109: DeLoa Jones

DeLoa JonesDeLoa’s Tools and Techniques

Quilts have been a part of DeLoa Jones’ life as far back as she can remember. She started quilting at a professional level as a hand quilter in 1978 and started teaching in 1980. In 1999 she bought her first quilting machine and started her machine quilting business. Since that time she has quilted over 3,500 customer quilts. DeLoa has carried her traditional quilting background into her machine quilting. She’s the mother of eight living with her family plus a dog, 6 cats and even chickens in South Haven, Michigan, when she’s not traveling teaching and running retreats and seminars.

Week 1


DeLoa Jones is a machine quilter who has developed tools and techniques to meld her hand quilting background to machine quilting. She first shows Jodie the Appliguide tool which keeps the hand steady giving a nice smooth line when quilting around applique motifs. It has a beveled under edge so it moves smoothly over embellishments. The tool slides over the machine foot and your hand lies flat on the tool which helps avoid carpel tunnel problems. The Boomerang tool is used to quickly and accurately stitch cross hatching. In her demonstration DeLoa uses yellow YLI machine stitching thread so it will show up. Normally, she would use YLI invisible thread.

The Appliguide tool and Boomerang tool are available from DeLoa’s website deloasquiltshop.com

Short Takes on Longarm Quilting with Vicki Hoth
Handy Tools from around the House


Vicki brings a bag loaded with items from around the house that are perfect tools in the sewing room. She shows Jodie the tools and how to use them in new “quilting” ways. She ends the show and tell by grilling her foil wrapped cheese sandwich with her iron (just kidding, guys).

Lint brush – takes lint and threads off quilt
Tulle – trace pattern onto tulle, place over quilt and retrace with blue marker to mark quilt
Zinger scissors clip mounted with 3M Command hook – mount on side of machine, scissors are always right at hand
Laser square – lights are at right angles to each other, helps in marking
Expandable buttonhole marker – place designs equidistant
Blue painter’s tape – doesn’t leave sticky residue, good for marking straight lines
Pencil holder – great for storing rotary cutter in project bag
Toilet brush – a new one, of course. Cleans loose threads off carpet which keeps them off your vacuum beater bar
Unopened food cans – laid directly on the quilt they take fullness out of the quilt and roll along with the quilt as it is forwarded
Adding machine tape – fold a length to find center of quilt and to mark equal distances in pattern
Empty plastic bottle – poke hole in lid and store used needles for later disposal
Press and Seal – trace quilting pattern on piece, place on quilt to adhere, quilt through and tear away after stitching
Small paper bag – tape to frame with blue tape and use for thread ends and trash
Water bottle – the sippy cap makes it very easy to fill your iron

Week 2


DeLoa shows Jodie that items borrowed from the kitchen can be used as templates. She places canning lids on the quilt to use as spacing, one at each end and an odd number placed equal distances apart in between. She draws an undulating line around them to use as the spine for a feathered design. Teardrops are stitched freehand along that line. It’s important to practice stitching both forward and backward. Echo stitching makes the design pop and the background can be done in stippling. DeLoa sometimes adds a wool batting in addition to a regular bat for extra loft. Her book “Basics of Feathering” gives many tips for successful feather stitching.

DeLoa Jones’ books, patterns and machine quilting tools are available at her website deloasquiltshop.com

YLI machine quilting threads and Hobbs Bonded Fabrics battings are available at your local quilt shop

Week 3


DeLoa is known for her fanciful chicken designs. She usually uses lots of different colored YLI threads in these free hand designs, however for this demonstration she keeps it simple. Metallic threads would add extra bling to the design. The eyes are stitched in first going round and round giving the chicken personality. Then she adds feathers around the eyes and stitches plumes off the top of the head, then wings and a tail with swirls and curlicues, all stitched freehand. After layers of stitching the chicken is ready to color using the method you like best. Next it’s time to add extra bling with beads and sequins. This happy chick is now ready to frame or use in other quilting projects.

DeLoa Jones’ books, patterns and machine quilting tools are available at her website deloasquiltshop.com

YLI machine quilting threads and Hobbs Bonded Fabrics battings are available at your local quilt shop