Inspired Free-Motion Quilting Blog Tour Kickoff!

Posted by Amanda Leins on Jan 7th 2019

Welcome quilting enthusiasts! I'm Amanda Leins, and I'm a longarm and domestic machine quilter, a pattern designer, and a teacher. I am delighted to share Inspired Free-Motion Quilting with you, a book I co-wrote with Bill Volckening based on quilts in his collection, and we believe it's something pretty special.

See, Bill comes to quilts from his background in art and sees them very much as art pieces. I come to quilts from my background as an archaeologist and quilter, and I am very interested in both their function and beauty, as both usable art and craft. In the process of writing the book, I learned a ton about historical quilts and what makes some quilts significant over others in the collection process, and Bill learned a lot about the choices a quilter makes when it comes time to quilt: tools, marking, planning, and so forth. It was the best type of project for both of us: one where we each added to our store of knowledge. Even better, it was fun!

Inspired Free-Motion Quilting focuses on ten quilts from Bill's collection. With an introduction that talks about different tools and techniques used for machine quilting, and a chapter at the end that shows how to riff off some of the motifs, this book will guide you along a quilting journey.

Bill and I both love quilts, and it is our hope that we share some of that thrill of discovery and eagerness to learn with you. As we kick off this blog hop and giveaway, I thought it might be fun to share with you how Bill and I first started talking quilts! What follows is an excerpt from our conversation in 2014 over Facebook Messenger.

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Mandy: Hi Bill, my name is Mandy Leins and I follow you on Facebook. I know you're writing a book on New York Beauties right now and I think I may have found something you'd be interested in. I'm in an antique shop in Chattanooga. It's a NYB made from shirting and feed sacks, and I haven't seen you post anything like it, and thought maybe you'd be interested.

Bill: Hi Mandy, thank you for the note. Yes, I am interested.

Mandy: OK, here is a shot of the front and back.

Bill: Oh, wow! That's really interesting.

Mandy: I think it's in decent shape, here are a couple detail shots.

Oh, and here is a shot of where I've hidden it, in booth #317. It's tucked behind the quilt with the cheddar on the bottom.

Bill: Great, thanks! What's the name of the shop and their contact number? I'll call them right now.

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Since that time, Bill and I have shared back and forth quilts from every age that we've found or been inspired by, and we hope that our book Inspired Free-Motion Quilting inspires you the same way!

Join us in our blog hop this week as different artists from all quilting backgrounds—hand, domestic, and longarm, and even garment making!—show us how they use Inspired Free-Motion Quilting to finish some of their projects in the New Year, expand their skills, and try new things! Make sure to visit each blogger on their day for a chance to win an e-copy of the book, and make sure to visit my blog on the last day for the Grand Prize: an e-copy of Inspired Free-motion Quilting and a Quilter's Planner set to plan your projects this year! You can enter the C&T giveaway here: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

January 7: C&T Publishing for the kickoff, Bill Volckening

January 8: Amanda Murphy of Amanda Murphy Design, Kim Lapacek of PersimonDreams, 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, and me! Amanda Leins of Mandalei Quilts

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