There is a new quilting book on my shelf and it has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s called Inspired Free Motion Quilting, by Amanda Leins and Bill Volkening;  I love pouring over its pages with a cup of tea and my Quilter’s Planner (there are so many great ideas shared in the book that I make notes while I read it.) 

When I first decided to learn to longarm quilt, I contacted a quilter I admired greatly who lived in my area, to see if she offered private longarm quilting lessons. Her name is Amanda Leins, and she is an incredibly knowledgeable and gifted longarm and domestic machine quilter, and she happens to be a co-author of this new spectacular quilting book that I am writing about today.

The day I emailed Amanda was my lucky day, for sure; she invited me to her home studio for a private lesson (a pretty unheard of invitation), and from there she became a quilting mentor to me, and a close friend.  Inspired Free Motion Quilting is a collaboration between one of my quilting mentors, Amanda Leins, and Bill Volkening, a collector with an impressive stash of antique quilts.

The idea behind the book is that Bill has chosen some of his favorite quilts in his collection, and Amanda reinterprets 90 of the quilting designs that appear on those quilts so that the modern machine or hand quilter can recreate those designs on their own projects.

Amanda is a gifted teacher, and her clear instructions and diagrams break down designs that appear complex to make them approachable for the modern quilter.  This book has introduced me to so many new quilting motifs that I have never even thought of using! One of the ways I plan to use this book is to help me try out hand quilting.  Many of the motifs presented can be used for either hand or machine quilting.  I have always wanted to try hand quilting – I have just needed a little encouragement.  This book is exactly what the quilt doctor ordered.

One of the reasons that I have always been in awe of Amanda, is that she is both an archaeologist AND a quilter.   A conversation with Amanda is always enlightening, because she has such depth of knowledge about the history of quilting, in addition to her practical skills on the longarm.  This book is an especially interesting collaboration because the co-author, Bill Volkening is an art historian and sees quilts very much as art pieces.

Inspired Free-Motion Quilting focuses on ten quilts from Bill’s collection. It also has a helpful introduction that talks about different tools and techniques used for machine quilting, and a chapter at the end that shows how to expand on some of the motifs to make them your own.

Isn’t this antique quilt gorgeous? (see below) It’s one of my favorites in the book (although it is hard to choose).

For chances to win and electronic copy, stop by the other websites on the Inspired Free-Motion Quilting Blog Hop.

The end of the blog hop is Friday, when Amanda Leins is posting some fun pictures for you (see below for the link to her blog).  If you comment on her post on Friday, you will be eligible to win a Quilter’s Planner and an e-copy of Inspired Free Motion Quilting.

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 LucasLynn 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 Amanda Leins of Mandalei Quilts