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Angela Walters is the talented, well-known machine quilter from Quilting Is My Therapy and author of the new book Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters. Angela works with many modern quilters to make beautiful designs even more extraordinary. Angela’s gorgeous free-motion quilting enhances modern quilts, taking each piece to a whole new level. She learned to quilt from her husband’s grandpa and never looked back, becoming one of the most sought-after machine quilters in the industry.

Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters shows you how to move beyond basic machine quilting with your longarm or home sewing machine. The book is focused on how to quilt modern designs, and includes instructions for everything from continuous-line swirls, circles, squares to vines, arcs, and points.

Today Angela tells us a little about her machine quilting growth over the years, plus you can win one of two copies of Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters! Comment on the post below for your chance to win (US winners receive a hard copy + international winners will receive an electronic copy of the book). Tell us about your experiences with machine quilting, what you want to learn about machine quilting or about your love of Angela’s work!

“Every Master was once a Disaster.”

I can’t remember who authored that quote, but it is so true! When I look at someone who is so great at what they do, whether it’s a sports athlete, an artist, or an actor, it’s hard to remember that they started out at the beginning.

I am definitely not saying that I am a master by any means, but I definitely was a “disaster.” Free-motion quilting is a skill that takes practice– there is no way around that! When I started my free-motion quilting journey almost ten years ago, I had some interesting quilts.

Don’t believe me?! Let me take you on a walk down memory lane…

When I first started machine quilting, I had no idea that I would take it this far. All I wanted to do was to quilt my own quilts. So I practiced on old quilt tops that Grandpa bought at garage sales and flea markets.

(By the way, I think that quilting on actual quilts is the best way to practice. Not only do you have to learn how to quilt the designs, you need to figure out how to navigate around a quilt. Plus, you are forced to actually finish a quilt, regardless of how frustrated you get.)

Then I started quilting my own quilts. One of my proudest moments at that time was this star quilt that I quilted with a heart quilting design.

Oh, did you want to see the “heart”-y goodness up close? Let’s have a look at the back:

It’s is completely OK to snicker a little bit! The curves are wobbly, the spacing is horrible and the design doesn’t even remotely fit the quilt top. But you know what? I still have and use this very quilt. It’s a great reminder of exactly how far I have come.

Fast forward four years from that quilt and you can see that I have progressed a little more.

Oh yeah, the good ‘ol meander and flower. Not too bad, if I do say so myself. But I would like to point out, that this was five years (!) after I started quilting.

I loved machine quilting so much that I just kept on quilting. In a way, I think I was lucky that I didn’t know about quilt blogs. I didn’t see what other people were doing and I wasn’t able to compare my quilting to others. I was blissfully ignorant, quilting away in my quilting room.

Fast forward five years and I have definitely honed my skill. But here’s the thing– I quilt everyday. I don’t have to piece the quilts and I don’t have to bind them. I can just quilt, quilt, quilt.

Designed + Pieced by Angela Walters

I really hate it when quilters are too hard on themselves. I always say that machine quilting is a process. Just know that with each quilt, you will get better and better.

Parisville Quilt Panel designed by Tula Pink

And someday you will look at pictures and you will be able to tell just how far you have come!