Upcoming Machine Quilting Classes


All 2020 and 2021 Classes have been CANCELED

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for updates when classes can safely resume.

Below is a list of possible class offerings when it is safe to get back to the classroom!

Calling All Machine Quilting Wannabes to

1 or 3-day Machine Quilting Skill Building Seminars,

2-day Quilt Making Excellence,

and a FUN half-day Hexie Workshop With Joanie Zeier Poole

 All Madison classes are held are the Town of Burke Hall 5365 Reiner Rd Madison, WI. 53718


3-day Machine Quilting Seminar 

Read complete sylybus for the 3 days at bottom of page.

Successful machine quilting requires that you “think with machine quilter’s logic”. But how could you do that before you experience great information? This process has many layers to uncover; from design, to machine set-up, to maneuvering the bundle, and locking the tread ends. Joanie fills 3 days teaching all that she has learned as a 22 year practitioner of this skill. Start with the basics and then build on each one showing how it is used for the project, applied to additional practice exercises as well as discuss how the skill applies to future projects. Learn to mark, baste, and stitch like a pro!

WHAT you will LEARN in the 3-day Skill Building Seminar

Spend 3 uninterrupted days in a quiet and supportive atmosphere learning exceptional machine quilting techniques and good habits to use every day! This comprehensive workshop will cover the ENTIRE machine quilting process from prepping the fabric through to meticulous finishing techniques. This is a hands-on experience using your own machine. Conquer both free-motion and straight line quilting by machine plus many background fill patterns.

A possible new project based on Joanie’s Doodlesphere Quilt with a softer, contemporary color scheme is being designed specifically for this seminar.

What is included in the fee?

For the fee of $325.00 you will receive 3 full days in the classroom, daily  lectures and demos. Joanie is preparing kits for the project so you will have more time in class to stitch, and use her preferred supplies. Kits include pattern, fabrics and batting, informative hand-outs, stitch and practice guides. You may choose from several lightweight threads to purchase. Participants must sign up for the entire event. Students may bring a dish to pass (or pay a small fee) so lunches on site  and DELICIOUS!

WHO is this class for?

This seminar is designed inspire both traditional quilters and contemporary quilt artists of any experience level. Machine quilting is not dependent on years of other quiltmaking skills; rather it is a completely separate set of lessons that any determined quilter, experienced or new, can achieve. Your desire to learn, as well as a machine that is in good working order are more important to your success than previous free-motion experience. A committed true beginner will become confident, and students with experience will improve their skills to master all three machine quilting techniques. Our goal is for you to go home knowing how to use machine quilting for your future projects.

Are you not quite sure if you are ready for this?

If you have been looking for the promise of a successful machine quilting future and this seminar sounds interesting, but you just are not sure if you are ready,  I have written some further information to set your mind at ease.  On this website you will find:  Am I ready – How to prepare for class document. Read on to find out how to best prepare for class to assure successful results. You might also familiarize yourself with machine quilting lingo by reading Joanie’s Glossary of Frequently used Terms for Machine Quilting. Learn a ton of great ideas that make the job easier by reading Joanie’s Machine Quilting Tips. And finally, so many students have benefited from ordering Joanie’s Quilting Elements book and one of her DVDs to watch before class. There are so many details to comprehend, this just makes the in-person experience even better.

To sign up: E-mail your interest to Joanie@HeirloomQuiltingDesigns.com (note the class name in subject line). You will be notified of availability and how to proceed with registration process.


Falling Leaves by Joanie Zeier Poole

Falling Leaves 2-Day Workshop

Perfect your Basic Quiltmaking Skills 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

Class fee of $195.00 includes two days of instructions and demonstrations,  pattern with multiple size projects based on Joanie’s Falling Leaves design, a kit with trial fabric and thread. Students supply additional fabric based on size of desired project, and can participate in an exchange of scraps of fall prints.  You can bring your favorite dish to pass (or pay a small fee) so lunches on site  and DELICIOUS!
Joanie has combine several popular classes into this cooperative workshop. Bring your friends of any experience level as we will work together in supportive group atmosphere. After an introduction and practice exercise of each skill you choose your favorite method to make blocks for a table runner or small quilt. A kit containing supplies to make the practice blocks is included; additional fabric based on desired size of the project may be needed. Students can participate in an exchange of strips of fall prints.

Gain knowledge of these easy steps will lead you to elevate your expectations for meticulous results in all of your future quilting projects:

  • Pressing for success, stabilize fabric for precise cutting and stitching
  • Fusible applique finished by hand and machine
  • Turned-edge applique using Heat-resistant template prep; finished by hand and machine
  • Precision patchwork for strip pieced blocks
  • Discussion of finishing techniques, basting, batting machine or hand quilting, threads and binding.


1-day Machine Quilting

Prize Pumpkin

Outline Quilting and Background Filler Hands-on Workshop

Prize Pumpkin

9:30 am to 3:30 pm

$85.00 class fee includes 6 hours of instruction and demonstration, Joanie’s personal attention, the Prize Pumpkin Pattern specifically designed to teach outline quilting and background fill patterns, top and backing fabrics, premium wool batting and lightweight cotton thread. After class, you may add your own border fabric to match your decor.

Learn to make decisions based machine quilters logic with Joanie’s time-tested free-motion fundamentals for stitching outline quilting and background fill patterns. A PowerPoint presentation introduces the basics; prep of the work space, sequential stitching order, plus each step of machine quilting process; marking, pin basting, practice exercises to perfect machine tension. Create a mini-quilt from an original pattern, Prize Pumpkin. This project will be the training wheels to future machine quilting adventures by guiding you to fill unusually shaped spaces with incredible patterns and textures. Enjoy Joanie’s many beautifully stitched examples that will inspire!

To sign up: E-mail your interest to Joanie@HeirloomQuiltingDesigns.com (note the class name in subject line). You will be notified of availability and how to proceed with registration process.


Eye Spy with My Little Eye Quilt-on-the-Go Hexagon Workshop

 Class Fee: $35.00 (Plus Hexie Tool Box $18.00)

The original motivation that ignited Joanie to offer this class was two-fold; to be productive during time away from her machine and to create interactive quilts to be used as the foundation for the game of Eye Spy with my Little Eye! What has transpired are the many examples of hexie quilts that will demonstrate two methods for completing quilts by hand or machine.  You will discover the benefit of working by hand to best use your time away from the machine to Quilt on the Go when camping, waiting for an appointment, while sitting in the car traveling from quilt show to quilt show.

Joanie has created a TOOLBOX and instructions especially for this class! She will instruct TWO methods for making any size or layout.

METHOD ONE: Attach the hexies to one another (by hand or machine) making a quilt top that will be layered with batting and backing for completion in the traditional quilting process.

METHOD TWO: Prepare hexagons of batting and backing fabric to create a quiltlet for each motif hexie and join these (by hand or machine) using the quilt on the go technique.

Rainbow Hexie Quilt Front

Rainbow Hexie Quilt by Joanie Zeier Poole

Rainbow Hexie Quilt Back

What you will learn in this class No machines will be necessary as you will be learning the “by hand” method in class. In addition, a time saving “by machine” method will be demonstrated. Numerous models will be available to inspire many hexie projects whether you choose to make an EYE SPY quilt or any other layout.

Learn many technique and design possibilities available when using the simple hexagon quilt patch. You can make any size quilt with any desired layout, flowers, landscape, or rows of rainbow colors, just to name a few. Every step of the process will be presented using the TOOLBOX developed to simplify each specific task.

What is in the Tool box? Templates are included for both processes.

  • Instructions for cutting and sewing quilt top using either method, by hand or machine
  • Sheets of printed hexies used for basting the fabric motifs
  • Transparent hexagonal plastic window for marking fussy cut motifs from fabric
  • Cardstock hexie used as cutting guide for batting, to assist in folding the fabric edges of backing hexies and to protect fingers from hot fabric as you press.
  • Large Cardstock hexie used as cutting guide for backing fabric
  • 2 Heat resistant shapes for pressing backing hexies

Who is this class for? All experience levels: anyone interested in hexie quilts and interaction with children. Let’s have FUN!

Spring Tablemat by Joanie Zeier Poole

To sign up for any or all of these classes: E-mail your interest to Joanie@HeirloomQuiltingDesigns.com (note the class name in subject line). You will be notified of availability and how to proceed with registration process.

About the Madison, WI Location

Past seminar participants really enjoyed facilities at the Town of Burke Hall. It is a quiet park setting located 2 miles from the East Towne Mall at the north edge of Madison, WI, just a mile from HWY 151 at I 39/90. It is just minutes to nice hotels and many restaurants. The hall provides large windows, good lighting, long tables (2 students per table), and additional space if you prefer to bring your own table and/or chair. The kitchen has a fridge and microwave. Walking trails on site. Parking is right at the door and everything is on one level. NO STEPS! Help will be available to get supplies in and out of your car. Session 2When you need a break, take a stroll along the path by the pond.

Reaction from the Students!!!

The first three sessions of the 3-day Machine Quilting seminars held in Oct. 2015 were loved by all! Students are asking for more advanced instructions and reunions to share the fun with their new found friends. They share their enthusiastic praise below. Here are the wonderful recipes that enhanced the experience.

Hi Joanie,
Thank you so much for a wonderful experience.  I can’t thank you enough!  I have a comment for you to post:
I have been sewing for many years, but am fairly new to quilting and desperately wanted to be able to machine quilt.  I had little success in the past, despite all the tools, books, etc. I had purchased, but all that changed during this 3 day seminar.  Joanie’s kind, loving attitude, attention to detail, vast knowledge and skill, as well as her willingness to share every little detail and hint with us in order for us to be successful was truly amazing.  I can’t believe the quality of the machine quilting I did in class on my very first ever machine quilting projects.  I gained so much knowledge and skill and enthusiasm for machine quilting.  It was truly a fabulous experience and so worth the time and money.  On top of all that, we were treated to great meals and had lots of opportunities to enjoy fellowship with like-minded women. N A

Joanie, Thanks very much for a great workshop. I really appreciated you starting from ground zero and building. Your personal touch to everyone is amazing. Your knowledge is unbelievable! You really made me think of new ideas. I know that putting on a workshop like this is really stressful for you but for me it was the most relaxing class I have ever taken and still learned so much! Thanks for a great weekend. Cheryl.

Hi Joanie, I didn’t get a chance to say bye and thank you before I left. I really enjoyed the classes. I liked that there was variety throughout the day to keep us fresh and interested. Your willingness to answer questions and listen to comments was especially appreciated. Venue was perfect. Food yummy. Also thank our “model husband” for his help and friendliness. I was amazed he seemed so comfortable sitting with us during lunch. Barb

This past weekend was the best!  I am so glad to have had the opportunity to have Joanie share and teach us so much, to enjoy meeting Bob and talking with him as well as getting his assistance and insight into building a quilt frame, to have enjoyed such delicious soups/meals….and to meet and share good conversation with all of you wonderful folks.  My brain is full and excited to continue on my quilting journey with some great ideas for next projects.  I thought folks would enjoy the attached picture as well! Looking forward to part 2….our next workshop together! Warm regards to All! Nance

I am participating in the Cherrywood “The Lion King” Challenge this year and am in the process of designing my quilt. Thanks to your wonderful class, I am thinking about how I am going to do the quilting in the designing process.  This is my first quilt design since your class and I am applying what you taught us. One thing that I would always stress about when I did a challenge quilt was how I was going to quilt it. Figuring that out, ahead of time has taken that stress off the back end of the project and I know that I will enjoy the process of putting the quilt together a whole lot more without the quilting aspect hanging over my head. So again, my thanks to you. Taking your class was one of the best gifts that I could have given myself.

Fantastic Teacher Informative class Wonderfully delicious food Great space Friendships……..priceless, Lisa

Hi All, Thank you to each and every one of you for helping to make this weekend an amazing event and one that will I will always treasure!  It was great meeting new friends and sharing the love of our craft with each other.  Joanie you are a true master and beautiful person both inside and out!  Your willingness to share your knowledge and secrets was incredible.  I have taken a lot of classes and I have never felt more comfortable with the learning process.  It didn’t matter if you were an advanced, intermediate or beginner quilter, you were always there with encouragement and never made anyone feel rushed as you worked on with those more experienced and remembered us that were a little slower.  That is an amazing talent!!!  The facility was perfect and the ability to bring your own table and chair really made a difference.   I can’t wait to practice what I have learned and come back to the reunion next year with an intermediate status instead of beginner. Roseanne

I think we all agree that this past weekend was wonderful and memorable and I’m glad we got to spend it together! Love this group shot! Gratefully, Mary 2015 - 10 first 3 day seminar Wonderful skills learned that a week later, I am using them and incorporating some of them into other aspects of my sewing. I enjoyed the fellowship of all of my classmates, the fantastic food, and the ability to learn from a true master of their art, Joanie.

I too enjoyed spending time with all of you and look forward to a reunion sometime in the future. I had on my 2015 quilting goals to “explore free motion techniques” and must say that with what I learned in three days more than exceeded this goal expectation. I found that there are things I learned that I will use definitely and other things that I will put on my future goal list to practice.  I had no idea what I was getting into but found the process relaxing and fun, which is my #1 goals always with quilting and new techniques. Have a great day! Marilynn

Hi Joanie, Hope you have gotten a little rest and are ready for your next session.  I just wanted to take a minute and thank you, thank you, thank you for the best three days of learning that I have experienced since becoming a quilter. In another life for about 15 years, I taught seminars on porcelain doll making and history all over the country.  I know it is a demanding, tiring thing to do.  Although the experience during that journey was great, I am not sorry that those chapters are closed.  Kudos to you for keeping on, keeping on.   You will help future generations to see how creative and well executed home machine quilting could be during our tenure. I am sure our paths will cross again. Best wishes,  Christie

I enjoyed all the techniques, tips, cooperation & sharing from all of you. Thanks for a meaningful time together. Joyce

I enjoyed all the techniques, tips, cooperation & sharing from all of you. Thanks for a meaningful time together Joyce from St Germain.  

Hi Joanie, I hope you are doing well….I have been so enthusiastic all week after spending last seeking at your quilt workshop!  I wanted to follow up with you to tell you that I went to the local quilt shop near my home to purchase some border fabric to finish the blooming background sampler that I made last weekend and to talk to the quilt shop owner about your workshop and awesome technique, talent and skill at teaching. I brought the piece that I had free motion quilted to show them, and the owner as well as the three employees in the store thought it was amazing!  I provided them with your contact information, and said that you are booked up with classes for a while.  I showed them a picture of the landscape scene that you teach in a one day class. As I mentioned in class…I have definitely become a groupie of yours, and have shared with many friends and this quilt store how wonderful taking any class taught by you is.  I hope that Patti gets in touch with you and that you come to Illinois sometime to teach a class…if you do, I will definitely be there 🙂 All the best to Bob and you! Warm Regards, Nance

Synopsis for the 3-day Workshops

Day One:

Begin at 10:00 a.m. (Plan to arrive no earlier than 9:30, anytime up to 10:00 is fine.) Opening lecture: summary of the workshop, what to expect each day, how to use this information in your plan for quilting any top. Overview of machine quilting, understanding the three techniques: Straight-line using a walking foot and free-motion quilting when following a marked line or free-hand quilting.

•    Glossary of terms •    Machine preparations and process •    Supply choices, fabric and thread, keeping the bundle lightweight

Lunch Break

Afternoon: Lecture: Marvelous Machine Quilting with Walking Foot. Students are introduced to the wonderful possibilities available when they understand the process of machine quilting when using a walking foot.Joanie shows stitched samples of many straight line machine quilting techniques using various thread weights. The registration fee includes the fabrics, batting and instructions needed for this project. However, students choose thread for project to purchase in class, Many lightweight cotton and silk threads, $3.00 to $9.00

 Exercises – Learn to bring up the bobbin thread, and to lock the stitches using the stitch length setting of the machine. They will learn how quilt-as-you-go projects can be quilted using techniques including “stitch in the ditch” and free-motion quilting. Joanie shows stitched samples of anchoring with a walking foot, many results of quilting with a walking foot and possibilities for using it for future projects.

Time to Stitch: Learn to draw, mark a square grid. Set up machines for practice exercises to perfect tension and stitch a grid with a walking foot.

Day One, 5 pm class ends.  If possible, Evening Fellowship at local restaurant, chat about your quilt projects, and ask questions.

Day Two:

Arrival: 9 am and departure at 4 pm. Morning lecture:

Lecture: Free-motion quilting: How to follow a marked line and free-hand techniques

  • Machine set-up and accessories
  • Tension adjustments for various threads
  • Locking the thread ends, jump stitches and retracing
  • Joanie shows stitched samples of free-motion quilting, free-form and formal.

The entire process for making the a free-motion sampler including marking and basting, review the machine and work space set up, and Machine Quilting Essentials, Locking Stitches, Retracing and Jump Stitches, plus Divide and Conquer! Joanie’s anchoring the quilt layers process and navigating the quilt surface for Follow a marked Line and Free-form Fillers.

Time to Stitch: Set up machines for practice exercises to perfect tension for free-motion quilting. Feathers: Students will mark the design, baste the layers, and stitch a feather design.

Lunch Break

Time to Stitch: You will learn to stitch straight and curved lines, anchoring with free-motion, follow a marked line foundation, follow outlines of quilting designs and free-form background fill patterns. Students continue to stitch on their project with Joanie’s instruction for all of the background fill patterns.

Day Three:

Arrival: 9 am and departure at 3:00 pm

Morning lecture: Choosing, Adapting and Using Quilting Designs – Explore where to find quilting designs and resize and manipulate them to fill blocks and multi-size borders, selecting marking pens and quilting paper, and Joanie’s process for planning on paper templates.

Open discussion: •    Supply choices, fabric and thread, keeping the bundle lightweight •    Assembling an accurate quilt top; stabilizing and pressing for success •    Basting: pins  and frames, batting •    Handling the big quilt, on a small machine •    What size to make the top for machine quilting •    Finishing the quilt

Lunch Break

Afternoon: Open Lab Students choose to either: •    Continue free-motion lessons for feather, echo and stippling. •    Or plan the quilting designs, marking process, and stitching strategy for their own quilt top

At some seminars, there will be a 3:30 pm lecture, Getting Started with Machine Quilting, that is open to the public but all 3-Day Seminar participants are welcome to attend at no additional fee.

Tentative Student Supply List for 3-day Seminars

* Students in past sessions have a message for YOU! Read the supply list all the way through and then read it again. DO NOT wait for the night before you travel to assemble the items. 🙂

Four 18” square practice bundles; muslin or light colored solid fabric for top and backing any batting. Be sure the fabric is light enough to see lines for tracing. 1.    Stabilize top and backing fabric with spray starch and layer with batting. 2.    Pin-baste 2 bundles (16 pins) and leave 2 unpinned and bring extra basting pins (Tiny safety pins available in class).

How to prepare fabric: Pre-wash your fabric. Use spray starch to stabilize the fabric before you cut the pieces and to avoid stretching during the marking, basting and stitching processes. Choose any commercial brand, mix your own form corn starch or liquid starch. Use a generous application for both the top fabric and backing fabric. Press with the strait of grain with a hot dry iron until it is completely dry.

Other Supplies: Basic Sewing Supplies, (A small curve blade EZ Snips will be available to purchase in class) NO cutting or pressing is necessary, all prep is done before class. Bring your BEST machine, the machine you intend to use for machine quilting (this is not the time for your tiny, lightweight classroom machine) in good working order with: Smallest open-toe free-motion and/or darning foot, walking foot, extension table or slide on tray extra empty bobbin, and owner’s manual, the machine cords, an extension cord and foot pedal. If you have a single hole throat plate, bring it. Note: Some thread used in class is wound on a stacked spool which is intended to be placed on an upright spool pin of the machine. You can bring a free-standing thread stand, or several are available to borrow. Sewing machine needles, size 70 Microtex (available on site) 2 or 3 empty bobbins Water-soluble marking pen (new, wide line preferred) Rulers: Drawing or Quilting Style will work, one 6″ and one 18″ to 24” Masking tape (not Painters tape) Note taking supplies


  • Quilters gloves if you use them.
  • All feet that you own for darning or quilting, walking foot, the screw driver for the machine, we will be changing feet!
  • Any lightweight thread you may wish to experiment with.
  • Students may bring one quilt pattern, sketched layout or small assembled top to discuss how it will be quilted.
  • We will use lightweight thread and tiny stitches so bring a light and any magnification you need.
  • We have plenty of room, you may bring your own sewing table, chair and chair pad if you wish.

Food: Multi-day events will have lunches provided on site. Water, coffee and hot tea will be provided; BYO hot/cold covered cup. If you have a favorite beverage, please feel free to bring your own. Each student provides one dish to pass for a lunch. (This was a BIG hit in past sessions). Joanie will provide a list of suggested categories (hearty salad, sandwich, soup, fruit or desert) from which you can choose to bring your favorite recipe. If you are traveling and are unable to bring a dish, no problem, add $6.00 per day to your fee and something will be purchased for you.

Email any questions about equipment or supplies well in advance of the class, as I will set up the day before the event!

Joanie Zeier Poole Joanie@heirloomquiltingdesigns.com www.HeirloomQuiltingDesigns.com