I was the fortunate technical editor who worked on Angela
Walter’s latest new book
Free-Motion Meandering—A Beginner's Guide to Machine Quilting. The important word to note here
fortunate. Yes, just reading through this
book and going over the designs and illustrations improved my own quilting in
giant leaps! There’s something about Angela’s completely open and sensible
approach to quilting that gives you the space and permission to jump in and
try. Her words have been permanently etched in my consciousness. She has a way
of saying things that pushed me through my hesitancy and fear and freed me up
to go for it!
I wanted to try quilting paisleys around a Christmas candy
cane on a small 12˝ x 18˝
quilt. Immediately, my fear of getting stuck in tight places took me to that
tentative place. But then I remembered one of Angela’s mantras: “Echoing is
your friend.” I used this thought to overcome my doubts. I repeated this idea
over and over in my head. Voilà! The echoing got me out of tight corners and
narrow passages and added more layers and interest to the paisley shapes. I was
over the moon! The confidence I gained by tuning in to “the Walters wavelength”
was working. Believe me when I tell you that this book is not only a guide to
learning new designs, it also instills in you the confidence to move beyond
where you stand now with your quilting.
Angela is so helpful to people who are learning to quilt
because she knows exactly what it took for her to achieve her level of competence. She knows the
barriers, the indecisiveness, the second-guessing, the places you get stuck,
and the mind games your thoughts play with you. She knows because she’s been
there and remembers just what it was like. Buying a book by Angela is like
having your own personal tutor right there by your side. She’s relatable, and
she understands just what you are going through to master the skill. At some
point, a simple turn of phrase that she uses will resonate deeply and will
boost you to break through one of your own quilting barriers.
From Angela’s introduction:
“You’re sitting at your sewing machine with a quilt top,
ready to quilt. You know what you want the quilting to look like, but your
hands won’t cooperate. There’s no doubt that it’s a frustrating experience.
But, I want to show you that, just like any other skill, it can be learned.”
Wow! She’s been there, she knows what you’re going through,
she understands the issues,
and she’s got a
solution for you. What could be better! Angela promises and delivers.
Throughout the pages of this book, you will find simplicity guiding you. She
says, “Don’t worry about anything else right now …” or “… try to
enjoy just moving your hands around … it’s awesomely fun.” Other
directives also seem so common sense when Angela says them. It’s not
practice makes perfect, but “productive
practice makes perfect”! She follows up by telling you the exact steps to take to
be productive in your practice—even to refrain from cussing! (Yes, there will
be no cussing while quilting. …)
If you are like me, and you want to reach that place where quilting
is easy, fun, and gives you a result to be proud of, pick up a copy of Angela’s
book. It’s so much more than just learning to meander. You’ll find a fabulous
mentor in these pages and perhaps the keys to overcoming your quilting demons.
I know I did!
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