Quilt Along: Quilting Tips from a Pro

 Quilt Along: Quilting Tips from a Pro

This is the 6th Installment in the 100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along! All of the posts can be found here:

July 15: Quilt Along Introduction + Giveaway
July 19: Materials + Cutting Instructions
July 26: Foundation Piecing the Blocks
August 9: Assembling the Quilt Top
August 16: Quilting Tips
Today: Quilting Tips from a Pro: Guest Post by Angela Walters
September 6: Finishing the quilt

Last week, as part of the 100 Quilts for Kids Quilt Along I shared some quilting tips of my own. This morning, I have a real treat for you.
Angela Walters of Quilting Is My Therapy (aka long arm quilter extraordinaire) asked me if I wanted to give away a new copy of her book and if she could help get the word out about 100 Quilts. Since I have bought 3 copies of Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters and tried to convince my local-ish quilt shop to carry it, I would guess you could say I really DO love the book. After getting my copy (and lots and lots of practicing!), I can say that the quilting designs in her book are very achievable on a home machine.
10860 Quilt Along: Quilting Tips from a ProLeave a comment on the blog for a chance to win a copy of her book, and better yet, put some of Angela’s tips into practice on a charity quilt before October 15! [Note: All of the pictures in this post are from Angela, in case you wondered icon wink Quilt Along: Quilting Tips from a Pro ]
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Thanks, Katie for letting me be a part of what you and the DC Modern Quilt Guild are doing! I am honored that you would let me give some quilting tips for such a great cause. I always think that charity quilts are a great way to practice free-motion quilting. Not because they don’t deserve your best work, I would say the exact opposite is true! Quilts that are going to make their way to a special person, need the very best that we can give! What makes charity quilts great for practicing is the fact that you are doing something so much bigger than yourself. When working on a charity quilt, you shouldn’t be thinking about how good or bad you are doing. You should be thinking about the person that will be blessed by your time and effort. Hopefully that should relax you and allow you to quilt it without judging yourself!
 Quilt Along: Quilting Tips from a Pro

Practicing your FMQ is always better on a quilt top. When you are quilting an actual quilt (as opposed to a piece of practice fabric), you are forced to work your way around blocks, borders and other parts of the quilts. Plus, you are likely to finish quilting a whole quilt which means even more practice! How about a few more FMQ tips?

1. Relax, relax, relax.

It’s hard to quilt anything when you are tensed up! Relax your shoulders, and try to maintain a good (yet relaxed pose). Also try to have a relaxed attitude! Fretting about the quilting before you even start won’t help you do any better.
 IMG 5046 300x200 Quilt Along: Quilting Tips from a Pro


2. Try somethig new

Don’t be afraid to try out a new design or two. Practice drawing it out first, and then go for it!
IMG 1107 300x214 Quilt Along: Quilting Tips from a Pro
3. Think Dense(r)
Any quilt that is going to get a lot of love (washing) can use quilting that is a little more dense. The dense quilting will hold up to washing better. I know, I know, you may be worried that the quilt will be too stiff to cuddle. But that’s not necessarily the case. If you want an extra cuddly quilt, try using a cotton batting, which has a softer drape. Plus quilts soften up with washing too.
 Quilt Along: Quilting Tips from a Pro

4. Be Proud

Remember that you are making an impact in someone’s life. They are going to be so happy with the quilt, regardless of how well you think you did. Be proud of your accomplishment.
 angela%2B3 Quilt Along: Quilting Tips from a Pro
Thanks again for having me Katie, I am looking forward to following along on your blog and I can’t wait for the Linky Party in September!
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106 Comments

  1. Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Great tips, I have a number of tops pieced, I need to get some backings and get practicing.

  2. Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    I’m in a rut with my FMQ and need to try some new designs. The ones you’ve shown from the book are gorgeous! That could be just what I need. And practice, I need that.

  3. Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I love the tips, I am just beginning to try machine quilting on my regular Brother machine and I have use of a friends long arm. Let’s just say I need more practice.. And will soon get it, I have 6 small lap quilts to do for a family just need to get the borders on and then the quilting begins… Thanks for a chance to win.

  4. Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Good advice and a great giveaway. Now I just need to get practicing!

  5. Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Great tips! I get a little overwhelmed quilting anything more than straight lines but practice has made the process a lot less stressful. I love your 100 Quilts for Kids project – I make quilts for Project Linus every year. Those quilts are always some of my favorite I love knowing that they’re going to needy children in rural Maine :-)

  6. Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I would really like the try free motion quilting, I’ve only done straight line. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    When I think of the $ I could save by machine quilting my own quilts, I just shiver with excitement! Would I love to win Angela’s book, yes I would. Thanks for a chance…judie
    judieharron@yahoo.com

  8. Posted August 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I could really use this book and the reviews really rave about it!! It looks so practical and fun!

  9. Posted August 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I love those swirly diamond shapes. Hope I win, but if I don’t I already have it in my amazon shopping cart:)

  10. Posted August 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Love your tips! Thanks, it would help me with my quilting!

  11. Posted August 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I would love to have a copy of this book! Thanks for the great tips!

  12. Posted August 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Great tips! Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book!

  13. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I’ve heard nothing about this book except how great it is! Definitely something I will purchase if I’m not lucky enough to win one!

  14. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I am really terrified to FMQ (only straight lines til now) but I need to just bite the bullet! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I love Angela’s tips — they really do make it easier to free motion quilt. Charity quilts are a great way to get extra time practicing — especially because quilts for children are smaller and can be finished faster (love to finally FINISH something!).

  16. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I have heard nothing but wonderful about this book!! Thanks for the pointers Angela :)

  17. Beulah
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Tip #1 is my favorite…so often in a rush it is easy to stress out ……. when relaxed the whole day is so much better! :)

    sowingstitches [at] gmail [dot] com

  18. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Angela, just signed up for your class on Craftsy.com. I’ve watched the first 2 lessons and I am psyched! I would love your book too! And Katie, I will try to contribute to your 100 quilts!

  19. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE these tips. I’d love to win the book. Thanks!

  20. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I am always looking for new designs to try out in my quilting. :)

  21. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I have made some quilts for kids and like to try out new designs. Would love a copy of this book for inspiration.

  22. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I love your swirls and circles. I know machine quilting is just practice, practice,
    practice … I wish I had more time, time , time! :-)

  23. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I could definately use some help with FMQ… usually all my quilts are straight line quilting!

  24. Posted August 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always wanted to give FMQ a try but have been a little too scared. It would be wonderful to have a copy of the book for help!

  25. Posted August 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just started FMQ in the past month, and I would love to learn how to do more than all-over meandering and outlining!

  26. Posted August 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I am the president of a charity quilt group called Elizabeth Piecemakers of Colorado. The ladies make wonderful tops but most are afraid of FMQ. We had a practice session at my home this week and I had a library copy of Angela’s book on hand. It was a great inspiration for the them. And it would be a wonderful resource to have on hand permanently.

  27. Posted August 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I have attempted FMQ a few times, but was not pleased with the results. I would love to win this book so I can improve my skills. Thanks for a chance to win it!

  28. Posted August 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE making the tops and am always scared that I will ruin it by MY quilting. I have been looking for a book to help me build up confidence and skills LOL. What a GREAT giveaway!!! Thank you for all you do with donations to kids with quilts. We live near a Ronald McDonald house in NC and our guild takes blakets there ! Have a blessed weekend!

  29. Posted August 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Angela for some good tips! My attempts at FMQ in the past have been less than stellar, and I know patience and practice will help a lot in the long run. But Angela’s book sounds like it will also help and inspire!

    arbendlin(at)gmail(dot)com

  30. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Still waiting to take the FMQ plunge. This book looks like it could encourage me

  31. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    These are great tips because I want to FMQ but I am scared!! Maybe I’ll make a few minis for the express purpose of FMQ practicing.

  32. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Angela is such an inspiration and an encourager! I have tried one attempt at FMQ;ing and it looks great… on the finished, crinkly quilt. I am sure I will get better, but the imperfections really don’t seem so monumental when the quilt is completely done :-) Thanks for the chance to win!

  33. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I did my first FMQ on a tee shirt quilt. It was so fun and everyone loved it. I didn’t know that I didn’t know how to do it. ;) I would love to win Angela’s book to have a tangible guide and inspiration in front of me when I quilt.
    Thanks for the chance.

  34. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! I LOVE making charity quilts. My charity of choice is the foster home at the Pine Ridge Reservation (http://friendsofpineridgereservation.org/). They’re always seeking quilts and handmade items for the children.

    I would also LOVE Angela’s book considering it’s backordered for months on Amazon! :)

    samantha -at- patterncrush.com

  35. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve practiced and practiced fmq. Now I’m not ashamed of my all over meandering. But I want to branch out. You know, making quilts for Margaret’s Hope Chest (www.margaretshopechest.blogspot.com) or another charity has been a great way to practice new techniques.

  36. c
    Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Very inspirational, and a great challenge. Thank you for this opportunity. The giveaway is a nice gesture as well. Thank you for what you do

  37. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I hope to get a quilt done for your challenge. I love Angela’s style! Thanks.

  38. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I have started practicing my FMQ, thanks for the tips. Would love to win this book. Also working on a quilt for the 100 Quilts for Kids quilt along. THanks.

  39. Posted August 23, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips and the chance to win this book! I would love to win this book full of quilting ideas!

  40. Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Great tips Angela! Thanks for hosting a great giveaway, Katie!

  41. Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    THANKS FOR THE GREAT TIPS!
    A BEGINNER QUILTER HERE>WOULD LIKE TO GET YOUR BOOK!
    THANKS FOR SHARING THIS GIVEAWAY TOO!

    msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

  42. Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Great tips. I’ve wanted this book ever since I heard it was coming out. Thanks for the giveaway!

  43. Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m so excited about this book – she is so talented!

    Thanks,
    Elizabeth
    lwghosts at yahoo dot com

  44. Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I would this book. Thanks for the terrific giveaway. Now to find a little time to try some new quilting techniques!

  45. Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips and a giveaway!!!!

    meyers.shelley@gmail.com

  46. Posted August 23, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Sou apaixonada por estes trabalhos e nunca tentei,gostaria de ganhar sim,obrigada.tiacarminhapezzuto@gmail.com

  47. Posted August 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a wonderful book for us new quilters. thank you for this oppertunity.

  48. Posted August 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Jumping up and down! Me! Me! Me! I got a peak at this book at the DC Modern Quilt Guild and I really want it! It is just lovely and makes fmq look doable!

    Thanks so much for the chance to win it. Thanks also for trying to get the quilt shop to stock it!

  49. Posted August 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips – my biggest struggle is to relax!

  50. Posted August 23, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the chance! I’m donating a quilt to the Ronald McDonald house. They helped me out when my daughter was born.

  51. Posted August 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    This book is currently on my bday wish list, but it’d be even better to win it. Thanks for the chance! (Also, I forgot to give you my donation quilts at the meeting last weekend – more of a reason for me to come to the next one).

  52. Posted August 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    i wont to try free motion quilting and would love to win thanks

  53. Posted August 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great tips, this book is on my ‘to buy’ list at the moment!

  54. Posted August 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to win a copy of Angela’s book! I’ve just finished piecing a charity quilt and have no idea where to go next!!

  55. Posted August 23, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips & photos. Can’t wait to try some of these designs and I’d love to win Angela’s book. Thanks!

  56. Posted August 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Great tips! Especially about the dense quilting. It’s something I’ve been afraid of but it looks like with the proper batting it isn’t as much of a concern. :)

  57. Posted August 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I have been wanting to buy the book. It would be really great if I actually WON it instead. Thanks for the chance!
    Linda F.

  58. Posted August 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    I also covet this book- I really want to get better at this part of quilting.

  59. Posted August 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I have heard that this book is an absolute must have! I love Angela’s blog, so I am guessing the book will be just as fabulous! Thanks for the opportunity!

  60. Posted August 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the tips and what an awesome book! It’s on my must buy list, but I signed up for your Craftsy class first because I thought it might be an easier way to start out learning. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  61. Posted August 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I would love to win this book!!!

  62. Posted August 23, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Great tips. Especially the “think denser” comment. I learned something new today as I have been quilting baby quilts more sparse than not for the reason Angela mentions: I thought dense quilting would make them less cuddly.

  63. Posted August 23, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Great tips on quilting, would love to win Angela’s book!! Maybe I’ll use some of my stash to make a charity quilt!

  64. Posted August 23, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the tips from Angela, and a chance to win a copy of her book. I appreciate the information you are sharing on making charity quilts.

  65. Posted August 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait to see this book in person. Even as a non-longarmer, I think there is plenty to be gained from this book.

  66. Posted August 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    This book is definitely on my “to get” list. I am hoping to win it but if not I am still going to purchase it. Thanks for the great give away.

  67. Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great tips Angela and the chance to win your book.

  68. Posted August 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always been a little intimidated by free-motion quilting, but dying to try it out. These tips are perfect to help me relax and enjoy the process!

  69. Posted August 23, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    I have tried my hand at free motion quilting and love it. It takes practice but its so rewarding. I have been reading about Angela’s book and would love to win a copy of this. What a talented young woman. Also love your blog.

  70. Posted August 24, 2012 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    I’d love to win Angela’s book! Her designs look fantastic!

  71. Posted August 24, 2012 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I need all the help I can get with my quilting. Thanks for a chance to win.

  72. Posted August 24, 2012 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    would love to win….. looks like a great book

  73. Posted August 24, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    I really want to become more adventuresome in my quilting. Thanks for the chance to win this great book by Angela.

  74. Posted August 24, 2012 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    I’d love to win this book by Angela. I follow her blog and think she is so generous with her advice. Thanks for the chance to win!
    Joanna

  75. Posted August 24, 2012 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    I’ve only done some practice FMQing, but am looking forward to doing a “real” quilt. Thanks for a chance to win!

    sewneatbycaryn at gmail dot com

  76. Posted August 24, 2012 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the chance to win! I am new to FMQ and would love to have this book as a resource.

  77. Posted August 24, 2012 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    I could definitely use some help refining my technique and style. Thanks for the chance to win.

  78. Posted August 24, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    I always get stuck on the quilting part, so I am hoping to begin learning how to FMQ soon. I think I will be picking up Angela’s book for sure! Thanks for the chance to win a copy. :)

  79. Posted August 24, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I have got to get my hands on this book! I have two quilt tops that need quilting and no signs of them finishing themselves.

  80. Posted August 24, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I really have a heart for charity quilts so I really like what you are doing. I have run a quilt ministry in Kansas city for ten years and currently run one in council bluffs since 2006 ( quilts from the bluffs). This group has donated almost 1,500 quilts in six years. I have definitely taken advantage of using these quilts to practice my Longarm quilting and have been using Angela’s techniques a lot this year.

  81. Posted August 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Right now I am in the middle of quilting a king sized quilts – making myself try free-hand baptist fans. So far I am loving how it is turning out. I would love to try other free hand patterns.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  82. Posted August 24, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I really appreciate Angela’s tip to think about the recipient of the quilt rather than if the quilting is good or bad. It’s all about the love, isn’t it?

  83. Anonymous
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Great giveaway. Looks like a book that actually has something new to teach. What a great resource to have in a quilting library. Thanks for the chance to work with a copy
    Marsha
    vamoody1(at)verizon(dot)net

  84. Posted August 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m new to quilting and have recently managed to make (yeah me!) some quilt tops. I’ve hand quilted a couple of the baby quilts, which I enjoy but it takes a long time, and I’ve sent two big tops out to a longarm quilter … very expensive and non-sustainable. I am now at the point where I’m itching to learn to quilt using my machine. I’m a little scared but I’ve heard such good things about Angel’as book that I am feeling encouraged to try. If I can’t win one, I’ll be buying one.

  85. Anonymous
    Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I love the look of this book. Can’t wait to take a better look. All I machine quilt now is straight lines, and I’m so over it. And I love the charity quilting idea. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Tammy Mabry

  86. Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I’d LOVE to get a copy of this book! I’m dying to try some of her techniques.

  87. Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    i love making quilts for charity to practice technique. thanks!

  88. Posted August 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Great tips! Angela is awesome, as usual, and I’m inspired…I really want to practice my fmq and a few more charity quilts sounds like just the answer! It was great seeing you at the meeting…looking forward to the September sew-in! :)

  89. Posted August 25, 2012 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    I would love to win this book! I am still a beginner & my quilting friends say FMQ is just too hard – but I so want to prove them wrong!

  90. Posted August 25, 2012 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    I would love to win a copy of this book and put these tips to practice on the two project linus quilts that I’m doing! Thanks for the chance to win

  91. Posted August 25, 2012 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all the great tips and giveaway :)

  92. Posted August 25, 2012 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    I would love a copy of this book. I have only quilted potholders. I’d love to learn/try larger projects. Angelas quilting looks so flawless!

  93. Posted August 25, 2012 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Angela is so generous with her quilting advice. I’d love to win a copy of this book to give to my niece–that way I won’t have to share my book with her–I need mine right by my machine. :)

  94. Posted August 25, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    How fantastic! I can definitely use some fmq help :) xx

  95. Posted August 25, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I would love to win a copy of this book, our local book shop sold out :( I have it from the library at the moment but so many people want it I’ll probably never get it again! It is a wonderful book. I am still quite new to FMQ and find it hard to ‘relax’ into it! Thanks

  96. Posted August 25, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m a little scared to try FMQ, so I’d love to win this book. Thanks!

  97. Posted August 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    This book is on my wish list! Maybe I’ll get brave enough to try it :)

  98. Posted August 26, 2012 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    this book is at the very top of my wish list right now!

  99. Posted August 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been eyeing this book ever since it came out. Expanding my modern quilting technique is on my to do list this year. Thanks for the chance to win.

  100. Posted August 26, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness thanks for the chance to win this book……..
    how lovely all the designs look!
    I’m still afraid I’ll ruin a quilt with my FMQ instead of giving it the polished finish it needs.

    thanks for the tips and Happy Sewing

  101. Posted August 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for featuring such great talent! I’m just beginning the free-motion journey. Angela has wonderful advise for us chickens.

  102. Posted August 27, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    This is a very interesting book. I’ve done two small fmq quilts and they don’t look so good! I hope tips like Angela’s and a lot more practice will help.

  103. Posted August 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    FMQ intimidates me. I’d love to get tips to help me through! Thanks for this chance

  104. Posted August 29, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Me, me! I would love to win!:) heheh

  105. Posted September 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Never have I machine quilted apart from one mini-quilt. I have seen the FMQ blogs. Then this book ame out I have been trying to block it out but this may mean I am meant to have it. Si it is a win-win if I win the book well great if I don’t can still procrastinate….

  106. Posted October 13, 2012 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    I’ve been attempting fmq, but could really use that book to give me more instruction!

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