The Free Motion Quilting Project

Friday, May 25, 2018

How to Quilt Windy Feathers

I'm taking a break from walking foot quilting this week to bring you a new free motion quilting tutorial! Learn how to quilt Windy Feathers with me in this new quilting tutorial:


Click Here to find the full tutorial and extra video on Windy Feathers!

James is chomping at the bit to get out of the house and off on a short trip. I'm looking forward to a bit of time away so I can come home refreshed and ready to hit the ground running with the Eternal Love Quilt Along in June.

I hope you have an amazing Memorial Day weekend!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, May 24, 2018

What Can You Do in 1 Hour?

Hello my quilting friend! I have a new podcast for you this week with a big update on what's going on around the house. Many huge projects are finally getting finished, or moving steadily in that direction and I'm feeling great about my progress on Mally the Maker, my quilt fiction novel.

Click Here to find this podcast episode.

The main theme of this podcast was about how to reach your goals in tiny increments, every single day. In the past 8 months I've written a full length (90,000 word) fiction novel, designed rulers with Grace Company, worked with C&T Publishing to create a calendar, posted three videos or more per week, and hosted multiple quilt alongs.

You might be wondering if I ever sleep. I certainly used to get that question a lot when I taught quilting in person.

Yes, of course I sleep. I LOVE sleep! If I didn't sleep well every single night, I wouldn't be able to do anything the next day or probably the next week.

How I get so much done is simple - I work on it all a little bit every day. 1 hour of time every day adds up. So long as you put that effort in every single day, it will pay off eventually.

Even if you don't want to run a business or write a book, I hope you will apply this to your quilts. If you have a growing stack of quilt tops, but no finished quilts, it's time to check in on that. What do you want to finish? What MUST you finish?

Pull out that quilt and work on it 1 hour per day. You'll be surprised by how quickly you finish it!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Playtime on My New Machine

I'm still getting to know my new sewing machine and the best way to get acquainted is to play! I decided it was time to update my walls with new hoop quilts for the spring so I pulled out some cheerful purple fabric, picked a handful of designs, and began quilting.

Join in this free motion quilting playtime with me:


Click Here to learn more about the Eversewn Sparrow 20, the machine I'm quilting on in this video.

No, I'm not using a stitch regulator. This is just my hands moving the quilt and my foot pressing on the foot pedal. It does take time and practice to get the hang of balancing your hand movement with the speed of your machine running.

I'm still getting the hang of quilting on this new machine so I made several big stitches while quilting this little hoop quilt. The best thing to do is throw more thread at it! Cover up those mistakes and keep on quilting.

Read more about this free motion quilting adventure right here.

Have you given yourself permission to play lately? Play is fun, it's light and carefree and best of all, there's no right or wrong, good or bad. Do kids on a playground stop playing and begin criticizing the way they swing or slide? Nope.

Focus on the fun, and if you make a mistake just throw a little thread at it or stick something else on top!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, May 21, 2018

Something Pretty This Way Comes

Just a quick, pretty image to start the day off right!


Try saying that to someone today. I promise, you will make them feel like a million bucks!

Even better yet, go quilt it. Quilting beautiful words is such a powerful practice. And here's a link to see this entire quilt.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, May 20, 2018

First Round of Editing DONE!

I'm sorry I've been missing the last two days. I dove head first into Mally the Maker on Friday and decided it was time to finish the first round of editing and I'm so happy to say it's DONE!

Seriously I've been doing lots and lots of fist pumps since 3 pm today because that was a LONG process. I finished writing the first draft of the book back in March and Josh took a week to edit the text.

And then I've been stuck in it ever since. Yes, I do use the word stuck because it was like wading through the Swamp of No Fun.

I really love writing and towards the end of writing this book, I really felt myself speed up and get into a groove. Editing is much slower, very detailed, and I like to do it downstairs on my big computer screen which is on a regular desk so I can't stand or walk and work on it.

Side note: I've build a makeshift standing treadmill desk upstairs which only supports a small laptop. I like working on it, but a bigger screen really makes a big difference. I was missing a lot of typos and duplicate words because my screen was so tiny. Yes, I can walk and write at the same time - very, very slowly!

So I've been in editing mode since March and I fixed a lot of mistakes. I added two new spaces to the map, sorted out a lot of inconsistencies, and strengthened a lot of spots that were a bit weak.

I did get stuck twice - both times because I re-wrote a significant section of the text that then spiraled into more changes further in the book. I sorted it out, dug myself out of the hole and swore to myself, Josh, and every scrap of fabric I have left in the house that I will not do that again!

So what is next for Mally the Maker? More editing!

Josh is already reading through the book a second time and making more corrections. I'll add those in, then do two more rounds of editing by listening to the book while I quilt. That's the way I read most fiction novels - as audiobooks - so that's the best way for me to edit. I can keep my ears on the book and my eyes on my quilt and catch minor changes in word choice and things like that as I listen.

Now all this might sound like the book is terrible. I promise you this is just a polishing process. It's the step of going from a drawn quilt pattern on paper to working out the math and size to be most efficient. This is the process of fixing typos, duplicate words, and all my misplaced commas and apostrophes that could potentially pull you out of the book.

The story itself is rock solid. I honestly think this is the second best thing I've ever made (James will always be the best).

Multiple parts make me cry every time I read them. Despite the fact that I plotted the book before starting, it twisted and turned in ways I didn't expect. I heard on a recent writing podcast - No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader - and I absolutely agree.

This process has been surprising, fun, challenging, and amazing all rolled into one.

And it's only just beginning! Josh has the galley now and is already reading through it. I'm still going to wake up an hour early every morning and begin working on the artwork, quilt patterns, and doll patterns for the characters in the book.

This has been the part I've been most looking forward to for months and I can't wait to start making images, designs, and quilts to go along with the book. Yay! We're one step closer to making Mally the Maker a reality!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, May 18, 2018

How to Quilt Pinstripe Curves

What's curvy and spacey and lots of fun? Pinstripe Curves! Learn how to quilt this design in this new quilting tutorial:


Click Here to find the full tutorial

This is our 20th design from the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting which means it's time to connect your blocks to make the Marvelous Mosaic Quilt!

Click Here to find the Quilt as You Go Tutorial

The tutorial above is for connecting super-sized quilt blocks together for the Hugs and Kisses Quilt, but I used the exact same technique for Marvelous Mosaic. Follow the instructions in the book and connect your blocks, then bind the edges and your quilt will be complete!

I still have 10 designs to share from the book, but I've decided to change things up and add a bit of free motion quilting or longarm quilting to the new videos. Be looking forward to more machine quilting variety every Friday!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Copyright Law and Quilting

Hello My Quilting Friends! I have a new quilting friend for you to meet today. Heather Kubiak is a copyright attorney and quilter, which is a terrific combination in my opinion! In our conversation, she helped clear up a lot of confusion about copyright as well as opened my eyes to a lot of crazy implications for sharing images on public sites like Pinterest and Facebook.

Click Here to find this episode.

I know this is the second podcast we've done on copyright, which isn't the most fun of topics I'll admit, but please understand this is a major concern for quilt pattern writers and designers.

I see a lot of misinformation wandering around in the world as well as a lot of bent out of shape quilters that seem to think techniques and methods can be copyrighted (sorry, they can't). You can watch all the free motion quilting tutorials I've shared, teach yourself the designs, then go teach them yourself and use the exact same information I've taught.

That's perfectly legal and that's a great thing because otherwise we would all be stuck in little boxes standing perfectly still because walking, running, talking, and every form of stitch work imaginable would be protected by some form of copyright and we'd all have to pay royalties to someone for breathing.

Methods / techniques are utilitarian. You cannot copyright methods.

I've personally experienced bullying a few times from tutorials I've shared and even recently received a take-down notice from a quilter who didn't like that I used her tool in a video. Hello? Free advertising? Fair use? Did you not create this for quilters to use to make quilts?

That experience just left me shaking my head in absolute wonder at the crazy pills some professional quilters seem to take. Please don't fire off copyright claims and take-down notices unless you actually know what you're talking about!

So if you've ever experienced copyright bullying or excessive copyright claim, I hope this podcast helps you feel better. If you're still feeling confused, contact Heather Kubiak and get her help mediating the issue. Yes, it is worth it to have peace of mind and the issue resolved once and for all.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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