About two weeks ago, I was contacted by C&T Publishing asking if I would provide a review of one of their newest quilting books. Always up for learning something new or reading pretty much anything about quilting, I was happy to help.
The author, Dorie Hruska, is a long arm quilter, mom, and blogger. She has her website, Forever Quilting, set up as both her blog and her professional site for her long arm business. I really enjoyed looking at her gallery to see the work she has done for others. Her quilting style is lovely with many intricate patterns.
The book, Making Connections, is all about free motion and long arm quilting. The goalof the book is to help the quilter choose a motif or pattern for the quilt and then to set a travel path up for moving around the quilt in the most efficient manner, with the least amount of starts and stops possible. This is really appealing to me. Like many of you, I struggle with how to quilt something once that quilt top is done.
Reading this book through, I noticed two things that I really liked. It is written as a workbook with very clear illustrations and directions. The practice builds in complexity as the reader learns the steps. Also, there are lots of grids printed in the book to draw on. The grids are bigger than graph paper but not quite big enough. When I practiced, I copied the page and enlarged it on our printer. Finally, the book is printed in landscape orientation, not portrait. This makes it much easier to use as you don’t have the binding on the left side making it awkward to draw.
I took away a few really helpful ideas from Dorie’s book:
- Doodle the design before quilting. I know this, we all know this, but it helps so much! There is such muscle memory in free motion quilting and by drawing it several times over, that routine settles into our brain before we begin quilting.
- While doodling the design and then while quilting, think, or say, the pattern you are moving in to keep you on track. For example, Up, Down, Over, Up, Down, Over – or whatever works. When Dorie maps out a path in the book, she sets this up for the quilter. As a beginner quilter at best, this was pretty helpful. Seems so simple, but that little mantra was kinda cool. 🙂
- Don’t try to quilt the whole design in one pass. Dorie layers the design so you might do one pass, the come back and add a layer to add another detail. I get this and think, eventually, it will be helpful to me. I am not quite there yet. Some of the designs she illustrates for the reader are quite complex. She does use different colors so you know which pass you are working on each time. Also, she numbers the path so you can see what direction she is taking you in. This is quite helpful.
The method used in this book is based on grids. The perfect example is basic patchwork, or nine patch blocks, where there is an obvious grid. The more experienced quilter would be able to apply it to more complicated blocks.
I didn’t have a quilt top on hand that would work for this so I didn’t actually quilt anything. I did do some drawing to get that path ingrained into my brain though. After drawing a bit, I made a quilt sandwich with some scraps of fabric and batting. I drew a 3″ grid on it to practice. Once I got going, my sewing machine gave me fits. So, I had to quit and I took the machine in for service. I have been putting it off and now it was sending me very clear messages that it wasn’t going to perform well! But ugly as the stitching was, the idea worked – I knew how to move along the design without getting stuck in a corner somewhere. This methodology requires planning though. It isn’t one where you move freely around on the quilt top, filling in sections as you go along.
If I were asked, I would tell the readers this is probably a book for an intermediate quilter. I think I could follow it for the basic design and travel flow but I don’t think, as a beginner, I could layer the designs and achieve a nice result.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and think it is a valuable resource for my library. As I continue to practice, this will be very helpful. Dorie and C& T Publishing have generously provided a book for me to giveaway to a lucky reader. If the winner lives in the US, a hard copy will be sent. For winners outside of the US, an Ebook will be provided. For those of you that want to go ahead and purchase the book, it is available through C&T Pubs or directly from Dorie’s website (she will send an autographed copy!)
To enter to win, please leave a comment on this post. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you are welcome to leave a 2nd comment for another entry. Sign up for my newsletter (which is sent out every month) for another entry. (Sign up form is at the top of the page on the right side.) That is three possible chances to win!!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.
For even more chances, please visit the other bloggers involved in this hop. Lots of gorgeous quilting has been done to display all this book offers. Go check it out! Here is the schedule:
BLOG HOP SCHEDULE
Friday September 1st
C&T Publishing Blog; @ctpublishing on Instagram
Monday September 4th
Holly Anne Knight Blog; @stringandstory on Instagram
Susan Arnold Blog; @quiltfabrication on Instagram
Tuesday September 5th
Becca Fenstermaker Blog; @prettypiney on Instagram
Teri Lucas Blog; @genqmag on Instagram
Wednesday September 6th
Sherry Shish Blog; @poweredbyquilting on Instagram
Pam Morgan Blog; @sweetlittlestitches on Instagram
Thursday September 7th
Katy S Blog; @katyquilts on Instagram
Laura Piland Blog; @sliceofpiquilts on Instagram
Friday September 8th
Suzy Webster Blog; @websterquilt on Instagram
Bernie Kringel Blog; @needleandfoot on Instagram — You’re here!!!
Monday September 11th
Jamie Mueller Blog; @sunflower_quilt on Instagram
Nancy Scott Blog; @masterpiecequilting on Instagram
Tuesday September 12th
Sherri Noel Blog; @rebeccamaedesigns on Instagram
Anorina Morris Blog; @sameliasmum on Instagram
Wednesday September 13th
Yvonne Fuchs Blog; @quiltingjetgirl on Instagram
Barbie Mills Blog; @thequiltingmill on Instagram
Thursday September 14th
Afton Warrick Blog; @quiltingmod on Instagram
Kathy Bruckman Blog; @kathyskwiltsandmore on Instagram
Friday September 15th
Susan Arnold Blog; @quiltfabrication on Instagram
Dorie Hruska Blog; @foreverquilting on Instagram
would love to be that lucky reader!
Very good explanation of this book, Thank you, Susan
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Thanks for the review of the book, it looks great!
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Looks like a great book to help us jump start quilting our UFO’s. So many times we make the top and then don’t know how to quilt the quilt. Or we get intimidated by the whole quilting process. Most of us need all the help we can get!!
Great review of the book Bernie. And this blog hop is a fun one. Follow your IG!
Thank you for the review. I do doodle, but telling myself where to go next in a design might help me get into the feel of sewing it.
I am a FB andf IG follower 🙂 Have a blessed day!
The book definitely needs to be on my shelf for reading! I’ve subscribed to your newsletter 🙂
Looks like a great book–I’m always looking for new ways to do my quilting!
I am definitely at the beginner stage of quilting with my domestic machine but love moving up. This might just be the book to make my way to becoming “intermediate”.
Got to get a copy of this book! So interesting.
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Thanks for the review.
I’m a newbie as far as FMQ goes. It’s still a bit frustrating for me and I do have issues traveling around the quilt. It sounds like there are good ideas for dealing with that in this book.
You shared some great ideas. Thank you
Hi Bernie!! Great looking approach to quilting especially on a domestic machine!! Thanks for reviewing it!
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And I am signed up for the newsletter too!!!!
I do appreciate your thoughts on this book, Bernie. As I’ve looked at the diagrams offered from the book, my mind boggles with trying to duplicate them myself on my machine. If it’s easier for an intermediate quilter, I know I need to practice more with simpler designs to get myself up to speed to try these! No sense in knocking my self-confidence as I fail…but I’d still love to work up to this level!
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I need to learn how to have fewer starting and stopping points….I really do!
My quilting needs help so I need this book for sure. Thanks for the review.
Thanks for helping with this hop. Always good to gain information. Thanks so much!
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I follow on Instagram too! Thanks!
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Great tips from the book. Have a great day!!
This books sounds very useful. Would love to win it.
I’ve seen so many great ideas coming from Dories book..sounds like a winner! Thanks for sharing.
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Great tips from the book and great review.
A good, honest review. Thank you! I’d enjoy seeing a copy of this book.
Thanks for the review. I would love the book to help me out of my meandering rut.
Bernie, i would live to win this book! My f m q skills need help!
I need this book! I am finally screwing up the courage to try free motion.
Great review, Bernie —very helpful, and the book sounds
Ike one that I would enjoy over many years. Thanks!
Thank you for reviewing this book. I am definitely a beginner FMQer, but the picture you shared looks very interesting. It looks like it is laid out well, with one skill or pass could be used by the beginner and then the additional techniques added as you build up the skill. I would be thrilled to win this book! ~smile~ Roseanne
Thanks for sharing with us about this book. It looks fantastic.
This book sounds like a great resource!
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A very thorough review! I have a tumbling blocks quilt that needs some quilting ideas, and it strikes me that this grid-approach would work for it. Thanks!
What a cool concept to plan out your quilting in such a way! Sounds like a great resource.
I need this book and hope I’m the lucky person!
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Thanks for the great review.
Your review of this new book is excellent. I like that you are honest and that you try out the methods that the author suggests. It looks like it would be a wonderful addition to anyone’s FMQ library.
This book looks like it would be a valuable asset to any quilters library, especially those who enjoy custom quilting fast!!
farm_quilting does follow you on IG.
I like your summary of helpful ideas from the book.
Thanks for your review. This book will be great for both beginners and those who have already tried FMQ
FMQ is getting closer to the top of my priorities, always!! You do a very nice job reviewing this book! It certainly sounds like an asset for any avid sewist! Sure would love the nudge in the fmq direction!!!
I am very inspired by this hop, I’d love to be able to FMQ !
I follow you on Instagram!
I struggle with spending lots of time burying threads after I fmq. I think using the techniques in this book will eliminate (or at least reduce) that. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.
I follow on facebook. Thanks
I signed up to follow your newsletter. I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers offer a newsletter. How is this different from a blog? Thanks for a chance to win a copy of the book.
Looks like an interesting book! I think I need to broaden my repertoire of FMQing! Thanks for the chance to win a digital copy, as I am in Australia!
And I already follow you on IG, Bernie!
I would love to try out this book….I need help in my quilting! Enjoyed your blog post.
Thanks for you review of the book.
I follow you on instagram @icanquilt2
I think this is a very useful book.
Looks interesting! I wouldn’t consider myself an intermediate free-motion quilter, but I think I could learn a lot from this book. Thanks!
This book sounds like a must have! Thanks.
Always looking for ideas and how to’s for FMQ. I get stuck in a rut and have to go looking for a different look for my quilts. Thanks
I follow you on facebook and instagram.
I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for the opportunity.
Keeping my fingers crossed that I’m the lucky one!
I have subscribed to your newsletter
Thanks for the review and thoughts on this book
Very helpful review, Bernie. Thank you! I am relatively new to free motion too but eager to learn!
I follow on Instagram.
I get your newsletter and follow your blog.
Thanks for your honest input about this book- some of the designs look really intimidating, but it’s good to know this can be valuable for a beginner as well!
I follow you on instagram (@sarahbjasinski)
This book looks like just the thing I’ve been looking for. Will check it out. Would love to win it!
Following you on both Instagram and Facebook 😉