Books on Monday – Free Motion Meandering

Today we are looking at Free-Motion Meandering: A Beginners Guide to Machine Quilting by Angela Walters. It is available for Kindle as well as in paperback and the second link below is to the Kindle version. Both links are, as usual, Amazon Affiliate links that help support this blog.

This book was one of my quilty Christmas gifts, and my original plan was to post a review with photos of me trying these things out. That was before a bout of a cold hit and operating heavy machinery became a terrible idea. (Rotary cutters too, actually so only hand quilting has happened over the last day or so.) So you are getting the review, but not the demo pics. I think you’ll survive.

One could argue that there should come a point when one should stop buying/reading free motion quilting books and just do it. (This might have been one of the reasons that I was going to actually do some before writing this review!) However, the whole idea of just covering meanders of various kinds was one of the things that drew me to this book. I like the idea of just looking at one style of quilting at a time.

If you’ve ever read one of Angela Walters’s other books, you are already acquainted with her light (and relaxing) tone. This book is no exception. She definitely puts me at ease with her “you can do this” tone of writing.

The book starts with an Introduction and then a section called “Why Meanders?” (This seemed like a very good question to me!) Then she moves on to a few basics of how to get started followed by a section called “First Stitches” that includes a few Frequently Asked Questions. Then it’s on to the various types of meanders she covers in the book. These are: the Basic Meander and the Loopy Meander (the two that I usually think of when the word meander comes to mind), the Swirl Meander, the Swirl Hook Meander, the Paisley Meander, the Leafy Meander and the Feather Meander (yes, I know, I don’t normally think of feathers as a meander but I can see how these are kind of). Her last section is Improv Quilting, which combines the previous designs. Each section has a few FAQs at the end of it, which I find very helpful.

I will admit that this is the second machine quilting book that has made me want to jump right in and get started. (The first was Walk.) I’m not sure why that is, but I’m pretty sure that within the next few weeks you will see some samples of meandering on this blog. Angela’s approach seems to be what I needed to get inspired and brave enough to try.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Next Steps in Machine Quilting

Welcome to Books on Monday on the fourth Monday of the month! I’m having a bit of difficulty getting used to the new timing, but I know it is for the best. Honestly. Now if I could just get myself blogging about any (which is very little right now) progress I am making, this blog would be a bit more interesting. But I digress…

Today we are looking at Next Steps in Machine Quilting: Free-Motion & Walking-Foot Designs, Professional Results on Your Home Machine by Natalia Bonner. The link below is, as usual, an Amazon Associate link that will benefit the blog if you use it.

This is a very recent release, and I would have hesitated to purchase it if it hadn’t had the magic words “walking foot” in the title. Since I’ve been doing quite a bit of wallking foot quilting on my machine recently, I jumped at this one. And I’m not sorry I did.

I reviewed Natalia Bonner’s Beginner’s Guide to Free Motion Quilting: Professional Quality Results on Your Home Machine here. Below is an Amazon Associate link for that one which I’m adding largely so that you can see the awesome design similarity in the two books. They definitely go together.

And there is a Kindle version too.

These two books look gorgeous together. Even though orange and neon green are not my favorite colors.

The book starts with and Introduction and a brief section on Machine Quilting Basics. Natalia points the reader to her earlier book for more of the basic information. Then she moves right into the designs and how to do them. Throughout the book she includes some Natalia’s Tips where they are appropriate and there is a section on choosing designs which is quite helpful.

So here are the sections in this book:

  • Introduction
  • Machine Quilting Basics
  • Machine Quilting Designs – This is broken into sections for Allover Designs and Background Fillers, Borders and Sashings, Square Blocks and Cornerstones, and Triangle Blocks
  • Choosing Designs for Your Quilt
  • Quilting Patterns – Full size patterns for quilting.
  • Resources
  • About the Author

This book is, for me, a keeper. It will go right on my shelves next to her earlier book and probably come off the shelf quite frequently as I work to improve my FMQ skills.

Quilt on!

Books on Monday – Fabulous Feathers & Fillers

Today we are continuing the free motion quilting focus from last week with Fabulous Feathers & Fillers: Design & Machine Quilting by Sue Nickels. (Yes, that is an Amazon Associate link that will help support this blog if you click on it.)

One of the most comforting pieces of information from this book is that Sue Nickels marks her feathers. I already knew this because I had taken a class from her at AQS – Grand Rapids last summer and she told this. I found it very comforting and encouraging. Not that I seem to be rushing to try it, but I’ll get there.

Sue Nickels quilts amazing quilts on a domestic machine. She and her sister Pat Holly have won many awards for their quilts, made together and individually. Sue usually does the quilting, and it is awesome. They have also taken over running Gwen Marsten’s Beaver Island retreats.

In this book, Sue is concentrating on (as the title says) feathers and fillers. She shows how she designs feathers and other quilting for her quilts. Sue includes exercises for practice both with pencil and paper and using the machine. She also includes some feather patterns that can be traced onto fabric and used, either for practice or in quilts.

Here’s what’s in the book:

  • Dedication (to Gwen Marsten)
  • Introduction
  • Section One: Supplies
  • Section Two: Designing Feathers (thorough and clear directions to get you started)
  • Section Three: Machine Quilting Feathers
  • Section Four: Machine Quilting Fillers
  • Section Five: Quilting the Quilt, Start to Finish
  • Section Six: Feather Patterns and Projects
  • Bibliography
  • Resources
  • About the Author

Reading this book made me want to practice machine quilting, if not actually quilt a quilt by machine. Stay tuned. Maybe you’ll see some samples of my practice here on the blog.

Quilt on!

2014 Quilty Resolutions

I should really not bother making resolutions. I think we can see from yesterday’s post that I don’t do well at keeping resolutions. I think I rebel against the expectations I put on myself. I guess we’ll see how that really goes this year. I may carry over a few resolutions.

1.  Complete at least 2 of the 4 BOMs I have going. (Yep, I really am going for this.)
a. American Beauty BOM     This one is destined for my basement guest room bed.
b. 2009 Designer Mystery BOM     This one is mine! I’m not sure I can get it finished this year though since I’m handquilting it.
c. 2011 Designer Mystery BOM     I have plans for this one but they are way off in the future.
d. 2012 Designer Mystery BOM    I just like the colors in this one so it is well worth finishing.

2.   Complete the Wedding Quilt for my daughter and her husband before their first anniversary which is July 20.

3.   Do some free motion quilting on one small project     I know I’ll finish this one because I want to test out the best washing and drying for the wool batting in the above quilt. And I found the Christmas table runner too, so I’d like to have that to use next Christmas.

4.   Complete the two Christmas tree skirts for my daughters before Thanksgiving.

5.   Complete the studio (aka family room) reorganization

6.   Complete the Falling Charms Quilt that is currently on the design wall.

7.  Try some machine appliqué. I have a surefire plan for this one which I’ll tell you about in the next post or two.


How about you? Do you have some quilty resolutions for this year?

Quilt on!