Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Book Review - Step by Step Free Motion Quilting by Christina Camelli

I might have a slight Craftsy addiction. I've watched free motion classes by Leah Day (free videos on quilting the Craftsy 2012 BOM), Angela Walters (has 4 classes on Craftsy) , Ann Peterson (has 2!), but the one I have enjoyed the most has been Christina Camelli's The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting.

Christina blogs at A Few Scraps, where she has lots of free stuff on free motion quilting. If you want to take any of her Craftsy Classes she has links from her blog that will get you the classes for half price at about 15 Euro. She has also written 2 books on the subject : First Steps to Free Motion quilting and Step by Step Free motion quilting. I enjoyed her class so much I bought First Steps and when I saw Christina had a new book out Step by Step Free Motion Quilting, I wondered if it was worth buying as well. After leafing through Paula Rafferty's copy, I didn't hesitate and bought it too.
First steps and her class Free Motion Quilting Essentials give lots of advice on getting started, setting up and managing the movement of the quilt in your machine, things to avoid and where to start quilting. Step by Step and The secrets of Free Motion Quilting show basic shapes like circles, lines, spirals, arc shapes, loops etc. and growing them into all over edge to edge motifs or very neat filler designs. The tag line is turning "9 simple shapes into over 80 designs".
I find myself turning to this book when I am looking for quilting inspiration and stuck on what to do with a project. When we were away on holidays in September, our Jack Russell, Charly, went on holidays to 2 different households. Neither would take anything from me for minding her, so I made 2 cushions as thank you presents. (The pattern for the pieced pups is available for free on Sew Fresh Quilts blog here up to the end of October or you can buy the pattern here if you want to make any of these - pattern is Dog Gone Cute!.) 
I knew I wanted to quilt the dogs in a loopy wiggle pattern, as this gives really lovely texture and to me, looks like fur. For the background, I wasn't sure what to do but wanted to try something different from straight lines or all over stipple (Lori Kennedy who blogs at the Inbox Jaunt is out to ban the stipple to encourage people to try new things - check out her free quilting tutorials here)
Leafing through Step by Step Free Motion Quilting I found this version of a free motion linear design and gave that a go.
For the second cushion I found a string of pearls type design that Christina keeps very free and easy by not being too perfect. I used this technique on a sewing machine cover but tried to be prefect travelling around the circles. This sketching style is much easier and I think suits the piecing, though when I was showing the cushion off with a "What do you think?",  I was answered with a "Why did you put the poor dog out in the rain?" Oops!

Still I like the result and had fun playing with the designs that Christina suggests. If you are looking for a book on Free Motion Quilting from Santa this year, this one might be the one to put on your wish list!

If anyone has a go to book that they would like to share or write a review to share on the blog please drop me a line!  Thanks Helen for reviewing Sew Organised!


  1. I have Christina Carnelli's 2nd book (Step-by-Step Guide to Free-motion Quilting). I find it very handy to flick through and get ideas when deciding on quilting ideas.

  2. You sure are right Ruth! I too find Christina's books and classes to be wonderful!

  3. Oh Ruth what a compliment to hear my class stole your FMQ heart! My friend Lara B pointed me to your review. Thanks for sharing my book and your adorable quilted dogs! Such thoughtful gifts. Your quilting is beautiful: I can see your good humor shining through it, FMQ is so personal! XOX


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