January 09, 2012

Modern Quilting Designs review

Have you heard about this book that's about to be released? I was so excited about it that I sent a hopeful plea to Stash books and asked for a copy of Modern Quilting Designs to review on the blog and the answer was yes, with one to giveaway too!


I'm so thrilled for this book by Bethany Pease because there's really nothing like it right now on book shelves. It seems like there are a few books dedicated to continuous line pictorial designs (i.e. dolphins, cowboy boots) and some that show geometric patterns for blocks or borders, but not much in the abstract, all-over, continuous line category. Modern Quilting Designs is filling that gap!


The book is pretty much just sharpie-on-paper drawings of quilting designs. There is not much text, so you can simply flip through the book and take in the designs. I learn visually, so I like that. Most of the quilting ideas seemed like things I could use in my quilts, although there was a section of flowery block-based designs that didn't seem like designs I would use. I was also surprised to see some designs that were not continuous-line. These don't make up the bulk of the book, though.

The best part of this library of designs, and what this author seems to excel in, are all the "mash ups" she creates: inventive, organic combinations of basic patterns. Think feathers plus spirals, or wavy lines plus pebbles plus scallops, or flamboyant vines full of variety. This is good for me because I tend to get stuck in one mindset - quilting something completely in spirals, or making all my leaves on a vine exactly the same, for instance.


Now, one downside to the book is that there is no explanation of how to go about stitching the designs. Feather first and then the wavy lines around it? Wavy lines first then fit the feather inside? For this reason, I'd say the book will be best for someone who has started to improvise with their quilting already. You'll need to come up with your own approach to creating the more complex designs you see.


I thought a thorough review of a book would include "trying it out", so I decided to stitch a design and see how it went. I decided on the captivating design featured on the cover. It was fun and the results were great! I used the stitched piece as the outside of the sewing caddy.


I'm happy to have this book by my side, and happy to have one to send on to a reader! If you'd like to include your name in the random drawing, leave a comment on this post (and make sure I can contact you if you win!). In your comment tell me...what is something simple you could do to improve your free motion quilting? I'll draw the winner Wednesday.

***The giveaway is closed now, thanks everyone for entering!***

122 comments:

Andrea R said...

omg I *just* started machine quilting last year and got a Bernina. I. Am. LOVING IT. :D

Vicki W said...

It looks like a really fun book to play around with!

Eileen said...

Pure and simple--I need to practice more.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Melissa said...

Try new things! I think that is the most difficult thing to do when you find a pattern that works well :)

Sue Daurio said...

Wow that looks like a great book. I think the simplest thing I can do to improve is to stop trying to be symmetrical!! Every time I try it's awful. That's what I really like about the little previews here, It's not symmetrical, it's all over, it's geometric and not perfect shapes. That really is what works best. But I have to stop looking at all the patterns that aren't that way :)

Vicki Freeman said...

I think I just need to relax - especially on the curves, where I tend to "hit the gas"!! :)

Leah said...

My problem is I get my lines too close together... I think if I slow down I might do better...

Merran said...

wow I cant get over the way you "just tried out one of the designs" your quilting is amazing! Did you draw the design on? or what? I dont think I could ever be that good *sigh*

FML Crochet said...

Thanks for the chance to win! My free motion quilting would improve with practice. Simple.

Regina said...

Looks like lots of fun = and I love your test design!!!

Gale said...

Practice, practice, practice! As already said - simple.

What Comes Next? said...

there are always the three Ps, and if I keep trying out new designs, they will get better. Oh, and I need to "learn" how to doodle!

Toni said...

I need to do more practice, have more patience and not to do fast random movements lol

Jennifer said...

Oooh, fun book! The main thing I could do to improve my free motion quilting is to actually DO it. I wish I had as much time to quilt as I wanted... :)

Gail said...

more practice - more patience - more breathing. Your "test" is beautiful!

Lynn said...

The book looks great. The best thing I could do is PRACTICE. This book would help!

Jeane said...

This book looks like something I would really enjoy. I am just getting past wiggles and stippling and love contemporary all over designs. Your work is great.

Carol said...

I have taken several free motion classes and as the instructors always say, you HAVE to just sit down and Do It! Make up quilt sandwiches and go after it. One blogger I read says she always uses a pen and paper first to get the design in her brain. That seems like a good idea!

Jennifer said...

slow down...I always try to go to fast and get eyelashes everywhere.
Thanks

Nicole said...

Hmmm - improvement? Planning! I free motion and get wrapped up in my own little world of scrunchie continuous lines.....there is little advance planning. SO I have to say an overall plan would be a good place to start. Thanks for the giveaway!

Jess said...

Hi, I have been wanting to FMQ for a while and for Christmas I recieved a machine that can FMQ. I would love a book that could give me more Ideas. All I am really doing now is raindrops and trying to stipple. This would give me great Ideas. I can't wait to hear more...

jessica.breidinger@yahoo.com

Jane said...

This book looks great! I want to try something more modern for a wedding quilt I made this fall. I plan to start drawing on a dry erase board this year to improve my quilting, a little each day is supposed to help "muscle memory".

Mom2RyandSis said...

I need to slow down on the curves and relax my shoulders, I always seem to have the up by my ears :) Thanks for the chance to win.

Sam said...

About time! Great review, gonna pick it up when its released.

Sam said...

..forgot to add, use quilting gloves!

Margaret in VA said...

Oh wow! That is one great looking book! I need to slow down on curves too...and give myself more opportunities to just quilt!

Ellie-Mae said...

What a neat book. I'm always looking for new inspiration for quilting. I think I'm going to have to buy this one.

Polly said...

Oh, my!! I would love to win this book! Thank you so much for this generous givaway! I love being able to browse ideas for quilting... sometimes your mind just goes BLANK, right? So good to be able to see examples of different styles! I could use some new designs!!

DianeY said...

I still struggle with speed sometimes. The quilting is much smoother when I go fairly fast, but then I get stuck as to where to go next!

Anna said...

I'm really curious to look at this book - your sample is AMAZING!!

Jessica said...

so i saw your post with the sewing caddy, and then saw the cover of the book somewhere and I was like, "Haaayyyy! that girl stole Christina's quilt pattern!"
hahahaha.
looks like a great book. just started playing around more with fmq on my last project, i tried flowers.. but i need to keep trying.. you're right, where to start/stop is a personal preference that must be learned by trial and error..
thanks for the book review and the giveaway~

Joyful Quilter said...

Your sample looks great. I have meandering down to an art form; looks like this book would be great inspiration to help me break out of my rut.

karen said...

This is probably the only book I "need". I have plenty of idea and pattern books, but it's so hard to come up with new and exciting ways to quilt!
I think the last 5 quilts I've made have had swirls on them-- great, but I'd like to do something new!

jabeybaby said...

I have gotten meandering down and have been a little nervous to try something else! This book may be just what I need.

Michele Matucheski said...

I would like to expand the designs in my "library". Mashing up multiple designs looks like a great way to improve my FMQ.

felicity said...

Something simple would be to, uh, actually do some!

deborah said...

I need to practice more, so I've joined Sew Cal's 2012 challenge and am going to take a FMQ class at my local quilt store. I hope to at least get the basics down in a few months. Interesting book!

Sarah Craig said...

I got this book for Christmas and have really enjoyed looking at it - now to put some of it into practice!!

bunbear said...

this book looks like eye candy to me! i want it! pick me pick me!

James-Linda said...

MORE EXPERIENCE,I THINK!
I'M GETTING SOME BETTER AT FM!
THANKS FOR SHARING!

Pam said...

alot of wonderful designs

Connie said...

Looks like a wonderful reference book! I am trying to get beyond stippling and would love this!

Janet said...

My goodness - I never thought of contacting the publisher and asking if I could review a book. Good for you! I could definitely practice more and that would probably improve my skills.

dawnthompson said...

I think I would improve if I would just practice more. I just finished a lap quilt, and by the time I got near the end, I had found my rhythm and my quilting was respectable. But I'm done with the quilt now.

Amy said...

Something simple - Practice, be creative, reach outside the comfort zone.

tizart said...

I think this book looks amazing!!! I would like to improve my variety of designs, that is why I jioned the FMQ Challenge with SewCalGal!!! Love the chance to win this Book! Happy Quilting Liz in New Zealand.

Cindy said...

That book has definitely caught my interest! My free motion could really improve just by my ability to improvise...I am such a by the book gal, sometimes that can be a pain!

Beth from Texas said...

I would love to have this book and probably will but would love to win it. Practice is the best thing for improving. I took my stash and made a big block quick just to practice feathers. They are getting better!

Ms. Jan said...

The old saw "Practice, practice, practice" has got to be the ticket! And I need it!

Jeanne said...

I want to improve the fluidity of my FMQ and I know I need to play with it -- a lot! -- to accomplish that goal. I'd love to win this book!

Anonymous said...

Need to improve my ability to "see" ahead of the design to know where to head after completing a motif. Sketching the design ahead of quilting it doesn't seem to have helped me much. Continuous practice time every day is also a goal! Thanks for the chance to win what looks to be a lovely book!

Pat
babcia2008@ymail.com

maureen said...

I am practicing, practicing, practicing- on a white board, with a pencil and with my machine and different threads. I can already see the difference in just days. Now if I can just make myself stick to it!

Jessica said...

Sounds like a great book! Something simple I could do to improve is practice!!

Rachel said...

My machine quilting doesn't stray far from the basic stipple or lazy rope. This would help me get out of that rutt.

I really love your "practice piece." Your caddy looks beautiful.

Rachel said...

rachelalbertsen at gmail dot com- my bad

JustCallMeElle said...

Oh my goodness - I saw this at my quilt shop this week. And I almost bought it. In fact, I was planning to go back for it next chance.

I need to desperately add some designs to my quilt motif ideas. This book looks like just the thing. Fresh and new.

Newbie Jen said...

This book has been on my wish list for a while. Besides practice, I like learning though others. The free motion project and the free motion challenge have been great so far.

lindaroo said...

I'm hyperventilating over the chance to win this book! I know I need to slow down on the curves, and get out of rut of meandering only! Thanks for all the encouraging new ideas!

Kimme said...

Practice, practice and a bit more practice! :-)

Hettie said...

Not much text and plenty of designs? So my kind of book.

Cathy H said...

Practice, practice, practice.........

June D said...

Practice. Practice with pen and paper or white board and with fabric! Practice a little every day...

Sheila said...

Like you i am a visual learner, and this looks like just what i need beside me as i practise, practise, practise

Kathie said...

This is the year for me to learn machine quilting
I think the best thing for me is to play and let loose with the designs.
since I am a visual learner this BOOK would be perfect for me to use for inspiration and hopefully reach my goal this year.
thanks for the giveaway and the Review.
Kathie

Tracie M said...

I need to learn how to relax and keep my stitches an even size.

Anonymous said...

The one thing I need to do at the moment to improve my free-motion quilting is to clear my sewing room! I've been unable to quilt much for the last year because life got in the way - and during that time my sewing machines have been somewhat buried... I have been finding that I often just don't know how to quilt simple modern quilts. I have some designs that I've used but they are often not right for the modern tops I've been making. The book looks like it has some great suggestions!

Dorothy in Oz
brinkade @ bigpond . net . au

Suzan said...

The book looks like it has lots of ideas for designs that would never occur to me in "real life"! Truly, the best thing I can think of to improve my freemotion quilting is the same thing that many others have said...practice! Another thing would be to clear off the entire top of my sewing table and the table behind it. It seems that whenever I freemotion anything of decent size, I end up shoving bits of effluvia off the tables and onto the floor. Might make more sense to start with the area clear!

Monika said...

Thanks for thw chance of winning a book that looks really useful!I have a number of FMQ books and still seem to return to the trusted stippling... i need 3ps to improve - planning, patience and practice!

Anonymous said...

What a kick start to FMQ, sometimes that is all I need, a germ of an idea and to see how it flows. To improve my FMQ would be to set a goal to try something new and pull out a finished top once a month and just go for it. Thanks for the chance to see this book in person! vamoody1(at)verizon(dot)net

Dawn Hendrix said...

I to am a visual person... Would love the book .. do we have a release date?

I am always looking at patterns everywhere I go and this book seems like a great TOOL to have.

WvHmmngbrd said...

I need to just relax and practice more!

Diane N said...

Oh that looks like a really fun book!

Pam said...

I could use that - look like fun!

quiltingtizzy said...

Thanks for reviewing the book for us. It looks like a great addition to my little library. I need to doodle more on paper and my white board. I think the practice will be a big help for my fmq.
It appears WordPress doesn't allow us to turn off "no reply". My contact is sctill at mindspring dot com

beth lehman said...

i could try variations on stippling....!! that's all i've done!

Brenda said...

The simple thing I could do is not that easy. I need a table with an insert for my sewing machine and lots of space behind it. In other words, I need a big sewing surface to reduce drag. thanks for the chance to win the book.

SusanQuilter said...

Looks nice! I'd love to add this book to my collection. It's great to be able to pull one out with photos and just leaf thru to see what design appeals.

Cheryl M. said...

Looks like a good book for quick ideas. Thanks for the review. The combination quilting looks like a simple way to do a overall quilting design without having to keep it consistance through out the entire quilt. Praticing with a purpose.

Mareenchen said...

Given that I've only worked on two quilts and a couple of pillows with straight lines so far - practice and more quilting projects! :)

Suzanne said...

This sounds great! I need the inspiration and as much as I like pinterest and blogs, in some cases there is nothing better than flipping pages in a book. I could improve my FMQ with two steps: winding loads of bobbins at the start (so I don't lose momentum when one runs out) and with more dedicated time to practice. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

mckittycat said...

Learning to take the time to practice - on paper and on sandwiches would definitely help with my FMQ. This new book looks like it has the right stuff to inspire! Mary Ann

twodraftmom said...

For me, it's planning ahead. It helps me to see other ideas! Thanks for sharing this book!

Debbie said...

I would love, love, love to try this one out! Thanks for the review....and honest comments about it.

CaroleM said...

Practice and work more with thread tensions.

Linda E in AZ said...

The simple thing would be to practice more - I tend to get wrapped up in piecing and only start free-motion quilting when I need to get something quilted.
This looks like an interesting book that I'd like to have.
thanks!

Linda Moran said...

Would SO love to practice more!!

Marcia Mersky said...

Wow - this book looks amazing! It's all about practice, and not being too anxious about getting perfect results.

Brenda said...

Perfect for my goal to improve my FMQ this year! Thanks.

Rebecca Kennedy said...

I need to coordinate my pedal speed with my hand speed. Still working on that!

knottygnome said...

well for starters i could probably try to practice more! i was thinking about doing a QAYG with smaller blocks that i could join together for a quilt at the end.

Elsa said...

Great giveaway!
I'd say that the one thing I need to do to improve my free motion quilting is to do it! teehee.
Thanks for the giveaway Christina!

Becky said...

I would LOVE a copy of that book!I heard her interview on Creative Mojo with Mark Lipinski. I really need to find some good quality thread that doesn't break all the time.

Terry said...

I'd love to win this book! I need to practice, practice, practice my FMQ so I can get better at it. Thanks for the chance! :0)

Nancy said...

Practice!! Practice!! Practice!! And not be afraid to fail...

Sarah said...

Try new designs. I can stipple and swirl but I'm scared to do anything else.

Becky said...

There is something simple that I actually do when I machine-quilt and that is to always use the same type of thread top and bottom on my sewing machine. I also always use a high-quality thread, usually embroidery-type silk thread because I have found there is less breakage this way. Thanks for the opportunity to be in your little drawing :)

Jeanna said...

I would love a book like that, I get in a rut and have a difficult time coming up with ideas that aren't one of my predictable 3! Time for some new ideas!!
becauseisaysew.blogspot.com

Ginger said...

what a genius idea for a book!

Michelle said...

I need to trying different patterns with my free motion quilting. Meandering, I can do. Spirals, I can do. So I rarely stretch my wings and try anything else.

Jo Anne said...

I would like to be better at visualizing a design and not feel constrained by the elements of the block, meaning, I want the freedom to cross those lines.

mammafairy said...

The simple thing I could do, is practise! I do not do enough of that!
Lovely looking book!

LoriLou said...

I would simply adore this book :-) I love your sample.

Kylie said...

Practice every day! Even if it's just a little 6 inch square- do some quilting every day. Thank you for the lovely giveaway. kcarlson1152[at]hotmail.com

beeps said...

Practice of course! I'm also saving to buy a machine with a longer neck because my little Brother has a short one which makes doing anything other than piecing hard with my big hands.

barbara said...

i would love to win any book that would help my fmq. the simplest things i could do to improve my skills is to adjust the table height and practice more.

bar2a1234@gmail.com

Dara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dara said...

Practice, practice, and more practice would definitely help me improve. I would love this book!!
Dara

Marcia W. said...

Begin FMQ - This is the year I want to learn to FMQ. This would be my first book on the subject should I be so fortunate as to win. Thanks for the chance.

Kate C said...

I think finding my own style of quilting and then going with it- not trying to mimic other's work that I admire.

sophie said...

I would love to develop the confidence to "draw" figures in my free motion quilting. The book looks very interesting.

Shannon said...

Practice, practice, practice...I've only had my Vision for 4 months!!!

s2fleming@yahoo.com

Margaret said...

Practice. I have the basic understanding and do sort of ok when I do it but I really need to practice more.

liniecat said...

Gosh this book looks inspirational.....Im learning as I go and need all the help I can find! Thanks for mentioning it and heres hoping!

Jo said...

this book looks so inspiring, practicng one hour a day would be great to make big progress,
thanks for this give away
jo.tijskens@skynet.be

Lisa said...

Looks like a great book! Maybe it would give me the guts to actually *try* free motion.

2ndAvenueStudio-Rachel said...

look s good ... im in ..
:)

Bethany Pease said...

Hello Christina! This is Bethany Pease.

I am so glad you enjoyed my book. Great job on your first try at the cover design. You rocked it! As far as the flower medallions go in the back of the book. Those are awesome for stitching "unexpectedly" in corners of borders, blank centers of traditional or plain modern quilt blocks. I used several of them all-together in a kaleidoscope quilt. The fabrics in the quilt had a very organic feel. So when I stitched the various, yet coordinating, medallions all over the top in each block it mimiced the organic designs already in the quilt in a lacy type overlay of stitching. Go to my blog & check out Vicki's Water garden quilt. (Just scroll down). It should be the last post. Thanks for promoting my book!

Anonymous said...

This looks like a super book. Just the kind I have been looking for to gather ideas for the quilts I enjoy doing. I look forward to seeing it in person.

Very Terry said...

A simple thing to do to help us get better at free motion stitching is to doodle a LOT! Draw on kid's sketching toys, draw programs on your computer or iPad, use a dry erase board or even on junk mail. The more comfortable you get before you start, the easier it will be to stitch.

The book looks fantastic - I hope I win!!!

DragonPoodle said...

Improving FMQ is super easy. Practice. Practice. Practice. I would love to win this book and try out some of these designs.

Ginger said...

I'd love to win the book. One thing I could do to improve my machine quilting is to quit being such a weenie and actually try it! I'm completely terrified!

Helen in the UK said...

I'm too late for the draw (DRAT!) but thanks for the review. It's not a book I'd heard of and I'm always looking for input and ideas on FMQ with no-mark designs. This is now on my Amazon wishlist :)

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