Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Machine Quilting

Before I left for my folks' house a few weeks ago, I ordered a couple of books online - Angela Walters' new Free Motion Quilting book, being one of them.

It's fabulous.

If you're looking to drop some dollabills on a quilting-related book, I recommend this one.
New fave book

I'll go ahead and say for the record that I've pretty much staked my entire free motion quilting portfolio on a half-dozen or so designs:

basic stippling

loop de loop stippling
fave block #2

square stippling


ready for the close-up

and straight lines. Do straight lines even count?

Everything else you've seen in my work was probably a pattern I traced onto the quilt.

So I bought this book, looking to beef up my free motion repertoire. I was thrilled that she included her concentric circles pattern in the book, because it's one of my favorites that I've never been able to figure out just by looking at an image of it.

Examples of this pattern at work here, here, and here.

Luckily, Angela gives directions for how to stitch each pattern, line by line, just like the old handwriting charts of yore. Do kids still use those charts? Or is it all touch-typing these days?

Anyways, at her advice, I filled up pages and pages of my Notebook Of Life with this one design, practicing through many episodes of The Daily Show until I finally worked up the gumption to try it on an actual quilt.

fmq practice

I figured that my Joy HST string quilt would be a perfect candidate for this particular design. You see all those stringy seams? They really needed to be stabilized, and this allover design fit the bill perfectly.

#fmq party on the front

My lines aren't perfectly smooth and curvy - there are a few angles and corners where I stopped and started to go check on dinner or change out a bobbin or thought I would smoothly shift my fabric with one hand while I continued quilting with the other (#nosuchluck). But I'm hoping those little inconsistencies won't be so noticeable once it's all quilted.
#fmq stitches

Overall, I'm in love with this pattern. I can't wait to see how the entire quilt turns out.

#Fmq from the back

I definitely recommend this book - it has clear directions for each desk, solid tips on trying out other new designs,  and it definitely boosted my confidence/gave me the kick in the pants I needed to try a new design for realz on one of my quilts!


  1. Seriously Megan??? It's AMAZING!!!! Can you quilt my Joy quilt too? I love that design. I'm such a chicken when it comes to FMQ. I've done loops on one project and havent' done any FMQ since. Your post (and that book in general) are really inspiring me to try again.

  2. I have had an eye on that book... I am a very reluctant "quilter"... but I have stacks that haven't made there way over to my LAQ... so she can purchase your vacation home in the south of Spain! I think the book would be a great investment! But quilting the quilt still makes me nervous.

  3. Your quilting looks great, Megan!! And I've been eyeing that book, too - it's on my birthday/Christmas wish list, and hopefully my hubby or daughter will take the hint!!

  4. Oh my dear! Good for you. I bought the book the minute it came into the shop, but so far have only looked at the pictures : /

  5. Nicely done. I'm told FMQ is just a matter of practice but you have to brave enough to start!

    Happy sewing

  6. I just ordered the book yesterday, beginning to stalk the mailman:). I think you are an amazing FMQer, and the blocky all-over design I will forever refer to as The Megan, because you are masterful at it! Love how the Joy quilt is turning out. I think you get the prize for being the first in our guild to finish!

  7. Girl, your free motion quilting is AMAZING! My repertoire is limited to stippling and loops. You've inspired me to get going!

  8. Beautiful job! LOVE what you've done with the Joy quilt!