Inspired Free-Motion Quilting

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I am excited to share Mandy Leins’ and Bill Volkening’s new book, Inspired Free-Motion Quilting, with you. I have to say I didn’t even wait for Mandy to ask if I would review it for you; I asked her first. It’s true, I like the book THAT much.

Inspired Free-Motion Quilting teaches you how to look at antique quilts with an eye for quilting design inspiration. There are beautiful photographs of quilts from Bill’s private collection. I especially love the white quilts and the beautiful applique pieces included. Bill did the photography himself to ensure that you could see the quilting and details that he wanted to highlight. Mandy then used those images for her inspiration.

I have always studied antique quilts for inspiration and guidance in my own work and I love seeing how others use antique quilts for ideas.

Mandy tweaked some of the antique quilting designs so that they can more easily be machine quilted with minimal stops and starts. She also created some of her own new designs based on applique designs or other design elements in the quilts. Some of these are symmetric, traditional designs and others are more freeform and organic.

Some of my favorite designs came from this 1825 Candlewick Counterpane.


I love the way Mandy stepped out the stitching order for some of the more complicated designs. This makes it much easier to know where to start.

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Look at this brilliant thistle design, for example. The motif is created in two passes; each pass creating a chain of half-thistles. When both are completed, they create the thistles and stem. I can see using this idea with loads of different designs, and I know I’ll be using this concept in the future.


After reading this book you will see quilting designs everywhere you look, whether in magazines, on billboards, or even the tiles on the bathroom floor. Mandy’s ideas for connecting motifs and creating symmetrical designs will be a big help in fitting your doodles and drawings onto your quilt. I am looking forward to drafting traditional style, or even more modern looking motifs, and feeling more of a connection with the quilters of the past.

Thanks Mandy and Bill for an excellent resource book. You are making me want to get to work on new quilts.

For a chance to win an electronic copy of the book, leave a comment here telling me about a finished project you are most proud of. Be sure to let me know how to contact you or come back Saturday the 12th for the announcement of the winner.

Also, Mandy will be giving out a grand prize so be sure to check her site on Friday.

January 7:
C&T Publishing
Bill Volckening

January 8:
Amanda Murphy of Amanda Murphy Design
Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams
Stephanie Palmer of The Quilter's Planner  

January 9:
Teri Lucas
Lynn Harris
Debby Brown of Debby Brown Quilts

January 10:
Robin Koehler of NESTLINGS by Robin
Patty Murphy of Patty Murphy Handmade
Mary Abreu of Confessions of a Craft Addict

January 11:
Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts
Amanda Leins of Mandalei Quilts

(book link is an affiliate link)