Since I started quilting my own quilts a few years ago I've been on the look out for interesting ideas and articles on how to choose quilting designs and inspiration for free motion quilting (FMQ). While looking around online one of the names I kept seeing attached to some of these amazing quilts was Angela Walters.
I've since been lucky enough to talk with Angela in person, emails and on twitter and she even sponsored a chat on Talkin' Tuesday. She is one of the nicest and most genuine people I've met in this industry, which is saying something as the quilting community is full of amazing people.
Stash Books recently released Angela's new book, Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters: Choose and Use Quilting Designs for Modern Quilts. That is a long title but it says exactly what the book is all about.
Angela goes through the entire process of how she decides how, where and what to quilt on modern/contemporary quilts, which tend to have a lot of negative space, irregular shapes and really bold bright fabrics.
The act of quilting is the same on both traditional, modern and hybrid quilts but the designs and placement tend to be different as quilting is about complementing and enhancing the design of the quilt top.
There are 22 designs in the book that Angela shows step by step how to create, and you can do these on your domestic sewing machine just as well as on a mid or long arm machine.
She explains in both words and photos/diagrams how to not only form the design but how to connect it so you're not starting and stopping constantly.
There are tips through out the book to make quilting easier and more fun. A lot of them are things learned over time by quilting so many quilts and they are so helpful in getting the results you want.
The book has no judgement of style. Angela is able to share her love of modern quilting without in anyway taking away from more traditional styles. Many of the quilting designs, and all of the helpful tips and tricks, can be applied to traditional quilting as well.
If after going through all the designs and sections of the book you're still stuck there is another section for that! Angela goes through all the questions to ask to help you get unstuck and quilting.
This is a book I recommend anyone who is even thinking of quilting their own quilts pick up. You'll return to it again and again, even if you're a traditional quilter.
Number one tip from Angela? "Relax and Practice drawing first"
From my experience this is the best way to get comfortable with the design. Do it until you can reproduce the design without stopping or thinking and it will be easy to quilt!