Mastering the Art of McTavishing Book Review

Order your copy of Mastering the Art of Mctavishing from

Order your copy of Mastering the Art of Mctavishing.

One of the very first books I bought when I began my free motion quilting journey several years ago was Mastering the Art of McTavishing. Needless to say, I was excited to learn that author Karen McTavish, the creator and namesake of this style of free motion quilting, had written a second edition in 2014!

I immediately had to get my hands on a copy. This new edition expands on her already fabulous designs; it’s chock-full of free motion quilting techniques from the original McTavish design and has tons of new information. A nice bonus of this edition is that it includes two DVDs to follow along as you quilt.

The lovely and talented Karen McTavish

The lovely and talented Karen McTavish

Reading the book, you will feel as though Karen is there in your home with you – your own personal instructor. Watching the DVDs is a joy too – I keep a television and DVD player in my long arm studio just so I can practice along with Karen. She also spotlights many talented artists in this new edition, which makes for an enjoyable read.

The techniques covered in her book are appropriate for the longarm quilter, hand quilter, or sit-down quilter on domestic machines. There are so many techniques in Mastering the Art of McTavishing, 2nd edition, you will want to try them all. Here’s a sampling:

  • Mini McTavishing
  • Curls and Swirls
  • Paisleys
  • Clam Shell
  • Motorcycle Flames
  • Cyclone McTavishing
  • Freehand Victorian Feathers
Here is some of my practice work using the McTavishing technique on my longarm.

Here is some of my practice work using the McTavishing technique on my longarm.

There are no limitations to quilting with Karen’s namesake style, too. Applique, wholecloth, pieced quilts, art quilts – you name it. Or if you have jumped into the modern genre of quilting, Karen has designs that definitely feature the style you are looking for. She has dedicated an entire chapter to modern quilts as well as art quilts, plus apparel even. One you begin to utilize these designs and explore Karen’s style of quilting you will be amazed at how your creativity will expand. She really goes outside the box when it comes to quilting, always leaving the viewer of her masterpieces in awe.

Flipping through the pages of the second edition, I was brought back to the early days of my quilting and reflected how I had used Karen’s words as a guide in my journey. I loved how an ordinary quilter – me – could make extraordinary quilts with movement I had only dreamed of creating. The instructions and information in Karen’s book was expressed in an honest, down-to-earth fashion which I appreciated.

Even today as a more experienced quilter, I notice how simple and effective her techniques are. She really makes you feel that with a little practice, anyone can be creating pieces that are truly show-worthy.

Mastering the Art of McTavishing, 2nd edition would make a great addition to any quilter’s library. You can order the book through here,, or through the publisher On-Word Bound Books.

Happy McTavishing!

Related Video: McTavishing Free Motion Quilting Technique

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2 Responses to “Mastering the Art of McTavishing Book Review”

  1. Terry Johnston

    I would like to cancel my membership, but dont see where I do that, please let me know

  2. Michael Elinski

    I want to learn from you, but I cannot afford $170+ on Amazon for your 2nd edition book. Can I find it for a fairer price elsewhere? Thank you very much.