My FMQ resources


It looks like Sunday Stash is turning into Monday Stash for me :)  This week I want to share some books that Santa brought me last Christmas.  I’m very new to FMQ, in fact I’m rather new to Quilting!  My first attempt at FMQ was less than a year ago.

I started out drawing some grass and leaves around the flowers and then in the end decided to stipple the whole quilt.  It was a wall hanging for Mr 4’s old creche, a thank you gift.  I stippled my next quilt, then I decided to try a few different patterns on small projects.  Whilst I’ve taken a basic patchwork class a few years ago and followed it up with a quilting class, I couldn’t get my old machine to FMQ in class.  I bought a few quilting books last year, but these are the first books I have owned devoted to actual FMQ.

The first is probably my favourite of the three, Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters.

free motion quilting

Angela’s book includes photos of a number of quilts that she has quilted, lots of examples of different FMQ designs and step by step instructions on how to create them.  With this book beside me I found it easy to stitch a feather which I had thought was a bit beyond me.  I highly recommend this book.

Modern Quilting Designs by Bethany Pease is very different to Angela’s book.  She doesn’t provide you with step by step diagrams and instructions, rather page after page of quilting designs.  At the beginning she gives you some insight into her inspiration, but the book is largely a sketchbook filled by someone else.  I do find it useful and I have used some of the designs.  I particularly like the last few pages of the book where the sketches are of whole quilts.  Other than inside the front and back covers there are no photos of quilts.  I like this book, I find it useful, it was not what I expected but it is a good resource for me.

modern quilting designs

The third book, Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen is full of photos of beautiful quilts.  The quilts look very familiar to me and it is visually very appealling.  This book is more similar to the other quilting books I have, it provides patterns for each of the quilts, gives the backstory to the quilts, talks about colour and explains the basics of piecing such as why you need a rotary cutter.

quilting modern

My one criticism of this book is that it doesn’t show me the quilt backs.  There are lots of detailed photos that show me beautiful quilting and provide FMQ inspiration, but I’m a girl who likes a nice back and I feel somehow cheated that I can’t see the quilting on the back.  Even if a quilt is used as a wall hanging, to me, it is a three dimensional object and I need to appreciate the whole piece.  When I’m coming up with a quilting design for a quilt I’m thinking of both the back and the front.  It determines thread colour, pattern design and flow.  The quilts in this book are absolutely stunning and I love drooling over the pages.

So have these three recent additions to my stash been worth Santa’s pennys?  Angela talks in her book of drawing, and following her on instagram it is evident that she walks the talk, she has a sketch book and draws out her designs.  For one of my recent quilts I decided to take Angela’s advice on board, I spent a lot of time sketching various FMQ designs to fill the inner circle of my colour wheel, I was focussed on getting some hearts in there.

fmq doodles

In the end I gave up on the centre circle and started quilting the cogs of the colour wheel.  I took the opportunity to try out a number of FMQ designs from the above books and had a lot of fun.

color wheel quilted grey

Then I sat down with some paper and a pen and sketched out the negative space.  It was such a useful process and one that I will do again and again.

negative space fmq doodles

Once I had figured out the main design I drafted the outer corners a couple of times to come up with a design that really worked.

fmq doodles refined

At the last minute I actually changed the design in the diamond space and I’m glad I did.

last minute fmq change

Once I had finished quilting the negative space I decided the centre circle needed something simple to balance it out and went with a lily flower based on one of Angela’s sketches.  It was great to have these three books to flip through and consult.  Sure,  you can find FMQ designs in google images but I’m glad Santa spent his pennies supporting these artists, their books are a great resource for me and I’m so glad to have them in my stash.

I’m linking up with Sunday Stash over at Finding Fifth.  Usually it’s all about fabric but I’m in a quilting mood this week :)

Finding Fifth

8 Comments on My FMQ resources

  1. MsMidge
    March 4, 2013 at 7:57 am (3 years ago)

    GREAT post Gemma! I had never thought about sketching out a quilting design before! Thanks :)

  2. Nat at Made in Home
    March 4, 2013 at 8:48 am (3 years ago)

    Love the post. The quilting you ended up with is amazing! Looks like Angela’s book is a great read!

  3. Finding Fifth
    March 4, 2013 at 10:00 am (3 years ago)

    It s actually refreshing and helpful to read a few book reviews on your post today. Your process for quilting design is great to read about. You are inspirational.

  4. Melanie
    March 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm (3 years ago)

    Very nice book review. I was going to ask you about you FMQ on this quilt- did you draw lines for the diamond design? It turned out so nice!

  5. jeifner
    March 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm (3 years ago)

    I have problems books I haven’t seen in person but having other people review them is so helpful to know if they might be worth it, thanks for sharing.

  6. Kimberly Cassie @ Quilty Doodads
    March 5, 2013 at 5:33 am (3 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing your insight into these resources. It is obviously working for you. I wish I had your “beginner” skills! I think you can easily call yourself an experienced quilter now!

  7. sylvied54
    March 16, 2013 at 7:51 am (3 years ago)

    merci pour votre article très très intéressant. Je viens de commander le livre d’Angela Walters . Merci de partager votre expérience. Votre bloc est magnifique. Bonne journée


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