Free-Motion Quilting for Beginners - And Those Who Think They Can't - OP

by Molly Hanson

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You can do it! Learn to free-motion quilt on a home sewing machine. Yes, you can! Encouraging you step-by-step along the way, Molly Hanson teaches how to quilt like a pro. You'll begin by quilting your name, because soon you'll be signing unique works of art!

  • Master the fundamentals of free-motion quilting on manageable fat-quarter-sized fabric pieces and turn the pieces into projects
  • Try 10 different quilting designs, including stippling variations, pebbles, square meander, and swirls
  • Confidently quilt 15 practical projects, such as a tote bag, weekender bag, and laptop sleeve

by Molly Hanson
8.375" x 10.875"
Format Description:
full color; softcover
Product Code:
Publication Date:
November 4th, 2014
Loop de loop, swirls, pebbles and nesting boxes. Are those words foreign to you? If so, the author will help you understand exactly what those are and how to do them on your quilted project.

The firs 25 pages are dedicated to introductions, tools, setting up your space, how to prepare your project, thread and tension, tips and tricks and explanation of the motions. Whew! Once you get through all that, you need a chocolate break!

The next section will bring you to page 92. In between, you will find 15 projects to make using your new free motion skills. Some are small and others are larger projects so you get the feel of each. The end of the book finds three pages of basic sewing techniques and an author bio.

All in all, if you knew nothing about free motion, how to set up your sewing machine and even the basics of sewing, you will be an expert after reading this book. It is definitely one that will be in my library and a go-to for free motion questions. The only thing better would be a class with the author.

"I received this e-book free in exchange for providing an unbiased review."
This book was one of two dozen review copies of different books that were recently donated by Martingale to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA. I am a volunteer at the museum's library and agreed to review some of the donated books; this was one of those books.
I think this is a great basic book for those who have never tried Free-Motion Quilting (FMQ) or for those who have but who were not happy with the results. The author takes a very systematic approach with a patient, encouraging tone, introducing the basic tools and techniques that you will need. She encourages sketching out designs on paper many times to help build muscle-memory for those designs before you try them on your quilts or in any of the small projects that she presents in the book. Even if they weren't practice pieces for the FMQ designs she is presenting, those little projects would be great in and of themselves! The directions are clearly written and the illustrations are very helpful. (Do check and see, however, if your copy of the book has any corrections available- one such correction to one illustration was available and was needed in our review copy. Later printings may already have the correction incorporated in them.)
Although I have done some FMQ, I can always learn something new to help me improve and expand my repertoire of designs- I think I will buy this book for my own library!
I absolutely love books like this one. Technique books, that help us all improve our skills, and not just make a project warm my heart. This is actually how I learned how to quilt. Each week I would go to our local library and check out at least 4 different quilting books. And that week, I would read them from cover to cover. Some were great, some were average, but I found the ones I learned most from, were books like this. Books that I could take the principles, and apply them to my quilts.

This book covers all the things you will need to know, to make yourself successful in learning to quilt. She covers these points:
Necessary Tools: Molly is a little like myself, a minimalist. She shares what can make the biggest impact in being successful. And, somethings she appreciates, but aren't needful. One thing she doesn't love, but I DO, are quilting gloves. She doesn't like feeling restricted, and I love the feeling of being able to grab the quilt.
Setting Up Your Space: This is an important aspect of quilting, nothing is left to chance here. And she even shares a tutorial link of how to build your own custom sewing table.
Prepping Your Project: She shares three different basting methods..{even though I am converted to only one}.
Thread and Tension: This is such an important discussion, and one that beginning quilters sometimes think is less important than it is.
Sketching: Seriously, this is the only way I learned how to quilt. Sketch, sketch, sketch, over and over again, until that muscle memory kicks in
Five Prep Steps for Free-Motion quilting: Wish I had had this list when I started quilting, I might have saved myself some headaches.
I love that in addition to teaching the methods of quilting, she also gives a BUNCH of projects to practice these techniques. These projects aren't big or overwhelming. You don't have to wait until your quilt top is pieced to try it out. Nope, here's a little project for you to practice on, and master a new skill. She doesn't take quilting to seriously either...YES! This is about learning. About improving.
Molly has you make and quilt small projects. This helps build your confidence as a sewer and your ability as a free motion quilting. She gives encouragement and tips along the way, while you learn to make several types of free motion designs.
This is definitely a book that should be included in your library if you want to learn free-motion quilting designs! I have been free-motion quilting for a long time and I still found designs in Molly's book that I haven't done. The projects that have been included in the book makes this seem like two books in one!
Great book for beginners and advanced quilters alike. Here are some things I really liked about this book:
- The introductory sections cover all the basics which usually intimidate beginners: tools you will need, how to prepare your project for quilting, how to set up your machine (she addresses thread tension, yeah!).
- I like her idea and examples of sketching free motion designs - I had no idea it was a good way to improve free motion quilting.
- Molly proved I am not totally crazy: it is OK to practice on actual projects (which I have always done with few exceptions, such as when I am testing wild ideas as in here).
- The photographs are very clear, important because we can see that not every stitch needs to be perfect in order for us to end up with beautiful free motion work.
- The [great] projects are perfect for the techniques she is demonstrating - their manageable size will increase confidence as we try each free motion design.
A GREAT book for beginning quilters! Molly goes from basic quilting designs to a little more complicated, and she also provides patterns for the projects she uses for the quilting in this book.
No matter how many free-motion quilting books I read, I always learn something new. This one is no exception. If this is your first free-motion book, you'll find all the traditional basics, like tension, supplies, correct posture, and basic designs. However, quilters of all skill levels will find something new in the project section. Instead of saying "practice this technique on a scrap quilt sandwich", she turns each practice piece into something functional- a make-up bag, a small tote, a zipper pouch. So even if your first ventures into free-motion quilting aren't perfect, you can still practice on pretty fabric and create something useful. I typically keep several practice pieces by my machine to "warm-up" on before I start an actual quilt. Being able to turn those pieces into something I can use around the house is like a two-for-one deal!
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Molly Hanson

From the time Molly Hanson was very young, creativity has been her constant companion. Throughout her life, she has sought and embraced any way she could find to express her ideas. When she made her first quilt, Molly found an unrivaled outlet for her creativity, and she was hooked. She loves the whole process, especially coming up with her own designs, and is well known for being fearless in her quilting adventures.

When Molly tried free-motion quilting, her head began to swirl with all the possibilities of adding this extra layer of art to her quilts. She loved the control that she gained over the artistic process by being able to quilt her own quilts. Since then, she has quilted for customers including fabric companies, authors, bloggers, and pattern companies. Her other accomplishments include a pattern featured in a magazine; her work featured in videos and advertising for a fabric company; quilted projects published in a book; and she has designed and quilted quilts in major shows. For Molly, the highlight of it all has been writing this book. She hopes to inspire others to join her in the ability to quilt their own quilts, and have control of their process and how it all turns out from start to finish.

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