The Free Motion Quilting Project: August 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sneak Peek for Block #9!

Are you ready for a new block for the Machine Quilting Block Party? The pattern for Block #9 will be coming out tomorrow so here's a little sneak peek!


Yep, we're going to be quilting some pretty circles this month! Click Here to find all the block patterns published so far.

 This month we'll also begin putting the blocks together Quilt-As-You-Go style with binding strips that look great on the front and back of the quilt. After creating Block #9, you'll be able to connect three rows of the quilt together so your Sunshine Surprise quilt will nearly be complete!


Are you excited to see your sunshine quilt coming together? Be sure to check back tomorrow so you can jump right in to creating Block #9!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, August 29, 2016

How to Make Bell-Bottoms!

My Quilty Box for August arrived a few weeks ago and included a beautiful collection of denim fabric. I decided it was time to create a tutorial for bell-bottom pants or flare pants that I used to make all the time when I was a kid. Enjoy this new video!



Would you like to learn about Quilty Box? Help me out by clicking my affiliate link here.

Bell-bottoms sewing tutorial video by Leah Day
The jean material came in a beautiful array of fall colors. I choose to add the flares to my pants using the purple fabric, and I'm tempted to add machine embroidered flowers with the green!

I've shared a lot more details and tips for sewing bell-bottoms right here at LeahDay.com.

I began making bell-bottoms back in 7th grade because my jeans didn't fit well. They were too short in the leg and pulled up when I sat down. When I began changing my pants and altering them to fit better and showcase my personality, it was the first time sewing really made a difference in how I felt about myself.

Whether you made bell-bottoms back in the 1970s or the 90s like I did, I think the style is coming back around for another go. While I probably won't sew bells into all my pants, having a few special, modified jeans will be a fun way to spice up my fashion and dress up for the fall.

Do you have any other ideas for using the jean fabric in this month's Quilty Box? Have you ever modified jeans to make them fit and express you better?

Share your experience in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Beautiful Progress in Our Mystery Quilt Along

I just have one photo for you today, and it's simply gorgeous!

This Pam K.'s Sunrise Surprise quilt in progress, with all blocks shared in the Quilt Along so far:


I believe Pam is making two different quilts and she's folded the blocks over so you can see both colorways. I love her color choice and contrast in the double sets of each block.

If you haven't joined in the fun yet, you can always get started in our Machine Quilting Block Party at any time. And you can also join our facebook group and share your progress and make friends with quilters all over the world!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Goddess Quilt in Progress

Yes, I've started a new goddess art quilt over the weekend and I'm loving the design and construction process!


Click Here to watch a video and read about the design process.

I love starting new goddess quilts, and I always love the design process, but it's easy for me to get stuck when trying to finish these quilts. Dream Goddess is still on my sewing table with only a tiny bit of sky left to quilt and...I'm not really sure why I haven't finished it yet!

Maybe by bringing in the energy of beginning a new goddess quilt, I'll be able to finish the old one. At least that's what I'm hoping!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, August 22, 2016

Easy Machine Quilting Design #8

It's our last day of our Mini Quilt Along and we're going to learn one more beautiful machine quilting design to quilt in our Twin Rainbow Star Quilt.

Just getting started? You can download the free quilt pattern right here.

Today's design is Modern Weave, a fun triangle based design that sort of looks like diamonds stacked together. I thought it was the perfect choice for the pink diamonds in the quilt. Let's learn how to quilt it together:


This design has lots of straight lines and sharp angles, which is a fun contrast to the curvy quilting designs we've learned before. I love how the straight lines and sharp angles stand out on the quilt and because this design only has minimal travel stitching, it should be very easy for you to quilt!


So that is it for our mini quilt along! I hope you've enjoyed seeing new quilting videos every day and learning how to quilt the Twin Rainbow Star quilt.

Click here to find the quilt pattern.

Have you enjoyed seeing a new video every day? Did you follow along or was it hard to keep up? Would you like us to do this again this year?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Easy Machine Quilting Design #7

We're in the home stretch of our Anniversary Mini Quilt Along and today I'm quilting the purple diamonds in the Twin Rainbow Stars quilt with a beautiful design called Chain of Pearls!



Quilting circles can be tricky, but I always find it easier when I'm quilting the circles between lines. Something about the lines makes it easier to estimate and visualize the circle's shape, making it easier to quilt them free hand.

Learn how to machine quilt an easy quilting design in real quilt with Leah Day!

I absolutely love Chain of Pearls because it's so simple - just curvy lines and circles - but the texture is always a knock out! What do you think of this machine quilting design?

Yes, you still have plenty of time to join in this fun mini-quilt-along! We've posted the free quilt pattern right here. 

You can piece the quilt and follow along with each video guiding you through walking foot quilting, then free motion quilting each space with a different design. Check it out and be sure to share this project with your quilting friends!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Easy Machine Quilting Design #6

Whew! It's been a long time since I published new machine quilting videos daily and it is definitely a work out! Just in case you haven't been following along - we are stitching out a new design every day this week in the Twin Rainbow Star quilt. Click Here to find the free quilt pattern so you can follow along.

Today I'm machine quilting the blue diamonds of the quilt with an easy swirling design called Poseidon's Eye:



I love how quick this design is to quilt and how beautiful it looks on the surface. I machine quilted the swirls and circles to be very large so the design finished nice and soft.

Learn how to machine quilt an easy quilting design in real quilt with Leah Day!

Yesterday I received a great question about thread color. Robyn asked:
I have problems with is when the thread matches so well to the fabric, it's like driving blind. I can't see where I've been and where I haven't. How do I solve that?
The easiest way to solve this is to contrast your thread color with the fabric color. As you can see in my video, I'm quilting my Twin Rainbow Star quilt in white Isacord thread so it stands out on the quilt surface and I can see where I've quilted and where I'm going next.

It can be a bit scary to contrast your thread color because your mistakes will show. However, I believe the best way to improve your quilting is to be able to see where you're going! Try contrasting with a thread that is lighter than your fabric color so you can see it as you quilt on the surface and you will not only see your designs better, your quilting ability will also improve.

It's never too late to join in this fun project and piece your Twin Rainbow Star quilt! Click Here to find the free quilt pattern.


If you enjoyed this new quilting tutorial please share it with your friends and of course ask any questions you have in the comments below.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, August 19, 2016

Easy Machine Quilting Design #5

We're more than halfway done machine quilting our Twin Rainbow Star quilt with eight beautiful designs! Click Here to find the free quilt pattern and all the videos shared so far.

Today I'm machine quilting the darker green diamonds with flowing feather leaves, a beautiful design that fits traditional feather shapes into leaf shapes. It's kinda hard to describe, so make sure to watch the video to learn how it works:



This free motion quilting design will be slower and a bit more challenging to quilt because of all the travel stitching involved with quilting the feather shapes and echoing the leaf shapes. Take it slow and remember it's not a race and your darker green diamonds will be quilted before you know it!

Learn how to machine quilt an easy quilting design in real quilt with Leah Day!

What do you think of this design? Do you like quilting feathers or is that a tricky design for you to master? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Easy Machine Quilting Design #4

We're moving right along with our Anniversary Mini Quilt Along and today quilting the light green diamond in the Twin Rainbow Star Quilt. Click Here to find the free quilt pattern.

Today I decided to machine quilt Fern & Stem, a leafy design that will fill your quilt very quickly. This design is a great choice for machine quilting wide open spaces like the borders of a quilt because it fills so fast and with such a beautiful texture!



The key to quilting Fern & Stem is to keep the quilt moving smoothly over your machine. I recommend using a Supreme Slider to make the surface of your machine super slippery so it's really easy to move the quilt and form these wiggly lines.

Learn how to machine quilt an easy quilting design in real quilt with Leah Day!

With this space quilted, our Twin Rainbow Star quilt is halfway done!


I love seeing all the machine quilting designs coming together and the funky textures they're creating on the quilt surface!

Have you joined this mini quilt along yet? All you need to do is download the free Twin Rainbow Stars quilt pattern, piece the top, and begin quilting each design. You can share your progress, ask questions, and post photos in our friendly Facebook Group!

Don't forget to share this mini quilt along with your friends. It's a great project to jump into and get lots of practice free motion quilting easy designs!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Easy Machine Quilting Design #3

We're moving right along with our fun 7th Anniversary mini Quilt Along as we quilt an easy quilting design each day this week into the Twin Rainbow Stars quilt.

It's time to quilt the yellow diamonds and I decided to fill this area with Lemonade, a really funky echoing design that actually looks like lemons stacked together!



This design may feel a bit trickier and more time consuming to machine quilt because it involves more travel stitching. Just take your time and bring your hands a little closer to your needle so you have more control over where the quilt moves as you machine quilt this design.

Learn how to machine quilt an easy quilting design in real quilt with Leah Day!

Click Here to find the free quilt pattern plus all the videos posted to this mini quilt along so far.

Are you enjoying this project? Make sure to share it with your friends so more quilters can join in the fun!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Easy Machine Quilting Design #2

Ready for the next design in our Twin Rainbow Star mini quilt along? We're celebrating the 7th anniversary of the Free Motion Quilting Project with new videos published every day this week!

Click here to find the free quilt pattern and videos published so far. Now let's learn how to quilt a beautiful flame design in the orange spaces of the quilt:



I decided to machine quilt Snake Paisley because it's a very easy design to learn. Even though the lines of quilting were a little closer together, I quilted this area of the quilt in just a few minutes and the texture it added really made the quilt look great!

Learn how to quilt Snake Paisley, an easy beginner level machine quilting design.

Make sure to swing by tomorrow to see the next design in this mini quilt along. It's not too late to join in the fun! Click Here to download the free Twin Rainbow Stars quilt pattern.

Looking for a place to post your photos? Click Here to join the Leah Day Quilting Facebook group so you can share your photos, post questions, and make friends with quilters around the world!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, August 15, 2016

Easy Machine Quilting Design #1

Yesterday was the 7th anniversary of the Free Motion Quilting Project and today we're kicking off a week-long mini series with new machine quilting videos being published every day this week!

I'm quilting each design in the Twin Rainbow Stars quilt so you'll learn how to use designs in a real quilt. Click Here to find the free quilt pattern so you can follow along too!

So our first machine quilting design is Ocean Currents, a super easy design that will fill the red spaces of your star quilt with beautiful lava-like texture. Let's learn how to quilt it together in this new video:


As you can see, free motion quilting Ocean Currents will be fast and easy within the diamond shapes. I quilted this design on a fairly large scale so the swirling lines filled the space very quickly.

Learn how to machine quilt an easy quilting design in real quilt with Leah Day!

This is one of my favorite free motion quilting designs! Just check out that beautiful texture! Have you ever quilted Ocean Currents before? Definitely jump on your machine and give this design a try today.

I'll be back tomorrow with another new design in the Twin Rainbow Stars quilt. Click Here to find the quilt pattern and follow along with me!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Waterfall Bargello Workshop

Yay! It's finally time to release our new Waterfall Bargello Workshop! Check out all the cool things you'll learn in this new video workshop:


Click Here to learn more about the Waterfall Bargello Workshop.

Learn how to piece and quilt a bargello quilt with Leah Day
This is a start-to-finish workshop so I cover every step of making this quilt from preparing the fabric to piecing, then quilting, and finishing up with binding. You'll see every step of the process in 15 detailed videos which you can watch online or download to your computer or tablet and watch as you quilt!

My goal in creating this workshop was to share the steps of making a beautiful Bargello style quilt, and to teach you how to quilt it. I see far too many Bargello quilts pieced as tops, but never finished and enjoyed.

So if you've pieced a Bargello quilt and you're stuck on how to quilt it, this video workshop will be perfect for you!

Anniversary Sale!

It's the perfect time to pick up this new workshop because we're also celebrating our 7th anniversary with a big sale in the quilt shop.

For this week only, you can save 40% on all video workshops, 30% on all embroidery designs, 20% off on books and patterns, and 10% off quilting tools. Click Here to shop now!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day

Friday, August 12, 2016

Playing with Beautiful Threads

This month I've been working on a new collection of Isacord threads. What better way to test how the colors cooperate than by quilting them together in a little decorative block?


To make this, I first played with fonts in Word, then printed it onto Freezer Paper and stitched on the marked lines. Then I began playing with different free motion quilting designs, changing designs and thread colors at the same time.


What's funny about this block is at any given time I would step back and decide I didn't like it. Maybe that design wasn't the right choice, but now I don't want to rip it or start all over again.

I've stepped away from it many times, given it a day or two and come back and decided I liked it just fine! I think it's easy to get obsessive about a specific choice, but ultimately a piece like this is the sum of all the designs plus the thread, and how can it not look amazing with all those beautiful colors?

Have you ever quilted something like this with just color and texture as the design? Do you like rainbow colors or does only a few colors appeal to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Machine Quilt Block Party Photos

One of my favorite things to do is check out the Machine Quilting Block Party Group and see all the wonderful pictures shared from quilters all over the world. I love seeing all your blocks and how your beautiful quilts are coming together.

We are currently on Block 8 of this project, which means we're more than halfway done and the quilts are really starting to come together. You can still join at any time and begin piecing and machine quilting with us! Click here to join the Party today.

Here a few of my favorite quilts shared in the Facebook group. This is Lisa E.'s Block Party Quilt so far:


And here's Claudia C.'s:


Cindy K. has just started the Quilt Along. Here is her very first block:


And here is Ann R's beautiful Block 8:


Even though we're more than halfway done with this project, there is still time to join in the fun and build new skills for quilt piecing and machine quilting. Please join us on this fun and beginner-level Mystery Quilt Along. Click Here to find the block patterns now.

Let's go quilt,

Leah

Monday, August 8, 2016

How to Quilt a Square in a Sun Block

Last week we learned how to piece a beautiful Square in a Sun block and today it's time to machine quilt it! This particular block incorporates many designs we've used in other blocks like the marked sun medallion, Pebbling, Hot Path, and more straight line quilting:


I've been continuing my investigation of marking quilts using different types of paper and for this block I printed my quilting design pages onto printable freezer paper sheets. Make sure to use an inkjet printer to print on the paper side of the freezer paper, and do a test print with regular paper first to make sure the pattern pages are coming out the right size.

To mark with the freezer paper, I cut out the triangles with the straight lines and used a Clover craft iron to press them in place. I used this smaller iron because I didn't want to heat set other marks I'd made on the quilt block. It did take awhile to get the freezer paper to adhere well to the block surface, but it did eventually work and held in place long enough for me to stitch on the lines.

See how this freezer paper marking technique worked for machine quilting and how it ripped away in this new video:



What do you think of Underwater Rocks? It's definitely an easier machine quilting design than Pebbling and the texture is a total knock out! I love how nicely it stands out on the quilt, and how much faster it is to fill the quilt block.

So if you find yourself struggling with Pebbling in the little triangles of this block just remember that you can always turn it into Underwater Rocks with some extra messy echoes!

Did you like the idea of marking with Freezer Paper and being able to print on it directly? It's definitely an interesting technique that I'll be playing with more.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day

Friday, August 5, 2016

Crafty Cottage Update! One Year Later

It's hard to believe a year has passed since we finished the Crafty Cottage! I decided to shoot an update video to share how this shed renovation worked out:


Click Here to read more about how we heated and cooled this space.

I really love this little craft room and it has definitely paid for itself many times over in the last year. I make better videos now and I'm so much happier being able to film uninterrupted.

Have you enjoyed learning about this project? Did it make you think about building a shed or new space for quilting for yourself? Share  your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

New Facebook Live Chat!

Josh and I have been having a lot of fun with Facebook Live so we've decided to schedule another chat this Thursday! Mark your calendar for Thursday, August 4th at 8 pm, EDT. 

We're hosting the live chat on our Facebook page right here. When the time comes for the event, just click this link to go to this page and you'll see the live video in progress. You can click the link that says "click for more" or turn your tablet vertical so you can see the comments area and be able to post questions!

This week's live chat will share a lot of updates and news for the month, which includes our 7th anniversary of this project! Josh and I are already planning many fun things to celebrate and I can't wait to share some sneak peeks with you. I'll also be answering your questions about quilting so if something has been giving you trouble, come share it with us!

We're trying an evening chat this time just for fun, but if the time doesn't work for you remember, we always post the video of the chat so you can always watch later.
Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, August 1, 2016

How to Piece a Square in a Sun Block

It's the first day of the month which means we have a new block ready for you for the Machine Quilting Block Party AND we get to learn how to piece it together today too! Click Here to find the pattern for Block #8.


This new block features several fun units to piece including a Square in a Square block, flying geese, and half square triangles. Square in a Square is one of my favorite quilt blocks and was one of the first blocks I ever tried piecing when I began quilting.

Learn how to piece all of these fun units and construct your Square in a Square block in this new quilting tutorial:


Don't forget to pick up your pattern for Block #8 right here!

Learn how to mark a quilt block using Freezer Paper
Pattern Correction - We mixed up some letters this month in the pattern, here's a tiny correction for you:

On page 5 when piecing the Square in a Square block, you need to slice 2 Fabric B squares in half to piece with a Fabric C square.


We're going to have a fun time machine quilting this block next week with many beautiful designs we've already gotten some practice with in previous blocks.

And yes, I will be following up on our quilt marking adventures! This month I've experimented with marking using Freezer Paper.

You can click here to find printable freezer paper sheets that are easy to print on directly with an inkjet printer.

I printed my quilting diagram from the pattern directly onto the freezer paper sheets, cut out the shapes I wanted to mark and pressed them to the block surface. I had some ups and downs with this technique, but it did work out well so be looking for more tips on this new style of marking in the video coming out next week!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day
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