Join the Book Tour
As you may know, my new book, Free-Motion Framework was made possible with the help of contributing quilters. A total of 17 quilters, including myself, stitched 41 quilts featured in this inspiring, machine-quilting skill-builder resource. This week we’ll hear from some of them on how the worked with the concept, interpreted their assigned designs, and how their quilts turned out.
Today kicks off the Social Media Blitzo tour for Free-Motion Framework. Stop by the blogs, listed below, to read more about the new title, and when on Instagram or Twitter, check out the hashtag #FMFWQ or #FreeMotionFramework.
Choose one of 10 Framework designs, or one of 12 if you have the Free-Motion Framework Pattern Sheets, to transfer onto your own 40″ square fabric using tips and instructions in the book. From here, prepare the fabric for quilting, as you would any other quilt. Choose shapes from the linear design to fill, symmetrically, with quilting designs. Practice as many design motifs as you like. Each time you create a small project, it will help grow your machine quilting skills and turn out completely different than the one you stitched before.
Note: Build your skills on a domestic or longarm sewing machine.
And, after you’ve practiced and quilted the entire piece, you’ll accidentally turn out a wholecloth quilt. Neat, right?
I thought it might be fun to share the reasons you may want to keep Free-Motion Framework in your own library, and the “problems” I was trying to solve when I authored the book.
1. Quilting can be expensive.
From machines and fabric to time and planning, quilting is a luxury hobby. For a past-time that started out utilitarian, it has grown to be an amazing creative art form. Turns out, art can get pricey. I wanted to develop a way to quilt without breaking the bank. All the projects in Free-Motion Framework are presented at 40″ x 40″. You can create a quilt using 1-1/3 yards of fabric, batting, and backing. Even better, if you were to purchase 108″ wide backing, you can create two 40″ pieces from the one back. Sure you can make larger quilts by combining designs or adding a variety of your own border designs to the 40″ square “frames,” but largely the Free-Motion Framework projects can be created at a low cost.
2. I need more practice, but don’t want to commit to a big patchwork quilt.
When a person decides to start machine quilting, especially free-motion quilting, you may find that you need many more practice pieces before diving into your own beloved patchwork project. Often new quilters will take on charity quilts to stitch with one all-over design. We may also quilt bed sheets just for practice. I wanted to practice many quilting motifs while still producing something neat. Unlike practicing a single style on a “real quilt,” Free-Motion Framework presents the opportunity to create more than one fill or quilting design on the same project. By isolating shapes to essentially color in, you can try all sorts of different ideas.
In the two quilts below, notice how, by choosing different design lines/shapes and arranging different types of quilting motifs, the exact same framework, Shark Attack, turns out completely different. Each chapter has four different interpretations of the design by quilters of all skill levels and backgrounds. I think you’ll be surprised with the variety of inspiration.
3. How can I make a wholecloth quilt easily?
I know that sounds crazy, right? The idea of a Wholecloth Quilt by nature doesn’t really give off the EASY vibe. Pre-printed panels exist to create wholecloth quilts, but really, I wanted my own design. I am inspired by the incredibly talented machine quilters who spend months tweaking and perfecting their wholecloth competition quilts on paper then transfer every single stitch to a fabric design.
Do I love the look? Yes.
Would I love to plan something elaborate like that? No way.
The brainstorming began. Fundamentally, many wholecloth designs are symmetrical. Starting there, I decided if I just had some guidelines to work symmetrically, I may be able to turn out something that looks planned. That turned into: If I just had guidelines, I could fill-in whatever I wanted. I just need to remember where I stitched what motif. Using the Goals Worksheets provided with Free-Motion Framework, you’ll be able to write down the notes for the design as well as keep track of what you are practicing on each piece.
Another tip- Save the printed designs to make full-size notes while quilting. I traced a quadrant of a design four times onto fabric. With that quadrant, I loosely draw the designs as I stitch them to remember what to symmetrically stitch on the other areas of the quilt. Remember, this is just a guide, not a masterful drawing.
4. Quilt with No Pressure
By working small and unplanned, the project takes on a freeing feeling. Working without any outside pressures is a fantastic path to self-growth. Jump in and give it a try. Free-Motion Framework is great for any skill level as everyone has room to improve that one little thing.
- Hey, this is just 1-1/3 yard of fabric.
- It’s only practice; no need to worry.
- This is for my own quilting self-journey, if it turns out, cool. If not, I haven’t invested hundreds of patchwork hours (and CASH) into it.
- I’ve always wanted to try X-Y-Z design. Let me try it in four or eight small spaces to see if I like it.
- Rulers have always fascinated me, but I’m not sure where to start. Start one small shape at a time.
- This will be great to work on at retreat!!! It’s small.
All in all, writing this book from concept to “holy crap that worked” to pitching to the publisher to sourcing all the many contributing quilters, this has been an amazing experience. I hope you’ll enjoy hearing all about the title on this week-long blog hop.
Stop by each blog this week for a possible chance to win a copy of Free-Motion Framework. (International winners, outside the USA, will receive a digital copy.)
Monday | June 4
ReannaLily Designs (here!)
C & T Publishing
Tuesday | June 5
Joey’s Quilting Co
Helen Ernst Longarm Quilting
Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC The Blog
Thursday | June 7
Wise Craft Handmade
Friday | June 8
Living Water Quilter
Seamingly Slawson Quilts – Susan Lawson
To be considered for one of the following gifts from our sponsors, leave a comment sharing what area of machine quilting you’d most like to improve. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by email.
The prize portion of the tour will close at 5pm central time, June 18th and winners will be announced June 19th, right here on ReannaLily Designs Blog. Thank you so much for joining the Blog Tour.
See all the Free-Motion Framework details, workshops, projects, and samples here, on the ReannaLily Designs blog.