The Free Motion Quilting Project: August 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Quilting the Dream Goddess Part 2

I caught the most horrible cold this week, which was really unfortunate since I was planning to shoot new quilting videos. Gah! Right now I sound like a cross between a massive bull frog and chain smoking 60 year old man. Seriously! My father-in-law called yesterday and thought he got the wrong number when I croaked out my weird "Hello."

I'm feeling much better, but I still can't film today. I can share some pretty photos of my pretty Dream Goddess who is back on the machine after going to jail for a solid month:

goddess quilt | Leah Day
Why was Dreamy in jail? Partly because I was getting dead bored of all the feathers in her hair. She has three solid layers of hair filled with hundreds of feathers and...there's only so much of the same repetitive design that I can take. I'm channeling my inner feather nerd with this quilt, but too much of anything makes Leah a dull girl.
goddess quilt | Leah Day
So I was ready for a break and I also had videos for a new video workshop to create. It was a nice timing coincidence and I didn't feel guilty for abandoning Dreamy for wholecloth quilts for the last month.

I figured by the time I finished the videos for this new video workshop, I'd probably be in the mood to knock out the last layer of Dreamy's hair. Surprise, surprise, it worked! I'm neck deep in feathers again and couldn't be happier.
Dream Goddess Quilt | Leah Day
It's not always easy to balance quilting for work and quilting for my personal enjoyment. Back when I first began my business, I thought I would only quilt what I wanted to quilt, whenever I felt like quilting it.

It's taken me a few years to find a balance and be willing to trade off between projects like this. The hardest thing for me is not flying through a project, pedal to the metal. While I like to THINK the finished quilt is what makes me happy, really it's the journey of stitching out every detail that is really the point.

quilted goddess | Leah Day
It's wonderful that this particular quilt is allowing me so much space and freedom as I create her. Dream Goddess is exactly that - how your dreams and thoughts manifest themselves to create your life. What I've focused on the most while creating this quilt is figuring out an answer to that question - What do you really want?

I know now what I don't want: I don't want to travel. I don't want to be in a different city every month. I feel totally crazy and out of my element when I'm bouncing around so much, and it's not good for my family either.

I've felt a lot of pressure for years to travel and be in a million places every year. I'm already preparing myself for the hundreds of questions this fall "Are you going to quilt market? Will I see you in Houston?" Nope. Definitely not.

For the longest time I felt like I SHOULD like to travel. Aren't all successful, independent, entrepreneurial women into traveling? Shouldn't I want more than my small home in my small NC town?

I think the message this quilt was bringing me the whole time is that no - I don't have to like those things, or be someone different. I'm enough doing what I'm doing, being who I want to be, even if that is the simple goal to be a great wife and mother and online teacher.

And now that I've figured that out, I think it's actually a harder thing to do. It's harder to stay simple and small. It's really hard to say "No" to the options and ideas that will complicate our lives, or make me disappear from my home for days or a whole week at a time.

I want to create is a peaceful, happy home. That is the landscape I'm focusing on, dreaming of, and actively creating every single day.

dream goddess quilt | Leah Day
So what do you focus on every day? What kind of landscape are you creating every day?

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, August 28, 2015

Quilty Box Challenge - Cute Coaster Project

I received my August Quilty Box last week and I was so excited by the cool gear inside!

 This box included the book Sweet Tweets by Erin Cox, which is a super cute quilting box filled with raw-edge appliqued birds that are thread sketched with black thread to give them a unique appearance.

This box also included thread, yarn, a crochet hook, precut 5" squares of fabric, and batting...so I instantly thought of creating a cute coaster for my table. See how I did it in this video:



I did have to use French Fuse, Lite Steam-a-Seam 2, and black embroidery thread in addition to the materials in the Quilty Box. I have so much of this gear laying around that I'm feeling really tempted to make a whole set of cute apple coasters for the table!

This project only took around 2 hours to complete, and that was because I had to film myself making it. I really enjoyed combining so many different techniques and teaching crochet. Do you feel inspired to give crochet a try now?

Definitely check out Quilty Box if you'd like to receive a box of cool gear each month and have the challenge to make something fun with it. Time to get quilty!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Ruler Quilting Class with Amy Johnson!

At MQX this year I saw so many awesome longarm rulers and found many companies that are bringing ruler quilting to home sewing machines. Of course I brought home a ton of rulers to play with, but how do I use them?

Thankfully Craftsy is on the ball and has found the best ruler work teacher, Amy Johnson, to create a new class: Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine. What an awesome class! It just launched yesterday and already I understand this new world of quilting so much better!

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LeahDay_5270_CP
A few weeks ago Amy shared an interview with me, and now it's my turn to interview her about quilting, teaching, and this new exciting class. 

Welcome Amy! Can you share a bit about yourself and your wonderful blog to get started?

Thanks Leah. I began quilting in my teens even though there were no quilters in my family. My mother had taught me to use an old Singer and we had done a little garment sewing together, but she was not a sewing enthusiast. Once she taught me the basics, I was forging ahead on my own. My mom was a thoroughly modern working woman, and I perplexed her with my interest in sewing, cooking, horses and farming.

Sewing and creating with needle and thread continued to be a presence occasionally as a young adult, but it wasn’t until I had children that quilting became my go-­to hobby. All of a sudden, the only thing in my life that stayed done was stitching. Laundry, dishes, housework, they never stayed done, but my stitching gave me a sense of accomplishment and a creative outlet.

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LeahDay_5270_CPThen my husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer and things got very scary. One year later he was declared cancer­ free and I had passed hours upon hours in doctor’s offices and hospitals drawing my quilting designs. Drawing improved my quilting immensely and I credit the occasional escape of quilting to helping to keep myself together during that time.

I started blogging December of 2010 (see Amy's awesome blog here), just to share my work, or my quilting adventures as I like to call them, just as my hubby was undergoing chemo. When I started blogging, my kids had just turned 1, 4, and 6 and we had 4 more months of chemo to get through. I was a wreck, but quilting and blogging really did help get me through that time.

As I began to gain skill and the blog grew in readership, I began not just sharing my projects, but sharing tips. I had no idea that my blog would eventually be so well received. I have received wonderful comments from all over the world and while they thank me for teaching them, I still feel like I’m just sharing what I do, and their comments bring me great joy. Quilters really are the most wonderfully encouraging people!

What made you interested in free motion quilting in particular?

Because I liked that feeling of having something finished and staying that way, I wanted to speed things up. Up until this point I was a hand quilter and almost felt that machine quilting was ‘cheating’.

It wasn’t until I saw some gorgeous, top­notch, award­-winning machine quilting that I realized that there was a massive amount of skill and artistry involved. I finally experimented with machine quilting. When I figured out free motion quilting was like drawing with needle and thread, I was hooked.

Because I hadn’t already been piecing a lot of quilts, I found myself doing more applique and whole cloth quilts which gave me room and freedom to make the quilting really shine. It suited my free­-spirited nature since I favored free flowing designs and the graphic nature of the stitching itself over the precision of piecing. I’ve become a better piecer over time, but I still see creating a top as a canvas for my quilting.

Do you mostly quilt on a home sewing machine? Have you ever quilted on a longarm?

http://www.freemotionquiltingadventures.com/Because I couldn’t get away to take classes in person, I turned to the internet. When I found videos of long arm quilters, I was fascinated. I loved their style and it seemed so effortless. I was even encouraged to long arm as a business, but a long arm was not in my future; small house, small kids, small budget.

I have tried stitching on a long arm a time or two, but it feels so out of control to me compared to the control I have at my sewing machine. I’ve enjoyed quilting on a variety of sit down long arm machines too and they are wonderful, but I continue to stitch on a sewing machine.

Granted, it’s now a nice Janome 8200 which has 11 inches to the right of the needle. It was a big step for me to move to a larger machine. I didn’t want my readers and students to think that they needed a big machine to do free motion quilting.

What do you think the biggest challenge is for us teaching free motion quilting?

The biggest challenge is to convince students that there’s nothing to fear from free motion quilting, and that it’s a skill only developed by practice. Those long hours I spent doodling quilting designs helped me immensely.

Beginners are afraid to mess up their quilts and aren’t sure where to stitch next when quilting. Drawing and working on practice pieces address both of those fears.

So tell me about your awesome new Craftsy class! I hear it's about quilting with rulers!

I am so excited about my class, Quilting With Rulers on a Home Machine. I’ve had blog readers asking for an online class for some time. Even though I’ve got quite a few YouTube videos available, I haven’t been able to go into the detail with them like I can in this class.

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LeahDay_5270_CP
Using rulers on a stationary machine (whether a sewing machine or sit down long arm) is an adaptation I developed from a common long arm technique. It was made possible from discovering a ruler foot made for a frame system could actually be used on my sewing machine.

This allowed me to safely guide my free motion quilting with a ruler along my free motion foot. Best of all, you don’t have to be an advanced level quilter to use the technique. You only need to be comfortable with the basics of moving the quilt sandwich under the machine.

Advanced quilters love how ruler work creates the structure or bones of the design from which they can build upon with their regular free motion work. Newer quilters enjoy having the rulers guide them where to go next as they follow the edge of the ruler.

What made you want to use longarm rulers on a domestic machine?

Having been a fan of traditional hand quilting designs, and seeing these designs recreated by longarmers with the aid of rulers, I wanted to try it with my sewing machine. I loved how crosshatching, swags, and other line­based designs combined with feathers and fillers for a beautiful effect but I hated doing a lot of measuring and marking in order to create similar designs on my sewing machine with a walking foot or regular free motion quilting.

Ruler work allows such great design opportunities. First of all, it makes straight lines incredibly straight and curves are nice and smooth. It helps give a quilt structure and ‘resting places’ for the eyes. Ruler work also yields beautiful designs without necessarily being as dense as a lot of jaw­dropping free motion work.

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/LeahDay_5270_CP

What is your number one goal with teaching quilting?

My number one goal is to take the fear out of free motion quilting and encourage my students’ creativity.

What question do you get asked the MOST?

Right now with ruler work, the biggest question is what foot to use with rulers on various brands of sewing machine. But there are several sources for these feet listed on my blog here.

Beyond that, the next question is where do I go next? That question is often answered by encouraging students to draw their designs with an eye for what I call mapping. Mapping is figuring out how to change directions when quilting a design to get where you need to go.

What question do you wish you were asked more often?

That’s easy! I want them to ask, “What’s next?” When they ask that question, I know they feel a measure of confidence with what they are currently doing and are ready to move on to something new or take their quilting to the next level.

If you had no quilts in process, no projects in the works, what would you want to start fresh right now?

That is the hardest question you’ve asked, Leah! I’ve got so many projects in the works, quilts unfinished, and projects I want to make that I have trouble looking ahead with a fresh eye.

I’d probably sit down with a quilt sandwich made from a single piece of a beautiful solid fabric, mark a few registration lines to create a scaffold with rulers and then quilt to my heart’s content.

Beyond quilting, I feel like I’ve just started a fresh new season of my life as the kids are now all in school, my quilting business is expanding in ways I never imagined, my husband is healthy and so encouraging, I’ve got a wonderful community of online quilty friends, and life is good.

Life is good! I love Amy's perspective on quilting and I hope you've enjoyed learning more about this awesome quilting teacher. Click Here to check out Amy's new class and save 25% on your class pass.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, August 24, 2015

Free Motion Quilting Hot Path #450

Today we're going to free motion quilt our 450th design in the Free Motion Quilting Project! Can you believe we've done so many?

This is a cute, edge to center design which would work great in both sashing and borders. Let's take a look at how to free motion quilt this pretty design:



Hot Path is an Edge to Center design, which makes it perfect for narrow spaces. I decided to stitch it into a long, skinny rectangle similar to sashing, but you could easily use it in blocks or borders too. Where do you plan to try Hot Path?

Find so much more machine quilting inspiration in the book 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs, which showcases 365 of our 450 beautiful free motion quilting designs!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Flowing Leaves Table Runner

Fall is a great time for leaf designs of all shapes and sizes, so I used that as my inspiration for the latest issue of Quiltmaker Magazine!

This table runner pattern is very easy with simple piecing and very quick fusible applique leaves. I decided to finish the applique edges with a blanket stitch after the table runner was basted so I could flow straight into echoing the leaf shapes with my walking foot.

This project ended up taking only a few hours to complete, and is such a beautiful addition to our table! Watch how I quilted the leaves and background in this video:



Find the Flowing Leaves Table Runner pattern in the Sept / Oct 2015 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

First Day of School!

Yes, it's the first day of school and my little boy is off to second grade!

It's going to be a wet, rainy week, but I managed to snap this picture despite the rain. I always like taking a first day photo just to see how much he's grown since his very first day of preschool seven years ago:

Josh and I are both feeling our heart strings pulled as we realize our little boy will be turning 9 years old this February. He's now a chapter-book-reading, piano-playing, math-loving little guy, but he's still my sweetheart and always ready for a hug and cuddle on the couch.

Yes, sometimes it makes me sad to see how fast he's growing up, but really this is just a daily reminder to fully appreciate this time of my life. I feel immensely lucky to have this perspective and I know how fleeting this magical time is for my family.

Gretchen Rubin put it best: The days are long, but the years are short.

Whenever I see this, I'm reminded to make more effort to make my home a happier place to be. It's easy to allow tasks and chores to overwhelm the time spent hanging out on the couch or playing a board game.

I need frequent reminders that my child will not remember whether the bathroom was clean or the floor swept, but he will remember how often his mom played a Nerf War and how willing I was to pull out paint and play.

I do so love this time of my life, and I know it's fleeting. I think that's more than enough reason to double down on the fun and worry about the dishes later.

Here's to our children,

Leah Day

Monday, August 17, 2015

Free Motion Quilt Zoodle #449

What happens when you start seeing eyeballs everywhere? You start needing to quilt them everywhere too! Yes, eyes are the inspiration for this funky design I'm calling Zoodle:

Free Motion Quilting Project Design Zoodle
This design works off the same base as Flowing Lines, we're just sticking something different in the gaps to form a different design. I've done this many times to create designs like Pebbles in a Stream, Goldilocks, and Trapped Paisley.

The nice thing about Zoodle is it's a bit more open than the other designs, and I'm loving this symmetrical way of stitching it with all the gaps roughly the same size and shape. Let's learn how to machine quilt it in this video:


365 Free Motion Quilting Designs Book
Quilting the circle into the gap might feel a bit tricky so feel free to stop and mark it anytime you need to. This style of edge-to-edge designs work best in sashing and borders.

Where do you plan to stitch this design? Give it a try in a small square first, then think about how it could fit into your next quilt. Remember, there are no rules when it comes to using pretty designs in quilts except to quilt what you like!

Find tons of machine quilting inspiration in the book 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, August 14, 2015

Free Motion Quilt Jumpy Weave #448

Wow! We received such a wonderful, supportive response to our 6th anniversary sale! Thank you so much for your support of the Free Motion Quilting Project. Hitting this anniversary every year always makes me crave more designs so I jumped on the machine and stitched out this easy Jumpy Weave design:

Free Motion Quilting Project Design Jumpy Weave

If this looks familiar, it's basically zigzaggy version of Loose Weave, and still super easy and fun to quilt! I love the whole family of Overlapping Designs - they all chaotic and crazy, but sometimes that's just what a quilt needs.

Check out the video to learn how to stitch this fun design in a four inch square:



Did you enjoy this video? Make sure to share it with your friends on Facebook or Pin to Pinterest!

free motion quilting design book
We're really getting close to 450 so I'd better go stitch out a new mess of designs! What type or style of designs are you most interested in? Are you mostly interested in quilting bed quilts or wall hangings? Share what you would like to see most in the comments below!

Remember, you can always find inspiration for new designs to quilt in your quilts within the book 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs. This big book of designs features beautiful photos an super sweet spiral binding so the book can lay flat next to your sewing machine.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Interview at Amy's FMQ Adventures!

Craftsy really is an awesome place to teach, but it's also been a terrific way to meet other professional crafters! I "met" Amy Johnson from Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures via email and we decided to share interviews of one another so you can learn about our new Craftsy classes coming out this month.

Click Here to read my interview with Amy over at Amy's FMQ Adventures!

http://www.freemotionquiltingadventures.com/2015/08/leah-day-q-and-free-motion-effect.html
I'll be interviewing Amy in a few weeks when her class on ruler work comes out. I'm really looking forward to hearing all her tips on using rulers!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It's Our Sixth Year Anniversary

It's hard to believe it's been six years of this blog! I'd like to reflect a moment on just how much has changed.

Back in August 2009, my son was just two and a half years old and I helped make ends meet with a small skincare website, but only dreamed of being able to focus on my true passion - quilting.

Throughout the month of July, I'd quilted and painted Release Your Light, a goddess quilt all about releasing your creativity and sharing it with the world. By the time I finished that quilt, I knew I wanted to start a blog and share new free motion filler designs every day for a year.

I did spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the Free Motion Quilting Project. Many people said it was a bad idea, was way too big in scope, or way too much to give away for free.

I had no idea how I would turn this blog idea into a business, or if that business would ever be successful. I honestly had no idea how much time or energy this blog would require, but all I knew is that I wanted this badly, and I couldn't stand to NOT get started.


On August 14th, 2009 I launched the blog with the first posts and design in the evening. 


Those first months were tough, but I would never change a single thing about starting the Free Motion Quilting Project and the journey of learning, teaching, and skill building through which it has led me. 

http://www.leahday.com/shop/category/download/I know many professional quilters who basically live on the road, constantly traveling from show to show, always on the go.

I knew from the very beginning that sort of lifestyle would never work for me or my family, and I feel immensely grateful that through online videos I've been able to teach quilting to an ever-growing number of students.

That feeling of intense gratitude is what I always come back to this time of year. I feel so very thankful that I have this ability to share and teach, and so thankful that it is appreciated and enjoyed by so many wonderful quilters.

So here's to six years! I can't wait to see what the next six years will bring.


Click here to check out the entire collection of download workshops, books, DVDs, and quilt patterns.

Your support of our quilt shop allows us to produce all the videos, tutorials, posts, and photos you see every day. We really appreciate your support and could not have made it these six years without your views, sharing, and business!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Join The Free Motion Effect Now!

My new Craftsy class The Free Motion Effect is finally available!

www.craftsy.com/ext/LeahDay_5196_H

This class is all about discovering the beautiful effects free motion quilting can make for our quilts. We'll discuss all-over quilting, section quilting, designing with stencils, and quilting around applique.

If you have a quilt sitting on your shelf that you just don't know how to quilt, this class will jump start your creativity and give you many ideas for quilting with a variety of designs.

www.craftsy.com/ext/LeahDay_5196_HHow Craftsy Works

Just in case you've never taken a Craftsy class before, here's a few details to get you familiar with the platform. Craftsy hosts online classes which are broken down into 7-10 lessons.

The videos are available to watch streaming online so you will need a high speed internet connection. You can also download the lessons onto your iPad using the Craftsy app to watch offline.

At any time during the class you can post a question which your instructor will answer usually within 48 hours. You can also take notes, speed up the video, slow it down, and always have the ability to go back and watch lessons again and again.

Craftsy classes never expire so you will never lose access to a class you've purchased. All your classes are saved in your account so you can always go back and watch again and again.

The Free Motion Effect

Craftsy has been a natural fit for me because I love teaching through video! The Free Motion Effect is my fourth class and I designed it to be very different from all of my other classes.

I wanted this class to specifically dig into quilting design. The question "How do I quilt it?" is really a two part question - how do I pick designs and how do I apply the designs to the quilt surface?

www.craftsy.com/ext/LeahDay_5196_H
 Both questions are answered fully in the 8 lessons of this class. You'll learn how to pick designs, how to mark the quilt surface when necessary, and how to quilt from the center to the outside edges in the most logical method possible.

Biggest Class Ever!

Personally I'm thrilled to have this class launching today because it was such a massive, overwhelming amount of work to prepare! Each quilt in the class was pieced or appliqued and quilted three different ways.

www.craftsy.com/ext/LeahDay_5196_H
Then we pieced or appliqued each quilt three more times for the class demo!

It was a huge amount of prep, but completely worth it in order to teach so many ways to quilt these beautiful quilts.

Join in the fun today and save 50% off The Free Motion Effect today!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, August 7, 2015

Craftsy Class Update!

Time to share more fun details about my new Craftsy class The Free Motion Effect! This is a class all about deciding which designs to use on your quilts and how to apply them to the quilt surface. It's a class geared to quilting on a home sewing machine with lots of tips for managing bulk and most importantly - designing your quilt so it's easy to finish quickly.

One of my favorite parts of planning this class was choosing the bright fabrics used in the three featured quilts. I used Island Batik Basics fabrics in the bright colors of waterfall and purple to create the tumbler quilt:

the free motion effect | craftsy class Island Batik Cherry and Cream were combined beautifully with red thread in this version of Star Power:

the free motion effect | craftsy class
And the entire rainbow of Cherry, Nasturtium, Butter, Leprechaun, Waterfall, Purple, Grass, and Cream were used in the colorful Vase of Feathers wall hanging:

the free motion effect | craftsy class
Yes, the quilting is the main focus of this project, but beautiful fabrics like these make all the difference in the world! Click Here to find the many Island Batik fabrics used in this class.

Sign up for The Free Motion Effect today and save 50% on this new class!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Free Motion Quilt Chaos Stars #447

Quilting design time! I'm in the mood to play with a very random, free form Foundational Design and easily came up with this beautiful Chaos Stars design:

This is a variation on Coin Chain, only this time instead of leaving the circles empty, we're filling them with straight line stars. Which design do you like best? They're very similar, and both designs will be very easy to quilt in the blocks, sashing, or borders of your next quilt!

Let's learn how to quilt Chaos Stars in this quilting video:



Chaos Stars will definitely help you build great skills for Echo Quilting. It's rather organic which means even if your echoing isn't perfect, the design will still look great on your quilts.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Dealing with Negativity

Time for a new Light Up Your Life post! Two weeks ago I dealt with a lot of negativity online and figure it's high time I share a post about how I deal with the negative comments and emails that arrive daily. Find many tips in this quick video:



Yes, I do deal with negative people online and often receive hateful emails and nasty comments on this blog, Facebook, and YouTube. Many times quilters are surprised to hear that I receive negative messages like this, but I've worked online long enough to know that no matter how nice and giving you are, there will always be people ready to complain and cut you down about something.

Understanding the Negativity Bias

So how do we deal with negativity? I admit in the past I often let a single bad comment ruin my whole day or week. I would obsess about what that person said, completely ignoring the multiple comments and emails that arrive at the same time with positive messages.

The thing that really started to turn the tide for me was learning how our negativity bias. Our human brain is hard wired to pay attention to negativity. It helped keep us alive once upon a time because a brain focused on noticing negative changes (Gee, it's colder today than yesterday. Hmmm...) is more likely to take action to stay alive (I must make a quilt to stay warm!)

If you get a raise today, it will feel great, but you will quickly adapt to the extra cash because it was a positive change. However, if your salary was suddenly cut, the sharp pinch of less money will be felt daily as you suddenly have to make careful choices about everything you purchase.

In terms of dealing with negative messages, for every mean email that arrives, you may receive 20 - 50 positive messages, but the weight of the criticism will feel so much bigger, more valid, and more important to address.

Protecting Yourself from Negativity

While it's no fun to realize our brains are so negatively focused, it's helpful to accept it and being to take steps to protect yourself. You know that getting horrible comments on your blog is no fun, so an easy solution is to set up moderation so nothing gets posted without you approving it first.

I go one step further by requiring people to login to an account and provide a name and email address before they are allowed to post a comment. When I made this change on the blog, the number of nasty comments dropped to almost none because suddenly people had some level of accountability. They couldn't hide their identity and suddenly didn't want to be caught writing such a terrible message.

The next thing I changed was who checked our main email account. Josh took over this for me in 2010 because he is far less emotional and much more logical in the face of criticism. I would take every nasty email personally and begin questioning and obsessing about every detail. He can glance at a book-long wall-of-text diatribe and shrug. "Just a crazy being crazy." is his logical response.

It does become more challenging in places like Facebook where a single comment from one person can quickly become an avalanche of mean. We have learned to delete first and ask questions later as we put out small fires that could otherwise turn into massively destructive flame wars.
goddess quilt | release your light
Another way to interpret the ring of flames around Release Your Light
is as a ring of protection, guarding you from the negativity of the world.
 Making Mean Funny

Yes, I intentionally insulate myself from negativity, but sometimes a particularly barbed comment will slip through and I'll be presented with a fist full of scorn in the face, usually first thing in the morning.

http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.htmlThese days, thankfully, I don't immediately start down that old road of self doubt. I'm far more stable and self assured than I used to be and I now see my reaction as a choice:

Do I choose to let this person ruin my day, my week, my peace of mind?

It really is a choice and these days I rarely allow myself to be bothered by a nasty comment. Instead I turn it into something to laugh about. Here's an email I received last year during the Building Blocks Quilt Along:
I just watched your video on how to construct a Sawtooth Star block and I feel I have to speak up.  I can't believe how  many errors you made in constructing this block and yet you call yourself an instructor!  I think it would behoove you to learn from other quilters how to make these blocks more easily and more precisely before you put your "techniques" out to the public...(rant went on to precisely indicate how I should have pieced the block)...

Sorry to be so brutal about this but I've been quilting about as long as you have and have learned from many teachers. I think if you want to proclaim yourself as knowledgeable about how to do these basic things, you really should learn them yourself before trying to teach others.
Yep, this is a golden example of an aggressively mean email pleasantly disguised as a righteous helpful advice message from a person who clearly has way too much time on her hands. Notice how she intentionally hit triggers like "you call yourself an instructor!" and "you really should learn yourself before teaching others" that are designed to make me feel small, stupid, and absolutely unqualified to make a single video ever again.

But oh, I can make this so much worse! Let have some fun with this message and make it really crazy!
I JUST WATCHED YOUR VIDEO ON THE SAWTOOTH STAR AND I'M FUCKING APPALLED!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW BADLY YOU SUCK ASS AT PIECING AND WOULD DARE TO SHARE THIS VIDEO ONLINE!!! HOW CAN YOU CALL YOURSELF AN INSTRUCTOR??!!! YOU SERIOUSLY NEED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL YOU STUPID LITTLE GIRL AND LEARN HOW TO ACTUALLY PIECE BEFORE SUBJECTING YOUR IDIOCY TO THE PUBLIC!!!!!
Mwahhahahahahaha! Now this is just plain insane! It makes me laugh at the sheer absurdity and lightens my load to the original message. It is a choice - letting someone rile you up and hurt your feelings. I much prefer to manipulate their message into something so over-the-top that it holds no power to upset me.

So what about you? How do you deal with negative people? Have you developed strategies for insulating yourself or making their criticism funny? Definitely share your advice in the comments below!

Dealing with negative people will never be easy, but it's absolutely possible to develop strategies that will protect you from the deep sting of mean messages. Never hesitate to insulate yourself from negative people or situations. We only have one beautiful live to live, so make sure it's surrounded with the people you love and the kindness you deserve. 

Let's get moving, let's try something new!

Leah Day

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Free Shipping on the 1st!

It's the first day of August (where is this year going?!) which means it's Free Shipping Day!

http://www.leahday.com/shop/
Come pick up the gear you need for free motion quilting and get free shipping if your order ships within the US.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day
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