The reviewer of this book was Danielle: Danielle is a Canberra-based quilter, crafter, knitter and collector of fabric who loves to applique. She blogs infrequently at Petits Elefants, but is more likely to be found on Instagram and twitter (@petitselefants).
Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Natalia Bonner, Stash Books, 2012
Natalia Bonner is well-known in the online quilting community as a professional long-arm quilter. In her first book, she shows us how many of the popular quilting patterns used on modern quilts by long-arm quilters can be replicated on our home machines. This is a practical guide, with lots of pictures and diagrams to unravel the mystery of how those lovely, perfectly rounded and spaced swirls can work on your quilt!
There’s no denying that free-motion quilting is to many home quilters the last frontier. While we may have squeezed a twin-sized quilt under the tiny throat of our machines at times, sometimes we have to admit that sending the quilt off to be quilted on a long-arm machine is the better option. Others may be confident with a gentle meandering stipple pattern, but be a little nervous about trying something that looks a bit more complicated. This book will help dispel the perception that ‘fancy’ quilting patterns can’t be done on your home machine.
In practical terms, it’s important to acknowledge that free-motion quilting, as with a lot of skills, takes practice, and lots of it. The more you practise, the better you will be. If you’re willing to put in that practice, then this book has loads of inspiration for quilting designs, ranging from simple swirls to more complex combined designs, and perhaps the pinnacle of quilting, the feather! One feature I particularly like about this book is the whole chapter it devotes to border designs, and especially the hints about carrying the design around corners, something I have struggled with in the past and which has put me off wanting to free-motion quilt on my quilts that have borders. There are also sections on allover designs, how to quilt custom designs to fit individual blocks and how to manage appliquéd quilts. Six quilt patterns are included in the book, my favourite of which is the cover quilt, Orange Slices.
This book will serve as a fabulous resource for anyone who either would like to try free-motion quilting or who has already mastered one or more designs. It is packed with detailed pictures and diagrams, and practical tips on how to complete your quilt.