The Free Motion Quilting Project

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chatting about Fear? Podcast #62

Yep, fear is the topic of the podcast today. Have I mentioned that sharing my goddess quilt stories is scary, scary, SCARY?

Click Here to find this podcast episode.

I decided the next quilt to share should be Torrent of Fear, a goddess quilt I created in 2012 after spending a year stuck in place by ultimately very silly fears.

Yes, this is a dark quilt about a negative emotion, but the funny thing is when I look at this quilt, it actually makes me feel good. I feel good and happy because I know I'm not THERE - stuck in that fearful state, unable to move or make decisions, unable to let my light shine.

Have you been feeling afraid of something lately? Do you want to make a different type of quilt or try a new craft or technique? Do you wish you could say something out loud that you've been meaning to say for a long time?

It's time to stop waiting.

Waiting to do the things you want to do, to live the life you wish you could live is a recipe for disaster. Because you may wake up one day and suddenly realize you've waited to long. Times up.

We don't know how much time we have on this Earth. It may be 5 days or 5 months or 50 years.

So the only way to get an insurance policy for your life, the only way to guarantee you've done the things you're meant to do, or that you feel pushed to accomplish is to do it right now!

Sharing my goddess quilt stories is something I've wanted to do for years. I've put it off and put it off and this year I got several wake up calls that I have to stop waiting. I'm facing the fear and making this happen because ultimately the mark I want to leave on the quilting world is not how to quilt hundreds of designs or piece pretty patchwork quilt blocks.

That's certainly something I'm proud of and I enjoy doing, don't get me wrong. But what I'd really like to do is encourage you to make quilts that mean MORE, that change your life for the better, than rock your world, literally and figuratively.

So I hope you find this episode helpful and interesting. Please share it with your friends and think about the ways fear has been holding you back with your quilting journey.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, June 18, 2018

No Raw Edges Please!

I've run many polls about applique over the years and I don't think I'm the only quilter that finds raw edge applique a little... unpleasant.

If I cut out a shape or a lock of hair, I usually want it to stay that shape! I've also found raw edge to always cause problems in the quilting. Do you stitch along the edge or inside the edge? How do you secure the edge and stop it from fraying irregularly if you don't quilt along it in an even way?

All these questions are easily dealt with if you just finish the edges with a blanket stitch or zigzag stitch.

So that's the quilting tutorial I've shared today! Click Here to learn how to finish those edges.

I mixed things up for my Eternal Love Quilt and did the edge finishing and quilting at the same time. Yes, this means that the decorative stitching will show on the back of the quilt.

Does this also make your skin break out in hives? What if I told you it seriously speeds up the quilting process? Willing to give it a try now?

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Very Fashionable Evening

About a week ago I learned the authors of The Tunic Bible, Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr were going to be in Charlotte sharing their "Hand Curated Wardrobe." Count me in!

Remember - I made a tunic along with Amy Johnson in 2016 and really loved this pattern. Click Here to see my finished tunic.

It was a fabulous event and I really enjoyed seeing all their garments from simple skirts to amazing dresses. I knew I would come home feeling inspired to sew and make something new to wear.

What surprised me is WHAT I'm wanting to sew and wear - a French jacket.

This is surprising because I'm not much of a fashionista and French jackets have always felt a bit... stuffy to me for lack of a better word.

Then I realized they are quilted. Ooooo... Then I saw the possibilities for decorative trims and embellishments. Ahhh... Then I realized you get to sew a chain in the back because the front is so heavy and for some reason - SOLD! Gotta make one now!

It's not immediately going to the top of my list, but it's definitely a project on the list to sew as soon as I have time.

Overall it was a terrific evening and I highly recommend attending a workshop or lecture with Sarah Gunn or Julie Starr if you're interested in learning more about sewing your own clothing.

Let's go quilt (or sew!)

Leah Day

Friday, June 15, 2018

How to Quilt Matrix Maze

It's Walking Foot Friday! I have a fun design for you to quilt today or over the weekend that's perfect for walking foot quilting or free motion quilting, whichever one you like best.

Click Here to find this quilting tutorial.

I've shared both the new quilting tutorial with walking foot quilting AND the original free motion quilting tutorial from the very early days of the Free Motion Quilting Project.

I look back on those early videos and cringe a bit, but at the same time I also have to smile because that was how I got started. It's good to smile at your start because everything grew from there.

I'm taking off tonight to go to a fun sewing event. I'm hoping to see many beautiful inspiring garments and hopefully learn how to dress more stylishly. That's never been my strong suit and there's always room for improvement!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Back from Vacation Podcast #61

James and I popped off to Charleston this past weekend for a short trip to visit family and hang out together. In this week's podcast I share about the trip and my major obsession: freeform crochet!

Click Here to find the show notes and podcast video.

I think I'm mostly loving freeform crochet because it's the perfect project to work on while I'm editing Mally the Maker. I've spread out over my couch with yarn, crochet hooks, and the printed book galley and as I crochet, I'm listening to the book being read to be via Natural Reader.

That's an app that will read anything to you in a fairly robotic voice, but it's still good enough for me to be able to get lost in the story. It's amazing how easy is to miss small words in sentences, especially when editing the book and by listening to it, I'm hopefully catching most of them.

Did you catch that missing word? Our brains are magnificent at filling in gaps like that so listening really is the best way to edit in my opinion.

So that's the podcast for this week! Next week I'm going to share another goddess quilt story about Torrent of Fear. I feel like this is the perfect quilt to talk about next because sharing like this is scary and I have to push myself to be so open and share from my heart.

I hope you're looking forward to that and YES! There will be new quilting design videos coming Friday! I missed my design last week while on vacation so we'll definitely have a new one this week.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Learning How to Watercolor

It’s never too late to learn a new skill! This summer I decided to learn how to paint with watercolors. Turns out, there’s quite a lot to it and it’s definitely not a fast skill to master.

Watercolor paints are random and weird and I can honestly say I don’t know what I’m doing. But I’m having fun!

The thing I like best is the unpredictable nature of this paint. I use too much water intentionally so I get really weird results. I’m aiming for nice color washes with great light / dark effects for each color. It’s definitely a work in progress!

What I love most about learning something new is the flow of trial and error. I paint something and it dries and I have to decide if I like it or not and if I want to throw more paint at it or leave it be.

I’ve ruined a few tests, but that’s kind of the point – they are tests! The more I paint, the more I know how to handle the paint and what to do with it and how much water to add and so on.

This same set of lessons also apply to quilting. Every quilt is a test. Every quilt is an experiment. Make something, finish it and decide if you like it or not. If you decide it’s awful, throw more fabric, thread, yarn or glitter at it (glitter makes everything better) and see if you like it better. You hate it more? Sorry, try again!

The point is to learn by doing.

Do more stuff. Make more messes. Don't get attached to the results.

I'm off to make more messes with watercolors! What will you make a mess with today?

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, June 11, 2018

How to Make an Applique Quilt

Our second post for the Eternal Love Quilt Along is up and ready for you! This week we're taking all the pieces we traced and cut out and layering them together to create the finished quilt top.

Click Here to find this new quilting tutorial.

This feels a lot like putting together the pieces of a big puzzle. I made a few mistakes with my quilt and had a near catastrophe at the end when I flipped it over to fuse onto the background fabric and the entire thing started to fall apart.

It ended up being a bit of a "do what I say, not what I do" situation and I think the main reason I had some struggles is I was being too rough with the applique and flipping it over too much.

So make sure to watch the entire video to get all the tips you need for creating the Eternal Love quilt and connecting all the pieces together!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Help us create more quilting tutorials! Check out our quilt shop at