Fill'er Up Quilting Designs

It's time for a book review! Since I love free motion quilting, it's no surprise that I drool over any books by award winning quilters.

The book, Fill'er Up: Quilting Designs is by Renae Haddain, professional longarm quilter and top prize winner of many shows. Her most recent win was Best of Show with "Fiesta Mexico" at the 2013 American Quilter's Society show in Paducah, KY. That's big, y'all!

She credits this quilt as the catalyst for the book and it features prominently in it. You can see the quilt and learn more about it in this video interview and post on the AQS blog.

I was in a funk on Friday and had no energy to do anything, and I mean anything! Then, despite the 2+ inches of snow (in southern Virginia) the mail carrier dropped of this book for me! My brain could now lay off the guilt trip of doing nothing because it now had learning and research to do, while my body got to rest.

She talks about filler qualities: thread color and weight, filler scale vs. motifs, and design complexity. Then discusses the logistics of stitching which is geared towards the longarm user, but still has good info for those of us who move the quilt  instead of the machine.

I love the following quote from the book:

"I have learned that if I try to plan every stitch, I paralyze myself."

In my opinion, that's the beauty of free motion, the freedom of the fillers!

Then she goes on to talk about choosing designs before giving an extensive pictoral gallery of quilting designs. In many of the photos, computer generated lines have been super-imposed over the stitching to make it easier to see or to illustrate the direction of stitching.

She's got a good section on ruler work too, and since I love doing ruler work on my Janome sewing machine, it gives me some great ideas.

And the book is finished with a delicious offering of her quilts in a wonderful display of designs and colors.

I love this book! I also have her other book, Amazing Ways to Use Circles & Rays, though I don't have her "rays" ruler.I'll get it one of these days!

I really recommend both books as they are so inspiring and informational.


  1. I have this book and love it as well. Great review!
    Here in Piedmont NC, we got 5" of the mess, but I used my day quilting!

  2. I don t have either book yet, but I have the filler up book on my list. I was looking at it at the show last year, but got the book Create Your Own Dream Feathers by Peggy Holt instead.