Ho Christmas Stocking with quilted holly cuff.

Ho Ho Ho Workshop

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Home for the Holidays Gift Set

Full-day Hands-on Free-motion, Intermediate Level

Home for the Holidays workshopKits includes pattern, free-motion basics,  sateen fabric, backing, batting and thread. Students provide 1 yd. focus fabric.

 

Join Joanie for a hands-on workshop to prepare your home decor for the holidays. Our day begins with a PowerPoint tour of Thanksgiving and Christmas themed displays for the different rooms of your home.

Next, learn the fundamentals of refined free-motion quilting and put those skills into action stitching several beginning level Christmas projects. You will receive instruction to successfully complete each step including stabilizing the fabric, marking the design, pin basting the layers, setting up the machine and practicing the essential free-motion basics.

Choose one yard of fabric to match your décor to use for this beginner level table mat with matching wine bag and coasters.

Home for the Holidays workshop

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Ivy Wreath, 16″ Heirloom Machine Quilted Wholecloth

Full-day, Hands-on Free-motion Workshop, Intermediate Level

Ivy Wreath WorkshopStudents purchase the Ivy Wreath pattern in advance, mark the design and pin-baste the layers prior to class. Kits may be available.

 

In the tradition of the great wholecloth quilts; transform a solid piece of fabric into a work of beauty using the graceful Ivy Wreath pattern created especially for this class. Focus on refined free-motion techniques using the basic elements of Heirloom Machine Quilting: curvilinear motifs, grids, and stippling.

Class includes information on essential supplies, machine set-up, marking, basting, navigating the design, setting up the machines for the practice exercises, plus time to begin stitching this beautiful project.

Everyone will enjoy an impressive portfolio of stitched examples of the techniques.

Ivy Wreath Workshop

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Holly Square Heirloom Machine Quilted Wholecloth

Full-day, Hands-on Free-motion Workshop, Intermediate Level

Holly Square Heirloom Machine Quilted WholeclothStudents purchase the Holly Square pattern in advance, mark the design and pin-baste the layers prior to class. Kits may be available.

 

Learn to transform a solid piece of fabric into a lovely Christmas keepsake using the original Holly Square design created for this class Focus on refined free-motion techniques using the basic elements of Heirloom Machine Quilting: curvilinear motifs, grids, and stippling.

Class includes information on essential supplies, machine set-up, marking, basting, navigating the design, setting up the machines for the practice exercises, plus time to begin stitching this beautiful holiday project. The Holly Square pattern includes alternate size runner instructions.

Everyone will enjoy an impressive portfolio of stitched examples of the techniques.

Holly Square Heirloom Machine Quilted Wholecloth

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Background Filler Free-motion Quilting Workshops

Joanie has become an industry leader in developing and teaching innovative background fill patterns. She has been using them in her showpiece quilts since she introduced her signature Checkerboard Fill Pattern back in 2002 on her Treasures of Julia’s Life quilt. She repeated it again in 2003 for her To Have and To Hold quilt before moving on to numerous other distinctive patterns that set her quilts apart in the early years of domestic machine quilting. Harriet Hargrave, recognized as the originator of Heirloom Machine Quilting wrote about Joanie and her checkerboard pattern in her book, Heirloom Machine Quilting, 4th Edition*. Joanie has been collaborating with fellow artist (not a quilter) Pam Levenhagen to create several quilts displaying numerous free-hand quilting fill patterns. Get inspired by viewing these doodle quilts in the gallery.

In these workshops students learn the recommended supplies, how to set up their machine, learn free-motion basics; perfect the tension of their machine and many fill patterns, both following a marked line or free-form patterns. With lots of information and attention from Joanie, students stitch a sampler of background fillers. Students are always welcome to bring extra practice bundles to class and stitch their project at home after class.

Background Bonanza Fill Pattern Sampler

Full-day Hands-on Workshop, Confident Beginner and Beyond

Background Bonanza workshopStudents purchase the Background Bonanza pattern in advance, mark the design and pin-baste the layers prior to class. Complete kits may be available upon request.

 

From the ripple stipple to simple grids, from headbands to lazy daisies, filling the quilt background with interesting patterns that create texture, depth and movement is not only possible with machine quilting, Joanie encourages it.

Enjoy a full and creative day expanding your free-motion skills creating a wholecloth sampler of background fill patterns that can be used for your future machine quilting to anchor the entire quilt top or just fill in around stitched motifs. Students will learn to practice essential free-motion basics, perfect the tension of their machine to achieve meticulous results before stitching the many background patterns with step-by-step instructions. Everyone will enjoy an impressive portfolio of stitched examples of the techniques.

Background Bonanza workshop

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Bloomin’ Blossom Fill Pattern Sampler

Full-day Hands-on Workshop, Confident Beginner and Beyond

Bloomin'  Blossom workshopA kit containing the Bloomin’ Backgrounds Sampler pattern,  fabric, batting and thread will be prepared for each student. No advance prep for project required.

 

In this hands-on workshop, you will stitch a charming sampler of background fill patterns that surround a flower reminiscent of the 1960’s. Learn to successfully complete each step of the process including; stabilizing the fabric, marking the design, pin basting the layers, setting up the machine and practicing essential free-motion basics. Each student learns to perfect the tension of their machine to achieve meticulous results before stitching the many background patterns with step-by-step instructions. A kit containing the Bloomin’ Backgrounds Sampler pattern, instructions, tension and fill pattern guides, and fundamentals of refined free-motion hand-out, front and backing fabric, wool batting and quality lightweight thread will be prepared for each student.

Bloomin'  Blossom workshop

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Fabulous Filler Wholecloth Christmas Stocking

Full-day Hands-on Workshop, Confident Beginner and Beyond

Fabulous Filler stockingA complete kit including the pattern,  basics of refined free-motion, all fabrics, batting and thread will be prepared for you.

 

In this day long workshop, Joanie shares all of the information you will need to stitch this amazing Fabulous Filler Wholecloth Christmas Stocking. This original design features both unmarked freehand fillers, as well as more formal, marked background fill patterns. You will receive instruction to successfully complete each step of the process including; selecting and preparing appropriate supplies, stabilizing the fabric, marking the design, pin basting the layers and setting up the machine. Time is planned to practice essential free-motion basics including perfecting the tension of your machine to build your confidence and achieve meticulous results before stitching your own stocking. Many of Joanie’s quilted background fillers will be available to view for your enjoyment.

Fabulous Filler stocking

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Give it a Spin! Circular Background Fill Pattern Sampler

3 Hour Hands-on Workshop, Stitch a small techniques sampler or
Full-day Hands-on Workshop, Stitch the Give it a Spin Mini-quilt

Give it a Spin! Circular Background Fill Pattern SamplerA kit including the pattern,  basics of free-motion, fabric, batting and thread will be prepared for you.

 

Discover the fun and versatility of stitching Circles, spirals, many easy to stitch free-motion background fill patterns based on the circular shape. Joanie points out the similarities comparing the instructions for driving a car and free-motion quilting. So if you can drive your car in traffic, YOU can surely drop your feed dogs to give it a try in the fun and stress-free workshop.

Joanie teaches her time-tested fundamentals, practice exercises for her essential free-motion basics including perfecting the tension of your machine to build your confidence and achieve meticulous results before stitching, as well as numerous circular background fill patterns. Enjoy beautifully stitched examples that will inspire you to Give it a Spin.

Give it a Spin! Circular Background Fill Pattern Sampler

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The Great Outdoors Background Fill Pattern Sampler

3 hour Hands-on Workshop, stitch a technique sampler or
Full-day Hands-on Workshop, stitch the landscape mini-quilt

Great Outdoors WorkshopKits include pattern, instructions with diagrams, basics of free-motion quilting, tension and practice guides, all fabric, wool batting and lightweight thread.

 

Take a joy ride through the scenic countryside as you learn time-tested free-motion fundamentals stitching numerous background fill patterns. A PowerPoint presentation introduces landscape pattern structure, prep of the workspace, plus free-motion quilting fundamentals. Learn each step of machine quilting; marking, pin basting, practice exercises to perfect machine tension. Create a landscape mini-quilt from an original pattern, The Great Outdoors, with free-hand patterns found in nature, tree bark, pebbles, rock foundation, ripples, clouds, flowers, barn wood, leaves, and mountains. This project will be the training wheels to future machine quilting adventures by guiding you to fill unusually shaped spaces with incredible easy patterns and textures. Enjoy Joanie’s many beautifully stitched examples that will inspire!

Great Outdoors Workshop

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Basic Quilt Making Classes

Joanie is committed to teaching precision techniques to those who want to construct top quality quilts and do it right on the first try. Workshops cover basic skills including the importance of stabilization of the fabric, accurate rotary cutting and precision piecing. Appliqué classes offer a great “turned edge” preparation process with numerous finishing techniques. Learn tips and expertise to rely on for a lifetime while creating projects designed to instruct the basic skills of each technique.

Birdie in a Garden Wreath Appliqué Block

Invisible Machine Appliqué, Full-day Workshop, Any Skill Level

Birdie in a Garden Wreath Appliqué BlockA kit including the Birdie in a Garden Wreath pattern and all fabrics for one block will be prepared for you.

 

Learn invisible appliqué by machine using this original pattern (or kit) based on traditional Folk Art shapes. First, discover a hassle-free preparation method for turned edge appliqué using heat-resistant template plastic. (Wow, this is fun with NO messy glue or paper to remove!)

Next, learn to attach the shapes to the base fabric with invisible appliqué by machine. This preparation method can also be used for traditional hand appliqué or decorative edge finishing techniques by hand or machine, all will be demonstrated.

Birdie in a Garden Wreath Appliqué Block

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Christmas Tweet Machine Appliqué Block

Invisible Machine Appliqué, Full-day Workshop, Any Skill Level

Christmas Tweet Machine Appliqué BlockA kit with Christmas Tweet pattern and all fabrics for one block will be prepared for you.

 

Learn invisible appliqué by machine using Joanie’s original pattern with a Christmas theme. Discover a hassle-free preparation method for turned-edge appliqué using heat resistant template plastic and spray starch (no messy glue or paper to remove!).

Next, be trained in attaching the shapes to the base fabric using the invisible appliqué by machine technique. This preparation method can also be used for traditional hand appliqué or decorative edge finishing techniques by hand or machine. This is the same technique demonstrated in the Birdie in a Garden Wreath workshop; the pattern has fewer pieces and can be completed in less time.

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