Thursday, September 14, 2017

Making Connections: A Free-Motion Quilting Workbook Review & Giveaway

I'm excited to be joining in the Making Connections Blog Hop. Dorie Hruska of Forever Quilting was kind enough to allow me a sneak peek at her practical workbook. 

Making Connections introduces an entirely new approach that can be applied to specific shapes or open spaces marked with a grid. Dorie shows you how to employ 12 different connecting designs while minimizing starts and stops by using intentionally planned continous paths. She walks you through the steps with numbered diagrams and spaces for you to sketch out the designs. The cover quilt pattern is included and ties all the skills within the workbook together. Dorie's aim is to help you build muscle memory of the process, as shown in the following YouTube video.

I enjoy quilting that accentuates the piecing in a quilt or creates a meaningful secondary design, rather than simply going over the top with no regard for the piecing. Making Connections gave me new tools for making that happen.

I also appreciate how Making Connections made me more aware of more efficient options for charting my course across a quilt top, which saves me numerous lose threads to tie off or a whole bunch of backtracking.

Whether you're very experienced or a free-motion newbie, Dorie's workbook pushes you to add skills to your repertoire. You can scratch the surface by trying out some Connecting Loops or Connecting Curls on a charm square quilt. (The following two images below to C & T and are sections of Dorie's work.)

Or you can navigate complex piecing without tying off using an assortment of multi-path designs.

You may remember my shamefully put-aside floral sampler quilt I finally wrapped up. I was able to test out the Connecting Waves design in the red squares. Unfortunately, since they were isolated squares, this quilt did not take advantage of all the book had to offer.

Eager to try out my skill at navigating a continuous path, I began quilting another member of my UFO society, my Hungry Caterpillar quilt, with the Connecting Brackets Design.

So what's next? You may have picked up on a continuing theme here --- UFOs. I have another Saturday Sampler that's been hanging out (in the literal sense of being on a hanger in my sewing room closet) waiting for me to give it the time of day in terms of free-motion. This one is especially suited to Dorie's technique for approaching pieced sections. I opened a photograph of one of the blocks in Preview (a Mac app) and ran through a connected path using free-motion designs introduced in Making Connections. Every block is different, so I'll be doing some more playing around in the days to come. Drawing helps me chart a course so I'm mental prepared when I approach the actual quilt. Fortunately, I'm more steady with fabric under a machine than I am with the mouse pad on my laptop.

I received an electronic review copy of the book, but I would recommend choosing the non-electronic version since it is a workbook filled with practice pages that will otherwise need to be printed to complete. If the idea of marking in your book feels too rebellious for your tastes, use an overhead sheet placed on the page and a wet-erase marker to practice the designs while leaving your book as good as new. Another option is to practice in a graph paper composition book.

For your chance to win a copy of Making Connections: A Free-Motion Quilting Workbook, leave a comment below telling me what you'd like to learn about free-motion quilting, or a tip you'd like to share about the process. Leave a separate comment for an extra entry if you follow my blog via e-mail or blog reader. Domestic winners will receive a hard copy; international winners will receive an electronic copy of the book. I will draw a random winner Sunday.
You can purchase a signed copy of Making Connections from Dorie or buy the book from Amazon (affiliate link).

Also, check out the wonderful projects all the other participants have been making and earn more chances to win a copy of the book.

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