I have both Angela Walters and Christa Watson’s first books in my library, and both have been great reference points in the past both for me and my students, so when I got the chance to review their new combined effort I jumped at the chance. The premise of this book is a good one, comparing how you could quilt each of 10 patterns with a long arm and a domestic machine, so it is useful for those who are lucky enough to own a long arm, those with only a domestic machine, and those of us that like to bat for both sides and can hire a long arm or use their domestic machine. I think it would even be useful for those that send their quilts out to a long armer, as it gives you an idea of the shapes and patterns you could ask for.
The book is easy to follow, with the pages containing advice from Angela for the long arm in turquoise, and the pages containing advice from Christa for the domestic machine in melon (actually the book calls it melon, it looks more coral to me, but what do I know ;o) )
Each author has an introductory section on tools that they use as well as advice on setting up to quilt, and it was comforting to know that they both have a fairly limited arsenal – I always imagine that people who’ve been at this sort of thing for some time must have a veritable array of things that they use, which would cost a small fortune for your average mortal to collect but as it turns out, not so much!
In the pattern section of the book, each author takes it in turns to be the lead on a pattern, and in each one they describe what particular thing they’re tackling and why, including pieced quilts, whole cloth quilts and applique. The lead author describes how they’ll tackle the quilting first, and then the other author offers their insight.
This quilt was designed by Angela specifically because large blocks are challenging for long arm quilters, it’s not because she’s mean, but because it gives you insights on how to overcome difficulties.
Here’s an example of the detailed description behind Angela’s approach:
And then Christa’s approach:
This wholecloth quilt that Christa takes the lead on is amazing, and I’ll admit that I thought you could only do a wholecloth on a long arm, oh, and that I didn’t realise people traced their designs, I just thought they went at it freehand. Some people might freehand right enough, but the technique behind this makes me think I could actually do something like this myself as it gets past my fear of filling wide open spaces and also past my OCD in design consistency!
I like that this covers appliqued quilts too, after all we make quilts in many different ways and often books only cover how to quilt pieced quilts. It also makes a good quilting sampler, so you can try out a variety of styles in a small place.
After reading this I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I can actually quilt my Moda Building Blocks myself at home. I’m going to break it down into bite sized pieces and try out a variety of quilting patterns, so it will be a true end to end sampler – wish me luck!
Thanks to Brent Kane and Martingale for the photos used in this post. The book is available now from the following locations: