Denise, I always like to know what books other people find helpful.
Sometimes I just need to look at pictures to give me inspiration, and when there is a graphic of how to quilt it that comes with it, all the better.
I like straight line quilting with my walking foot. I know the more you do FMQ , the better you are supposed to get. But I just don't like battling all the bulk on my HSM. And the quilting part is my least favorite part of the quilt project. I need to learn to love it and not just look at it as the final thing to do and then I am done with this quilt. Well almost, there is the binding, but I like the binding piece and sewing it down by hand. I think that may be my favorite part, because I know it is almost finished.
Sherri, I too like to do binding. I find the handwork part of it to be relaxing. I showed a quilt to my friend Lynn, who is a longarm quilter. She was surprised that none of it had been done with FMQ. As soon as I finish hand stitching down the binding, I will upload a pic of it.
Sherri, I could have written your comment. I'm still struggling with FMQ, and still don't love the quilting part of the projects. But the binding............I like it a lot and I think it is because it means I've accomplished something.
What has helped me with struggling with the larger quilts is now having a Pfaff with a 10" throat area. I can't get over how much easier it is to quilt just with a few extra inches. I have 2 fairly large tops that I really can't afford to pay someone to quilt for me so I'm just going to have to grit my teeth and do them myself. What I struggle with the most is the basting of the 3 layers. That just about does me in. But I have too much time & money tied up in these already to not get them finished.
I know some people are able to do that & make the joins look nice & neat, but the one time I tried it I was very unsatisfied. Of course, that was a long time ago so maybe now it would be easier for me to do. One of these large ones was a Carol Doak paper pieced mystery quilt so you have to assemble the entire top. That one is a king sized so I dread the thought of basting it.
I am not a free motion quilter either,,, for the reasons you mention... MY stitches do not stay uniform, ( I don't have a fancy stitch regulator on my Janome) But the whole cumbersome thing of dealing with all that quilt... I have done it on much smaller pieces like baby quilts or place mats.. But for larger quilts, lap size and beyond, I do walking foot quilting... I took a Craftsy class on walking foot quilting that has helped me a lot to try different things with my walking foot. The class is called Creative Quilting with your walking foot... or something to that effect... Anyway the last few quilts I have completed I used a series of straight and gentle curves up and down on the quilt... But even with this method, I am inclined to send anything larger, bed sized, to the long arm quilter.
I have started quilting a top made from blocks I received in an internet exchange around 2002 or 2003. I just feel like I'm in such a rut when it comes to the quilting. I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have made lots & lots of quilts over the years, but I look at these blocks and just get stumped. I did manage to get the center block & the surrounding sashing strips quilted so at least that is a start.