The Free Motion Quilting Project: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

13. Quilt a Rail Fence with Circles & Stairs

It's the end of the month and time to quilt our last Rail Fence Block in the Building Blocks Quilt Along:
free motion quilting | Leah Day

Yep, we're stitching some circles again! A lot of beginners find this shape a bit challenging, so if your circles are a bit wobbly, don't worry because you'll be in good company! It took me about 3 years to quilt circles confidently, mostly because I avoided them like the plague. If you actually jump into it and stitch circles more often, I'm sure you will master them much faster than I did!

free motion quilting | Leah DayJust a quick reminder - the piecing instructions for this block and the quilting design are included in the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern. Find this massive 100+ page pattern right here at LeahDay.com

NEW! This block design is now available in a quilting stencil from Quilting Creations International. Use the stencil to easily mark the design on plain fabric, your block, or another fun quilt you're working on! Click here to find the 8 inch stencil compatible with the Building Blocks Quilt.

Now for the video!


I think I could have won an award with how confusingly I described not stitching in the ditch before you begin quilting this block! Basically just stitch the perimeter, then start quilting the straight lines around the circles and knock out the circles at the same time. Some of these lines will hit the ditches, we don't want to stitch straight across the whole block to start as we have with the other blocks.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
This is entirely a design / esthetic choice and it creates the very beautiful stairs and circles pattern on the back, with no indication that this is a Rail Fence block. In fact, this design would also look beautiful over our Four Patch Block too!

In this situation we're ignoring the piecing lines as we cover them with a beautiful quilting design. Sometimes I intentionally ignore the piecing design of a block, sometimes I intentionally focus on it and carefully stitch around every element.

These are all little design decisions that you can play with infinitely within every quilt you create. The trick is learning what you like and what you don't like - developing an opinion.

So often I'm asked "How should I quilt this? Is it okay if I use x, y, z design?" and the answer I always give is "Yes, I think that design looks great, but how do YOU feel about it?"

Developing an opinion on your quilting design is as simple as learning what you like to eat. You taste something new to try it and you either think instantly "Yay!" or "Bleh!" - that's your gut reaction talking, and your body usually tells you pretty clearly how you feel.

The same can be true for quilting - stitch something out and ask yourself if you like it. Look for the "Yay!" and the "Bleh!" in your reaction - sometimes it's worth it to stitch something you think you will hate just to know for sure if you hate it or not!

So start developing those opinions! We've quilted 10 blocks together now - which are your favorites? Which were your least favorite? Whatever you like or LOVE - stitch more of it!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Just 10 blocks in and already I can see and hear the difference from the quilters posting in our BBQA Facebook Group.

Many members started the year filled with fear about free motion, especially fearful of being judged for imperfect stitches, wobbly lines, or an inability to stitch in the ditch.

Wonderfully, amazingly, this group has developed into an international cheering squad and everyone is gaining confidence and accepting mistakes, and finding that space to be less critical and judgmental of themselves.

The fact is we can make any task feel hard and awful by being mean and hurtful to ourselves.

Or we can make this fun and enjoyable by accepting our mistakes and imperfection as part of the learning process! Don't pick up your seam ripper - just keep on stitching!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New FMQ Craftsy Class

Craftsy is continually expanding their class selection with wonderful classes on everything from cooking to painting to photography. Today I'm featuring a fun new beginner free motion quilting class taught by Elizabeth Dackson:

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/Day_3584_CP

Start Free-Motion Quilting is a beginner quilting class that focuses on 9 simple designs that can quilt a variety of spaces and styles of quilts. Each design is demonstrated on a small fabric sandwich, so you can see how the design is stitched clearly.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Personally I love Elizabeth's three golden rules to learning free motion quilting:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice
2. Forgive yourself
3. Walk away when you get too frustrated

This class is filled with helpful tips on basting your quilt, moving it on the machine, and troubleshooting issues like thread breaks. Free motion quilting can be hard to get the hang of initially, but with practice and patience, you will be quilting beautifully in no time!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

While Elizabeth and I don't agree on everything free motion quilting related, I think it's great to take classes from a variety of teachers. Everyone teaches these techniques and designs a little differently because this is such a unique craft.

Learning from a variety of teachers will force you to realize that there definitely isn't a single way to do any of this and we all have to find what works for us and our machines! So definitely check out this new Craftsy class - Start Free-Motion Quilting today!

Click here to sign up and get 17% off this fun new class!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, March 28, 2014

FMQ Project Link Up

It's been a crazy busy week, but I've got a big grin on my face after seeing the gorgeous photos we had taken of my finished Building Blocks quilt:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Getting the whole quilt together really feels great! I love seeing all the designs combined, and set off with the blue binding between each block.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

The t-shirt blocks (block 8) stand out a bit more than I expected, but they also make the quilt that much more personal. The little embroidered duck was from a baby romper I once wore. The quilt also has scraps from James's plaid shorts and Josh's fraternity t-shirt. It's wonderful to see these fabrics, and they memories they bring within this quilt.

Outside of Building Blocks, we also learned a new design this week - Alien Eggs!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I decided recently that I really want to see these designs in more than just a little square or rectangle shape so I also stitched it out into a Peaceful Goddess Panel:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

So that's what I've been busy with this week! What have you been working on?

Simple rules for the FMQ Project Link Up:

1. Link up with a post that features something you've learned from the Free Motion Quilting Project.
2. Somewhere in your post, please link back here.
3. Comment on at least 2 other links. Share your love of free motion quilting and make this weekly link up a fun way to connect with other quilters around the world!



Grab a button to easily link back to the Free Motion Quilting Project! 


Free Motion Quilting Project
<div class="Free Motion Quilting Project" style="width: 150px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-q6F-r2YosSY/UuTzebRpLhI/AAAAAAAAJII/JvAHayVWdhI/s1600/fmq+button.jpg" alt="Free Motion Quilting Project" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>


Thursday, March 27, 2014

#430 - Free Motion Quilt Alien Eggs

Whoa! This day...well the whole week has really gotten away from me, but I managed to hope on the machine today and stitch out a fun design called Alien Eggs:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This Edge to Center design is a super funky combination of Trailing Tears and Pebbling and is a great choice for the sashing of your quilts. The one thing you want to watch is the spacing of your Alien Eggs - make sure to space them far enough apart so you have room to echo around the egg shape and leave a little background space between.


See what I mean by watching the video for this fun design!



Even if this design looks a little too advanced for you, definitely jump right in and play with these shapes!

One way to build your skill would be to first quilt some Flowing Glass, Trailing Tears, and Pebbling and get practice with all of these designs first, then put them together to form Alien Eggs.

Another thing to remember is that building skill is SO much easier if you're excited and motivated to learn. If you see an advanced design and really, really want to learn how to quilt it, jump right in and give it a try!

There's no rule that says you have to be super skilled just to try out a funky design! The quilt police won't come arrest you for playing and having fun!

So jump right in and give Alien Eggs a try today! Here's a little inspiration to get you started:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I jumped on the machine today and stitched out Alien Eggs into a hair section in this Peaceful Goddess Cheater Panel. By marking a line through the center of the area, I was able to visualize how to fill the shapes evenly into the odd space.


This lock of hair was pretty wide at the base, but fairly narrow up close to her face, so the Alien Eggs had be squished or cut off a bit in the narrow areas.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This pretty goddess design is actually available as printed fabric from Spoonflower. Click here to check it out!

I'm very pleased with the result! It's definitely not perfect, and if I started to nit pick it I'm sure I'd find 100 different ways it could be better. Instead of running down that fruitless path, I'm smiling with joy because I got to play with this design and squeeze a little extra quilting into a very busy day!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Josh's Cursive Words

It's time to go back to school and relearn script!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I've stitched out this week's block on a Spoonflower cheater panel, where you can pick up the entirety of the Building Block Quilt Along project in pre-printed fabric to save you time on piecing. If you haven't joined in on the Quilt Along yet, you can do so now. Our project is unique as you get the entire year's worth of blocks at once so you can work the quilt along at your leisure.

So let's see how I did stitching out these basic cursive letters.


Turns out this one was not as simple as I thought it was going to be. I'd said in past videos that cursive writing is a great way to begin free motion quilting. However, when you're stitching along lines that you can't erase after you finish the block, and you really go off the rails over a lowercase cursive O, the mistake is going to stand out.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I actually learned a new technique thanks to stitching so flagrantly off the line. What I did was go back and simply do it again, this time on the line. And then I travel stitched back over the same area, making a denser thread line. It's like making a mistake with a pen on paper. You can't erase it like you can with a pencil, so what you do is go back and darken the ink over the mistake. Yes, you still see the problem, but you also see the letter properly written, and in bold.

It's going to be interesting to see the finished quilt to see how this technique pans out.

Until next week,

Let's go quilt!

Josh

Monday, March 24, 2014

12. Quilt a Rail Fence with Cursive Words

Boy is this month flying by! Today we're tackling our third quilting design in a Rail Fence Block - cursive words and loopy L's:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Cursive words are probably the easiest thing to free motion quilt because they're already a continuous line design - a series of letters connected together in one unbroken line. It's also a set of curvy shapes that are already logged into our brains - we know how to write a letter L and how it connects with the O - all those little rules that make cursive writing make sense.

So this will hopefully feel more natural for you to quilt than some of the other designs we've learned this year!

Make sure to watch the beginning of the video when I explain where to start in the block to stitch in the ditch and knock out the perimeter. You'll want to set it up so you can stitch the word "love" working from left to right, the same way we would write this word on paper. Stitching them backwards would certainly not feel natural or "flow" in the same way!


Just in case you haven't joined in this quilt along yet, you can actually get started anytime by picking up a copy of the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern. It comes with all the piecing AND free motion quilting designs planned out for you to follow. Click here for the download version. 

free motion quilting | Leah Day

In addition to stitching out the cursive word, I also included the little hearts and a little flower on the sides. This is a great example of just how different quilting on a marked line can be verses free hand quilting. On the line I free hand quilted, my flower turned out very differently because I stretched some petals to fill in more space.

Again, this is the nature of free hand quilting - quilting without marks will always be more like your signature - not perfect or imperfect, but uniquely YOU!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

If you really like the repeating hearts, you might want to try Heart Paisley. This pivoting design is created by stacking together hearts, then pivoting off the starting point and echoing multiple times.

If you liked the flower shape, you might want to try Wandering Clover, which is a lot like stippling, but with little clusters of clovers stitched randomly within the space.

Another technique I included in this lesson was Assisted Marking. A lot of times I don't need an entire design marked, but if I want the shapes to be evenly spaced, I'll mark guidelines within the space to break it up.

This is far less time consuming than marking the entire design, but will still give you assistance in placing each letter or shape within the space evenly.

Ultimately I think cursive words would be a great addition to any quilt. It's a way to share a personal message and to put your signature on something that might last beyond your lifetime.

leah day quilts
I have many quilts passed down from grandmothers and great grandmothers from both sides of my family and for most of them, I have absolutely no idea who created these quilts.

I love them, and I take care of them carefully, but it would mean so much more if I knew WHO was behind their creation, and how we are connected.

So even just a little cursive message in one corner "This quilt was stitched with love by.... in 2014" - You can do this now!

One day that little message might make a big difference to someone you might never meet but are somehow connected to, and that quilt might inspire that child, grandchild, great grandchild to pick up quilting too.

All I know is, that's all it took for me!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Binding Craftsy Class

Since finishing quilts has been on my mind, this week I spent some time watching Finishing School: Edges and Bindings and boy! did I learn a lot!

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/Day_476_CP

Binding is one of those things that can be tough to master. We build skills for piecing, applique, and free motion quilting, but the binding is always the last step and tricky to practice on anything other than a quilt that is NEARLY done. Who wants to potentially mess up a quilt that's literally one step from being finished?

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/Day_476_CP
If you've caught yourself in this situation, you definitely need to check out this binding Craftsy class! Mimi Dietrich is a creative, funny teacher who has so much experience explaining the steps to preparing, sewing, and attaching binding to a quilt.

In this class you'll learn how to attach regular folded binding to the edges of a quilt and miter the corners. You'll also learn how to make bias binding and bind around beautiful curves and scallops.

I was especially interested in learning how to pull the backing fabric around to the front to use as binding. I've fiddled with fabric many times trying to get this technique to work, but never found a method that worked consistently. Mimi breaks down this process and even shows how to fold the corners so the binding finishes perfectly all around!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Personally I've found myself in a rut with binding - I know how to do it, but I rarely push beyond the basic turned edge binding. Turns out there's all sorts of decorations and trims you can add like piping, cording, ric rack, lace, prairie points, and ruffles. Additions like these can really make a big difference to even the simplest quilt and Mimi breaks down each technique into clear steps that are easy to follow.

So if binding has been the step you've been avoiding, or you'd like to learn new methods to spice up your quilts, or you're looking for a little challenge and needing a foolproof method for binding a curved or scalloped edge quilt, this is definitely a great class to join!

Of course, this being a Craftsy class, you're guaranteed access to this class FOREVER - it will be your resource to refer back to again and again.

Clearly there's something for everyone in this class, and all skill levels of quilters will find techniques to use for any quilt project. Click here to sign up for Finishing School: Binding & Edging and get 17% off your class.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, March 21, 2014

FMQ Project Link Up

Whoo hoo! I've finished my Building Block quilt!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

It's thrilling to be able to finish this quilt and finally see it all together in one piece. I've finished many quilts over the years, but this one is definitely a favorite.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Which is pretty odd considering that I've finished some really big, beautiful goddess quilts, but I haven't felt the same joy at completion. For most of the quilts I've finished in the past few years, I've largely felt relief that the job was done.

So what is it that makes Building Blocks so special? It think part of it is returning to the basics. Yes, this is a simple, beginner level sampler, but the more I quilt, the more I realize that a quilt doesn't have to be ridiculously complicated in order to be fun.

And a large part of the fun has been sharing every step of this process with all of you! As I put the last finishing stitches in the binding, I realized that this has been the closest experience to a quilting bee that I've ever had, and that the combination of teaching, sharing, and creating is what makes this quilt so special.

So even though my quilt is complete, I find myself still looking forward to Monday and Tuesday when Josh and my lessons are published and seeing everyone's progress with this project. The further we go, the more this fills me with joy!

Well...that's what I've been working on this week! What have you been busy with?

Simple rules for the FMQ Project Link Up:

1. Link up with a post that features something you've learned from the Free Motion Quilting Project.
2. Somewhere in your post, please link back here.
3. Comment on at least 2 other links. Share your love of free motion quilting and make this weekly link up a fun way to connect with other quilters around the world!



Grab a button to easily link back to the Free Motion Quilting Project! 


Free Motion Quilting Project
<div class="Free Motion Quilting Project" style="width: 150px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-q6F-r2YosSY/UuTzebRpLhI/AAAAAAAAJII/JvAHayVWdhI/s1600/fmq+button.jpg" alt="Free Motion Quilting Project" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Seeking FUN not Perfection

It's Wednesday and it seems like forever since I shared a slightly personal, off topic post. Today I'd like to share something I learned in yoga class yesterday.

If you can do this with a smile on your face, you're getting somewhere!
My yoga teacher started off the class by admitting she can be a perfectionist. It's a tendency she battles with a bit - being too picky, trying to do everything herself, the need for control over any situation.

I had to smile at this because this describes me to a T. Despite my frequent reminders to everyone in the world to accept mistakes and not seek perfection with our quilt along project, I find myself unable to practice what I'm preaching myself. I still seek perfection, and I still beat myself up when my stitching or design falls short.

So in yoga we did a funny move that required us to move from one pose to another that was sort of upside down. It didn't feel very natural and many students crashed into one another, or the wall, and began laughing because it's a move that would likely have been easy as kids, but has become a lot more challenging as an a adult.

At the end of class my teacher asked how many students preformed that post perfectly. No one raised their hands.

Then she asked how many of us had FUN. We all raised our hands!

Let's go quilt,

Leah

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Josh's Wiggles & Teeth

Josh here for some wiggles and teeth. Before we jump in to the video, have you checked out our quilt shop lately? Currently all of our download books and videos are 25% off for our St. Patrick's Day sale. We've decided to extend the sale for the rest of the week.

So if you haven't joined our Building Block Quilt Along, now's the perfect time!

Now let's get to Wiggles and Teeth.



This block gives you a nice mixture of straight lines and curves, so you get the best of both worlds when it comes to practice. No travel stitching to speak of or anything technically challenging, so this is a great block for beginners.

The tall and short U-shapes are also excellent primers for getting control over the much more tricky spirals.

Here is how wiggles and teeth looks when finished...

free motion quilting | Leah Day

One last note... if you haven't joined us on our BBQA facebook group, please check out our community. There are quilters all over the world taking part and getting to know each other.

Until next week, let's go quilt!

Josh

Monday, March 17, 2014

11. Quilt a Rail Fence with Wiggles & Teeth

If you've been on the fence about joining our Building Blocks quilt along, now is a great time to do it because March's block is so simple to piece and quilt.Today's design is a perfect example of simple, skill building quilting:
free motion quilting | Leah Day

In this block we're reviewing Wiggly U shapes which we've learned in both our Four Patch and Nine Patch blocks, and learning the straight line / sharp angle variation called Teeth. I'm interested to see which design you like best!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

One thing to understand as we move forward with more designs - you don't have to mark ALL of the designs on the blocks.

Today's design is a great example of a design that really doesn't need to be marked. It's just wiggles and teeth! You can free hand quilt this!

I want to encourage you to try both styles of quilting as much as possible this year because they are both super important to learn.

Please understand that just because you have 42 quilting guides for all of your blocks, you don't have to mark every single one unless you want to.

Another little cheat you can get away with on this block - you really don't HAVE to stitch it in the ditch. If you need to fly through this block quickly, just stitch the perimeter of the block and wiggles and teeth across and that will work just fine. Feel free to alter these designs to make them work for you!

So enjoy quilting these super quick designs this week! If you haven't joined this quilt along yet, remember you can pick up a download copy of the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern right now in our quilt shop.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, March 14, 2014

FMQ Project Link Up

free motion quilting | Leah DayIt's Friday and time to link up and share what we've been working on! This week we got a lot more practice quilting straight lines into our Rail Fence blocks:

I loved seeing the many variations of this block on the Facebook Group! It's so exciting to see all the different fabric choices and design alterations everyone is trying.

free motion quilting | Leah DayYesterday we also learned a new design that will work great in the sashing of any quilt:

This Jagged Flames design is looks a lot like the zigzags we used in the Rail Fence block, but they're more random and free form because they were quilted without marking any lines.

This week I've also been busy connecting all my Building Blocks together. I'm so pleased with how these are coming together and excited to see the finished quilt:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

So that's what I've been up to this week! What have you been busy with?

Simple rules for the FMQ Project Link Up:

1. Link up with a post that features something you've learned from the Free Motion Quilting Project.
2. Somewhere in your post, please link back here.
3. Comment on at least 2 other links. Share your love of free motion quilting and make this weekly link up a fun way to connect with other quilters around the world!




Grab a button to easily link back to the Free Motion Quilting Project! 


Free Motion Quilting Project
<div class="Free Motion Quilting Project" style="width: 150px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-q6F-r2YosSY/UuTzebRpLhI/AAAAAAAAJII/JvAHayVWdhI/s1600/fmq+button.jpg" alt="Free Motion Quilting Project" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>

Thursday, March 13, 2014

#429 - Free Motion Quilt Jagged Flames

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Any chance you remember what you were doing in August 2009? I do - I was just starting this blog and posting the first handful of designs! One of them was Gentle Flames, a beautiful flowing design perfect for your sashing.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Today we're turning those gentle flames into Jagged Flames by changing out the soft curves for zigzags:

)

At the end of this video I went on a little rant about sashing. It really irritates me to see beautifully quilted blocks and borders, but empty sashing! This little narrow space deserves a design, and Jagged Flames would be a great choice for knocking out this area quickly and beautifully.

So don't leave your sashing spaces empty! Fill them up with this design or any other beautiful Edge to Edge Design that you like!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Getting Connected

It's Wednesday and for the first time in weeks I was able to snap a photo of my cutting / pressing table:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Yep, I'm connecting my Building Blocks into rows! It's so nice to see this quilt coming together and taking shape.

It's also nice to double check my instructions and make sure they are accurate. This part of the process has caused a lot of quilters confusion because we're squaring the blocks down to 8 inches, then binding together, which causes the binding to overlap the quilting by 1/4 inch:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

See how the binding covers the circles along the right side of that basket block? When this block is complete, binding will overlap all four sides, but the circles still look great!

This is exactly how I intentionally designed the quilt because the outer edges are usually a bit messy. I liked the idea of hiding the many stitch issues and birds nests that can happen along the perimeter of the block by covering it with binding. This method is also super secure too, and once the blocks are connected, they are NOT coming apart!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I used the same blue fabric for the back binding as the front and side binding. However, you could change this up and cut binding to match your backing fabric instead.

Just watch out for the stitching that secures the binding (unless you hand applique your binding strips down) your stitching will show and contrast if you're changing the fabric colors from the front to the back drastically.

Working on this today has made me super happy. I'm really pleased with how it's all coming together and I can't wait to get it all finished in one piece!

Just in case you're still on the fence about this project, this month really is a great time to jump in because the rail fence block we've been working on is super simple and a great block to get started with. Jump in today - all you need is a copy of the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern and you'll be ready to go!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Josh Quilts Straight Lines in a Rail Fence Block

Josh here, and today I'm taking a crack at some straight and diagonal lines free motion quilted in a rail fence block.


Lot of travel stitching in this one, which means it's a good idea to plan out your path before you begin to minimize unnecessary stitching. The corners gave me some trouble, but all in all, this one wasn't too technically challenging.

Also, if you enjoy stitching triangles, you'll have a lot of fun with this block.

The straight lines are about as basic as you can get. Easy and nothing new, but the practice you'll get is just as important as learning new fillers.

I did have one blunder in this block. I had to hide a thread, so I used a cheater needle (AKA a self threading needle). Leah makes this process so easy--but this time, you'll watch me doing it. The first time was definitely the hardest. If you have the time and inclination, and some scrap fabric, a little practice hiding threads with this process will go a long way.

Here's the finished block:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

And the back:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

As you can see, no trace of the hidden thread.

I enjoyed quilting this block. I hope you will too.

Until next week, let's go quilt.

Josh

Monday, March 10, 2014

10. Quilt a Rail Fence with Straight Lines

Are you ready to tackle more straight lines in free motion?! This week we're quilting our first Rail Fence Block with straight lines and zigzags to create a beautiful new texture over the surface:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Just in case you haven't joined in yet, you can get started today with the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern. The pattern contains all the cutting and piecing instructions, as well as 42 quilting guides so you can mark you block with the designs like the one above.

Also if you're just getting started, please don't feel like you have to rush to catch up from block #1. This Rail Fence block is actually simpler to piece and will be a great place to start this project too!

In this video I share a lot of tips on getting started stitching straight lines and how to keep them straight, even across the full length of the block. Check out the video to get tips on this technique:


In this video I shared a little cheat for hiding mistakes - color them out with a permanent marker!
free motion quilting | Leah Day

I stitched out of the ditch a bit and it was over a black fabric section so to hide it, I simply colored my thread black to blend in with the black fabric. After coloring, can you see where I stitched off in the block photo above?

Just in case you're worried about using a Sharpie on your quilt, you can also use a Micron Pigma Pen, but you'll have to heat set those marks to ensure they stay permanently. Just remember not to heat set anything until AFTER you've washed out your quilting marks!

I've personally never had an issue with using a Sharpie, and I have a big collection of colors so no matter what color the fabric, I can easily hide little mistakes like this. And yes, I have used this little cheat on everything from bed quilts to show quilts!

Do understand that what you see as perfect stitching over a perfect quilt at a quilt show might actually have quite a lot of mistakes, but skill and creativity are used to hide them from sight. If you catch yourself feeling really bad about a mistake, instead of considering how to rip it out, start thinking about how you can cover it up.

Adding more thread, fabric, ink, or decorative embellishments like buttons or hot fix crystals to your quilt are just a few ideas for ways you can hide little mistakes quickly rather than picking up your seam ripper.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quilting Beyond the Basics

www.craftsy.com/ext/Day_166_H
With our work together on the Building Blocks Quilt Along swinging into its third month, you might already be wondering - how do I apply these designs to a bigger quilt?

If you're wanting to learn how to free motion quilt a quilt that's all in one big piece rather than single blocks, you should definitely check out the Craftsy class Free Motion Fillers Volume 1.

In this class I take you through the steps to create the Woven Colors Quilt, a 62" throw sized quilt that is definitely possible to quilt on your home sewing machine!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

www.craftsy.com/ext/Day_166_HLearn how to flow through the quilt from the middle to the outside, switching smoothly from the stippling in the sashing to the stitching in the ditch, to filling in each rectangular block with a different design.

Not only will you learn how to quilt 50 beautiful quilting designs, you'll also learn how to quilt them on a larger scale, perfect for a soft bed quilt!

Now for some nitty gritty details about this class:

Free Motion Fillers Volume 1 is a 5 hour class broken down into multiple lessons so the information is easy to handle. Here's the list of all the lessons within this class:

    free motion quilting | Leah Day
  1. Meet Leah Day
  2. Ugly Stitches & Scale
  3. Independent Designs
  4. Stacking Designs
  5. Pivoting Designs
  6. Echoing Designs
  7. Branching Designs
  8. All Over Quilting
  9. Supplemental Basting Lesson

I'm continually asked about All Over Quilting - how to cover a quilt with a single quilting design, and this class features an entire lesson on covering a baby quilt version of the Woven Colors quilt entirely with Swirling Water. This is definitely a lesson you don't want to miss!

So if you're looking to supersize your quilting abilities and start branching beyond the basics we're learning in the Building Blocks Quilt Along, definitely check out Free Motion Fillers Volume 1 today!

Click here to save $20 and sign up for this class for just $19.99!

Friday, March 7, 2014

FMQ Project Link Up

It's Friday and in the words of my grandpa, it's raining like the dickens! I'm staying warm in my sewing room with a space heater cranked and chugging through all my building blocks:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Yes, I've filmed almost all the videos for this year and will soon be completing my quilt! I'm so happy with this project and excited about the many blocks and quilting designs we will stitch together in the spring, summer, and fall.

Speaking of blocks, this week we learned how to piece a rail fence block! This one was super easy to piece because there were no seams to match. In the words of James - Easy Peasey Lemon Squeezie!

Okay, clearly I'm in a weird mood today...

On the free motion front, I also shared Basic Star:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I really love this simple design and I'm still wondering about my idea with hot fix crystals set in the center of every star. It might be something to try this weekend just for fun!

So that's what I've been busy with this week! What have you been up to?

Simple rules for the FMQ Project Link Up:

1. Link up with a post that features something you've learned from the Free Motion Quilting Project.
2. Somewhere in your post, please link back here.
3. Comment on at least 2 other links. Share your love of free motion quilting and make this weekly link up a fun way to connect with other quilters around the world!


Grab a button to easily link back to the Free Motion Quilting Project!

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