July 18, 2016

Doodle to quilt

Martingale - 180 Doodle Quilting Designs (Print version + eBook bundle)

This new book by Martingale, 180 Doodle Quilting Designs, is just what we, free-motion quilters (and aspiring ones as well), needed. Sure, we could all use new ideas for quilting motifs, but this book is about more than just extra designs.

The best way to get over the 'must-be-perfect' state of mind and start free-motion quilting is to doodle or practice the design you want to use first. I learned a long time ago to 'draw' in the air the design with my index finger prior to putting needle to quilt. However, tracing over the quilting design is a much more effective technique. It helps the design to become imprinted on our muscle memory, tames free-motion anxiety, and allows for a smoother transition from paper to fabric. Expertly compiled by Karen Burns, 180 Doodle Quilting Designs presents a collection of motifs which we can trace easily including squiggles, swirls, lines, feathers, flowers, and other fun designs.

The number ONE reason why I like this book: many of the designs remind me that free-motion quilting is an 'art' and, thus, the results will always be 'perfect' regardless of how smooth the curves, how straight the lines, or how shapely the feathers! Here are two examples from the book:

All designs reprinted by permission from Martingale.
It is wonderful to be able to quilt your own projects, even if you choose to tackle only the smaller ones. I like being able to work on my quilts from beginning to end. I began stitching on the ditch and it was how I quilted my first 20 or so lap quilts. Then I ventured into meandering - oh my goodness, it was scary but so fun! My next many projects were finished with meandering, and the rest is history only because I decided I liked free-motion quilting, imperfect lines and all. And so I quilt...

I say "Hurray for doodling"! Angela Walters, Melissa Corry, and the other talented contributors to this book seem to agree with me.
To be sure, there are many cool designs in this book with wonderfully done lines, which is where we will get to some day with practice.

Speaking of practice: I have on my desk a pad of tracing paper, a sketch book, and a smooth marker. Excuse me, it is doodle time!

See ya,

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