Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Free Motion Quilting: My favorite books

While sharing my enthusiasm for free-motion quilting with a fellow quilter, she asked which books I'd recommend for a newbie.

Great question!

my favorite FMQ inspirations!

The first book suggested to me was one that ignited my love of  obsession with free-motion quilting, or FMQ.  Karen McTavish's Mastering the Art of McTavishing (2005, Onward Books) remains one of my favorite references and an ongoing source for inspiration. As I read through the book, it was hard to contain my excitement; it was as if the author was reading my thoughts!  Finally, permission NOT to follow so many rules!   Wait? It's OK not to be traditional?! Coloring outside the line?  YES!!

I recommend this book as a staple reference source for any quilter looking to expand their skills.  While I have several technical references for machine and long arm quilting in my library, it was not until recently that I came across more that really resonated with me.

I had the opportunity to take classes with Karen last year.  In addition to being an amazing quilter and artist, that woman is hysterical. And kind.  And generous.  Sort of like the Annie Lamot of the quilt world.   Learning from her has definitely been one of the highlights of my quilting journey.

Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters (Stashbooks, 2012) was, for me a breakthrough find.  Again, this book really felt like permission to let me creativity free, and not pay attention to traditional quilting "rules" of my past.    Here, Angela breaks down her unique quilting style is really easy to understand and recreate components.   I simply adore this book.    Angela blogs at

The follow up, In the Studio with Angela Walters (Stashbooks, 2013) takes her quilting designs and delves deeper into way to design your quilting to complement and highlight the quilt top. I can't wait for her next book: Int the Studio: Workbook.

Another book I'd had my eye on for a while and finally got around to buying is Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting by Natalia Bonner (Stashbooks, 2012).    In a step-by-step progression, Bonner introduces increasing complex quilting motifs.   By the time I got to the end of this book, it made complex looking patterns seem much more do-able. She blogs at www.pieceandquilt.com

So there you have it.  These three books and the quilters that wrote them certainly form the cornerstone of my FMQ inspiration.


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