Sunday, October 31, 2010

Prices Please!

It's Sunday, so please allow me a little rant...well, maybe not so little...about something that really infuriated me this weekend.

Yesterday Josh and I took James to the Carolina Renaissance Festival. This is now a huge festival covering 22 acres and is full to the brim with jousting, caroling, and everything you can imagine being at a Ren Fest.

Unfortunately this also means there were crowds and crowds of people. It was so packed in some places, I swore I could be standing in line at Disney world, not in a dusty field in Concord, NC.

Keeping up with a 3.5 year old in that kind of crowd is not easy and within 3 hours, 4 swing rides, a turkey leg, and bread bowl, Josh and I were fed up and ready to go home.

But leaving Ren Fest without buying something from the 200 or so shops full to the brim with beautiful gifts, handmade clothing, sterling sliver jewelry, or blown glass is just unthinkable.

Josh had managed to pop into a shop and buy a new leather mug while James and I were waiting in line for again for the flying dragon ride, but I hadn't really had time to look at anything other than James and the next opening in the crowd we could squeeze through.

So on the way out, when I spied a weaver shop full of beautiful, hand woven garments, I decided I simply had to look and would possibly go home with one. I knew and expected them to be expensive (hello! I am a quilter here!), so I walked into the shop looking for something I liked.

And I found two things right off the bat: a beautiful woven cloak complete with cloak pin that was woven in dark red yarn and black, giving it a bold, bright look, and a shawl in a similar color.

I live in shawls through the winter and usually wear them as wide scarves, and then pull them down around my arms when I take my jacket off in a restaurant. Both pieces were simply gorgeous and I really wanted to try them on.

But here's the thing, I really like to know how much a garment costs before I start taking it off the hook. I just think it's a good idea so just in case I get the edges dirty and HAVE to buy it, I know what I'm getting myself into.

There has to be a psychology behind it because as soon as I pick up something that doesn't have a price on it, I immediately lose interest. It's like I'm subconsciously assuming the seller doesn't really want to sell because if she did, there would be a price on it!

Looking around, there was not a price tag or list to be found in the whole shop! If I wanted something, I would have to ask for every single individual price! What an incredibly stupid limit to business!

But here's the worse part: the shop keeper was neither friendly nor helpful. In fact, she was downright insulting.

When asked if she had a price list for her shop, something I could carry around and use to get more familiar with the garments, types of materials, and cost, she looked at me like I was a particularly annoying idiot and answered in the most condescending way possible.

As my eyebrows rose and the look on my face was probably telling her exactly what I thought of her, she proceeded to explain that nothing was marked and that SHE was the price list. If I wanted a price, I would have to ask for it.

This was so incredibly stupid for so many reasons:

Woven garments of this type are extremely expensive, costing around $260 for a nice cloak and $100 for a shawl. People are not going to shell out this kind of money unless they know what they are buying - such as these are garments made in the US, by this really sweet, wonderful woman, and made with only wool from her cute sheep.

Garments, just like our quilts, don't sell because people JUST like the garment or quilt, but because the buyer likes the garment and us and wants to take something home to remember the experience with.

The woman in the shop was setting up her shop to be incredibly user-unfriendly and entirely dependent on her. What if she wanted to go get something to eat or run to the privy? Who could run the shop with no prices on anything?

Worse yet, she prejudged me the second she saw me.

Yes, I look younger than I actually am. Most people who see me in person think I'm around 18 - 20, not 27. And because I haven't tattooed "professional quilter" to my forehead, she probably didn't think I knew anything about fine handcrafts or the prices that should be charged.

Prejudging a potential customer is about the most ridiculously stupid thing a business owner can do.

One of my very best customers ever was a man at a quilt show who was not buying for his wife or daughter and definitely a quilter in his own right.

He was used to being treated like he was a second class citizen at most quilt shops, but when he came to my booth, I treated him just like everyone else and we talked in depth about free motion quilting. In the end, he walked away happily convinced and inspired to try it.

I was fully expecting the woven garments to be around $100 - $300 and if I found something I liked and had been treated with respect, I would have been more than happy to shell it out.

So that's my rant: price your wares if they are for sale, and try not to prejudge your customers, even if they don't look like someone who could afford or understand your products.

Have any of you experienced a similar situation? Any twenty-somethings tired of being asked if we're attending with our mothers? Share your rant in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, October 29, 2010

Much Ado About Needles

One of the suggestions from last week when I was feeling dumb really struck a cord and I've been thinking about it a lot.

A few commenters mentioned the need for more information on needles and thread. Specifically on how to choose which needles to use with which threads and for which situations.

Now, I must say from the first that I'm probably the worst person in the world to be writing about this because my opinion on needles and thread would probably make most other quilters cringe.

Or cover their ears.

Or run away screaming.

Here's the truth: I haven't used anything other than Universal 80/12 needles since 2005.

I don't use different needles for piecing. I don't use different needles for quilting. Yes, it's shameful to admit - but I actually use the same needles for almost everything.

Of course, now that I've admitted that, I've probably just flushed my credibility down the drain.

Professional "experts" are supposed to have hoity toity expensive advice, like to only use gold embossed, impossible-to-find needles that cost more than my son's new shoes.

Frankly, I don't have the money and I don't have the time to mess with funky needles. I just want to sew and quilt and I don't want to think about what needle is in the machine, the exact age and stitch history of said needle, and if it could be considered old enough to be thrown away or not.

Whew!

So I piece, applique, and free motion quilt all with a Schmetz 80/12 Universal Needle.

Here's the important bit: I change needles about 2-4 times a month, depending on how much I'm using the machine.

I personally believe that changing needles regularly is far more important than the type of needle you use.

Needles can become bent or burred, and are often the culprit behind breaking threads and stitch issues. Changing needles more regularly can dramatically improve your stitch quality and your frustration level with your machine.

I should know this from experience - the machine I had growing up had a total of 1 needle change every 5 years. To say it straight - that machine stitched like hell - and that is not an exaggeration!

Now as for threads and needles, the reason why I love the Universal 80/12 is because they work great with both cotton and polyester threads.

For piecing I typically use Gutterman or Mettler cotton thread. For applique I'm now mostly using Isacord, and for free motion quilting, I use Isacord exclusively.

I like being able to use one type of needle, especially on the Horizon, because I can quickly change threads and go from piecing to quilting to applique without having to change needles.

Now there are a few situations I've found that do warrant a potential needle change, but most involve playing with weird threads and really weird situations.

The most common is metallic threads. Whether it's for applique or free motion quilting, unless you're couching the metallic thread on top (meaning it's not going through the needle), you really should use a Metallic Needle.

I've never experienced anything that makes me scream at my machine more often and with more exuberance than metallic thread. While I love them, I truly do, I have a strong suspicion that metallic threads really don't like me very much.

And that is probably due to my use-only-one-type-of-needle thing. Once I've broken thread about 10 times and am seething with anger, I finally go dig up my pack of metallic needles and - Viola! - stitching magic is back in action.

Keep in mind that my opinions on needles is based on my personal experience and is probably due to my economical mindset more than anything else.

My honest opinion is that no one, not me, not your mom, or your next quilt teacher can tell you what needles will work the best for your machine in all situations.

The best thing you can do is try a few different types of needles and experiment, have fun, and try to find needles you can use daily, or for specific tasks like piecing or quilting.

Once you figure out that type of needle, keep the other types on hand just in case you pick up a finicky type of thread, or have an odd situation that your daily use needles doesn't work for.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thai Fried Rice

Josh here, and today's dish for our Thursday featured recipe is Thai fried rice. This fried rice differs from "traditional" fried rice with the additions of fish sauce, sugar, cilantro, and basil (Thai basil or sweet basil, or a combination of both).

Before we begin I want to stress one point. Do not use rice which has just been cooked, unless your desired goal is Thai fried Gruel. The rice needs to chill for at least six hours, preferably overnight. This is even more important if you're using brown rice. I recommend Jasmine white rice.

Thai Fried Rice

2 cups cooked, COLD rice, refrigerated for at least six hours
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
1/2 cup carrot, finely minced
2 green onion stalks, chopped in 1/2 inch lengths
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1-2 eggs, cracked and beaten almost to a froth
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn roughly
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, whole
1 Tbs raw, natural sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Thai hot pepper, crushed to pieces (or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Tomato slices, optional
Cilantro sprigs, optional
Lime wedge, optional
Cucumber slices, optional

Heat your wok, cast iron pan, or large frying pan on medium heat and add oil. When oil is hot--test by dropping in a droplet of water--add both garlic and hot pepper. Stir rigorously for 1-3 seconds; you want to see the garlic and pepper rapidly sizzle. The key here is not to even slightly brown the garlic as this makes it bitter. After no more than five seconds, add onion and carrots. This will slow the cooking and stop the garlic from burning. Continue to stir.

Add sugar. It will dissolve and mix into the ingredients almost instantly.

Continue stirring until unions shrink and become translucent. Push everything to one side and add butter, letting melt. Add beaten egg(s) and scramble until fully cooked. Incorporate egg into garlic, hot pepper, carrots, and onions.

Add cold rice. Then soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir until rice takes on the "fried" brown look. Add a little extra soy sauce if the rice is not brown enough.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir constantly for 2 minutes, ensuring no rice or other ingredients stick to the bottom. Add chopped mung bean sprouts and green onion and cook for 3 more minutes.

Kill heat but leave wok on burner. Add remaining ingredients, the basil and cilantro. Stir well until both are fully integrated into the rice.

Remove from heat and serve, garnishing with optional tomato slices, cucumber, sprigs of cilantro, and a quarter of a lime.
  • Note: a variation I love is using bacon and bacon grease as the oil. The crumbled bacon adds a crunchy element to the rice. Simply fry up bacon beforehand and save 2 Tbs of the grease, moving bacon aside and adding at the end.
Finally, I'd like to share with you perhaps my favorite design of Leah's. This was the one I couldn't remember when I shared three of my other personal favorite fillers. The design is called Pebbles in a Stream. It's not the easiest design, but it resembles its namesake almost perfectly as you can see below.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I don't know what recipe I'll share next week, but I promise it will be fun.

And please feel free to share some of your favorite recipes. Leah and I love trying new things!

See you next Thursday,

Josh

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 224 - Cobwebs in the Corners

So what do you get when you take Water Plants and add some curving lines? Cobwebs in the Corners! Since Halloween is coming up, this will make the perfect base for getting Cobwebs in our Sashing!

free motion quilting | Leah DayAgain, since this is a sashing design, it's a bit hard to tell how it works in a 4" block, so here's a 2" strip of sashing:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
My graphic design program doesn't allow me to make the curves easily, but you get the general idea!

The blue side would be quilted first. Start with wiggly or straight lines, then connect them together with a slightly curving line to create the spider web effect.

Now, I received a great question from Roberta yesterday about Water Plants and how it worked:
Love this design. looking forward to tomorrows. I have a hand appliqued fish quilt that needs finishing. Each block is a different blue with an orange fish on it(different shades and designs in the fish). A couple blocks with turtles. Doesn't need a lot of quilting in the blocks, but Water Plant will look fantastic in the sashing. I understand your sketch for the horizontal portion of the sashing. How would you place the motif in the verticle portion?
Thank you so much for sending in this question Roberta! It let me know that I hadn't been entirely clear on how to quilt it.

So here's an example of how to quilt either Water Plants OR Cobwebs in the Corners around a quilt in the outer sashing. The first step would be to quilt the inner set of designs:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Now you could leave it just like that and it would look fine, or you could then go in and quilt the second set:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
And here's an example of how I would quilt it around multiple blocks in a grid layout:


free motion quilting | Leah Day
As you can see in this drawing, you may have to play with the sizing of your cobwebs in certain areas in order to keep them matching up properly

Does this make sense? Please let me know if ya'll have questions about this idea!

Okay, now that we know where to put these designs and how they work, let's learn how to quilt Cobwebs in the Corners:


Inspiration - I'm always trying to create more seasonal designs because we have so many seasonal quilt patterns! It's not always easy to create designs specifically for one time of the year, but I think by the end of the project we'll have a nice selection of seasonal designs.

Difficulty Level - Advanced. This design is tricky because there are so many steps and a good bit of travel stitching.

Spacing the designs evenly is also a bit difficult, but you can always mark registration lines for where each design should be placed. This will allow you to evenly space the cobwebs on both sides of the sashing.

Design Family - Edge to Center. These designs work great in the sashing of a quilt because you can work off the edges of the blocks and into the center. They can be fit into narrow spaces and still look terrific because the design is not intended to take up loads of space.

Directional Texture - 2 Directions. If you really interconnect your cobwebs, you might end up with more of a flat, directionless texture. Play with it and see what you like the best!

Suggestions for Use - Cobwebs in the Corners was inspired by a table runner idea I had back in August, but unfortunately never got around to creating. I wanted a decorative quilt that combined both Halloween and autumn themes:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Feel free to make fun of my gimpy pumpkins. They're really kinda funny looking and I couldn't figure out how to color the insides. Oh well! You get the idea!

Maybe I should hire someone to help me create patterns of all the quilts I think of each month? I'd certainly like to see this one get made!

Back of Cobwebs in the Corners
free motion quilting | Leah Day
Feel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 223 - Water Plants

Sorry about not posting a filler design on Monday! I got caught up coding pages, then finally got back into the studio after dinner to finish up some last minute details and didn't get back on until midnight.

But I really want to share two designs with you all this week because they really tie in with Halloween coming up this Sunday!

The reason it's two designs and not just one is because this design is a bit complex and I realized I could easily break it into two designs to make it easier to learn. So here's the first step called Water Plants:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Of course, this being a 4" square that I've quilted and photographed, it really doesn't explain how this design works very well.

This design was created to fit into sashing, almost exactly the way Modern Art or Cave Points fits into and fills to the center of a narrow sashing strip, creating a beautiful texture in even the most narrow places.

To quilt Water Plants into the sashing, you would first start with one side, quilting the wiggly lines into the center (or a bit beyond it) all the way down your sashing. Here's an illustration I created this morning, but I'm using straight lines instead of wiggly lines:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
You would start with the blue water plant shapes and fill the whole side of sashing. Then you'll probably have to break thread and move to the opposite side, butting up the next set of water plants (black) in with the first set.

So now that you have an idea of where to put this design, let's learn how to actually quilt it!


Inspiration - Just wait until you see what this design becomes tomorrow with one tiny extra step added. Let's just say I was super inspired by Halloween and the idea of making a fall themed table runner / quilt. Not to say that I actually got it done, but I'm certainly thinking about it!

Difficulty Level - Advanced. There is a lot of traveling involved with this design, which can be tricky if you have trouble staying right on the line. If you're getting frustrated, instead traveling back along the wiggly lines, try stitching just 1/4" to the side to create more of a wiggly tentacle shape.

The design might look a little different, but it will end up being easier to stitch!

Design Family - Edge to Center. This design set is quickly becoming my favorite for interesting sashing designs. They work right off the edge into the center of the quilting space, then you either travel stitch or break thread to fill the opposite side.

The end result is a set of designs that work easily into the sashing or borders of a quilt without a lot of fuss.

Directional Texture - 2 Directions. Edge to Center designs typically have a very clear horizontal or vertical texture, but really if you fit your Water Plants together tightly, this will probably end up reading as no direction. Either way, it will definitely attract some attention!

Suggestions for Use - Water Plants will be perfect in the sashing! Wouldn't it be cool to create a water or ocean themed quilt with fish, and quilt water plants in the sashing? I'm sure Josh would love a quilt like that so maybe I should give a try designing it!

Back of Water Plants
free motion quilting | Leah Day
Feel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Project Improvement Initiative

The comments on improving the site have slowly trickled to a halt today so I'm calling the end for suggestions....NOW!

Overall it seems that more organization is the #1 most recommended improvement to this project. Ya'll want to be able to find the designs easier so it's a quicker and simpler process to pick designs that will work for you!

This is a very understandable desire, which is why I spent most of the afternoon coding new pages which will organize the project by Difficulty Level, Filler Design Type, Chronological Order, and Alphabetical Order.

Now you might be wondering why I didn't set something up like this a long time ago and the truth is I've definitely thought about it a lot for the last 4 months, but every time I set down to organize everything it just seemed like such a huge, complicated job that I would psych myself out before I'd really gotten started.

But there's something about getting 37 comments, some really nice and sweet and some not so nice, about how more organization and easier navigation is needed. All your input is definitely going to get me off my butt and on the site making improvements!

Organizing everything is pretty time consuming, especially since we now have 222 designs, but I will be working on it a bit every day and hope to have everything done by next week.

The new system will feature thumbnails of all designs on pages of the site which will link back to the project. I'm hoping to design it in a way that you can easily find the designs you like and move fluidly between the site and the blog.

Now as for the winner to of Whitework Quilting by Karen McTavish, I checked through the comments and I've selected Ethne as the winner!

While creating more navigation and organization is needed, creating a place to share and show off our free motion quilting work is needed too! Ethne suggested a flickr account where everyone can share photos of quilts created with designs from the project.

I'm planning on starting a flickr account which will feature photos of all the designs and if I tag everything correctly, it should also be a good place to search for possible designs.

Now some of the suggestions I received were really good, such as having a page where ALL the designs would be listed, but unfortunately this is just not possible.

Even with 222 designs, that is 222 little 100 pixel images that will have to fully load in a page before you can see them all. This would eat up loads of bandwidth and possibly even lock up computers who have particularly slow connections.

But I do think scrolling through the designs is a super fun thing to do, so I do plan to max out the pages at 100 designs per page.

As for suggestions to create a search feature, we actually already have one! Look on the side bar here ------------------------------------------------->
Scroll around and you will see a google search box. In this box you can type in any name of any design and find the post on it!

There were also a lot of suggestions about linking up the "How Do I Quilt This?!" Series, creating a glossary of terms, and links to the extra articles on the site and yes, all of those things will be coming as well.

Please do keep in mind that as I start adding these new pages and organization to the blog, a few things might change a bit.

The best advice I have is to slow down and READ!

Sometimes we miss things because we're moving too fast and just skimming for the information we want. It's easy to do and I'm super guilty of it too!

So here's to a better project, more collaboration and sharing, and more than anything else, more designs we can use on our quilts!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Invisigrip!

Okay! I'm back from Greensboro and catching up on some posts and emails. While Josh originally posted this Feature Friday about Invisi Grip, he admitted honestly to me that he didn't really know what to say, so allow me to explain a bit better!

Invisi Grip is really the perfect name for a wonderful product. It's an invisible film or vinyl that sticks to the back of your ruler and helps it to grip your fabric, hence the name Invisi Grip!

More than anything else, making sure your rulers don't slip while cutting fabric (especially strips) is key to not only precise cutting, but also piecing.

I know when I first started quilting, I didn't really understand a rotary cutter and ruler system. I figured this was exactly like garment sewing, where if you give or take 1/4" you're not going to ruin the project.

Fast forward to a few years, and now I know that even being 1/8" off in your fabric cutting can seriously mess up a quilt top. That's really the difference between matching seams and non-matching seams!

As I say numerous times in the ebook How to Piece Perfect Quilts, creating accurately pieced quilts starts not with the piecing, but with the fabric preparation and cutting.

So here's a video I've created explaining how to use Invisi Grip and how to cut it to fit your rulers. It's very easy and just in case you can't see the video, instructions are included below:


Click here if the Video Does Not Appear

To cut Invisi Grip for your ruler, first lay your ruler over the Invisi Grip sheet, positioning the ruler so that 1/4" is off the ruler on one long side and one short side.

Using your multi-purpose rotary cutter (not the one you use for fabric, but the one you use for everything else) cut the piece of Invisi Grip through the vinyl and paper.

Remove the vinyl from the paper and position it on the back 1/8" from the edges of the ruler. Smooth it out with your hands and you're ready to cut!

If you ever decide to change brands of rulers, you can always pull the Invisi Grip off and stick it on another ruler. You can also reposition as many times as you need because this is a vinyl and not a sticky sticker.

One roll of Invisi Grip is 12.5" wide x 1 yard which is actually enough to cover 5 of the most popular ruler sizes!

So if you've been struggling to cut fabric accurately because your ruler keeps slipping or your sick of trying to see through those sandpaper dots, maybe it's time to give this Invisi Grip a try!

Let's Go Quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recipe Thursday: Spaghetti

Welcome to our first official Recipe Thursday!

Josh here once again. Leah has finished packing the car and she's off to Greensboro for tonight and Saturday's workshops. She brought the laptop so expect a post from her tomorrow from the road!

Today's recipe is an American classic, a staple for almost any family. In the below video I call the recipe "Sicilian," which is dead wrong; this is a purely American dish, bastardized from Italian Bolognese sauce.

I cannot stress the importance of using fresh basil and fresh parsley (be sure to use Italian or flat leaf parsley, not the curly, decorative variety). The key to this sauce is its simplicity.

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

1 pound Italian sausage, hot or mild
1/2 pound ground beef
1/3 cup fresh basil, roughly torn by hand (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced (or 1/4 tsp dried)
6-8 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup minced onion
2 cans Cento tomato sauce
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked pasta

Brown meat in pot. Drain grease and saute onion with meat until translucent. Push meat aside and add olive oil. When oil is hot cook garlic, not letting brown. Incorporate into meat and onions and pour in tomato sauce. Add basil and parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Cook for 1/2 to 1 hour. Serve with pasta of your choice.


Click here if video doesn't play

Thanks to everyone who commented yesterday with suggestions for improvements to the blog. There were so many wonderful suggestions. Leah and I really appreciate the input!

Next Thursday I'll be sharing our Thai fried rice recipe.

Josh

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Feeling dumb...

It's not often I get reminded that I don't know everything.

Now, that might have come out weird, so allow me to explain: I feel that I know a good bit about quilting and because I write about it daily and generally quilt or think about quilting all the time, it's easy to assume that I know quite a lot about this subject.

But that doesn't mean that I know a lot, or even a little about other areas of expertise.

So today after yet another email glitch on the site, I finally decide to throw in the towel with my current hosting company. They never answer their email or phone and I'm tired of getting rotten service.

But the thing is, I know absolutely nothing about the internet or hosting companies! Despite the fact that I work online, I really am totally clueless about how this whole thing works!

So when I call up my new hosting company and am asked to create something called a "name server," I get so completely confused and turned around, I make some wild mistakes on my account and end up messing up the whole thing.

Luckily the service with this new company is so awesome it only took one phone call to work it all out.

But I was still left feeling a bit dumb and most definitely out of my league.

The nice thing though, is all I have to do is walk back into my studio to remind myself that we all have areas of expertise.

My hosting guy knows everything there is to know about hosting websites, servers, computers, and the internet. He knows SO much and has probably known it all for so long that he probably assumes that EVERYONE knows it too.

But we don't, or I certainly don't, as illustrated by my total mess up today!

I realized after I got off the phone that I can be guilty of this too.

Because I've been creating and using filler designs for more than a year now, it's easy to assume that everyone has been following along from the beginning and you all understand what I mean when I describe something as an "edge to edge" design, or that it would be great to use for "All Over Quilting."

When really this might be as confusing and foreign to a beginner, or someone new to the project, as name servers were to me this morning!

So my goal now is to try to make this project more user friendly and I'd love to get your suggestions.

I know many people have both commented and written in requesting more pages like this that list photos of the designs so they're easy to find by difficulty level or design type.

But this is only one thing! I'm sure there are many more small adjustments or additions that would make this project much more fun and easy to understand.

So please comment with your suggestion for improvements to the project: better navigation, more posts on certain information, etc, etc, etc!

I'd really like to hear the opinions of those who have just recently found the project and what stands out to you as needing improvement.

I especially want to know about any areas where my language could be better explained or defined so I am not leaving anyone out in the cold by assuming you're all on the same page.

And to sweeten this commenting fun fest, I will reward the best suggestion with a copy of Whitework Quilting by Karen McTavish!

So click around, take a hard look at the project, and think of the ways I can make it a more informative, but less intimidating place!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 222 - Cave Points

When I was a kid my favorite number was 2, so today is extra special because it's Day 222!

So on this special day, let's look back at Modern Art and see if we can make another design that works similarly to this design.

After a bit of thinking, I realized this design could easily be reversed to create Cave Points:

free motion quilting | Leah DaySpeaking of Cave Points, Josh and James just recently went to Linville Caverns in Marion, NC and had a wonderful time. James came home telling me all about the "beautiful rocks."

I'd been to Linville Caverns a few years ago and this reminded me of the stalactites and stalagmites that are formed naturally in caves and caverns, and this also added to the inspiration for Cave Points!

Now let's learn how to quilt this easy design:


Difficulty Level - Beginner. This design is really as easy as quilting a long skinny point! It's great practice for stitching straight lines and stopping and starting smoothly.

If you find yourself struggling to start quilting without a noticeable weird area marking the area you get started again, consider trying a simple design like this to get the hang of those stops and starts.

Design Family - Edge to Center. This design is worked from one edge into the center of the quilting space, then from the opposite edge into the center so the shapes all butt together to form the design.

Similar designs include Flowing Glass, Trailing Tears, and Modern Art.

Directional Texture - 2 directions. This design creates a nice horizontal or vertical texture that will work perfectly in a narrow sashing or border area.

Suggestions for Use - With Halloween on its way, it's the perfect time to finish up a spooky themed quilt! Cave Points looks a lot like monster teeth and could be a great way to tie some funky blocks together in the sashing.

Click here to see how to quilt Modern Art, a similar design, in the sashing of a quilt.

Back of Cave Points
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 221 - Maelstrom

Today let's learn a new design that's kind of a mixture of two oldie goldies: Super Spiral and Wobbly Cosmos.

When these designs combine, they create a neat new design called Maelstrom:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Today I'm packing, writing, and generally gearing up for my next set of workshops in Greensboro, NC.

While I have decided to generally stop traveling, I'm still booked up for the next six months. I also really enjoy traveling to Greensboro because the trip is really easy, there are many awesome detours to take along the way, and I love teaching at Ye Olde Forest Quilt Shoppe.

Now let's get back to learning how to quilt Maelstrom:


Inspiration - Water has become a major inspiration for my designs. Swirling Water, Ocean Current, and Flowing Lines were all inspired by water.

Lately I've been looking at photos of the ocean, storms, and whirlpools and designing a Maelstrom just seemed a natural design to try!

Difficulty Level - Beginner. Just like Super Spiral and Wobbly Cosmos, Maelstrom is a very easy design to quilt. The wonderful thing about this design is it's more free form and organic, which makes it much more forgiving and easier for a beginner to quilt.

Design Family - Center Fill. This design is quilted differently because you start in the center of your quilting space and work out. This means that you don't have to take the wiggly Maelstrom lines all the way to the edges. Play with varying the length to see all the different textures you can create with this design.

Directional Texture - Center Focused. Like almost all center fill designs, this design will focus your attention right into the center of the design.

Suggestions for Use - I'm always looking for interesting designs to put into slightly odd places. Many quilters would leave the centers of flower appliques alone, reasoning that this is a very small area and doesn't need a lot of texture.

I disagree. I think adding a bit of extra texture to these little areas of a quilt can add loads to the overall design so definitely try Maelstrom in the centers of your flower appliques, or any circular shape you might normally leave empty.

Back of Maelstrom
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Wonderful Week

Ahhhh....that is how wonderful I feel today!

I have had a TERRIFIC week off - my first week off since I started the project back in August 2009. It was long overdue and very much needed and I'm SO glad Josh convinced me to take a break.

It's not usual for me to make a big deal about my birthday or to do something as drastic as taking a whole week for myself, but today Robin from Nestlings by Robin put it the best way:

I realize it may not be proper to tell everyone how much I love my birthday but I don't care. Women diminish so many things in our lives because it isn't ladylike to sing our praises....it isn't humble to want the spotlight.
Sorry....I do want the spotlight and I enjoy having one day a year where attention is paid to me and gifts given to me. While we are at it, I love winning ribbons and making money from my art. There I said it out loud and I firmly believe there are many others just like me. I may not be very good at taking compliments (they make me very uncomfortable) but when I know they are sincere, I glow on the inside.
Robin managed to capture exactly how I'm feeling in those words! I, too, love everything about quilting and I love that I've built a business with it, but I also needed a break to celebrate myself too.

By the way, did ya'll enjoy Josh's posts or what?! I though he did a terrific job, so I'm planning on starting a new theme day just for him. It will be Josh's Recipe Thursdays and hopefully we'll start the first one next week!

As for my week off, there is something about recharging our batteries (in my case creative batteries) that needs to happen occasionally. With the weather changing, I'm going into an almost hibernation mode - taking a nap around 3, waking up late in the morning and not wanting to get out of bed because it's slightly chilly in the house.

Already I can feel the lack of sunlight in the basement where we work and I quilt. The winter is a darker time and I really needed to take a few days off to prepare for that change.

While the chilly weather is a wonderful sign that winter is on its way, I've noticed how dramatically the lack of light through the winter months effects not only my mood, but also my creativity. Maybe this effects your quilting too?

So during this week off, I decided to start displaying projects, images, and fabrics that I find inspiring or that I wish to finish / create a project with. This landscape has been on my list for 2 years now, but because it's been hanging up with my fabric stash, it's been very easy to ignore!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Getting into fall has also started me thinking about the holidays. There are many different religions and cultures that have a tradition of giving gifts during the winter months, and I've really wanted to feature a few new ideas of my own on the blog.

One of them is Furoshiki, or fabric gift wrapping. It's super easy to create (who doesn't have a bit of extra fabric?!) and can be reused year after year. The cool thing is creating these furoshiki gave me the excuse to pull out my Shiva Paintstiks and play with a few new rubbing plates:

free motion quilting | Leah Dayfree motion quilting | Leah DayThis has been one of those projects I've wanted to play with since July, but for one reason or another, I kept putting it off. It was so nice to finally ditch the excuses, pull out the paintstiks and just have some fun!

Speaking of having fun, I also spent a good bit of time doing handwork and watching movies and TV shows. One of my favorite shows is the BBC car series Top Gear. I know absolutely nothing about cars, nor have I ever driven a race car, but this show makes it fun and entertaining for everyone!

So while watching several episodes of Top Gear, I pulled out my Flower Origami book. I've enjoyed origami since the age of 6 when a sweet crafty lady taught me how to make origami boxes:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
This was actually my very first business: selling paper boxes to classmates in 1st and 2nd grade! I made quite a lot of ice cream money back in the day with that venture, but now I want to see how this works in fabric.

I've found, however, that it's a good idea to try out the patterns on paper first to get and idea of how they work because fabric can be a bit fiddly and tricky to manipulate. Here are a few of my paper creations that I will soon try in fabric and thread:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I also got back to my machine and quilted, quilted, and quilted new designs. Here's a small selection of the new designs that will run in the coming months!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
It's been a while since I focused solely on creating new designs, quilting, and blogging. Writing books, creating DVDs, and traveling to various quilt guilds has taken my focus in other directions and away from this project at times.

To be perfectly honest - this really bothers me.

When I first started my business I had many preconceived notions about the quilting industry and assumed that I would be able to run my online business, blog, travel, teach, and write books and occasional magazine articles all at the same time.

I assumed that I would not only be able to do all of these things, but that I would HAVE to in order to be successful in this industry!

Reality check! I have managed to do all of these things for the last six months my stretching myself so thin, I nearly broke.

It's simply not possible to do ALL of these things GREAT. I can do them all mediocre, but I can't put my heart and soul into everything all at the same time.

I recently wrote to a quilting friend:

"This industry seems like it could destroy a person's creativity just with the abundance of it all. I have to remind myself daily what is important (my family, my normal life) and how to say "no" to all the distractions and paths that will take me away from what is truly important."

One day I had to sit down and make a decision: what comes first?

Ultimately my family has to come first. I saw so little of James and Josh during this past summer while I was crazy busy writing From Daisy to Paisley that I might as well not have lived in the same house!

I personally don't think I'm asking too much to want to see and enjoy these years of my son growing up. I think that's the least selfish desire I could have, but it does create a choice: travel and teach or stay home with my son.

I'm absolutely NOT sorry to say - my son wins, hands down.

And ultimately this blog - this project - this connection with all of you wonderful quilters from all over the world - this is the thing I absolutely, bar none, love about quilting.

I love the connection the internet has given me to so many wonderful, inspiring quilters just like you! I can't stand that other obligations have taken my focus, time, and attention away from this project, and I mean to rectify that situation as soon as possible.

Ultimately I've made the decision that I'm not going to travel anymore. I'm also not planning to write for magazines for a long while, or create any new books or DVDs for at least another year. I simply want to devote myself to one thing - this blog and online business - and do it not just great, but AWESOME.

Of course, the quilting industry being what it is, I'm booked to travel in advance, so it will be a few months before I'm able to settle down completely.

I think ultimately everyone has their niche. Some quilters travel really well. Some quilters write awesome books or magazine articles.

And some quilters like me work best online.

I'm just so happy that I'm lucky enough to do this and share it all with you.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What Leah's Working on Wednesday

A brief post today, but I have pictures of Leah's new studio!

Unfortunately, Leah is not quite done with her studio so these are some "in progress" photos.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Her organized fabric hanging area. Rolled up designs are on the top to the left, and a Bernina and a surger are the two machines at the center.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Leah's Janome Horizon in her newly improved sewing station.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
This is a cutting table Leah is currently experimenting with. It's collapsible and easy to move, which is nice as this takes up a lot of real estate.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
This is a really neat idea Leah had for improving a fake wooden paneled wall. It's fabric essentially basted and nailed to the wall. Note the upholstery studs in the upper right corner. This flowing design adds a unique element.


My ten gallon nano reef. Various corals including mushroom soft corals and an open brain coral in the center. The pink crust over most of the live rock is encrusting coralline algae, the most beneficial algae one could hope for in a captive reef.


The bright green grassy coral is green star polyps. This is a purple mat that grows over rocks and sand, and the green is the polyp which extends from the mat during the day. Also pictured is a crocea clam, two Hawaiian feather duster worms, and an orange stony polyped coral in the upper left.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Finally we come to Sinkhole, which hangs in our dining room. You can really appreciate the 3D effect of depth as it catches the sunlight.

Speaking of Open Brain Corals, let's go back and look at the free motion filler design Brain Coral. This is also one of my favorites. It has such an organic quality about it that it almost looks alive.

Today's recipe is another crockpot recipe! It's going to dip into the 40s over the weekend, and that's a perfect time for a slow cooked beef roast.




Ingredients

1 onion, quartered
2-4 new potatoes, cut in half
1 cup shiitake or white button mushrooms
2-3 medium carrots, chopped
Salt and pepper and Italian seasoning to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup beer

Sear roast in cast iron pan for a few minutes with the olive oil. Add everything to crockpot and slow cook all day.

Josh

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Totally Filler Tuesday--Josh's Favorites

Once again, it's Josh here.

It's Totally Filler Tuesday and today we're going to live up to the name by taking a stroll down memory lane and showcasing several of my personal favorite free motion filler designs.

With more than 200 filler designs already, the sheer volume of designs can get a little intimidating. Today I'm going to narrow down the aperture and focus on a few designs with some common themes.

Let's begin with an ancient and long extinct invertebrate, Trilobite.

Looking at this I feel like I'm in a fossil museum. Some other names that were tossed up for consideration were Nightcrawler, Millipede, and my personal favorite--Infinipede. These names were scrapped as multiple-legged insects are probably not what a quilter wants to be thinking about while stitching this design.

Leah states, "Because this design can easily dominate other designs, I'd hesitate to use it as a background filler. It would simply out compete everything around it! Make sure to place it in small areas, like sashing, where it can run free on a limited range (kind of like cage free chicken)."

Personally I can see this design as a thin but eye-popping border piece. One or two trilobite lines, tops, either as a final border or to break up portions of the quilt. This would look great in a sea or fossil themed quilt.

Click here to read the full entry on the Trilobite free motion filler design, complete with detailed instructions and a how-to video.

Next we have an interesting design called Little Hands and Fingers.


This is a unique and pretty wild design. The flow reminds me of coral polyps, which are essentially the bright buds or "flowers" that make up the colorful parts of coral species. It simultaneously reminds me of newspaper comics and Hieronymous Bosch.

Leah has a unique idea on how to utilize this design: "Here's my way cool idea: take the hand print of a whole bunch of kids (or one single kid with a long attention span) and applique or paint their hand shapes onto fabric squares. Put these together with a thin sashing and stitch Little Hands and Fingers all around the edge of the sashing as though the hands are gripping the block."

Another one of my favorites and also a design that's easy to miss is Oil Slick.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
It's like Salvador Dali's clocks and the BP spill. You could use this one practically anywhere. What I love about it is the repeat running over thread lines, making it thicker in the middle portions but thinning as it moves out. This is a pretty simple design and if I ever started quilting I think I'd begin with this one. There's just so much potential behind this.

Tomorrow I hope to film and hopefully blog Leah's new 2-room quilting wing. And I'll share a few more of my own favorite filler designs from the project as well. I know right now there's one I know I love but for the life of me can't remember or find.

Let's end with a fun, easy, and delicious pork tenderloin crockpot recipe!



1 pork tenderloin
1/3 cup French salad dressing
1 can cranberry sauce
1/2 cup onion, minced finely
1/4 cup celery, minced finely
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp sweet basil, dried
2 cloves garlic, minced

Mix French dressing and cranberry sauce thoroughly. Combing all other ingredients in sauce save for tenderloin. Place tenderloin in crockpot and cover in sauce. Cook on high for 5 hours or low all day.

See you tomorrow!

Josh

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 220 - Bow Tie Parade

It's Josh here again filling in for Leah while she's off playing in quilter's heaven in her newly redesigned studio.

So here's the design we're going to learn about today:

free motion quilting | Leah DayThis is called Bow Tie Parade because the shapes look like bow ties. Let's learn how Leah quilted it:


Inspiration - This morning Leah told me this design was inspired by a traditional Bow Tie Block. Not quite sure what that is, but if you've made one, feel free to post a picture so I actually know what I'm talking about.

While I've never worn a bow tie, I do know someone that does - the new Dr. Who! Leah and I are both big fans of the new Dr. Who series and thoroughly enjoyed watching the latest season online.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. Apparently this design is created exactly like forming the letter "8" only with straight lines and sharp angles. The hardest part is moving around the quilting space from one sharp 8 shape to another.

Design Family - Stacking. The shapes all stack together to fill your quilt. Looking at the photo of the block Leah stitched I think you'll have to wiggle in some small shapes, so maybe this design will work better when you quilt it really big.

Directional Texture - No Direction. I guess this would make a good background design when you need the design to recede into the background.

Suggestions for Use - I asked Leah what she would do with it this morning and she said it would work great on a kid quilt with lots of curving shapes. Something about contrasting shapes with textures?

Back of Bow Tie Parade
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion quilting design in your quilts

Let's go Eat!

Josh Day

Friday, October 8, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

Happy Feature Friday!

We're doing something a little bit different today. Instead of featuring one of our free motion quilting products from our online quilt shop, I'm going to share my favorite recipe, one I've been tweaking and perfecting since 2004.

Before we get to the recipe, I do want to briefly talk about one free motion quilting item. In fact, this is a bundle of free motion quilting tools, the three most important items Leah personally uses for her own free motion quilting.
  • The first is my personal favorite, the Supreme Slider. This is a 100%, unadulterated teflon sheet that turns your quilting surface into an ice skating pond. Your fabric easily slides and moves over this sheet.
  • The second is the Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washer. Other than just phonetically sounding cool, this is also a teflon-coated gadget (a thin plastic-looking washer) that goes into your bobbin casing and helps your bobbin thread glide smoothly and evenly while you quilt, completely eliminating backlash and bird's nests on the back of your quilt.
  • Finally, we have the Machingers Quilting Gloves. You'll never again be late for a very important date with these stylish, white, and super grippy gloves designed by the White Rabbit himself. Practically, these gloves have a thin plastic coating over the fingertips which allow you better traction and grip while quilting. They also would be a great addition to almost any Halloween costume.
Remember, all three tools are bundled into Leah's Ultimate Quilting Kit, which you can always purchase for a discount.

And now for the recipe...

I was born and grew up in New Orleans and I love Cajun and creole food. Depending on who you talk to, the following recipe is either Cajun or Creole, and that also depends on what goes into it and how it's made. Regardless, this is a signature New Orleans dish and something I've been perfecting for six years now.


Josh's New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice

1 bag of dry red kidney beans, soaked in a bowl overnight in your fridge
3/4 cup red onion, minced as finely as possible
1/2 cup celery, finely minced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely minced
1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely minced
2 smoked hamhocks (or 1 if you're using pickled pork for superior flavor)
1 32-ounce container chicken broth
32 ounces water
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
1 heaping Tbs Tony Chachere's Famous Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne powder (or more if you want the red beans hot)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp natural liquid smoke
1 Tbs olive oil
Cooked rice

Soak your beans in a large bowl overnight. The beans will triple in size so be sure you fill with enough water to cover all beans.

Finely mince your onion, bell pepper, and celery. A food chopper or food processor makes things a lot easier as you want everything almost pureed.

Add olive oil to a cast iron pot and head on medium low. Add smoked hamhock and let cook for five minutes to release flavor. Now add onion, celery, and bell pepper. Stir until onions turn translucent.

Clear a small area in the pot and add garlic. You may need to add a drop or two more oil. Stir garlic and cook for no more than a minute. DO NOT brown garlic as this turns it bitter and can ruin the dish.

When garlic is cooked -- you'll know because you'll smell it -- stir in with vegetables and hamhock.

Add parsley and bay leaves.

Season with Famous Creole Seasoning, cayenne, and ground black pepper. Forgo salt as the creole seasoning has plenty.

Stir and let the flavors come together for a minute.

Pour in chicken broth. Fill up container with water and also pour in.

Drain and rinse the beans well and then pour in the beans.

Add Liquid Smoke -- you want natural liquid smoke; you'll know because there will be no MSG or funny-sounding chemical in the ingredients -- and stir everything well.

Cook on stovetop for a minimum of five hours. The longer you cook it, the better it will taste.

You'll need to check the pot at least once every hour to top off with water and to stir. As the dish cooks, the beans will become creamy and everything will come together. Expect the beans to be watery for the first 3 or 4 hours.

Near the end of cooking remove the ham hock and bay leaves and mash beans with a potato masher if you want them more creamy. This is how Al Copeland made his red beans; they were almost a puree.

The best way to cook rice is to first rinse the dry rice several times in running water. The ratio of rice to water is 1:1; so if you're making 1/2 cup of rice, add 1/2 cup water, 2 cups of rice, add 2 cups of water, etc.

Here's a little secret... add a spoonful or two of the creamy beans to the rice and stir well before cooking.

Cover pot and cook rice on medium heat until it begins to boil. Turn on the lowest setting and cook for exactly 20 minutes. Then remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes, still covered. Never remove the cover during the cooking process.

Serve beans over rice and garnish with green onions thickly sliced and a scattering of dried parsley. Also provide condiments like Tobasco hot pepper sauce, vinegar, and croutons.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cracked Pepper Filet Mignon Quilting

It's Anything Goes Thursday, and it's Josh subbing for Leah today.

Leah continues to apply the finishing touches on her design studio and sewing room. We're almost there. Leah wanted to film a quick progress report yesterday, but we simply didn't have the time. Rest assured, however, that we will shoot a video tour as Leah is quite proud of her new space, as well as all the excess unneeded items she's purged.

Tomorrow, October 8th, is Leah's birthday. I've finally convinced her to take a week off--she has been so busy lately with the studio remodel, the emotional baggage of Sinkhole, the new book and DVD, and a revamping of our online store that she needs some time off.

So what's going to happen with the Free Motion Quilting Project all next week?

It will continue! I'll be posting regular updates which will include filler designs and some new fun things. I may just sneak up on Leah or rifle through some of her older projects and do a little "Behind the Scenes" DVD extras. And I may just give you a tour around my fish tanks and show exactly what inspired such filler designs as Elodea and Brain Coral.

But for today I wanted to do something both Leah and I have wanted to do for some time. We're both avid cooks and have some pretty good, tried-and-true and almost-fully-perfected recipes under our belts. For instance last night we made beer battered Alaskan cod. The secret is to cut your cod into 1-2 inch pieces and marinate in the fridge for an hour in your liquid portion of the batter, the beer (I use a whole bottle or can), an egg, salt (very important because it has a mild brining effect) and Louisiana hot sauce. Then roll them in the dry mixture of flour and seasoning and pan fry in some olive oil.

Tomorrow for Leah's birthday I'm making a filet mignon pepper steak. Below I've embedded the video instructions for how to make this steak. Do not let the "foolproof" name of it throw you off; this is indeed easy but that does not take away from its stellar taste.


Click here if the video does not show up

We have not tried the sauce in the latter part of the video--it seems a little culinarily questionable to me. Instead we saute some onions and portabello mushrooms with a little wine.

Throughout the week, I plan to offer several of my favorite recipes. These are all recipes I've literally tried at least a dozen times, some many more, so I'm confident in their quality. Some I've filmed when I was doing a little youtube cooking show last year.

One thing both Leah and I have been so curious about is learning your favorite recipes, especially those of you not living in the United States (though all and any shared recipes are appreciated!). We love trying new things, especially foods from other countries.

So please comment with some of your favorite recipes! It's so interesting shipping orders from our quilting store and seeing all the places in the world quilters live. Denmark, The Netherlands, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and of course Canada are the most common nations we see. Lately, though, we've been getting orders from Brazil and Bulgaria. I would love to learn a recipe from either of those countries!

Leah and I appreciate your readership and support of this project so much. Thank you again for commenting, spreading the word about free motion quilting, and just keeping up with the blog.

I'll see you tomorrow,

- Josh

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 219 - Raw Cotton

Sand Dollar was a really neat stacking design we learned last week. Let's see if the same idea will work with a different shape!

This design starts with a fluffy cloud shape with Bright Star stitched in the middle:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Today I'm finally finishing up with the kitchen studio and will hopefully clean off my big tables for the first time in 2 months.

I really want the big tables clear so I can start working on a few holiday projects. After last year's craziness, I've finally resolved to get started early and have a nice stock of little gifts ready for November and December.

I'll definitely be sharing a few videos on some small fabric projects that are easy to whip up even if you wait until the last minute!

Speaking of videos, let's get back to Raw Cotton and learn how to quilt it in this video:


Difficulty Level
- Advanced. Raw cotton is trickier to quilt than Sand Dollar because the fluffy, cartoon cloud shape is a little more difficult to stitch. I had trouble keeping my fluffy clouds looking like fluffy clouds and not wobbly amoebas!

Design Family - Stacking. The fluffy cotton shapes stack together to fill your quilting space. To move from one shape to another you may have to travel quite a bit, so watch out for that as you're quilting this design.

Directional Texture - No Direction. Just like Sand Dollar, this design doesn't create a lot of movement on your quilt, but it does attract attention! I think the larger cotton fluffs are nicer looking than the tiny ones, so try to place this design where you have more than enough room to create large, fluffy shapes instead of squished, tiny ones.

Suggestions for Use - This would be a really cute design to use on a quilt with complex prints because it's simple, yet cheerful and takes up a lot of space with each pass!

Back of Raw Cotton
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion quilting design in your quilts

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day
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