Every quilter seems to have a particular part of the quilt process where they get hung up. For some, it’s choosing the perfect fabrics. Others can’t stand binding. Me? I struggle with deciding how to quilt my quilt tops.
I don’t like doing lots of marking, and I prefer to avoid stopping and starting if I can help it. So, when I read the objectives of Dorie Hruska’s new free-motion quilting workbook, Making Connections (from C&T Publishing), I knew I had have the book on my shelf.
“Objectives for This Book
- Learn how to use connecting designs to connect stitching lines with fewer stops and starts.
- Complete the quilting faster by using freehand designs (versus ruler work).
- Limit or eliminate stitch-in-the-ditch quilting.”
from Making Connections: A Free-Motion Quilting Workbook, by Dorie Hruska
I picked out one of my oldest unfinished quilt tops to quilt my first project using Dorie’s advice and instruction. I made it in December 2011, only two months after learning to quilt. It’s a Broken Dishes quilt with three borders–so lots of half-square triangles and lots of open space to play with. I looked through all of the designs in the book and found one that echoed a motif in the red border fabric that seemed to fit the bill.
Dorie emphasizes the importance of practicing your designs. That’s always an important reminder to me. First, I took one of the paper grids and filled out the top row to get a feel for the pattern. Then I sketched in a couple of rows of blocks to match my quilt top and ran through the design with HSTs thrown in there.Dorie’s advice to move clockwise helped inform my choices on those diagonal lines, and I absolutely talked to myself out loud through the whole process. “Over and curl, and over and curl, and down and curl, and up and curl….”
I needed to visualize this, so I pulled out an old trick of using Glad Press N Seal to audition the design.
Finally, it was time to warm up on fabric. I drew the blocks onto a little quilt sandwich and started working my through. I had a really tough time getting those longer diagonal curves nice and smooth, so I started breaking them in two. That worked better, but it really clicked with an extra little curl thrown in there. You can see all of the different ideas I tried as I progressed through the pattern. “….and over and curl, and down and curl, up diagonal and curl, down diagonal and curl….”
Time to quilt! The book is written for either long-arm or domestic machine quilting. I used my Bernina 550QE for this project. The only stop in the center section was to change a bobbin. I got a rhythm going and truly enjoyed the process.
I would recommend this book to the quilter with some free-motion quilting experience who would like to broaden their design repertoire and learn how to better plan their movement around the quilt top. I will definitely use Dorie’s tactics on future quilts! (….and left and curl, and up and curl….)
Signed copies of the book Making Connections can be ordered from Dorie’s website HERE. Read to the bottom of the post to learn how to enter to win a copy!
Here’s the full Blog Hop line-up. Visit everyone to see how they’re Making Connections in their quilting and to find more opportunities to enter to win a copy of the book!
Friday, September 1, 2017
Monday, September 4, 2017
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Friday, September 8, 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Friday, September 15, 2017
You can win your own copy of Making Connections!
Sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be entered in a random drawing at the conclusion of the blog hop. (If you’ve already subscribed, just enter the e-mail address you used.)
***Note: Only winners with addresses within the US will receive a hard copy of the book. International winners will receive the e-book version.