Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review: Mastering the Art of McTavishing 2nd Edition Expanded and Revised

Hello everyone and welcome to a book tour and review of Karen McTavish's latest release  "Mastering the Art of McTavishing 2nd Edition ~ Expanded and Revised" ~ published June 2014 and available for purchase from

Photo Courtesy On-Word Bound Books
You all know that I absolutely love using McTavishing on my quilts -- especially as a background for wool applique.
If you're looking to learn Karen's beautiful signature technique to enhance your quilts, 
this is the book for you!

I received a "review" copy from the delightful Sara at On-Word Bound Books, and couldn't wait to dive into it.  

The book is 128 pages long and includes 2 DVD/Videos (2.5+ hours) with awesome, down to earth, McTavish instruction.

The fun part of this publication is that you receive both the 1st and 2nd Edition DVD/Videos for the price of one book!   If you already own the 1st Edition you'll be thrilled with the new content and teaching approach of the 2nd Edition.

One of the finest things about this book is the inclusion of more than 45 quilts from National and Award Winning quilters showcasing a more modern use of McTavishing on these types of quilts:

Applique
Whole-cloth
Pieced
Modern
Art Quilts and Apparel
As Background Fillers
With Victorian Feathers

There are literally hundreds of full-color, beautifully photographed, McTavished pieces on the pages of the book.   Some were quilted by Karen McTavish...
Courtesy On-Word Bound Books Quilt Artist Jan McTavish - Quilted by Karen McTavish


And some were quilted by contributing quilters and modeled by Karen.  
I think it's awesome to see how other people interpret Karen's stitch.
Courtesy On-Word Bound Books... by Linda Alexander - Modeled by Karen McTavish
On the 2nd Edition DVD/Video, Karen shares a sampler of McTavishing designs that can be used for a more Modern look -- she explicitly shares these McTavishing variations:

Mini McTavishing (my favorite)
Curls and Swirls (my next to do!)
Paisleys
Clam Shell
Motorcycle Flames
Cyclone
Freehand Victorian Feathers (another favorite)

Also included in the DVDs, Karen and the contributing quilters cover McTavishing on Long-Arm machines, Domestic Machines AND via Hand Quilting...  Pretty Awesome!

While watching the videos, I jotted down a few things Karen shared that really hit home:

  • Match your thread to your background fabric
  • Use thin thread -- 50WT or finer - Karen uses silk and nylon (I'm a cotton girl myself ;)
  • Strive to have as few stops and starts as possible!  (Love this)
  • McTavishing is very forgiving -- you can backtrack, sneak around your quilt, and rework areas that need it without it being obvious. 
  • When necessary, picking (ripping) out McTavishing takes forever !!  (I can relate to that statement ;)
  • Think small, be relaxed and do the best you can!
  • There are no rules!!
Wait until you see how Karen Stops and Starts her quilting -- I just LOVE it....   (She does a video of her stops and starts on her Facebook page too-- click here for the video).

I think what I like the best about Karen McTavish is her style -- she has a flair of her own, one that can't be mimicked.   I really enjoy her simple, honest, and laid back approach to sharing McTavishing.  
Image Courtesy On-Word Bound Books - Karen McTavish
What you see is what you get.   

Thank you Karen McTavish.

After reading the book and watching the videos I couldn't wait to get stitching.  I work on a domestic sewing machine -- so I followed the first 10 steps in my "Do You FMQ" Tutorial (see it by clicking here).

I loaded up my #Aurifil Mako Cotton 50Wt thread  {{*love*}}  with every intention of following the "New" Basic McTavishing instruction,  but found myself falling right into my favorite McTavishing stitches:  Mini McTavishing and Freehand Victorian Feathers. 

I guess I've established a McTavishMillering or McMillering style of my own.... I'll let you decide if you like it -- but I'll have to rework on a larger piece to get the feel for "The New Basic McTavishing".

I'm calling this my "McTavishMillering Milkbone" ha ha ha.  It's a 14" x 22" cut of Mini McTavishing and Freehand Victorian Feathers McTavish style.
I started with marking the feather spine (only) around the 14" x 22" muslin.   I used two layers of batting, one Hobbs Heirloom 100% Wool and another cheap medium loft poly.

Of course I always quilt with my favorite thread, Aurifil Mako Cotton 50 Wt (in the top and the bobbin).  I quilted this entire top on my Janome Horizon, using 3 full bobbins, and with NO BREAKS!!  That amazes me!!   I love #Aurifil thread.  
I stitched the inside feathers first, using Karen's freehand Victorian feather "bump back" technique (included in the DVD's), and then I stitched the outside of the feather.   NOTE TO SELF:  Next time leave a little more room around the perimeter of the sample for better control/grip as you stitch. 
I proceeded to McTavishMiller the inside of the feathers, taking care to only start and stop once.   (Well... except I had to change my bobbin twice :)
After that I started McTavishMillering the outside of the feathers and I didn't like it - I felt it needed a small border between the feathers and the McTavishing....  So I picked (aka ripped) out a 6 inch x 2 inch section...

OH MY... I can certainly tell you that you don't want to have to pick McTavishing -- especially Mini McTavishing.   Why, oh why, am I so fussy ??

I picked out the Mini McTavishing to the right side of the feathers below to add some echo stitching:
 Took me at least 2 hours.
So after the picking was done, I echo stitched the outside of the feathers twice and filled with Mini McTavishMillering...

In this picture my spines are still wet from removing the blue water soluble pen marks.  The Clover Eraser Pen that Karen uses on my wish list...  it seems to work like magic!
Generally I like the way it came out -- it was great practice and Karen's DVDs, guidance and encouragement helped bunches!!  On my to do list is to change the Milkbone to feathered hearts -- won't that look sweet ?   For those that don't know what a Milkbone is -- click here ;)
Also next time -- I will try to break my old habits and follow Karen's New Basic McTavishing instructions so the quilt will look like this !!  Isn't it just stunning ??   Love, love, love!!
Image Courtesy On-Word Bound Books

Now for the Giveaway -- Use the Rafflecopter below to gain up to 6 chances to win my copy of "Mastering the Art of McTavishing 2nd Edition Expanded and Revised".

If you don't have a Facebook account -- no worries - simply use your name and email address to enter.  International entries are welcome!!    

The Raffelcopter will give you one mandatory (blog comment) and several optional ways to win -- try it out!

If the Raffelcopter widget doesn't load right away, refresh your screen and give it a minute -- sometimes it's fussy!!

The Giveaway is open until the end of day, Saturday, August 9th and the winner will be announced on Sunday, August 10th.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!
Hugs,
Karen

PS.   You can see more of my McTavishing here, here, here, here, here, here, and in this Facebook Album.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

127 comments:

  1. I can not believe you unpicked McTavishing!! I looked long and hard, I didn't see anything wrong with it. . . I know, we are our own worse critics for sure! Would love a chance to win this book, just love Karen's style (like I know her personally - um no I don't lol) Thanks for the chance to win :)

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  2. I am just beginning my journey into FMQ. Some day I hope to be able to add McTavishing to the patterns I can quilt! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  3. this book sounds wonderful I have 7 tops needing quilting and not a clue where to start, just checked on amazon UK but the book is not available yet, will keep looking though as I have to have it hopefully it will be the answer to all my quilting problems espcially as there are DVD`s there too

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  4. I've just started teaching myself to FMQ. I really like it so far. I haven't tried McTavishing yet because I'm not sure how to do it.
    jen dot barnard at btinternet dot com

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  5. I tried it once without learning anything about it, and tears ensued. :) I have a great deal of respect for people who can FMQ like this, and I would love to learn!

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  6. I love Karen's work! I have all her books. Is this book more in-depth then the first?
    Your version of Mctavishing is lovely.......I bit hard to say, but lovely to look at!!Lol!
    You were keen to do that un picking :-/

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  7. I do some Freemotion quilting but of course I am not that good. I haven't tried McTavishing yet because I'm not sure how to do it. Now I will try this.

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  8. YAYYYYY!!!! This is the giveaway *i* REALLY want to win!!! I have only heard of McTavishing in the past few months! But I have probably seen her work before I realized who she was! I have been in absolute fear of FMQ that it stunted my quiltmaking for over 2 years. I knew that's how I wanted my quilts to look like, and I knew I didn't want to send them away. I finally got the nerve to try on the foot! The Viking ladies in my Joann's said the FMQ foot would mess up my tension and i would have to get my machine serviced. I have a basic Singer, and that is simply not true at all! I heard this second hand from my Mother who does not sew, but got the foot for me as a little gift. I'm still trying to get the settings right, but I haven't spent that much time doing it yet. I would LOVE to be able to learn how to do this! If I had one great quilting quality, this would be it!

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  9. I almost bought that book the last time I was at LQS. After reading your review, I WILL buy it...if I don't win it here. Thanks for the chance.

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  10. I just need to bite the bullet and not be intimidated by FMQ. At the beginning of the year, I set a goal to start to practice and I have not done it. Maybe this is just what I need to get going. A DVD might help to have someone right here with me. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

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  11. I'm working hard on my FMQ skills and have yet to try McTavishing. She is a fun and talented lady.

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  12. I do FMQ but have never tried McTavishing. I'm afraid of having to unpick it that just seems like a nightmare..LOL Thanks for the chance to win.

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  13. I have not tried McTavashing yet but have played around on fabric sandwiches. I don't have my machine set up on a flat surface so that is a stopping point already. I do have an old machine from my mom, that is set on a flat area but I can't get the tensions right to do any fmqing. I have quilted anyway. Some small projects have been successful but the one I am doing now is half okay tension half eyelashes and so there is no rhyme or reason why it is not working. It is frustrating to say the least but I am going to keep going on this scrap quilt and get it done.

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  14. Your McMilling looks great. Echo quilting really makes everything elseshine, feathers and background quilting. This book is on my wish list but I'm just waiting for it to be available in Canada. I was told that that will happen in August. I've never tried Aurifil but really must give it a go because I hear nothing but good things!

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  15. Yes, I do fmq on my domestic machine. I am always trying new designs on samples and keep my favorites near my machine so I can see them when I am quilting a new quilt.

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  16. This has inspired me to want to give it a try. You make it sound so easy.

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  17. I do FMQ, but I have not tried McTavishing. I love the look and will put this book on my wish list, if I don't win. ��. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

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  18. I have used FMQ on some quilts. What holds me back is making nice smooth curves. The new book sounds great!

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  19. I have ALL of Karen books and use everyone one of them. Now, my dream is to have a one on one lesson with the fab Karen!!!

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  20. I do FMQ. I had really been working on it until this summer and was pretty good at my stippling. Then I had to watch the grandson for the summer and make lots of little flannel items for the new granddaughter, so my quilting progress has stopped. I am fulling into investigating McTavishing and hope to add a version to my repertoire (on 2 things might not exactly be a repertoire but give me some slack here). I love your version of Karen's methods!

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  21. I am also just beginning my journey into FMQ. I would love to learn McTavishing!

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  22. I have been practicing my fmq and can now stitch a feather, I would love to expand my skills and start Mctavishing!!

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  23. I do FMQ but haven't done any McTavishing....I would LOVE to learn and win this awesome prize! Thanks for the chance.

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  24. Great review, I was just thinking that I wanted to try McTavishing on a project as I use paisley all the time and I am hoping it is an easy transition. I love your project, beautiful!

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  25. I've done some FMQ but I really want to try McTavishing!! Maybe on something small !!

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  26. Love love love McTavishing. What a great giveaway!! Thank you for your generosity!!

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  27. Love her style! I'd love to have the book!

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  28. Beautiful! So glad to have a chance to win!

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  29. I don't freemotion quilt...yet! Perhaps this book would put my fears over the edge...just knowing that you could unpick it helps! Thank you for the chance to win.

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  30. Wow! I don't do freemotion quilting yet. I need to learn how with my machine, I'm just a confident beginner and still have much to learn! Love the look of this style.

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  31. I have only practice free motion quilting. No, I have not done McTavishing, but love the look of it. I'm waiting to finish my quilt top so I can do some free motion quilting on it.
    24Tangent@gmail.com

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  32. I do FMQ, but am a beginner. I have not tried McTavishing. It is so gorgeous and one day I will try it. I have to get over my fear of it. I think this book/DVD would help alot. Thanks

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  33. This would be a wonderful book to win. I greatly admire Karen's work as well as her sense of humour :-) Thanks for the chance to win!

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  34. I would have hated to have to pick out the McTavishing! I am sure that took some patience as well tenacity to do so...your sample is gorgeous...I have admired Karen for a long time...her work is incredible...thank you for such an awesome giveaway, I would love to own this book as I have it on my wish list...

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  35. I do free motion quilt but have not tried McTavishing. I love it and it looks so pretty on your Spring Baskets and your other projects.

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  36. Would love to win this book. I am just getting into doing machine quilting, and need all the help I can get.

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  37. I had never heard of McTavishing so thank you very much for the information. I think my main problem with FMQ is having the time to sit down and really pratice. I hope to be able to learn (and pratice) more very soon!

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  38. I have done Free Motion Quilting but nothing like this! I really wish I could do the kind of work she does.

    Thanks for the chance to have this wonderful book!

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  39. Oh my! How beautiful! If only I could do this.

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  40. I love Karens' work! She is fabulous! I would love to win this book, thank you for the giveaway!

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  41. I would love to win this book and learn McTavishing from the expert. Karen is amazing and her work is spectacular!

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  42. I Love your "milkbone." I mean WOW! I have freed motion quilted before - never feathers or McTavish. They both seem a bit daunting to me. I think I just need to sit down (without a project) and practice. I found your blog through Pretty Bobbins. Thanks for the chance to learn from McTavish herself (the book:)).

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  43. Your quilting is fabulous! It is definitely on my list to try McTavishing!

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  44. Love this quilting and NEED to learn it!

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  45. I really love your work. It flows so beautifully!

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  46. I have seen video of Karen McTavish quilting and I was just amazed. I want to be able to do this. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

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  47. Oh my, I NEED this book! I love your work. I want to try my hand at this McTavishing.

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  48. I do some FMQ but mostly stippling. Your quilting is beautiful. I have not tried McTavishing but would love to learn. I think I have too much stopping and starting on my quilting to do a good job.

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  49. I love Karen's techniques and would LOVE to learn to do it!

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  50. I love Karen's techniques and would LOVE to learn to do it!

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  51. I do FMQ but have not tried McTavishing. Seems to be something I need to look into. There are some quilts that I just don't want to put into the quilter but would rather do on the machine. McTavishing would surely spice them up. Thanks for a chance to win.

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  52. How AWESOME is this book...and YOUR quilting too!! Wowie!! I am a pretty new person to the quilting world...and am just feeling brave enough to try more than stich in the ditch! lol Would LOOOOVE to learn this....thanks for chance to win her book & DVD's!! :)

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  53. Would loveto learn FMQ...especially from Karen! Thanks for the giveaway.

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  54. I'm already a Follower thru Bloglovin... :)

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  55. I don't quilt my own, pay to have quilted, but my quilter is now doing it!

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  56. I have never tried Free Motion Quilting or McTavishing. I usually only make mini quilts or quilted bags because I am afraid I won't be able to
    shove" a big quilt through my machine. I have never heard of McTavishing before but I do wool applique. Maybe I am doing it and don't know it!
    Kathy Davis
    kdavis1@centurytel.net

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  57. I already have an autographed copy of the book, but if I win it would be a great donation to our guild's funraising auction

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  58. Hi, I would love to learn Karen's unique technique. Yes i freemotion on my domestic machine. Thanks for the chance to win. From Pam in New Zealand.

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  59. I love McTavishing - but still haven't really tried it - but sure going to!!

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  60. I have not tried McTavishing-I am waiting to win the book and dvd's to learn how!

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  61. I have 2 of her other books, but I would really love to add this one!

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  62. McTavishing is the best - I hope one day to get good at it but winning the book would help me greatly. Thank you for your generosity Karen.

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  63. Great job, but there is NO way I would attempt to pick out McTavishing. You are a glutton for punishment.
    thanks!

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  64. I've used your McTavishing technique many times--need to practice more, of course, but I love it, and love the look. Mistakes are easy to hide or ignore, because there's so much going on. Gotta love that!

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  65. I can't believe you did all that "un-quilting!" EGADS! But it sure is beautiful when it's all quilted! What a talented lady! Looks like her instructions are easy to follow! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  66. I'm just getting started on FMQ, still haven't mastered keeping my stitches even and I'm still a little jerky. I love McTavishing and want to learn how soon.

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  67. Since I just love your minis and your wool applique, I'd love to learn this technique. Just learned what it was a couple of months ago. So nice to have an alternative to the basic stipple in the background. Appreciate your generosity in giving away your copy of the book, and would love to win it.

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  68. I'm not very good at stippling but can do curly-Qs adequately. Maybe McTavishing would be up my alley?

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  69. Thank you for such a step by step on how your quilted your piece. I love your style.

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  70. Very impressive, Karen -- I find I don't have the patience to stick with that much detail stitching but I admire it when I see it.

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  71. I think "McTavishing" is the ultimate in machine quilting. A beautiful accomplishment......continue the enjoyment!

    Janice in Northern Minnesota

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  72. I would love to win
    I am intimidated bey FMQ but hope to learn

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  73. Your milkbone is quite impressive. This book must be awesome.

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  74. I love to FMQ! This book looks exciting...especially if I win. McTavishing is totally up my alley.

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  75. Great review! Oh my, I'd love to be the lucky winner! Really need to learn and practice, practice, practice McTavishing! Thanks a bunch for the chance! ☺

    my nana maree @ yahoo . com

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  76. I love McTavishing. I have her first book and have been wondering if it would be worth buying the second print, since it has the book I already have. You have convinced me it would be worth it. Thanks for the review and giving me one more reason to buy the book.

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  77. I have not tried FMQ but hope to someday.

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  78. I still feel like a newbie, and my only challenge with McTavishing is confidence!

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  79. Grannie Annie on FB.....I can't blog with any other then anonymous....it wouldn't let me. I would Love to be the Lucky Winner Karen. I Love Your McTavish Technique <3 I am Amazed at all the different Quilts you have Quilted! Absolutely Beautiful Quilting!!!!

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  80. I will have to try this! Thanx for the info.
    D.G. L

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  81. I have heard about this style of quilting. Thanks for the chance.

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  82. I've tried some FMQ and tried to do something like McTavish. Would love the book

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  83. I do free motion, but I haven't ever done McTavishing, mainly because I didn't spend the time researching it. Lazy, I know. cdahlgren at live dot com

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  84. Ha ha, i consider myself a FMQ addict! Instead of going on vacation, for various reasons, I signed up for some FMQ classes on Craftsy. I am glad I did, but I wish I had done that sooner this year. About three quarters of the info in the classes i already knew. I love to try out new patterns. I enjoy quilting soooo much. One of the things i still have trouble with it when quilting feathers, the "petals" on the inside curl always look weird. I think i need more practice on those!
    This morning I will be helping out another quilter who has been havifng trouble quilting with minky.
    Have a wonderful day everyone!
    Esther

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  85. I hand quilt all the time, though years ago I did machine embroidery, so in theory have the skills. This post makes me think about revisiting FMQ. Thanks for all the info.

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  86. I love free motion quilting. It's sew fun. I have tried mctavishing but need a bit more work especially around feathers.

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  87. Amazing! Would be so great to win this book and learn from someone so talented! Thanks! hatlevig@integra.net

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  88. I MUST learn to McTavish, and who better to teach me than the lady herself. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.
    Your milk bone sample looks excellent, if only i could quilt like that.

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  89. I have heard of McTavishing and would love to learn more about it and give it a try. I have done some FMQ.

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  90. I took a short class from Karen at my guild several years ago. She was inspiring. My FMQ has improved over the last three or four years with lots of practice and teaching. I still feel very drawn to mctavishing in its many variants.. I'd love to haver here book to help me better work with my fellow guild members who have joined our Free Movers bee.

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  91. Great review Karen. I love McTavishing and did some for one of Amy's Monday Adventures a while back. I like how your feathers look with the McTavishing and want to try some too.

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  92. Your sample is awesome! And Karen's quilting is out of this world!!!!!

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  93. I will try my luck and join in. I love this work so much. And I think this is a great book. Karen is a wonderful quilter. I love her work
    Grit from Germany

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  94. I love the way McTavishing is so forgiving. I use it quite a bit on smaller projects, but have yet to use it on a larger quilt...

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  95. I love Karen's work, and your review and refresher are fantastic! Thanks for the reminder and the update.

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  96. I gave this a try a few years back on my own and wasn’t very good at it. Sounds like a wonderful book.

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  97. I love her style! Thanks for telling us about the new book. :)

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  98. I love her style! Thanks for telling us about the new book. :)

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  99. I like to do the free motion and have the movement but lack the creative designs to get really good at it. I usually scribble since I do not yet know how to stipple.

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  100. HI Karen,
    thanks for the chance to win a book. I have Karen's first book but would love the second one too.

    ruthq@rogers.com

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  101. Love the look of McTavashing and have fiddled trying to draw it but need more direction. The book is not avaiable here as yet. Your work looks lovely, full of movement. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to own the book.

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  102. I love your McMillering! I don't know if I could do this or not. It looks beautiful and lately i have been wanting to make mini quilts so this would be great to try out for those I think. xojan

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  103. So gorgeous! I love the beautiful textures. I have not tried this before and I would love to learn the process, thanks for the giveaway!

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  104. I have used McTavishing after reading the first book. I need to try it again

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  105. I love the look of McTavishing, but I need a lot more practice to have it look as nice as yours!

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  106. I love the look of McTavishing, but I need a lot more practice to have it look as nice as yours!
    I seem to get a lot of thread build up at the points--need to work on that hesitation I seem to do at the end of a line.

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  107. I do FMQ and when I first started, I watched a You Tube on McTavishing but it was too hard for me. I need to try again.

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  108. I would love this book and learn how to "McTavish". Beautiful results!

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  109. I love fmq, but I haven't tried McTavishing yet. No real reason for it though, I just haven't tackled it. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  110. What gorgeous FMQ you've done! Thanks for such a detailed review and sneak peek at all this wonderful book has to offer. If I don't win your copy, I will need to buy my own!

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  111. I love how this looks!
    Thanks for the inspiration - I'd love to have this book - I need it so much!

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  112. Your McTavishing is beautiful. Would love to win Karen's new book, would be great inspiration!

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  113. I am just starting to learn FMQ, not easy but I am determined. McTavishing is on my top list to conquer.
    jchiagan at yahoo dot com

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  114. 420I am in awe of this type of machine quilting! I would like to get over my fear and conquer!

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  115. I was first shown McTavishing when I visited the State in 2005. I haven't tried it myself. In fact I haven't really done much FMQ at all. I'd love to be able to. Thanks for the lovely giveaway.

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  116. I have FMQ but never tried McTavish but would love to . This looks just amazing , thanks for the chance to win .

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  117. This book sounds wonderful! I can't imagine unpicking that stitching. I want to learn but there is always a certain amount of fear and my previous attempts haven't been good!!

    Gloria
    gyates625@bellsouth.net

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  118. I have never heard of McTavishing but now I am totally curious. Beautiful Work.

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  119. I love McTavishing - really would love this book!!!

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  120. I would love this book--I am going to try to learn to machine quilt--thanks for the chance to win....

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  121. I feel as if my quilting is never going to improve but your post has me wondering if Karen McTavish could show me how to do better. I'd love to view her DVD's and read her book.

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  122. Your McTavishing is lovely Karen. I would love to master this technique. Thank you for the opportunity to win the book.

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  123. I would love to have my quilts look like these!

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  124. I noticed people posting about the anguish of un-picking. I used to as well until a read a big tip. If you are doing a quilt, pull the backing away from the batting as much as you can and very carefully use your rotary cutter to slice through the threads you want to remove. Start at the side to do this and be careful. It makes things go much faster and just pick out the threads with a tweezer or whatever. I do this and have never had a problem.

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  125. Do you need free YouTube Views?
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