I have just read a new book on Free Motion Quilting. This book, “First Steps to free-motion quilting” by Christine Cameli and published by Stashbooks, is intended to be just what the title says: a beginning free motion instruction book. As a bonus, it includes 24 simple projects that are designed to be quick to make so that you can spend a minimum of time making the project and most of your time practicing your free motion quilting.
The instruction section is short but complete. The photos are good and the writing clear. Extensive use is made of bulletized lists so that you can quickly see the important ideas without wading through lots of text. In fact, as I read the instructions I found the author making all the same points I tell my students in my free motion classes.
Following the instructions, a thoughtfully organized section shows about 65 different free motion designs, all very suitable for beginners. This section is a wonderful resource for quilting ideas.
The remainder of the book – in fact more than half of it – is devoted to the 24 projects. There is a wide variety – bags, bowls, placemats, tablerunners, clothing, and quilts. The last part of the section discusses embroidery – or using the free motion designs on plain cloth or readymade clothing. Many of the projects have a “modern quilt” feel. They are young and fresh and are likely to appeal to younger quilters (Judging by her photo, the author fits in this category!)
In short, I heartily recommend this book. I will be telling my free motion students that this is the one book they should buy as a reference. You can purchase this book at Amazon through the following link: First steps to free-motion quilting
Last week I taught two sessions of my free motion quilting class at the Silverdale Quality Sewing and Vacuum store. Both sessions were full and the students were great, so enthusiastic and all made great progress with their free motion work. We have scheduled another session in October for anyone closeby who missed these two.
One of my students came up with a great modification for one of the designs I was teaching. The pattern I was teaching is called “Headbands” and I learned it and many other designs from Diane Gaudynski’s Machine Quilting Guidebook. As an aside, Diane’s book is excellent and well worth the small investment. The close-up photos really show you how the patterns look when done properly, and the text is excellent. If you get inspired and want to buy the book, here is a link to the book at Amazon where it can be purchased: Quilt Savvy: Gaudynski’s Machine Quilting Guidebook
And now on to the new design. First, let’s look at “Headbands”:
Quilting pattern “headbands”
The new design is very similar but ends up with leaf shapes instead of headbands! Here I have sketched out the two different basic patterns to show the comparison. They are both made the same way, and the overall space is filled up the same way, but the leaf shape has a point at the top of the curve.
Drawing of headband and leaves pattern
And here is the stitched out result of what I am going to call “Kathy’s Leaves” in honor of my student Kathy who invented it:
Isn’t it a great design? It would be a wonderful background filler pattern on many quilts, and I expect to use it in the future. It could be modified by changing the shape of the leaves, making them larger or smaller, and could probably also be opened up somewhat (leaving some gaps between the leaves) although I haven’t tried that yet.
I am pleased to announce that the Quality Sewing and Vacuum store in Silverdale, in addition to offering several of my classes this fall, has asked me to present a “Meet the Author” event at the store August 7, 2013 from 10:00 am to 12 noon. I will present a trunk show of quilts and talk about the inspiration behind the quilts, plus briefly demonstrate some binding and quilting techniques that are included in my classes. If you are curious about the classes but not sure they are right for you, this is a good opportunity to get more information.
There will be lots of time to ask questions, and to sign books for those who are interested. I will be offering several books and patterns as door prizes, and the store will offer refreshments. Contact the store directly to reserve a spot or ask any questions about the event.
Quality Sewing and Vacuum 10876 Myhre Place NW, Silverdale 98383
After I taught my last free motion quilting class, I decided I needed to rework the class a little bit to improve its effectiveness. I also needed new shop samples. The photo below shows my first new shop sample, which includes thirteen different free motion designs (twelve blocks plus one in the sashing). By focusing the class so that each student tries these thirteen designs, I am hoping students will have a clear goal and feel they have enough designs to use on their quilts until they gain the confidence to create their own. You can click on the photo and enlarge it to see the designs. On my computer I can then zoom in even further so the quilting patterns really show.