Ann Fahl says you must practice when doing free motion quilting but; after you get the basic idea and become comfortable with the process, you will find that it can become relaxing and calming. In her new book Dancing with Treads Ann gives you free spirited quilting techniques that will help you create the perfect design to fit your quilt. You will find many photos of her quilts and detailed comments on threads and quilting designs for each quilt. Tools and supplies are covered in detail, including thread, needles, marking pencils, bobbins and batting to name a few. You will learn how to create your own quilt motif from doodles as well as the basics of assembling a quilt. The photos and instructions are clear and very easy to understand. There are five projects in the book ranging from beginner to experience that will give you a great chance to create a small project and quilt it. There is a trouble shooting section that offers suggestions on solution to problems you may encounter. Ann is an expert on machine quilting and this book is a must have for all those interested in doing their own machine quilting.
Ann Fahl is a quilt artist living and working in Racine WI. She has been sewing since the age of 12, about the time she took her first home economics class. Her parents were classically trained, professional musicians. As the oldest of three sisters she was expected to take piano lessons; and later on, learned to play the cello. Her parents impressed upon her the importance of finding a passion; which Ann did. It wasn't music, it was all the fiber arts, and the most important was sewing. Neither parent sewed, so they did their best to find classes and women in the church that could help Ann with her sewing projects. Like most teenage girls, she became very interested in clothing and fashion. To her, sewing was a very enjoyable pastime, and she was good at it. So from that time on, she made her own clothing. By the time she reached the University of Wisconsin, she was sure that sewing and clothing would lead her to a career in business and retailing. She went on to work for Gimbels, Marshall Field & Co., and two different chains of fabric stores. In 1978, she took the beginning quilting class that changed her life forever. In her earlier years, quilts never interested Ann, even though she grew up with old quilts on the beds at her grandmothers' homes. From the first night of the quilting class, she realized that this new media allowed her to put all of her loves together: sewing, color, texture, shape, thread and fabric. She could experiment and sew as she developed her own designs and ideas instead of traditional blocks. A new world and career began for her! Ann has been teaching since 1981, the year of her first blue ribbon winning quilt. Now she travels across the US working with guilds, symposiums, retreats and quilters of all ages and experience. Connecting with quilters is an energizing and enjoyable part of her quilting career. Her work has been exhibited in competitions, solo exhibits and invitational shows across the United States, France and Japan. Her work is included in the collections of Northwestern Mutual Insurance Co., Neiman Marcus, Quilts, Inc., Ripon College, Winona Lake Restoration and many private collections. She enjoys the challenge of quilt competitions, so she continues to design new work keeping the level of workmanship high. She has authored 2 books, Coloring with Thread and Dancing with Thread have been published by C&T Publishing Inc. In Coloring, she details how she creates her subjects with free-motion embroidery. It is also available in the Russian language. Dancing is about her free-spirited approach to machine quilting. She finds the work very creative and shares this with her readers. Ann also has an instructional DVD titled Coloring with Thread. It shows step-by-step how she creates her beautiful embroidery, gives a tour of her studio, and a peek at some of her new quilts. Another first for Ann, is a booklet titled Creating Beautiful Bias Binding, now available on her website. Binding the edge of a quilt or wallhanging is a challenge for new sewers and quilters. It gives complete instructions on all phases of binding; from quilt preparation to hand sewing the folded edge on the back. Ann also has a blog where she writes about many issues of interest to quilters: annfahl.blogspot.com A Black and White Tale is the title of Ann's traveling exhibit. Each of the 20 quilts tells a little story about the life of her cat Oreo. This is a humorous collection of colorful quilts, showcasing Ann's machine embroidery and quilting. The exhibit is available to guilds and organizations; and was featured on her episode of TheQuiltShow.com, beginning Oct 15, 2007. Ann is married, lives with her husband and cat.