The Free Motion Quilting Project: 2015 Here I Come!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Here I Come!

Every year I take a day to stop and look back on the year and take stock of all that has happened. I like to do this because it provides a wonderful record of the year, and helps me keep track.

Yes, I admit the years are starting to blur together and it's hard to remember when things happened. I love the quote from Gretchen Rubin - The days are long, but the years are short. This perfectly describes how time seems to pass both very slowly and way too fast all at the same time!
This has been a big year of change for us. Josh and I started the year filming over 40 videos together for the Building Blocks Quilt Along, something we had never tried before. It was fun, and certainly an interesting way to spend time together, but also challenging. Have you ever tried to teach your husband something you're really good at....and FILM it too?!

Looking back, I think Josh's videos are some of the best we made last year. Josh honestly showed what it looks and feels like to begin free motion quilting, which isn't always pretty! His spoonflower quilt remains my favorite of the two we created.

I love the imperfect stitches and creative way he filled the final blocks. Even though the quilting wasn't perfect, it showed continual improvement through the project, and that was really the whole point.

One major change for our business was the type of business we own. In July we switched from a sole proprietorship in my name to a S-corp shared equally by both Josh and I. While we've always run the business together, making it official did change a few things, mostly in how we communicate (I'm not allowed to get my way all the time) and how we plan new projects (one thing at a time!).

We finally made it to Spring Quilt Market this year and had great success getting our books and DVD distributed by Brewer and available in national catalogs like Connecting Threads and Nancy's Notions. It's so exciting to open a catalog and find our books listed inside! also changed for the business when my dad joined us in June. He has learned loads about quilting too and is my solid "behind the scenes" guy for all fabric prep, cutting, and piecing. I'm amazed at how many tops we've put together this year and I know for a fact that I couldn't have published the new version of How to Piece Perfect Quilts without him.

With Dad's help we not only published that book, we also released the new Dancing Butterfly Quilt Pattern, our new quilt along pattern for 2015! This new quilt along is all about applique and beautiful free hand, free motion quilting.
I'm excited to be teaching another online quilt along and helping so many people learn about free motion quilting. This quilt is even bigger than last year, making it a great project to fit on a twin to full sized bed, but it's a Quilt-As-You-Go project, so it will still be manageable on a small machine!

The new posts for the Dancing Butterfly Quilt Along will start tomorrow, as well as new design posts and videos. I find myself once again dreaming of new textures in thread, and I'm looking forward to demonstrating these new designs in real quilts this year.

Dad and I have also worked together to learn embroidery design and digitizing. This is a new arena for me and I'm super excited about all the possibilities machine embroidery hold.

After five years of teaching teaching quilters to free motion quilt on home sewing machines, I know this technique requires practice, patience, and lots of effort. Learning more about machine embroidery, I find I'm able to digitize beautiful designs so that anyone with an embroidery machine can stitch them easily with the touch of a button. Yes, I love that instant gratification!

I'm especially interested in in-the-hoop projects that combine my love for construction, quilting, beautiful design, gorgeous thread, and functionality all in one go. This is very different from everything I've made before, but so fascinating, I find I'm brimming with ideas for new projects every day.

In 2014 my word for the year was Relax. I believe I accomplished so much, and so many things were able to change in my life because I finally learned how to relax successfully. This might sound odd, but if you're not taught how to do something, even something as simple as relax, you're probably not going to do it properly!

I now start most days with a 30 minute meditation, and have frequent alerts during the day to step away from my computer and take a break.

I've finally overcome the worst of my workaholic tendencies to work when I'm tired, angry, or overwhelmed. I've also learned how to give myself a break and stop being so hard on myself. When life gets challenging, I'm able to adapt and bend with the flow of my life rather than fight against it.

Being able to relax is a gift that has granted me buckets of happiness and contentment. I've been able to challenge my impulses to work constantly and learn how to relax and play again.

For this coming year, I didn't have to concentrate very hard for my word to pop into my head - it's Create. I want to make stuff! I don't even care what it looks like, I just want to dig in and enjoy the process of making new things.

I hope 2015 also finds me letting go of fear. I want to create with abandon, without the fear of messing something up or being imperfect. I also want to find easier ways to create more quickly, and learn how to stop myself from making things unnecessarily complicated or time consuming.
I believe my impulse to create will also lead to trying different crafts. I want to learn how to paint this year and finally let go of my issues with calling myself an "artist." I want to dig into my style and the messages behind my art, and maybe, just maybe, begin selling my art.

These ideas are just dreams right now, but I know that dreams can come true if they are taken seriously, given attention, and pursued with a vengeance. My word is CREATE and I plan to do just that! Come on 2015 - I'm ready go get started!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. Have you tried zentangling? It reminds my of free motion quilting but using pen/pencil on paper.

  2. Dear creative bloggers! Happy New Year 2015

  3. I wish you a carefree, healthy and happy new year 2015 and many wonderful creative ideas.
    Many greetings from Germany sends you

  4. С Новым годом!!! Счастья, любви, радости и добра!!!

  5. Happy New Year, Leah to you and your family!
    Wish all your dreams come true in this wonderful year!

  6. Your soul journey is just freakin' inspiring to me. Thank you so much for sharing. Also, wanted to mention that the quilt-as-you-go quilts I've been doing for our Women and Families Center have finally freed me up to be imperfect. The strips aren't always perfectly straight, so even thought the blocks are squared at the end, the interior lines are sometimes a little wonky....and I like it! And apparently so did the donations director at the Center, because instead of giving away my most recently donated quilt outright, she wants to put it up for auction at their February fundraiser! It really, really, really is ok not to be perfect. Thank you for teaching that to me at this stage of my 6 decades of life. Happy new year to you, Josh, James and your dad. Have fun!

  7. Great post, Leah. Wishing you a relaxing and creative 2015!


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