The Free Motion Quilting Project: Building Blocks Quilt Along

Building Blocks Quilt Along

http://leahday.com/collections/shop/products/building-blocks
Welcome to the Building Blocks Quilt Along, a fun quilt project that will teach you how to piece AND free motion quilt a beautiful sampler quilt! To join this Quilt Along, simply pick up a copy of the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern right here.

For this quilt along, I was joined by my husband, Josh Day, who faithfully quilted every single block in this quilt on video to showcase what each block would be like to quilt for a beginner. Each block in this quilt along was first taught with piecing tips, then free motion quilted 3-4 times each. You will find full sized quilting guides as well as detailed piecing tips in the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern.

Find all the articles and videos for the Building Blocks Quilt Along below:


Remember: In order to follow along you will need to purchase a copy of the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern!

Our mission with the Building Blocks Quilt Along is to teach a variety of piecing and free motion quilting techniques on a totally beginner level. Are you sick of piecing beautiful quilt tops only to be confused and intimidated by the idea of quilting them?

It's time to learn how to build these skills at the same time, and on small blocks that will be easy to manage no matter how big (or small) your sewing machine!

Have you created a Building Blocks Quilt? We'd love to see it!


Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

44 comments:

  1. I found that, for me, the full page guides for the project were not printing an 8" square, but a 7-3/4" square. I did not have the option to print full-size. My printer has a copy function. I experimented and found that by copying and enlarging to 103% I could get the guide to 8". I hope this is helpful if anyone else is having a similar problem.

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    1. Whoa, thanks for the tips, great idea. I'll use my scanner to copy it then enlarge it.

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  2. I found that by "printing" to the XPS document from the PDF file and then printing from the XPS doc it printed without any sizing.

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  3. Had the same problem with my Brother printer and unfortunatley I cannot change it to print to a random size. Will try your printing tip to XPS. Many thanks.

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  4. -- Copying and enlarging and then scanning and printing again will take me a very long time and lots of ink and paper! not to mention the time !! :-(
    -- XPS...something new for me to learn
    -- If left at the 7 3/4" square as printed, how will this affect the quilt? Won't it just mean there would be extra space between the block outline and my actual stitching?

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  5. I was at my quilt shop yesterday and I was trying to find out if my machine was a short shank or long shank. She found out (from her repair guy) that it is a long shank machine. I have a Baby Lock Unity and I can not find out anywhere in the books or information packets about the machine to get a definitive answer. I guess I am going to have to go to Baby Lock company to find out the answer.

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  6. Here are my fabric choices for The Free Motion Quilting Project. Well I couldn't figure out how to post a picture here. Anybody know?

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  7. Gwenevere - Unfortunately you can't post photos directly to blogger. You can post them to the facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/buildingblocksquiltalong/

    Cheers,

    Leah Day

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  8. I tried to quilt the first block with "Bottom Line" thread in the bobbin and Isacord on the top. The thread keeps slipping off the bobbin because it's slippery. I have a DHM, a Pffaf 7570. It's great with all cotton thread such as Aurafil. But I like the Isacord on top. Can I mix the tap different threads?

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  9. Hi Lyndalee - Have you tried isacord thread in the top and bobbin? I'd say play with as many different combinations as you like and see what works best for you! Every machine is different, so every quilter will like a different combination of thread.

    Cheers,

    Leah

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  10. Hi Leah,
    I completed the blocks for week 1. I'm unable to locate the video for week 2. Where can I find this?
    Thanks.
    Diane

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    1. There are three blocks for the first block of the month. There are no weekly blocks. I don't think Leah will put out BOM 2 for a couple of weeks or so.

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  11. Hi Diane - Just click the link: 2. Quilt a Four Patch with Wiggly U's

    Cheers,

    Leah Day

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  12. I am so happy that Josh is doing this along with the rest of us. I see that I am doing some of the same things that he is doing and that you can explain and correct right away. I'm thoroughly enjoying the whole process, though my work is far from perfect.

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  13. Leah,
    Will one spool of the Isacord thread be enough for the whole quilt?

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  14. Hi Quilter1173 - I'm not quite sure on that. I'm including 2 spools of isacord in the kits just in case 1 spool isn't enough, so if you want to be 100% safe, go with 2 spools to be sure.

    Cheers,

    Leah Day

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  15. Leah. I am using white chalk pencil to mark my lines and I was wandering if I wait a year to wash do you think it will come out?

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  16. I purchased a Janome convertible free motion quilting foot to replace the darning/quilting foot that came with my Janome 6600P . However, there are major tension issues I have been unable to resolve...lots of top-thread loops on the back of my quilt. Any suggestions?

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    1. i discovered on the 6600P that if i set my upper tension to 8 and my foot pressure to 2 , use good quality thread (Aurifil or Superior King Tut) i get very satisfying results

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  17. Hi dwannajo - What thread are you using on your 6600? Also how is it feeding? You're going to need to trouble shoot the problem step by step. Keep a journal next to your machine and try changing needles - keep a record of the one that works the best. Same thing for thread, same thing for machine settings. I can tell you easily what works for me, but I can't say exactly what will work for you. You'll just have to keep playing until you find the pretty stitches.

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  18. I have been machine quilting "meandering all-over designs" on my quilts for too long! I am enjoying this project and the great tips already.

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  19. Leah
    Where do you find replacement erasers for the Fons and porter pencil?

    Thanks
    Judy

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    Replies
    1. You can find it right here! http://www.leahday.com/shop/product/fons-porter-fabric-marking-pencil/

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  20. I am curious about what kinds of fabric people are using for this project. Solid colors like in the kit? Pre cut ten inch square packs ( e.g. Layer Cakes?). Anyone using patterned fabric along with solids? I've bought the pattern but not the material as yet...

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  21. Hi IleneHarris - Check out the facebook group page right here and you'll find loads of color combinations and ideas of what other quilters are using. It's super inspiring! https://www.facebook.com/groups/buildingblocksquiltalong/

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  22. Hey Leah
    I found refill erasers for the fons and porter pencil.

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  23. I've been using solid Kona lime green and grey for my blocks on the front. I am using an ombré blue on the back. I want the quilting to show.

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  24. Hi Leah, When I quilted block 2 with the small squares I found that I ended up with a pleat under the last stitch. What was I doing wrong please.

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  25. Leah, You are always thinking, wow, lady!!! I was getting a little frustrated a few weeks ago when I thought I needed to search your site to find all the information, updates and comments for this project. What's this email today sayin': all the information on one link, one place? My appreciation. I bow to you again my queen :)

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  26. I read somewhere someone was using glad press it , I think it was. It looked like they drew the quilt pattern on to it and then layed it on the project. Do you know how this works?

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    1. Use it all the time. Went off the market for a short while but is back now. Only thing you need to remember is to use a ballpoint pen that does not smudge, otherwise you could end up with ink on your quilt. Would not recommend this for white or cream fabrics.

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  27. Hi Gerry - You probably read that in the facebook group. No, I don't know if it will work or not, so you'll need to read more about it and give it a try if it sounds good to you.

    Cheers,

    Leah

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  28. In reference to my post on Jan. 14th about my squares not printing to full size: My printer is an Epson XP-800 that I have only had for about 3-4 months. I knew there should be a way to change the settings so I dug deep into my printer settings and finally found that it was printing at 97%. I changed it to 100% and all is well.

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  29. I sent a message several days ago via your contact page but haven't received a reply. I am a beginner at FMQ and have purchased the Building Blocks pattern. All of my previous reading has indicated that one should change direction by moving the quilt in different directions rather than turning it as you show in your videos, which would be difficult with projects larger than individual blocks. I am concerned about learning techniques that I can't apply in the future, and am thinking that I might even have to do some "unlearning" when I move to quilting larger projects which is definitely what I want to do. Are thee significant concerns?

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  30. Hi Jane - The key to learning free motion quilting, in my opinion, is to break down the difficulty in the beginning. Starting with small blocks you can easily rotate to find a good direction to work in goes with this theme. No, this will not be habits you have to unlearn.

    I have found that, particularly in the beginning, just getting a few stitches into a quilt without breaking thread, creating a bird's nest, or skipping stitches is an accomplishment. Working with a smaller block first allows you more control and movement, gets you comfortable making consistent stitches, and will help you sort out most machine / thread / needle issues with the least amount of stress.

    I've designed this quilt this way with intention, but if it bothers you, you're welcome to quilt them any way you please.

    Cheers,

    Leah Day

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  31. Monday I should have your kits and my material. I am so excited to try this quilt. I would love to work in thread art one day and I see this as a step to that. Actually, I think my daughter has the talent and I want to usher her in this direction if it works for her.

    I have asked to join your facebook page. I can hardly wait to see what others are doing!!!!

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  32. I have purchased the building blocks and have been reading each posted lesson and have really enjoyed watching Josh improve so quickly, it gives me hope that I will be able to do this. I have not actually started yet, life has gotten in the way but I am looking forward to learning to quilt my own quilts. I love hand quilting, and a machine can never take the place of a beautifully hand quilted item but I have 6 quilt tops and want to get them done and in use! Thank you for your wonderfully clear instructions!

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  33. Leah, it seems like the last couple videos have been posted at a very low resolution, and it's sometimes hard to see what you're doing. Is that just an oversight? Would love it if you could post high resolution again. Thanks!

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    1. Two videos were posted at lower than usual res and we've reloaded both to HD quality. Good to know it's worth the extra time to make them look as clear and pretty as possible!

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  34. Leah - I'm cutting out my fabric for the Building Blocks Quilt Along and for Bock 8 it says 2 T shirts. What kind/color of T shirts and what will it be used for? I'm so excited to be doing this project with you that my sister joined too!

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    1. The T-shirt fabric will be used as the center of block #8. You can use a small cut out of a design on the t-shirt or simply cut a memorable shirt or shorts for that patch. You will only need 4.5 inch squares and the colors should correspond with the quilt colors you're using otherwise they will stand out.

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  35. Very well! This is really a nice post to learn how to build quilting blocks perfectly. Now I'm just thinking how it will be to cut out fabric for the building blocks quilt. These lessons are very important and helpful for beginners like me.

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  36. I have a question about prewashing the fabric- I am using a layer cake for the backing, so will it mess me up if I prewash the quilt top fabric since I cannot prewash the layer cake? Thank you! Excited to get started!

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    1. No, that should be fine. You will see some shrinkage from the layer cake after the quilt is washed, and even more if you use a 100% cotton batting. But no, you shouldn't have issues from having prewashed and non prewashed fabric together...unless of course the layer cake bleeds.

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