The Free Motion Quilting Project: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bent knees are okay here...

Leah Day | yoga pose
Well if that isn't the weirdest title to a blog post I've ever written! This is something my yoga teacher said yesterday that struck me as both funny and amazing all at the same time:

"And forward fold, place your hands on the floor. Bent knees are okay here....actually bent knees are okay for the rest of your life!"

Basically what she was saying is - it's okay to make this easy for yourself. 

And not just right here, for this particular forward fold...it's okay to make your life easier ALWAYS.

As soon as I heard my teacher say this, my face split into a crazy grin. I instantly loved this idea and kept repeating it to myself.

I love this idea because I'm usually working in the exact opposite direction. I'm the queen of complication. I over think things until I give myself a headache. I plan until I'm crazy overwhelmed with details, and then I plan some more just to make sure everything will be just right.

But sometimes, I just need to step back, take a break, and make my life easier, even if it's as simple as bending my knees so I can ease into a yoga pose, let my muscles relax, and then stand stronger within the pose for a longer period of time.

Leah Day | yoga pose

I know I've talked a lot this year about perfection - why we strive for it, but how it can also hold us back because the time taken to rip out every offending stitch is time we could be quilting and building skill.

Lately I've been trying to ease up on myself and practice what I've been preaching!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

More specifically, I've been quickly quilting through my batting test sandwiches. Because this is quick quilting, I've not bothered with quilting perfectly on the lines or even within the ditches, and my travel stitching is a total mess.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
When I think about this too much, it really starts to upset me! I will most likely take these samples with me to classes, where they will be seen by students and AHH! What if they SEE all that IMPERFECTION?! What will they THINK?!

Yes, this is what my brain likes to do. Run wild with accusations and "what if's" and obsess about the thoughts other people have, which I can't control even if I tried.

I know this, and these days I can at least smile at my silly brain, but it still takes effort not to pick up my seam ripper and obsessively rip out every imperfect stitch.

But when I think of that yoga line - it's okay to bend your knees, it's okay to be easy on yourself. It's okay! - I feel less panicked and more willing to accept myself and my stitches no matter how they look.

So yeah, that line of panicked thinking is still there, but today at least, I'm going to bend my knees, make my life a little easier, and focus on the fun of quilting all these squishy sandwiches and seeing what batting becomes my new favorite.

Isn't it nice to have a reminder that life really can be easy? Just bend your knees and ease into it!

Let's go quilt,

Leah

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Josh's Circuit Board

Josh here, and today our design is circuit board, a very cool filler which has all kinds of potential.

Let's get right to the video.


And here's the completed block:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

The 1" scale, no problem, just going through the motions. The half and quarter inch were also easy but provided some good practice. Remember, the key to learning free motion quilting is repetition, repetition.

At the 1:54 mark, I had a bird's nest issue, but the machine managed to get through it.

This was my favorite pattern for the whole modern block template. It just has this cool Pac Man board, science fiction feel to it. Stitching on the 1/4" scale was also fun, and even the 1/8" wasn't too challenging, although you'll note I did stop to rest my eyes. Working on small scale, you can definitely get an optical illusion effect.

This is the last block in our modern block, so I will see you in two weeks as we tackle a drunkard's path block.

Josh

Monday, April 28, 2014

17. Quilt Circuit Board over a Building Block

 I think I'm hearing an international collective sigh of relief that we are finally done with this modern Building Block! Today we are indeed finishing our last block for this month with Circuit Board:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Circuit Board is basically a straight line / right angle version of Stippling. Instead of stitching curves and wiggles, just stitch straight lines and you end up with this maze-like texture.

Just in case you've never quilted Circuit Board before, here's a few videos you might want to check out first. And remember, it's never a waste of time to quilt this design in a practice sandwich to get the hang of it before tackling your block!
www.craftsy.com/ext/LeahDay_166_H 
Original Circuit Board Post 

2012 Quilt Along #17 - Get Wired with Circuit Board!

Circuit Board was also featured in my Craftsy class Free Motion Fillers Volume 1. Click here to get 50% off this fun quilting class!

So these earlier videos will definitely help you get the general idea and flow to Circuit Board. Now let's learn how to quilt this design in multiple sizes within our modern Building Block:



free motion quilting | Leah Day
If you find yourself getting stuck in the 1/8 inch scale of this design, remember you can always return to the Teeth design we learned in block #3. Just a row of those boxy, blocky shapes should get you back on track!

So Circuit Board works the same as Stippling - flow through the quilting space in rows that appear random, and try not to cross the lines of quilting. The only difference is the line itself - Circuit Board has straight lines and 90 degree angles.

You can find many more quilting designs that work in this similar way in the Independent Design Family. If you really like Stippling and Circuit Board, chances are you'll really enjoy many of these designs too!

http://www.leahday.com/shop/product/building-blocks-download-quilt-pattern/
Remember you can join in the fun of this Quilt Along anytime by picking up a copy of the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern! Click here to learn more.

Other posts for this month include:


You can also click here to find all the videos for the Building Blocks Quilt Along.

And don't forget to check back tomorrow for Josh's take on this fun block!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, April 25, 2014

FMQ Project Link Up

free motion quilting | Leah DayWhat a busy week of quilting! On Monday we free motion quilted gridlines in multiple scales over a modern Building Block:

Josh also quilted this block, but cheated a bit in the smallest section. Well, he said he'd quilt all the blocks, but he never promised to quilt ALL the lines!

This week I've also been quilting small random scrap blocks to test different battings. This has been a fun way to test both the Quilt ME! Fabric and several different bats and fibers. I will be posting some results each week along with a little review.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
One cool note - Jennifer from Quilter's Dream Batting commented on batting test post with an offer for interested quilters to sample the Dream Green batting! Make sure to read her comment and shoot an email to Quilter's Dream to get the chance to try out this cool, earth friendly batting.

Also shared this week was the neat new free motion quilting design called Fish Fins. Needing a little fishy texture for your next quilt?

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Whew! I said I've been busy! 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!


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, April 24, 2014

#432 - Free Motion Quilt Fish Fins

It's been awhile since I posted a new quilting design, and this one is perfect for the start of fishing season!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This pivoting design is pretty similar to Swirling Petals and Spike Paisley, except the outer echo is pointy like a fish's fins. I admit, this pointy echo doesn't come naturally to me, so I had to concentrate a bit more while quilting around the spike shapes.

Let's watch the video to see how this pretty design works in free motion!



When quilting like this, it's important to have both control over the quilting square, and the ability to move it smoothly and evenly over the surface of the machine. Here's a few tools that I'm using in the video that might make this process easier for you too!

Now WHERE will Fish Fins work best in a quilt? Because this design works in single clusters (stitch the spikes, pivot, echo to expand the shape) you can pretty much fit this design anywhere! Stitch it through your sashing to add a funky, fish theme around blocks, or shrink it down a bit to quilt around appliques. The sky (or should we say sea?) is the limit with this fun design!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Testing Batting and Fabric

I'm testing batting today!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

free motion quilting | Leah DayI've been wanting to do this for MONTHS, but haven't found the time, or the project to do it with. I've had this huge stack of batting in the corner of my sewing room and I've wanted to test each one to know how they will feel and look after quilting.

At this point it's just too risky for me to go throwing some random batting into the middle layers of my quilts. I certainly did this in the beginning when I first started quilting, and I rarely thought anything of it.

These days I know that it's not the piecing, or the quilting that truly determine the feel and look of a finished quilt - it's the BATTING.

This super important squishy layer determines the warmth, weight, drape, shrinkage, softness or stiffness that your finished quilt will feature. There's no getting around the batting - quilts must have it to be a quilt, and this is also something that you really, REALLY don't want to screw up.

I've had a stack of small battings to test for awhile now, but no time or project they would work with. Because each batting will shrink differently, I can't really make this into a quilt. I also need to write down the names of all the battings so I remember which is which, which will probably not look so great.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Finally I gave myself permission just to test for the sake of testing! When all my squares are quilted and washed a few times, I'll pop them into a binder to store them for future reference. This way when I'm looking for a super lightweight batting that creates a cute crinkly effect on the quilt surface, I won't have to guess and wonder which batting is the best for that purpose.

And since I love killing multiple birds with one stone, I'm also testing the limits of my Quilt Me! Fabric line.

Making fabric that could be quilted on the lines has been fun, but I didn't understand some limitations that this would create. Like the difficulty (or necessity) of matching straight lines together in the corners...definitely didn't see that one coming!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Also when two fabrics that are the same quilting design are next to each other, it might look a little weird after the block is quilted...

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Orange Pebbling right next to Blue Pebbling? Hmmm....
I didn't account for these issues when designing the fabric, but now having cut it and pieced with it, there's definitely some considerations to be made. Like for borders and sashing, instead of carrying this fabric to the corners and trying to match it together, you'd probably need to insert cornerstone instead to break up the print / design.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Here I've added cornerstones so the lines in the sashing fabric don't have to match perfectly.
Finding out these little tips has been fun! The point and purpose of the fabric was for teaching quilting and helping students practice, but I'm getting to learn a lot through this process and it's both exciting and challenging at the same time.

Once I'm through with all the testing and playing with both the fabric and different battings, I'm going to pick a new batting I like to go into the little feature quilt above. This quilt combines both some Building Blocks Cheater Cloth blocks and Quilt ME! fabric to make a bright, beautiful throw sized quilt.

So that's what I've been working on today! I've finally let go of my worries of "wasting time" with this batting test idea. It's definitely not a waste of time if these squares help me make better batting decisions in the future. After all this work my motto has truly become - Don't Guess - TEST!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Josh's Gridlines

Josh here for my crack at "gridlines" in a modern Building block.


Once again, we have some dense 1/8" scale stitching. This is a great practice block! No curves, no circles, no stippling--just basic straight lines, and a whole lot of them. We have 1", 1/2", 1/4", and 1/8" scales. The key here to find a good path and minimize travel stitching, and since everything is broken down in grids, this comes pretty naturally without having to plot a complicated course beforehand.

That said, this one took a lot of time, so if you're a beginner like me, make sure you have a good 30 minutes to an hour.

The diagonal lines in the corner mixed things up a bit, especially as you had to maneuver around the edge and my fingers didn't have enough room outside the block.

Because I'm using Spoonflower cheater fabric, I elected to skip every other line in the 1/8" section as the lines were already on the block. As I write this and watch the video, I can see I now have a lot more experience under my belt and if I had to stitch this dense area now I think I'd flip over the block and stitch by freehand on the 1/8" scale.

Here's how the block came out:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

And the back:
free motion quilting | Leah Day

I'm proud of this one. Once the quilt is assembled, the dense travel stitching and errors on the edges will disappear, and I hope this block will really stand out.
Until next week, let's go quilt!

Josh

Monday, April 21, 2014

16. Quilt a Building Block with Gridlines

Is it just me or is this month just flying by?! We're already on our second block, quilting Gridlines in multiple sizes so you're going to get loads of practice quilting straight lines in free motion!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

For this block we're again getting experience quilting with the lines 1 inch apart, 1/2 inch apart, 1/4 inch apart, and 1/8 inch apart.

For marking, I found the 1 and 1/2 inch grid sections to be easy enough to mark with a ruler over my lightbox. For the diagonal 1/4 inch section, I marked a single line in the middle of the space, then used a rotary ruler to mark the remaining lines within the space. That's one nice thing about lines - they can be easily marked with a ruler!

For the 1/8th inch section, marking is quite tricky because the marked lines could easily get so wide they all bleed together. See how I worked around this issue in our weekly video:


Remember you can still join the Building Blocks Quilt Along any time! Hop into this project by either purchasing the pattern, or the Cheater Cloth, now available in multiple colors!

So how did you like this Gridlines design? Easier than last week's Stippling on multiple scales?

Josh had pretty strong opinions about both designs so definitely stop in tomorrow to see his take on this block!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

I hope you're having a wonderfully relaxing Easter day! We've had a wonderfully laid-back holiday, full of all of our favorite things. Of course we had to start the day with a big mug of hot chocolate (really it's just hot milk and Ovaltine):

James Day
James Day

We've had a lot of wet, rainy weather lately, so we decided an egg hunt in the yard would probably be too messy and gross (mud + chocolate = gross). Instead we did a little egg trail down the hallway to James's Easter basket, which included some candy, but also books and markers.

James was super happy and has declared this day "the BEST day ever!" many times. But he sort of broke my heart when he asked "So, is the Easter Bunny real or did you put all these eggs out?"

The days of fooling my sweet boy are over! I came clean honestly that nope, the Easter Bunny isn't real, but he's a fun idea to play with and make-believe. So far this hasn't translated over to "Is Santa real?" but I have a feeling that will be coming this December. Oh well...I always knew that would be a short, sweet ride!

Speaking of sweet, don't these eggs look beautiful?

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Josh threw that one brown egg into the bunch so you can see just how blue and pretty these eggs are by comparison!

These are eggs from our backyard flock of chickens, and many are so bright blue we don't even need to dye them. These come from chickens called "Easter Eggers" which are hybrids of South American Ameraucana chickens. Josh has had only one Ameraucana chicken, but he's kept the blue egg gene alive by incubating eggs and hatching dozens of baby chicks over the years.


One of our other favorite things to do on Sunday is to make a big breakfast or brunch. Josh and I both love to cook, and we cook really well together as a team almost every evening. This morning we tried a new recipe from Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking show. Josh made the beans and I made the potato cakes:


I was so proud of this meal I took a picture of it! I've wanted to make potato cakes for YEARS, but every time I tried, they would literally melt in the pan into a gooey mess of potato and oil. The trick - add flower until the potatoes feel more like dry cookie dough and fry in only a little oil and butter. YUM!

After this wonderfully relaxing morning, I'm headed downstairs to do more of what I love - quilting!

Happy Easter!

Leah

Friday, April 18, 2014

FMQ Project Link Up

It's Friday and time to share what we've been quilting this week. This week I've been working on a new book! I'm not ready to spill the beans completely on this project, but suffice it to say it's going to be BIG with loads of information, pretty photos, and a few fun projects to try out!

free motion quilting | Leah DayWhen I go into writing mode, I tend to spend a lot more time on the computer than usual, which means my sewing machine is feeling a bit neglected. Rather than fall too deeply into this rut, I'm making an effort to get downstairs and piece or quilt SOMETHING every day.

This week I received samples and some yardage of my Quilt Me! Fabric from Spoonflower and had loads of fun cutting and piecing with it. It's interesting to find the limitations of this fabric - like how the Gridlines are tricky to match:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
free motion quilting | Leah Day
I didn't even attempt to match the lines here, thinking it would still look okay. After the final seam and press, however, I could literally feel my grandmother's spirit cringing at the sight of the mismatching lines. She was a stickler for matching strips and lines and this would have made her very unhappy!

So back to the drawing board...or rather the cutting table! I found if I filled the corners with little squares instead, matching the lines of the design wouldn't matter a bit:

It's really interesting to play with these fabrics and figure out what works and what doesn't. Because this fabric has such big designs, I think it's going to work best when cut into larger pieces. My third attempt at a block was my favorite - an 8.5 inch square surrounded with 3.5 inch strips and 3.5 inch corner squares.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Working in this free form way was fun, but it wasn't always this way. I used to get really bogged down with my inner negative voice when working like this, mostly if my first attempt at something didn't come out perfect the first time.

These days I try to remain mindful that design is messy and never perfect. It doesn't always work out the first time, and yes, there is waste of fabric and time to figure out what works and what doesn't. It's all part of the process!

So how about you? Do you give yourself a break when you're trying something new, or do you demand perfection with every block and every seam?

It's your turn to share what you've been quilting this week!

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, April 16, 2014

New Colorful! Cheater Cloth

Yes! After a lot of fiddling with colors and fine tuning of designs, we have our Colorful Cheater Cloth!

Building Blocks Colorful Cheater Cloth on White

This collection of all 42 blocks in the Building Blocks Quilt Along as been quite a lot of effort to plan and color, but it's so colorful and cheerful - it was worth every second!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I have to admit, I never really understood the appeal of fabric design before because it just seemed really fiddly and complicated. Well, it is fiddly and complicated, but man, there's nothing like the feeling of slicing into my fabric and piecing it up into beautiful blocks.

The blocks here are from my Quilt Me! Fabric line, which was designed with the same colors as the Building Blocks Cheater Cloth. You can mix and match the two together to create some really neat blocks:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This is the Spinning Square Block in green from the Building Blocks Colorful Cheater Cloth

The idea behind this fabric and the cheater cloth is the quilting design is printed on the fabric making it easy to quilt on the lines and get loads of practice for free motion quilting.

No, the lines on the fabric won't wash out after quilting - they're permanent - but isn't this a cool way to practice and make a beautiful quilt at the same time?!

Looking at all the designs I've created over the years, I'm a bit excited and overwhelmed with all the possibilities for new fabric designs. I know I'd love to see fabric printed with feather filler and swirling water...What designs would you love to see in fabric?

Let's go quilt,

Leah

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Josh's Stippling

Josh here, and today I'm tackling stippling on my Spoonflower cheater cloth.


This was really my first go at extended stippling. I found it imperative to have practiced the wiggly U filler shapes and gotten comfortable with them before trying my hand at proper stippling. Looking at the completed block below, ultimately my best work was done over the 1/4" scale stippling, in the square blue corner. This scale came very naturally to me. The larger I found it harder to stay on line, and the 1/8" scale... well, if you watched the whole video, I wasn't shy on sharing my opinion.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

And now for the flip side:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

You can see how things went off the rails at the 1/8" level. Frankly, I just wasn't ready for that scale and tight stitching. Turning the block over and working freehand was helpful, in the end, but looking at the finished block now, I wish I'd continued with the 1/4" scale over the smaller stippling. I think that would have made a cool effect.

You can also see all the "bird's beaks" (the sharp edges on the tiny stippling) on the 1/8" scale. I just didn't have enough control to make the curves, regardless of what I tried.

This was still an excellent learning experience. If you're a beginner like I am, I would absolutely suggest practicing on a scrap block.

Did you have trouble with this one? Was the 1/8" scale a bane of your free motion existence as it was for me? Comment below!

Until next week,

Let's go... stipple!

Josh

Leah's note: Josh was fiddling a lot with his speed slider. This can be very distracting and can inhibit learning proper speed control by working the pedal. If you have a speed slider, it's best to pick a speed and leave it alone while you learn the basics of free motion quilting.

All of the slower speeds you need for the denser quilting can be found in your foot pedal. You just have to figure out how to adjust your ankle and foot to find those slower, steady speeds. Fiddling with a speed slider is just going to become a distraction and something you're continually adjusting for every line of quilting you do. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

15. Quilt a Building Block with Stippling

It's time to learn about Stippling! This super popular free motion quilting design is a great choice for beginning quilters to tackle because there's no travel stitching involved. The rule behind this design is simple - Just wiggle! and try not to cross your lines of quilting.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Because Stippling is so popular, I've actually shot many video of this design over the years. If you've never quilted Stippling, you might want to check out these videos and try out this design in a practice sandwich first and get familiar with the simple shapes and movement. Here's a few posts and videos to check out from the past:


Lately I've been thinking of a fun analogy for quilting designs - it's really like a relationship!

In order to quilt a design well, you have to first meet and see if you like each other. Some designs you stitch out will just not be friendly at first and you may need to meet other designs before you find the right one.

Then you get to know one another by hanging out a lot. You learn where the design works best, where it looks good, and the better you know it, the better you like it!

Understand that you're never wasting time by stitching a design you know, or by practicing a design you're learning. You're just building a relationship that will make free motion quilting easier with every design you learn.

So a funny way to look at this block is as dinner date with Stippling. Try not to curse at him! He might be a bit random, but very wiggly all around!


free motion quilting | Leah Day
A quick reminder if you haven't yet joined us on this super fun quilt along - You can join anytime by picking up a copy of the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern right here!


So after stitching 1 inch, 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch, and 1/8 inch stippling - what is your favorite scale?

Were you able to shrink down your stitching, or did that feel like a struggle?

What did you think about quilting each section of the block in rows?

Do you need all your lines marked, or can you quilt this free hand without marks?

Share your experience and ask any questions you have about quilting Stippling on these multiple scales!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, April 11, 2014

FMQ Project Link Up

It's Friday and time to link up with the cool things we've free motion quilted this week!

This week I've been putting the finishing touches on my first fabric line. I'm calling it Quilt ME! and it's fabric designed to be cut and pieced like normal fabric, but the quilting design is printed too, so to quilt, all you have to do is follow the lines:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This has been tons of fun to play with, but lots and lots of work! I never new it was so tricky to get all the lines to connect together just right. It makes me respect fabric manufacturers so much more because they handle the repeats for hundreds of designs a year.

Just in case you're interested in designing fabric yourself, I learned how to do this from the book: A Field Guide to Fabric Design

Basically you start with an idea and draw the lines on small square of paper. To get the repeats to connect perfectly, you cut the paper apart and tape it back together, drawing more lines that cover the gaps.

It's a bit hard to explain, but this book does such a great job explaining the process. I decided to start small with just 5 designs: Stippling, Pebbling, Paisley, Gridlines, and one rainbow diamond stripe that could work as a border fabric for fun.

Despite the effort to color and design each fabric, I'm extremely pleased with the results and super happy to have such bright, cheerful colors to play with!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I plan to use my sample squares to test different battings to know how they act - how it would shrink, how my quilting stitches would look, if the quilt would be soft or not, etc. The only way to test batting is to put it in a sandwich, quilt it, zigzag the edges then throw it in the wash and see what happens.

Today I'm going to cut 12 inch squares of batting and piece together samples from my Quilt Me! Fabric and quilt on the lines. The lines are spaced 1/2 inch apart, which is my preferred scale for bed quilts.

I also plan to quilt a small section of each block very densely. I really want to see how different battings react to dense quilting. I'm looking for a batting that will still finish soft, but not too wrinkly and crinkly.

So that's what I'm up to today! 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, April 10, 2014

#431 - Free Motion Quilt Blazing Spiral

I'm needing a new design fix today! This design is based on Basic Spiral, but with little pointy ends like flames to make it Blazing Spiral:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I read somewhere last year that Spirals are the new Stippling, which made me laugh at the whole fashionista sound of that. After all, gray is now the new white!

But it's understandable why they are so popular. Spirals add a beautiful flowing texture to your quilt. Even as an all over design, this isn't going to be boring!


The really nice thing about this design is you can use it to hide mistakes! I was stitching on all the lines in a Peaceful Goddess Panel and stitched off a bit.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Last year, I probably would have broken thread and started ripping out this little mistake. These days I'm refusing to rip, which means I have to find ways to hide mistakes like this within the quilting design.

So I decided to turn that little stitch off into a Blazing Spiral shape:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I stitched the Blazing Spiral, reconnected with the marked line and hid the mistake in one fell swoop. Then continued to stitch up the line (staying on it a bit better this time) and stitch more spirals into the space:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

As the space became narrower, I had to work off the outer lines a lot more. Basically I'd stitch into the space with half or a piece of the flame shape, echo quilt to fill it, then travel along the outer lines to space the next line.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

After I reached the tip of the hair section, I turned the quilt around and stitched Blazing Spiral all the way back to the end:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

All told, this section may have taken 10 minutes to quilt, mostly because I kept stopping to shoot photos. Yes, this smaller scale stitching does take more time, but look how many repetitions of the design I was able to fit into this small space:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

free motion quilting | Leah Day
In the video and in the goddess panel I quilted this design on a small scale. If you're wanting to learn this design on a bigger scale, you'll want to check out the Craftsy class Free Motion Fillers Volume 1.

In this class I teach 50 designs on a larger scale as we work through all the blocks in a cuddly throw sized quilt.

While the movement of the design remains the same, working on a bigger scale definitely adds new challenges as you have to move more of the quilt, shifting the bulk and weight continually, as you form each Blazing Spiral shape. Get tips on working with bigger quilts on your home machine by signing up Free Motion Fillers Volume 1 today and get 50% off your class pass.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day
Related Posts with Thumbnails