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First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting: 24 Projects for Fearless Stitching Paperback

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First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting: 24 Projects for Fearless Stitching + Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting: 50+ Visual Tutorials to Get You Started  Professional-Quality Results on Your Home Machine + Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters: Choose & Use Quilting Designs on Modern Quilts
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: C&T Publishing / Stash Books (September 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607056720
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607056720
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Ready, set, sew! Learn the basics, gather your supplies, pick a project, and start stitching. With a refreshingly new approach to free-motion stitching, this book encourages you to make something beautiful while improving your free-motion quilting skills. You'll find 24 projects and quilts that are light on assembly so you can spend most of your time stitching. A handy troubleshooting guide ensures success every step of the way.

(Down Under Quilts Magazine, 11/1/13)

Christine's easy-to-assemble projects are the perfect way to practice beginning quilting skills while making gifts and accessories for friends and family. After learning how to set up your machine for quilting and gathering the basic tools and notions necessary, simple instructions will show you how to try out the stitching designs provided. These designs work well with the given projects such as various bags, placemats and wall hangings. (Machine Quilting Unlimited, November/December 2013)

I love the small projects included in the book that incorporate free-motion work. What a brilliant path to practicing stitching skills. Learning to free-motion quilt can be slow going if you’re waiting to be good enough before tackling a large project. Doing mindless practice quilt sandwiches gets boring! My favorite thing about Christina’s book is her approach to getting us to practice: Small Stitched Projects! Simple construction and good design make the projects perfect for practice. It includes all of the technical know-how needed combined with a game plan for how to get practice time in with something to show at the end of a session. With such limited time to create and sew it’s a brilliant approach! (11/4/13)

First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting is filled with tips and tricks and all kinds of great information. And to top that off, there's a ton of crazy, great projects to make!
(, 11/4/13)

This is a totally great beginner’s book.

At the start, Christina lays out exactly what you need to get started. She walks you through cleaning your sewing machine, and explains about darning presser feet and extension tables and quilting gloves. She also explains the best kinds of thread for free-motion quilting.

Turns out, it’s not a huge investment to get started on this craft.

The next section is all basic techniques for FMQ.

This section is beautifully documented, with well-lit, well-staged photos and lots of them.

…And then there are many pages of sample designs to get you inspired to quilt.

I’m so impressed with the instructional quality of this book. I’m having trouble articulating this well, but I feel like, as a beginner, this book gives me just enough instruction to get started without overwhelming me.
(, 11/18/13)

I have to say, I've reviewed lots of free-motion quilting books. Of all the ones I have seen, I rank this one in the top two. The thing I like so much about this one is that it walks you through the stitches and free-motion quilting, and then the author offers some great fun and practical projects that will allow readers to practice those very stitches. Most of the projects are small and are great confidence builders. Can you believe that are 24 projects packed into the book?? (Jo's Country Junction, 2/3/14)

About the Author

Christina Cameli is a nurse-midwife and quilter who enjoys finishing quilts on her domestic machine in addition to teaching free-motion quilting classes for beginners. She lives with her husband and children in Portland, Oregon, and shares her adventures in patchwork and quilting at

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 42 customer reviews
Free Motion quilting can be scary!
Gene Black
Christina's writing style is engaging, her instructions are clear and easy to understand, and the photography is stunning.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone whether they are a newbie or veteran quilter.
T. Aul

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By salliesue on August 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
Through her blog, the author has long been my go-to person for help and inspiration with free motion quilting, and I fully expected this book to be a useful (non-electric) resource on my bookshelf. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book not only outlined the basics of free motion quilting, but went way beyond that to share twenty-four fabulous projects that allow the reader to learn and perfect the art! My usual criteria for purchasing a book is three to five projects that take my breath away - but after counting, I found that I want to make at least twenty of these! Christina's writing style is engaging, her instructions are clear and easy to understand, and the photography is stunning. There is a concise but short section on basic sewing and quilt construction techniques, and a very useful troubleshooting section. I've been doing free motion quilting for a while, but this book taught me some things and gave me some ideas and techniques that I hadn't tried before. Definitely worth purchasing, and should be on every home quilter's bookshelf!! I was sent a free copy of this book for review, but now I'm putting my money where my mouth is and buying a copy to give away on my blog because it is such a good book.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gene Black on September 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
Free Motion quilting can be scary! Right? I used to think it was impossible. Then I did a little and just thought it was too hard. Then I kept seeing things on the internet that regular folks were doing and it looked amazing. So, I felt that I had to learn how. I am still learning how.
I was surprised to see that there are several projects to make listed. I discovered the reason for the projects. Each one is quilted with free motion quilting, but you don't have to commit to making a bed quilt. If you mess up a pot holder it is not nearly as big a loss as messing up a quilt top.The projects are so well done and inspiring that you will want to make several of them. I know that the Strip Sampler quilt is on my "I want to make that" list. There are a couple of "why didn't I think of that" projects too. But I won't spoil that surprise for you.
If you want to learn free motion but just can't think about trying it on a quilt - try one of the small projects and work your way up to a bigger quilt.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Laura B. Hartrich on September 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for anyone interested in trying their hand at free motion quilting. I have tried FMQ before, and come away frustrated and feeling like a failure. I was unwilling to try FMQ on anything bigger than a baby quilt for fear of sacrificing my beautiful pieced top to a botched FMQ job. And I don't know if I would have ever had the guts to try FMQ again, if not for this book.

I love how Christina breaks down the basics of FMQ, into easy to understand steps and, all the while assuring you that nobody's FMQ stitches look amazing at first, but that with practice you can create something beautiful. I love how she acknowledges that free motion quilting is intimidating and scary, but promises you can do it with time and practice. Christina is so gentle and sincere in her encouragement that I have no choice but to believe her! I am determined to make doodling a daily practice, and to put in 15 minutes of FMQ practice whenever I can.

The projects in the book are gorgeous and modern. They cover a range of difficulty levels. The projects are all very appealing and exciting to me. Some of them strictly for their beauty, others for their utility AND beauty. The idea of quilting as you go is a new one to me, and I can't wait to try it. It makes the prospect of free motion quilting an entire quilt much less daunting.

I am in the middle of a few projects that I am forcing myself to finish up first. But as soon as those are done, I can't wait to jump into this book and its stunning projects. Mine may not turn out as stunning as Christina's, but I believe her when she says that's okay. Perfection is not the goal. This is about a practice, a process, and a beautifully unique product. I'm champing at the bit to get started!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daniela Steinbach on October 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have several free motion quitling books and even took a class at the local quilt store. Was curious about this book and delighted when I got it! It covers the basics (always nice to review for me) and has tips and helpful encouragement. The patterns start easy and get more elaborate, just what you would expect. I think the book would be good for a beginner and it is very nice for me, with a little experience already, too.

What I like the best, what makes it my favorite free motion book, is the many fun projects that are included to practise the free motion quilting on something one can finish and be proud of. There are so many projects I am excited about and I have alsready picked a bunch of them to try: the quilted messenger bag, the little bowls, the loopy bucket, the fishbowl purse, the wiggle-bottom seat cushion, the good advice wallhanging, the strip sampler, the fireworks quilt that has attractive and creative, yet simple applique with free motion thread play on it, and the quilt as you go quilt that has a different free motion quilt design in every square which makes it managable and excellent for practise. Most free motion quilting books ask you to practise on a muslin square, which is fine, but this is much more fun!
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