Quilt Book Review: Machine Quilting Idea Book

I was excited when Martingale Publishing sent me a bunch of quilt ebooks to review.  I was especially excited when I saw this book, Machine Quilting Idea Book by  Vicki Ruebel.  I love paging through books on machine quilting.  I always find my hand “air drawing” trying to replicate the pattern.  I grabbed a drink and settled in to page through this one hoping it would be one I love.

The book has basic instructions on preparing to machine quilt and then goes right into the designs.  The designs are all numbered by “how many spools” in difficulty the designs are.

There are 61 designs in the book.  All are done over a specific block.  There are 4-6 ways to machine quilt the different blocks featured in this book.

As I said, I was so excited to sit down and enjoy this book but I ended up figuring out that the book was several “spools” beyond me.  I tend to make busy quilts and quilting designs like this are lost on busy quilts.

As I am a piecer more than a machine quilter. I want my piecing to stand out and tell the story of my quilt, not so much the machine quilting.  For me… these designs are more than I would like on my quilts.

I’m guessing the author did the machine quilting in thread that would show up on the designs and that’s part of the reason the quilting seems so intense…

The format of the book is as shown.  It’s very nice and I think easy to understand and the designs are do-able if that is your thing.

So curious minds want to know…do you like intense quilting like this or are you a little more like me and like the fabrics and piecing to be the showcase?

Find it HERE at Amazon
Find it HERE at Martingale Publishing.

22 thoughts on “Quilt Book Review: Machine Quilting Idea Book”

  1. I don’t like intense quilting as it makes the quilt stiff. I don’t agree with the idea of rating the difficulty. I teach a machine quilting class, and I have had students sit down and quilt a leaf like they’ve done it for years. But others struggle with the same design.

  2. I agree with you. I don’t like dense quilting., especially on bed or snuggle quilts. They seem too stiff. I think they lose their soft, cuddly feeling. And it does seem to take away from the quilt’s pieced design.

  3. As a long arm quilter, I quilt both ways. I appreciate the ideas for those customers who want a bit more of a custom look on their quilts. But sometimes an easy, overall is just enough, especially for those who don’t want to pay for custom.
    I am doing lots of ruler work with arcs and angles filling up the space. Especially on sampler type blocks. I kind of like the look and my customers do too.

  4. Virginia Grenier

    I do scrappy quilts where quilting gets lost so I just do an all over meander. I don’t like a lot of quilting – makes the quilt too stiff for me. I want it pliable for maximum snuggling.

    Clearbrook MN

  5. I once heard someone say a quilt had been “heavily embroidered” and that seems to be the goal of many machine quilting designs. I don’t like those quilts. I want some loft left in the batting so it will trap warmth and keep me warm. That’s my goal – a quilt that will keep in the warmth when it’s cold.

  6. I”m with you about wanting the design of the quilt to show, not the quilting. Plus I like the less dense quilting so it will drape and it’s nicer to cuddle up in. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I like the main feature to be the fabric (which I’ve paid dearly for) and the pattern (which I’ve also paid for, or worked hard to create). Although I appreciate the workmanship of a lot of quilting, it’s not the look I want for my quilts. A simple meander or stipple ( or other simple designs) are fun to do and give my quilts a soft, relaxed look. Just my personal preference!

  8. i prefer the soft and cozy feeling of quilts that are not heavily quilted. I mostly make quilts for Project Linus and/or charity quilts and just do a meander quilting or straight lines. Also, part of that is because the quilting is not my favorite part of making a quilt. Plus I’m not very good the quilting part. If I have a special quilt long-arm quilted I select a edge-to-edge design. So, to improve my skills, I’m starting a machine quilting class next week.

  9. Stephani in N. TX

    So excited you got to review this book. Vicki Ruebel used to be in my same guild when they were stationed where we lived. I voted her quilt the best of show in the last year she got to enter our local quilt show. We’ve both moved away. One of her quilts showed up in the same magazine as yours, I think the last APQ issue. She is a wonderful designer and quilter. Every idea is not for every body but she can come up with a quilt pattern and quilt it so it looks spectacular. So glad she has authored a book. I quilt by check, but like different blocks, different quilting has its appeal. May be purchasing that book just to see what she is up to. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Hi Jo
    Hi are you all doing? I really like this book as it seems to help you follow the flow of the design. I must admit I’ve done a lot of piecing but very limited on my skill as far as quilting the finish product. If I quilt it it’s by hand. I wish I could become braver and more confident in my skill of machine quilting but it paralyzes my brain and I never finish the quilt. Anyone else get lost in the final ending? Does anyone know an easy way to learn machine quilting? Thank you for sharing this book.

  11. It depends entirely on the quilt top for me. Quilt tops with lots of plain fabrics and big blocks need more quilting than those with scrappy fabrics or busy blocks. But no case do I like quilting done so densely that the quilt becomes stiff and not cuddly.

  12. I admire dense quilting but honestly, by the time I get to a quilt top to quilt it, I just want it done. So I end up with something simple, following the lines of the quilt or meandering. Maybe this would be good to make a churn dash quilt and practice the designs on it.

  13. It all depends on the quilt, how big the blocks are. You don’t want to quilt it down so its like cardboard but you do need to tack it down enough that the top is evenly supported.

  14. I’m always at a loss of how to quilt my blocks but these do seem a little extreme. I think it would be a good resource for someone to maybe take inspiration from or maybe just use some of the block quilting but not all of it, kind of like simplifying it

  15. I do admire the talent to do all that decorative quilting, but……………. it is not for me!
    I am with you Jo, the piecing is what I want seen. The quilting should not be the focal point of my quilts. I have seen so many heavily quilted quilts that are stiff and they don’t look like anything you could snuggle with at all. The fancy ones look like artwork to be admired but never touched. And that is not why I quilt!

  16. I sort of agree with you Jo. I have quilts that i’ve struggled with to find just the right quilting for a specific block and this book might have helped. But if I have a quilt with 144 star blocks in it (and you’ve done some), can you imagine doing all that quilting on each block?? Not me! To each their own. It’s not a bad book, just not for a lot of people I think. I love seeing your quilts and the quilting that you or your quilter does on them. Keep it up!

  17. Susan the Farm Quilter

    I love intense quilting and when you don’t use cheap batting, it is not stiff. I use a great deal of solid or reads-as-solid fabrics in my quilts just so my quilting will stand out. I get so bored quilting an E2E pattern on a quilt, so I rarely do them, even with busy fabric. One quilt I made for my MIL, when I was quilting it, I had 88 tie-offs in one 12″ block. That’s the kind of quilting I enjoy doing! Thank goodness there so many options for quilters so we can all find what we like and go with it.

  18. j diane armstrong

    On the basis of your review, I’m going right over to Amazon to buy the book. I have no opinion at all, dense or minimal–what attracted me was the same thing that attracts me to murder stories, to dystopian novels.
    Or to art galleries. A beautifully crafted glimpse into someone else’s world.
    Thanks so much for taking the time to (beautifully) craft your review.

  19. Hi Jo!
    I quilt for foks as the requests come in, and I only do Pantographs. i do not like dense quilting. I certainly admire the work that goes into fancy quilting but its just not me.
    That recipe for BBQ green beans will be on my “to try” list this summer.

  20. Hi Jo!
    Well, apparently I can’t spell this morning. My comment above should have been spelled folks. Missed the L. Whoops!

  21. I agree with your comments about quilting Jo. Although I would go one step further and say I dislike heavy quilting. I like a light touch. I thoroughly dislike feathers, I cannot see why people add them to quilts, there seems to me a herd mentality when it comes to patchwork which I believe is generated by the ‘business’ side.

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