Blog Tour| Natalia Bonner’s Book: Beginner’s Guide to Free Motion Quilting

Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting

I am so excited to be a stop on my friend Natalia’s book tour! She’s an amazing long arm quilter – I talk all about her in this post I wrote last year.

She’s also an awesome free-motion quilter on a home sewing machine as well, and she’s put all that info into this book! Ah, there’s nothing prettier than a stack of quilts sitting in a cozy corner!

Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting

In this book she covers all the basics you need to get started machine quilting:

Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting

What’s really great is that she shows you how to stitch a lot of different motifs, and with each motif she illustrates how it can be stitched as background filler, in a border, or as a featured part of a block.

I did a lot of quilting this week – I made a bunch of reversible headbands while getting ready for an art festival I’m doing this weekend. While doing so, I looked to her book for some inspiration!

She shows several variations of loops, I’ve not quilted loops like these for years, but am very happy to have tried it, because I think this looks great!

She also explains how to quilt one of my favorite motifs: flames.

Natalia and C & T Publishing are giving away several copies of this book, one on each stop on the tour:

Amy Webb – October 6th
Melissa Corry – October 7th
Melissa Mortensen  – October 8th
Stash Books – October 9th
Amy Ellis – October 10th
Kimberly Jolly – October 11th
Vicki Christensen – October 12th
Candy Glendening – October 13th
Angela Yosten – October 14th
Gen Q Magazine – October 15th
Tracey Jacobsen – October 16th
Vickie Eapen – October 17th

AllisonHarris – October 18th

To be entered to win here on my blog, leave a comment on this post telling me how comfortable (if at all) you feel doing free motion quilting. All the winners will be announced on October 18th – good luck! 🙂

p.s. Don’t worry if you don’t see your comment right away – I moderate my comments and I’m going to be really busy (hopefully) selling all weekend, it’ll be nighttime before I get to the moderating

120 Responses

  1. I am intimidated by freehand quilting, so much so that I quilt only stitch-in-the-ditch with a walking foot. The risk of spoiling a perfectly good quilt with sloppy quilting stops me from trying it. Maybe the book would help; maybe some fortification. Too scared to start! Martha

  2. NOT AT ALL!!! I feel like I’ve stubbed my toe and am jumping around all over the place and bumping my toe again! But then, I’m a beginner at this and I’m quite sure that after I read Natalia’s book (and practice, practice, practice), I’ll feel as though I’m dancing the most beautiful waltz. 🙂 Until then . . . WHAM!

  3. I adore the look of free motion quilting — it looks like doodling on fabric! But I imagine the stitching is so much harder to do!

  4. I do a little bit of FMQ, but I would like to do more. I know I need to practice, practice, practice. This book would inspire me to do more! Thanks for the chance!

  5. I am pretty comfortable now. I tried it for the first time a few years ago and it has been a blast working on it since then. Thank you so much for the giveaway 🙂

  6. Today I get my new machine and now FMQ makes so much fun! But I must say, that my old machine was not responsible for any wrong stitch… And so: practice, practice, practice!

  7. I’m not comfortable at all! I would love to do it but I usually chicken out and stick to straight lines!!

  8. Im somewhat comfortable. I’ve been working at it off and on for a while now and my work isn’t too embarrassing anymore.

  9. I’m not comfortable with FMQ at all :)… I’ve tried it one or two times, successfully, but would love to delve deeper into it and get better at it.

  10. I’m better at free motion quilting when I put my sewing machine on my Grace frame. I only know a couple stitches, stippling and swirly lines. I would love this book to learn other quilting stitches and get better at quilting.

  11. Hi Candy, thanks for your view on Natalia’s book, it’s helped a lot just like the other bloggers reviews have. I’m not sure if I’m confident, scared to death or just haven’t found the right book to give me that push I need to fall off the hill and just do it! I’ve been quilting for a long time and have lots of tops that need quilting but the quilting I do doesn’t seem enough for the tops in waiting. I can stipple, meander and quilt in the ditch and I guess I’ll call myself pretty good at all three but it’s time I put those behind me (so to say) and start on a new journey of quilting. Natalia’s book sounds like the perfect book to give me the confidence I need to move to that next level in my quilting. I hope I win but if not Natalia’s book will end up in my quilting room resting right there next to my machine so I can follow her every step. Thank you, Maria

  12. Not comfortable at all. I’ve tried a few times. I think I just get too tense and can’t seem to loosen up. I want to so badly, though!! I would love to win this book….thanks for the chance 🙂

  13. Hello! I liked your FM>I’ll try that too!
    Well,I’m fairly comfortable with 2 FM designs,a trailing leaf+vine+a small heart,loop+larger heart repeated.I’ve been practicing FM for about 2 years and it really seems to go slow for me.I do baby quilts for charity+have finally gotten up the nerve to do FM on those (supposing a newborn won’t care how wonky my hearts get?)
    Thanks for sharing!

  14. I am not real comfortable with free motion quilting. I will do it on quilts I am keeping for myself, but not for ones I am making to give away. I could really use a copy of this book!

  15. I machine quilted a table runner for my sister for halloween last year and it was “not a complete disaster”. I am terrified of M.Q. but need to learn, because I have to finish 5 quilts by Christmas for my kids. I can’t afford to pay for someone elso to do it + I really want to learn 🙂

  16. Cute! I never thought of quilting headbands … Now I’m going to have to make a couple. I’m just getting comfortable with my darning foot, so hopefully Natalia’s inspiration will keep me on track!

  17. I haven’t ventured to try free motion quilting yet. It is on my list. I actually want to try it on the baby doll quilts I am making. I figured it would be a nice small project to try a new method on 🙂 Thanks for the chance!

  18. The reason I want to win a copy of this book is because I’m at a loss (and sometimes terrified) as to where to start for learning FMQ. I’ve done a little straight sewing machine quilting on small quilts (not that well), yet no FMQ. It takes me forever to hand quilt a queen sized bed quilt, so need some of Natalia’s expert advice. Thanks for the chance.

  19. I would put my comfort zone for FMQ at “just beginning to feel a tiny bit comfortable”. What I need is more hints from the professionals and practice, practice, practice!

  20. I’ve only dabbled with free motion quilting on my machine – simple things, so I’m not very comfortable at all. With each stop on this blog tour, it has become more and more obvious to me that this book needs to come live on my sewing table!! ~

  21. I am not comfortable at all with FMQ and would love some pointers on making it easier for me. Plus I want to learn tricks for certain patterns. I have really only attempted meandering and squiggles and they didn’t come out that great.

  22. I feel okay with basic stuff, but am always wanting to learn more. I quilt with a domestic. Thanks for sharing – the flames were my favorite.

  23. I am not comfortable at all doing free motion! i need this book to walk me thru it….or….have Natalie come and sit beside me and teach me! 🙂

  24. I am not comfortable machine quilting. Tried again on a Halloween table runner and was a little frustrated. I don’t know if I want to try again or not.

  25. I am not all comfy with FMQ. But I am excited to give it a try! I’m making too many quilts to afford the Long Arm costs. So I’m looking for a way to get my quilts finished that involves time but not money!

  26. I have been admiring Natalia’s work for a good while in her website and she has been responsible, at least partly, for my forays into free motion quilting. I enjoy it even though I am far from proficient in it.

  27. I’m a little intimidated to try fmq. I just got my first quilt top finished, so I’m on to learning the next step…. Thanks for a chance to win! 🙂

  28. I am somewhat comfortable with domestic machine quilting. W recently moved back to va from California, where my friend has a long arm machine and I was getting quite comfortable with quilting. So am having to relearn skills! I do so enjoy your blog and will continue to read it as I find you inspiring! Many thanks!

  29. I’m totally uncomfortable doing FMQ. That’s why I’ve never tried it! I’m not very artistic.

  30. I have done a little FMQ’ing on one quilt top and I loved it. I certainly would say I am comfortable with it, but I am anxious to try more. It would be great to have this book as a reference and as inspiration! Thanks for the chance to win!

  31. I feel pretty comfortable with free motion quilting, although I don’t think I’m very good at it. It would help to have a stitch regulator on my machine, I think, but that’s not in my budgeted future.

  32. I’m not very comfortable doing it. I try to practice more frequently so I’ll be able to do it on a quilt one day. I do like to experiment with thread art stuff on small pieces, but I freeze up when it comes to doing it on a quilt.

  33. In all honesty, I feel very uncomfortable with free motion quilting! Though I can fake it at times. I’m always amazed when my quilting actually turns out like I want!

  34. I am not too comfortable with free motion quilting. I do a little bit of it on small projects, but don’t have the confidence to try a large quilt.

  35. I’m fairly comfortable with free motion quilting, I just need a lot more practice. 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  36. I have never done FMQ, and have a lot of questions about it, such as how you avoid having noticeably heavier and lighter areas of quilting.

  37. I’ve been working hard at FMQ this year, and I’m making progress, but I still need lots more practice.

  38. I am ok with free motion quilting, what I always struggle with is what quilt design to use. I am never sure if I should go with something large and loopy, or tight and filled in!

  39. I admit, I am a ‘chicken’ when it comes to FMQ… I always end up using pantos and get it over with, but I so admire the incredible quilting Natalie does. Thanks for a chance!

  40. I’m getting more comfortable w it. Took a class at PIQF w Frieda Anderson and learned how to do a square stipple. Not difficult and I think I can master it!

  41. I enjoy FMQ and practice, practice, practice is so important …I do much better on small projects with my Bernina. Lisa in Texas

  42. I feel pretty inadequate at FMQ. This book looks like it could give me lots of tips on how to get better. Loved looking over your blog.

  43. While I’ve done a bit of FMQ, my skill is still on the beginner level. My plan is to make mug rugs for Christmas gifts this year, so I’ll get some FMQ practice on several small items in preparation for bigger quilts in the future.

  44. Once I finally bit the bullet and started FMQing I got more and more comfortable with the stippling. I have tried a few other shapes but am not so confident of those. I am envious when I see other quilters work, hoping to improve my own.

  45. Hi Candy — LOVE the headbands — and I’m very excited about Natalia’s new book. I am “sorta comfy” but a LONG way from consistent with my FMQ. I’m looking forward to reading all her tips and tricks to get myself to the next level !

    Have a wonderful day!

  46. I’m pretty comfortable with stippling, but anything more challenging than that, not so much.

  47. I tried very briefly to free-motion quilt once — was a disaster. Maybe I should get this book so I can learn how! (:

  48. I have not done too much quilting on my quilts. I am still practicing on my journal to get a concept of what I want on my quilt. Hope to one day be able to FMQ. Thanks for sharing…Judith, Texas

  49. I am afraid of messing up a beautiful quilt as well. I have minimal experience machine quilting, and haven’t even set up the long arm quilter I bought from a friend. I had big plans for that purchase, but I’m too intimidated to start. I bought a book, but it it too advanced I think, and doesn’t make me feel confident. Maybe this winter, sigh…

  50. Oh, I wish I could be comfortable with free motion quilting, I am so afraid of making a big mess that I freeze up. I know, it takes practice. I will keep trying.

    Have a super great sewing, stitching, and quilting day.

  51. Not at all…I really want to get better at it. Have only done a wall quilt using FMQ, otherwise I am straight lining all the way!

  52. I’ve tried DSM and mid-arm machines I still am not comfortable with either. I have a terrible time with tension adjustment. ;-> Toni Anne

  53. I have taken several classes in FMQ but am not confident enough to do a quilt on my own. I would love to have this book, and if I don’t win, I will be buying it!!

  54. i’ not at all comfortable doing fmq … i practice on 18×24 scrap layers and haven’t made much progress, so i’m a serious contender for this book! i sure need another boost to get over the hump and doing some better fmqing. thanx for the chance to win a copy!

  55. I’m so,so comfortable. If the quilt is for me or I’m doing simple FMQ, I can do it. If the quilt is a gift and I care very much how it looks, I have much trepidation.

  56. I have only done a few things but meandering comes pretty easily to me. Other designs, not so much.

  57. Hi there! To be honest, I am not comfortable FMQ on my home machine. I tried to once, and it was BAD! LOL Part of the problem is that was my first time trying, AND the quilt had minky on the back (a bad combo for a beginner). I have stippled on my MIL’s Babylock once, and it was easy peasy! But I am determined to win this book (okay, I will buy it eventualy if I don’t win) and study and practice and become comfortable with FMQ on my machine! Thanks! 🙂

  58. I haven’t really done any fmq, except for practice. I guess that means I’m not very comfortable with it :/ 🙂

  59. I’m just learning. Watching lots of videos, taking an online class at Crafty, buying books and this coming weekend, I’m attending a live class. After all that, you would think I would be an expert already. Lol!

  60. I’m more comfortable than I used to be, but would love some help to improve and be more creative! I think this book would be just what the doctor ordered!

  61. With practice I have conquered my fear of FMQ. On a good day, if I warm up, I am at the beginner level. I can do stipple and swirls. I want to learn more patterns so I can add another level to my quilts.

  62. Free motion quilting scares the bejeebies out of me. I have been playing around with it on scraps but I am reluctant to do it on a project. This book looks like what I really need.

    Thank you.

    sandyb720 at gmail dot com

  63. Despite taking a class on free motion quilting, I am still not comfortable with trying it on a quilt top. I am hoping this book will help me!

  64. I’m not comfortable yet at free motion quilting although I’ve done 2 baby quilts and a throw. It does get easier but I’m a long way from being confident. This book would be a great help.

  65. I’m really glad to see free motion doesn’t just have to be stippling. I could get interested in quilting.

  66. I am in the beginning stages of learning how to FMQ! I need all the help I can get!!! So with that being said, I’d say I’m not too comfortable with it YET! I will be though! Thanks for the chance to win!

  67. Free motion quilting continues to “frazzle” me at times…I know that I need to practice more. And I also know that I am a perfectionist. Maybe the book will “straighten me out”:)

  68. I did my second “attempt” at free motion quilting last night. I think this book would help me to figure out what I am doing since I have 0 yes ZERO knowledge.. Thanks for the review and the opportunity to win.
    lisamcgriff (at) hotmail (dot) com

  69. I’m not at all. Took a class and learned the basics. When i pratice I starts out pretty good then it just goes off on it’s own and leaves a mess! If anything it does make me laugh, so it’s not that bad.

  70. I don’t feel comfortable with FMQ. This book would be very useful! Thanks for this giveaway!

  71. I would have to say that I do not feel at all comfortable with this, since I have never even tried it, which is why I’d love to win this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

  72. I am reasonably comfortable with FMQ but only if it is stippling. I really should branch out into other designs. I need to get a copy of this book!

  73. I’m not too confident with FMQ. I’m never too sure what design to use, and definitely don’t have the skill to execute a pattern nicely. Practice and more practice. And I’m sure reading Natalie’s book would be very, very helpful.

  74. I just started and am not very good, but love it. I don’t know why I love it so much but It has become my favorite part of creating a quilt! Hopefully practice makes perfect!

  75. I start every FMQ project with a peculiar mix of excitement and trepidation; it takes about half an hour until I settle down to stitching with confidence.

  76. I’m not real comfortable doing free motion yet. I know practice makes perfect and that is just what I have to do more of, hehe.

    Thank you for a great giveaway and a chance to win a neat book.


  77. I’m not very comfortable with I free motion quilt. Part of the problem is my setup but my biggest problem is lack of practice.

  78. I have just started quilting on my home machine–doing “organic”, somewhat straight lines. I haven’t yet attempted FMQ but am getting excited about trying. Perhaps if I am lucky enough to win this book…

  79. I never quilted before and the thinking of it makes my hands and knees shake!
    thank you so much with the giveaway ^_^

  80. I’m moderately comfortable with FMQ. That doesn’t mean it’s great of anything. More that I promised myself that I would try to quilt all my own work. More practice, and more patterns to choose from would be great!

  81. Im getting pretty comfortable with it. Especailly after having a few peices in a local guild show, and the judge didnt mind the bits that I thought were too crooked. Quilting doesnt have to look like a computer did it…
    Cute book, thanks for the chance

  82. I spent the weekend trying my hand at FMQ-ing, and decided micro-stippling was a good place to start. Yikes! I really need this book, I think! I love your headbands, and I’m glad your sale was so successful – your set-up looked great!

  83. Though I have done some FMQ already, I am NOT at all comfortable with it! I remember in the early days (before I tried FMQ) an “old pro” told me to drink a glass of wine (or 2) and put on soothing music to quilt to. This doesn’t work for me since I don’t drink. So yes, this book would certainly help me to get out of my stippling rut that I find myself in.

  84. I have been doing free-motion quilting for about three years now and I love it. I’m still learning and trying new things.

  85. I’m only comfortable with small projects and baby quilts. I really want to gain some confidence and skill with larger quilts.

  86. Not so much. I can do loopies, as they seem to kind of cover their own iffy bits, but am not game (yet!) to try more involved things.I dread the unpicking if it goes wrong!

  87. I was looking over your blog and your hand dyed cloths are AMAZING!! Very appealing to the eyes!!

    I am getting a lot more comfortable with trying new designs on quilts….slowly that is;) It is actually becoming an enjoyable experience!

  88. I finally got it together after a year of doing FMQ:):) Now it is actually enjoyable!

    Your hand dyed projects are breathtaking btw!

  89. I’m not very comfortable quilting anything but I think free motion quilting is just so much fun. Now if I could only get it to look good…

  90. As I have never tried FMQ, I am not comfortable at all, but I think this book might give me the info I need to get started.

  91. As I’ve never done FMQ, I couldn’t say that I’m at all comfortable with it, but it’s looking like this book may take care of that.

  92. Not very. I would love to be better at Free Motion quilting, but I just can ‘t seem to be consistent with my stitches. So I still use the walking foot for most of my machine quilting. The book looks great!

  93. I would have to say not comfortable at all since I have yet to try it. This book would be helpful in getting me started.

  94. I am getting more comfortable doing FMQ. I recently completed a baby quilt with a simple all over meandering pattern. I would love to be more adventurous though and this book looks full of ideas and assistance!