The Free Motion Quilting Project: I've been Nominated Teacher of the Year!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I've been Nominated Teacher of the Year!

Thank you all so much for nominating me for MQX Teacher of the Year! This is such a wonderful surprise and I'm so touched by my students nominating me in 2016.

If you'd like to vote for Teacher of the Year, Click Here to cast your vote. One tip - votes are only counted when you share a comment in the last box of the form and explain why you think I should win.

It is always an honor to be nominated for this award because I'm not a normal quilting teacher. I teach online exclusively through YouTube videos, Craftsy classes, and video workshops on my website. This is very different from the traditional travel-and-teach model that most quilters use to reach students.

For a long time, this made me feel somehow less than everyone else. I hate to travel (it makes me crazy) and I'm happiest when I'm home playing with fabric, designing pretty quilts, and making dinner with my family. For many years I felt that I wasn't a legitimate teacher because I didn't have a system for hauling two suitcases through an airport or three years worth of contracts and places to go.

Then I won Teacher of the Year 2014 and I believe it was the students in the Building Blocks Quilt Along who rallied for me. It was such an amazing experience to win, and it's still a memory that makes me feel happy, honored, cherished, and loved all at the same time.

That award proved to me that teaching online is not just a valid way to teach, it is MY way to tteach. It is how I connect with you and how I'm the absolute best teacher I can be. It also seems to be working great for you too because I see amazing new quilts and blocks posted to our Facebook Groups each day. I know I'm making a difference and helping quilters learn and master this beautiful art of quilting.

But, of course, not everyone agrees with this method. After winning in 2014, I ran into another quilting teacher and her comment was straight in line with my limiting beliefs. She said, "I was really surprised you won. You never teach in person and you've only taught here (at MQX) once."

I laughed her comment off because I suddenly understood - what does travel have to do with anything? What does it matter HOW I teach? The only thing that's important is my commitment to teaching my students how to make beautiful quilts.

If I taught at shows or traveled across the country, you would not be getting me at my best. You'd be seeing me at my worst. If I taught at big shows, you'd be seeing a smiling face, but an exhausted spirit. That is just not me.

Here's the thing I've learned - there is room for everyone and you are free to do things your own way.

You may even find that if you have the strength and confidence to do things your own way, the world will love you more for it. That has been my experience at least.

Thank you again for nominating me! I'm so happy to be here, teaching this craft, and sharing it with all of you.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

22 comments:

  1. Congrats on being nominated again. You are such an amazing teacher. I recommend you to my students all the time :-)

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    1. Aw! Thank you so much Christa! I count myself super lucky to have you as a great quilting friend!

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  2. You are an amazing teacher who has helped quilters learn/improve their free-motion quilting and quilting skills in general, all over the world. Definitely an honor to be nominated, but I also hope you win. I voted. Good luck.

    QuiltShopGal
    www.quiltshopgal.com

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  3. I discovered you about a year ago on YouTube and I think I have watched more of your videos than anyone else's, but I have found several others that I learn from too especially Amy Johnson and the crafty Gemini. I completely support your method of teaching because I like you hate to travel and don't like being in a class I much prefer being home at my own machine and watching your very easy to follow videos and having access to them whenever I need. Thank you for all the work you do and congratulations you most definitely deserve the reward!!!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and support Brenda! Yep, I don't take classes well in person either. My machines just work better when they stay put!

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  4. I am going to vote for you because you are my Quiltorama Teacher of the Year! Your quiet, relaxed style fits in perfectly with the YouTube video format. You encouraged me to attempt free motion quilting, you understood the struggle of the first timer. You are one of my favorites in the quilting world. Now, off to vote for you ...

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    1. Whoo hoo! I love that title - Quiltorama! LOL! Thank you!

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  5. Congrats and I voted for you already too. I am so blessed to have found you on you tube and I love your teaching style. You are relaxed and you quick to remind us mistakes happen. I have watched dozens of instructor's on you tube in the past; but you are the only one that made me feel like I could learn free motion quilting. Thanks

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    1. Thank you so much Teresa! I'm so glad to help you in your quilting journey!

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  6. Congratulations and so well said! Please know that there are thousands and thousands of quilters across the globe who are VERY appreciative of the teaching that you put out online. I don't know how you find the energy to do all the teaching you do, but I sure admire you and appreciate you for it!

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    1. Thank you Patsy! I do have a lot of help behind the scenes from Dad and Josh so it's not just a one-woman show. I couldn't do it without them or without supportive quilters like you so thank you!

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  7. Voted just now. Your videos, advice and troubleshooting have been invaluable to me over the years. You deserve this soooooooo much.

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  8. Hi Leah, I just voted for you. Love you video, love your way of teaching. I always watching you video to learn new skills.

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    1. Thank you Doreen! I really appreciate your support.

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  9. I voted. I am a retired school teacher living in New Zealand. I find you inspiring and an amazing educator. I learn so much from you. You are a teacher!! A very good one I might add.

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    1. Thank you! I certainly see myself as a teacher now, even if I teach in a slightly different way from everyone else.

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  10. Outstanding! What wonderful news! Watching your FMQ videos several years ago got me interested in learning how. What a difference that's made in my quilts. I get them done faster if I'm using a stipple design and have taken the time to try different designs, studying your videos, resulting in some outstanding quilts, if I say so myself. I like know how to hand quilt and use a walking foot for more traditional quilting, but your quilting tips have been vital! Now I'm working on an art quilt and studied more of your goddess videos for ideas. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us! You have blessed my journey. And, from one who hates to travel to another, I am grateful for the classes, videos and online tutorials. I do not attend classes in person, except for a few that were at QuiltCon and only because the location was 5 minutes from my house. Like you, I need to be at home creating knowing my husband is near to be in my happy place. (Poo to the envious instructor, who would voice such a small-minded comment.) You just keep on shinin', girl! We're out here cheering you on!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and kind words. I'm so happy to be helping you on your quilting journey!

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  11. I just voted for you! I love the online nature of your classes. I am extremely introverted, and it is very difficult for me to go out and do a class outside the house. You also have the best attitude. I love how you are so encouraging and aim for improvement versus perfection. You have pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone, and I have been trying out different designs from the gallery over the past year in my quilts. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm so happy to hear my teaching online works for you. I really think it's the best for my family and the best for my students so everyone wins!

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