Having recently jumped into Free Motion Quilting while working on Matt's Quilt, I did indeed get familiar with a range of emotions and spastic moves associated with skill.
- Ack! Don't let your mind wander
- Where the heck am I?
- This is really cool!
- I'm on a terrifying rollercoaster
- Why did my hands do that?!
- This is going to look like crap.
- How fun!
- What the heck am I doing?
I'll admit that I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of the information she provided did indeed make the process seem less daunting. One of my problems when looking at a quilt is trying to decide how to even get started. The quilt looks so big, the possibilities for design are wide open (if only my skills were good enough), and I just have no idea how to attack the problem. This book addresses that issue. While of course practice is still a must--there is no way around that--what this book does is provide a well-thought out strategy for making wonderful free motion quilting designs with little marking. She advises breaking your quilting area down into sections no more than 4 1/2" square. For a 12" block, this results in 9 sections within the block. Within the 4 1/2" square sections, she shows how to use some very basic shapes--like ovals, triangles, diamonds--to make some very attractive and intricate looking designs. When I was done perusing this book, I felt much calmer and as though I will be able to do free motion quilting successfully.
The second book is Hooked on Feathers by Sally Terry. There were two reasons I got this book. First, I love the look of feathers in quilting, so if there was a chance in the universe I could learn to do feathers, then I wanted to take it. The second reason is that several quilters have recommended this book as an incredibly easy way to achieve beautiful looking feathered designs. I'll admit that again I was skeptical. Feathers that beautiful just couldn't be that easy. And yet, the technique this talented quilter has developed does provide a way to make beautiful feathered motifs with little marking and much less work than traditional feathers. When I read about her technique, I was confident I could master it.
Armed with the information, techniques, and tips from these two books, I'm going to start free motion quilting the Pansy Sampler Quilt. It's not only going to be a sampler by block design, but also in quilting. The 16 blocks in this quilt ought to provide me with ample opportunity to try out these various quilting techniques. Unlike Matt's Quilt, this quilt is for me, and so any imperfections will be mine and mine alone. I am poised with anticipation!
While today's blog doesn't show off any creative achievement, I am going to link up over at Amy's blog for Sew and Tell Friday. I hope that these book reviews will be inspiring to other free motion quilting newbies like myself. And since I will be sharing my free motion quilting adventures with my fellow bloggers on Sew and Tell Friday in the future, I wanted everyone to know where the adventure began.
I'd better to get to pin basting the Pansy Sampler Quilt!