The Free Motion Quilting Project: In the Studio with Duchess Reigns

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In the Studio with Duchess Reigns

It's Wednesday and today has been all about Duchess Reigns. I've been plodding through the second corner and finally busted through one massive section today:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This style of filled, thread painted feathers is more time consuming and labor intensive than the first style of feathers. It's also a very different finished effect:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

So with 2 corners filled, only 2 more to go! I'm happy to be making solid progress now, and this quilt is definitely generating a lot of questions and curiosity both here and on Facebook.

Last week I shot a quick video just to answer several of the questions that have come up recently and to demonstrate more thread painting. I also ended up sharing a lot about my suspended quilting system, so all around it's a handy video if you're planning on quilting anything big anytime soon:


Are you ready to buy some handles and clamps and get your quilts suspended? Just be careful drilling into your ceiling!

What I said about mistakes is also very true. Just today I quilted out a major section with multiple pleats. A year ago, this would have made me feel like crap and I would likely have gotten bogged down with the project and frustrated with my ability.

This year I'm accepting the issues as they come. This is my first dyed wholecloth quilt! Obviously there was going to be some learning curve involved!

Is it perfect? Heck no. It is what it is. She's pretty. She's massively huge. She's enormously complicated. There really isn't much room for perfection in all that too!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

19 comments:

  1. Fantastic, thanks for all the tips and showing us this beautiful quilt in more detail.

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  2. Leah, thank you so much for posting this! I have been following your progress with Duchess since the beginning and I have been so fascinated with the whole process. I am still very new to FMQ and am working on a twin sized quilt for my son. I know exactly what you mean about the bulk and the constant management of the quilt. I really like your innovative idea to clamp the quilt to the ceiling. I rent, so I can't do that. I am considering some sort of frame system for the future, however. Thanks again for all you do for the quilting community! You are an inspiration!

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  3. You are always an inspiration and I can't help but watch in awe as you make free motion quilting look so darned easy! One day I will be brave as you and in the meantime I will be just as happy learning from you. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. Thank you so much for all of the help and advice. If it weren't for your advice, I would not be getting ready to free motion quilt the first three quilts I have ever made, other than doll quilts with my Grandmother.

    Duchess Reigns is AMAZING. STUNNING.

    And I absolutely appreciate the encouragement.

    Thank you so much.

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  5. Leah,
    Your quilt is fantastic and you are an inspiration to me. I love to see this quilt being created by you bit by bit. Your quilting style is pushing the bounderies of traditional quilting styles - but this is what makes it so amazing. I love how you are incorporating thread painting into quilting.

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  6. Wow! Gorgeous work, Leah, your thread painting is exquisite, excellent and beautiful eye candy. I love, love it. It is best to strive for excellence rather than perfection, after all only God is perfect! Thank you so very much for sharing your excellent talents with us. I'm in awe.

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  7. Felicidades por tu cambio de actitud. Creo que lo importante no es la perfección sino saber corregir los errores que cometemos.

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  8. In my quilting world, Duchess Leah reigns supreme! Marvelous work. Thank you sooo much for sharing both your sweet courageous spirit and your impressive expertise. Hugs on behalf of all your fans!

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  9. I'm happy to see you talk about pleats like that. I did that a few times on my Winter Wonderland. I can still find my pleats, but I've had other people go look for them (even telling them which block they are in) and they haven't found them. They are hidden to those not in the know!

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  10. Being able to watch how you manipulate the quilt is very helpful. The quilt is awesome!
    Sew Happy,

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  11. Leah, thank you so much for sharing your process. I so enjoy all your tips and watching you quilt. I especially like how you explain about not having a perfect quilt and how you show ways to hide mistakes. You are an amazing teacher!

    Carolyn

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  12. Rosemary b here:
    Oh my, Leah, this is amazinggggg
    You are such an inspiration to everyone. Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge!

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  13. YOu do such gorgeous work, who cares about a few pleats! I've had that issue before and did some creative quilting over the pleats too!

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  14. I can totally understand how well hanging your quilt works. We did this at the alterations shop I used to work at, but we had large chains hanging from the ceiling and we'd hang wedding gowns on them. I had two near my work station to help manage the weight and bulkiness of large, heavy gowns. They also helped to keep the gown from falling on the floor. We also had chains in our pressing area. One hanger from the top of the dress and another attached to the center of the train.

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  15. I'm so glad you talk about that annoying extra fabric, where did it come from!? And then pleats. Being new to FMQ, and not having good space to lay out my quilts for basting, they almost always seem to happen at least once per quilt, and I just thought it was my lack of expertise. However, I have not fretted over them, though they bug me a bit, since I'm so new, a little over a year. But, if you say they happen to you, too, I guess I might not be doing it all wrong after all. I have only ripped out a really big one, once, and since then have tried different basting methods. No one is perfect, though spray basting seems best, it's just too costly, while quilting safety pins are my second choice. Thanks for your site! It was pretty much your FMQ tutorials on YouTube that gave me the confidence to just quilt it!

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  16. You are always calm and so informative. I took a course with you this summer and you are the same way in person.
    This comment is off-topic, but I love your shirt. Did you sew it? Is the fabric one you have dyed? If you sewed it, please share the pattern #.

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  17. Hi Bea - Yes, I did sew the shirt I'm wearing in the video! It's Simplicity 6407, but I've modified the original quite a bit. You can read about the modifications here: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2013/08/feeding-thread-monster.html

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  18. Leah, your timing for this pst couldn't have been better. After lurking in the shadows, I have finally jumped in and actually did my first FMQ in a quilt for a friend. I was so excited, I decided to do more - and created a pleat. I was about to cry when I saw your video. So, I dealt with it. I am trying to remember that we quilt with love, not with anger and frustration. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  19. Duchess Reigns is the MOST amazing free motion quilt I've ever seen. Over the weekend I sold my quilting at a Craft Sale at the live international theatre I work at. With visiting quilters I made sure to show them your 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs book. I received so many compliments. I love funneling my creativity into quilting, and you have kept me inspired.

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