Hi, I’m Connie!
Thanks for stopping by here!
Freemotion by the River by me – Connie Kresin Campbell is a place where I provide help and information about quilting. I started out blogging to record the quilts I was making and also share tips and tutorials. Now I am sharing lots of tutorials and also writing quilt patterns.
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I live along the Mississippi River near Muscatine, Iowa and free-motion quilting is my favorite type of quilting, so it seemed perfect to name my blog Freemotion by the River.
I originally started out with a blogger website called conniekresin.blogspot.com – there were over 1,000 posts on that blog and I am still trying to organize and condense them a little better here.
I’m also having fun reading posts I have forgotten about. In the meantime, you can check out my tutorials, read my blog land sign up for my newsletter and get access to my FREE Resource Library which has PDFs of many of my tutorials, printables, and other goodies. I have been doing something creative all my life. There is nothing like opening a new box of crayons or a fat quarter bundle of beautiful fabrics and just……creating something from scratch. This page is designed to share a little about me….with you.
My mother didn’t quilt but she crocheted and was a wonderful seamstress. I learned at an early age that I could have a lot more clothes if I learned to sew. My mom started teaching me and then I took all kinds of sewing classes including tailoring and made almost all of my clothes.
Whenever I would go over to my best friend’s house her mother always seemed to have a small table set up in the living room where she was using cardboard templates to cut out squares of scrap fabrics for baby quilts.
This was back before rotary cutters and mats. This lead to me doing the same thing and my first quilts are just nine patch blocks that included scraps from my clothes. One of my first quilts was made from corduroy with a flannel back and a blanket inside of it. I used worsted yarn to tie it.
At one point I worked at a fabric store and the best part of the job (besides the discount) was making samples of clothing and quilts for store displays. I still enjoy working with companies and making samples from their products.
The first time I ever saw free-motion stipple quilting done was in Clovis, California in 1989 and I knew that I wanted to learn to do this as it gave the look of hand-quilting and it wouldn’t take me a year to finish a quilt.
I bought a darning foot for my sewing machine, came home and eventually taught myself how to quilt like that. I still love it and I think I can do it in my sleep.
Eventually, I started to do crafts shows and putting my work in stores on consignment. All of my pieces were stipple quilted and few people had seen it before. I only did small wall hangings, table runners, basket garters and quilted lids for Longaberger baskets.
I kept busy! I enjoyed working out of my home and doing the same project over and over didn’t bother me. It still doesn’t.
I did this for seven years and even while I enjoyed what I was doing it was exciting but frustrating to always worry if I would have enough product for the next show. My mom even did shows with me.
I also tried selling through a craft magazine called Folkart Treasures and was excited when they showcased one of my table-runners on a full page and also did a write up on me. This was in 1993 and see the 15-91 Singer I’m using……I still use it!
Here is the full page, if you would like to read it just click on it and it will be bigger. I figured the magazine is getting old so it might be good to keep this on my blog.
I had a couple of runners and wall-hanging in my ad and unfortunately, I only sold a couple of things. It actually worked out as my shows did great. We met so many neat people while doing the craft show circuit; it was hectic but fun.
There were some personal life changes and for several years there were no quilting/crafts in my life. I still had that need to create and used my computer, my camera and several graphics programs to do digital scrapbooking. In fact, this blog was originally started to show the scrapbook pages I created.
Fast forward a little bit to November 2010 and that is when I got back into quilting and found all the wonderful quilting blogs. I had a quilt room again…..not big but at least it was my own space. I have several posts about my quilt room that you can find here, it is always changing.
I really enjoy working in my quilt room and have thought seriously about starting to do craft shows again but I don’t really think I want to do that much work…..yes…..shows are work!
In the last years, I have started publishing quilt patterns and this is something I am really enjoying.
You can now find my patterns here in my shop.
I have also been very fortunate to work with several companies and stores including Island Batik. In 2014 I had my first two patterns which were at Quilt Market 2014. They will be marketing my patterns with their fabrics! It was exciting to see this on their website and I look forward to designing more patterns with their fabrics!
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
I have also done monthly blog posts for AccuQuilt and had also designed patterns for some of their dies.
When asked who is the one teacher I would like to meet I immediately say Eleanor Burns. The first quilt book I ever bought was her Log Cabin Quilt In A Day. I like to laugh that it took one day to piece the quilt top and one year to hand quilt it. (Actually a little longer than one year). You can read more about it – Log Cabin Quilt from 1989.
Whenever I write a tutorial or pattern I remember how clear Eleanor Burn’s instructions were and try to do the same.