Today we’re celebrating talented Designer Molly Hanson and the kickoff of her new book.. Free Motion Quilting for Beginners! (and those who think they can’t)
Not only are we fortunate to have Molly work along with us…we can tell you..she is just as talented as she is sweet!!
Here’s a bit about the book…
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
We invited our designers to participate and try our Molly’s new book..here’s what three of our talented gals came up with..
Hi! It’s Amanda from Jedi Craft Girl. I recently finished pouring over Molly Hanson’s book, Free-Motion for Beginners. While I don’t consider myself a beginner (I’ve been FMQing for 16+ years) I found that reading this book gave me courage to break out of my quilting comfort zone – you all know what that is! Mine is sitippling and loop-de-loos! I decided to try something new and try “pebble” style. Beginning a free motion quilt pattern is like curling your hair – once you start you have to finish the job weather you like it or not!! I am super happy with the way it turned out and my family was in awe at my creation! Here are the details of the project:
Finished Size 39″ square
The wall hanging consists of half square triangles (HST) and solid squares. To make the HST cut 5″ squares, or charm squares, in various colors of dusty aqua, grey, and off white.
off white (16) 5″ squares, (16) 4.5″ squares, (4) 4.5″ x WOF strips for boarder
Light print (8) 5″ squres
Dark print (8) 5″ squares
This is how to match up the square sets:
8 light/dark print sets
16 print/cream sets
Sew 1/4″ away from both sides of the pencil line.
Once the HST blocks are pressed, you will need to “square them up”. Line the block up on your cutting mat and align the 45 degree angle of the block with that of the mat. The block should finish 4.5″ and should only need to be trimmed off slightly. This allows the blocks to be perfect and makes for a quilt that goes together nicely.
Arrange the HST units as shown in the picture. You may need to play around with it – I didn’t plan out my colors ahead of time – I just went for it!
Once you have your quilt laid out, sew each row together, block to block, pressing the seams of each row opposite. I always press away from the odd row and toward the even row, if that makes any sense.
Add the off-white boarders and press, squaring off excess.
now on to the quilting…..
I first did a freehand triangle inside each triangle – giving it a little curve to hide the imperfections. I could really use some practice on this technique – from a distance it looks good 🙂 I quilted the prints in a light grey.
For the pebbles, I switched to white thread – I like the effect the white thread on off-white fabric gave. I started in with the defined center spaces to build my confidence. I should mention that I did practice drawing the pebbles first and I re-read Molly’s section on Pebbles. I love how it turned out. My pebbles are not perfect – probably from so many years of loop-de-loos – it was hard to break the habit. This technique used a lot of thread and was tiring – If you were to do a large quilt, you would need to schedule breaks. I kept stopping to look at my work and I was pretty excited with the result! Once it was quilted, I added the binding and hung it on my wall.
Nicole Daksiewicz’s Turn:
When I first heard about Molly’s new book I was a little uncertain…I am a hard core straight line quilter. Look at any of my projects and you will notice that they may be going in all sorts of directions but every line is straight as can be. I tried free motion quilting several months ago and there was more cussing involved than stitching so I put it to rest and decided that it was one of two things…my machine wouldn’t cooperate or my hands and brain couldn’t work together (I was probably a little bit of both).
Fast forward to this past week when I took the knowledge I read in Molly’s new book and started to practice. I first cleaned and oiled my machine and made sure the tension was where it was supposed to be, spray basted my fabric layers with my SpraynBond® Basting Spray from Therm O Web and started. I then fell in love, so much that I just ordered myself a supreme slider and some quilting gloves because I know that I will be free motion quilting quite a bit in the near future.
The design I chose was one of the first in the book, loop de loops and I chose to use it on my Dear Stella project that was on the blog this week. I felt like the loops would look like snowballs and would make for a fun texture. It helps to draw out your design on paper first like Molly states just so you can get a feel for how to actually make the motion.
I am looking forward to doing a wood grain pattern, and pebbles! I have always admired free motion work by so many quilting friends and I love the confidence Molly has given me in my new skill. Thanks Molly!!
I took two pieces of scrap canvas I had laying on the floor from a recent project and tried it out. I must confess I did draw it out first with a pen just to make sure I could do it, but I was comfortable enough with the second piece I did it all free motion on the machine. It was so much fun, I can’t wait to do it again on an actual quilt or bigger project.
Here it is attached to my work bag. Now it won’t get lost with all of my junk in the bag and it is super cute. Thank you so much Molly for the wonderful inspiration, I can’t wait to tackle more machine quilting.
Molly’s publisher, Martingale, has generously offered to give an e-book to one lucky reader. Plus we’re going to include some of our Designers favorites..our SpraynBond® Basting Spray and our HeatnBond® Fusible Fleece to help you with your next Free-Motion Quilting project!
And do take a moment to visit the other Designers who joined us in supporting Molly and her new book!
1. Martingale http://blog.shopmartingale.com/
2. Amanda Jean http://crazymomquilts.blogspot.com
3. Amy Friend http://duringquiettime.com
4. Angela Walters http://www.quiltingismytherapy.com
5. Juliet van der Heijden The Tartankiwi
6. Lori Kennedy http://theinboxjaunt.com
7. Cindy Weins http://www.liveacolorfullife.net
8. Thermoweb http://thermoweb.com/blog/