The Free Motion Quilting Project: A Wonderful Message

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Wonderful Message

Today I received this terrific email from a quilter named Mary:
As I am sitting down to my first baby size "practice" quilt, I felt compelled to send you this email.

You blog site is incredibly wonderful.

Before my sister shared this blog with me, I was tired of stippling and meandering. I hated the quilting part of constructing a quilt. BORING!

But, your blog opened new doors for me. It has been such a great experience for me. Your teaching skills are tops! I enjoy your honesty. Key word in your blog: PRACTICE. I understand that clearly now.

Next week, I am going to help an older lady (cripes, I'm 50-lol) with her quilting techniques. And, I am excited to share with her everything that I have learned from you. She is going to be amazed at what she can do--what she could always do-with the right tools, attitude and practice.

And, really with just a little practice there is improvement, which in turns lends itself to the desire to continue on.

I have frequented your shop because I think it's important to support what you do and what you give to me for free. Your time is worth my loyalty as a shopper.

Great job with your blog. You have inspired me to move in different directions. BTW--I love the paisley design(s). OMGosh--so fun!

I am close to being ready to quilt my "monkey" quilt and I am actually excited about quilting it! That's never happened. Quilting was always such a droning chore. Not anymore...

enjoy your day - mary
Mary really hit the nail on the hammer - the more you practice, the more you play with these designs, the more you will like the quilting process.

Look at it this way - if right now you're dreading the quilting process, either because you're afraid of bad looking stitches or a time consuming, labor intensive process, try to find one way to make it more fun.

You can listen to your favorite music, or find a good audio book to listen too, pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine, or turn on a good movie in the background. Doing these things will make you more comfortable and make free motion quilting seem less like torture.

Then as you relax into quilting, you'll soon start finding your rhythm, and, just like Mary, you'll start enjoying the process instead of dreading it.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. You go girl!!! I can;'t say any more. If people want to quilt, they can follow what you say and before you know it they will be a pretty darn good quilter. And yes the key is PRACTICE.

  2. amen to mary~i'm 53 and not sure i'm old yet haha! your blog is the best for clear instruction and confidence~thanks so much ~xo~

  3. Thanks to Mary for saying it so well. I couldn't agree more. Your website is quite an inspiration for me, although I am not that far along yet, I have hope and the desire to PRACTICE! Thank you, Leah! You are an awesome teacher!

  4. What a fantastic letter! Everyone needs to be appreciated...and I'm glad you were told in such a thoughtful way just how much your efforts really do inspire people. I'm in the middle of fmq-ing 108 blocks on a quilt for my husband, modeled after one of your designs. It's the first time I've tried anything remotely this artistic, and I can't believe how pretty it's turning out. Thanks to you!!

  5. I agree with Mary completely. It is so amazing at the progress one can make in one year by using your free motion techniques. I look back to my quilts one year ago and can see a huge difference in the recent ones!! Thanks to you for giving us the opportunity to learn from you freely. Again I am with Mary in wanting to support your store by ordering supplies as a way of giving back!

  6. How sweet to have such positive feed back!. I love trolling your blog too, the ideas are inspiring!

  7. Sadly, we so often appreciate, even love what someone else is doing and FAIL to tell them... so amen to Mary and from me, also a big thank you for all that you are doing and how you have opened doors for me too!

  8. I know exactly what she means. Until I started following your blog I had fear trying new stiches, now I am trying new ones all the time. So I have to say a big thank you again Leah, and keep us motivated

  9. This is very much how I feel about your blog: it is incredibly inspiring and opens up so many possibilities for FMQ. I found it before I tried stippling, but I didn't even know that it was possible to do things other than stippling on a domestic machine.

    PRACTICE! Is such an important thing. I bought a new machine this weekend (almost got the Janome that you have, but resisted and went with a Bernina with a slightly lower price tag) and waffled back and forth on getting the Bernina Stitch Regulator. Man was it neat to play with. But I looked at my samples and realized that the main area I have trouble is in moving the quilt where I want it to go- I get angles instead of curves, I can't trace back on my lines well- a regulator won't fix any of that- practice will! I saved the money, and don't regret it. The machine out of the box already FMQs nicer than my old one did, and now, I have a lot more money to spend on fabric- to PRACTICE on.

  10. Monkey Quilt Update...I worked into the wee hours of the morning to get this quilt outlined. And, that wasn't all fun trying to outline curly embroidered monkey tails. BUT, I was able to start FMQ. And, I am having so much fun seeing this quilt come together. At first I was terrified that this quilt would be one hot little mess. But, overall (and to my surprise) it looks okay. There are even a few awesome areas of stitching. I really try to focus on those awesome stitches when I look at the quilt.

    And, it's for a baby, who loves unconditionally-as long as you feed them and change their diaper. =)

    I know the quilt will be appreciated even with it's flaws. And, that baby will add to those flaws the first time he spits up on it and makes it a Velveteen Rabbit. LOL


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