The Free Motion Quilting Project

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Why Am I Keeping All This Stuff?

Yep, this was my upstairs office today...

I was planning to move a big cabinet you can't see in this picture out of this room and into the living room. So I pulled everything out and began sorting through it.

Then Josh and I talked through the move some more and he decided to dismantle the 55 gallon fish tank you can see in the corner of the photo next weekend so I don't need to move this cabinet anymore.

There's a piece of me that wonders if I should keep all this stuff. A giant chunk (at least 75 pounds) is a bead collection I started when I was around 14 years old. I don't do much any beadwork these days so why am I holding onto all of this?

But then I open a box and the memories flood out in a rush. I carried these bins with me to college, I remember buying many of the tubes in high school. They're a bit like old friends and it's wonderful to pull them out and paw through them a bit.

And it really doesn't take up THAT much space. I tucked everything back into place and have a new plan with my special craft projects - I'm going to start drawing and sketching my ideas at night before bed and work out exactly what I want to create with the beads / ribbon / fabric / yarn and fiber I've stashed away in this cabinet.

Then once I have a fully planned project, I'll pull out the gear and make it a reality. Then put my toys away and enjoy the finished pretty thing. I think that's a lot better than leaving out random things that are continually in my way / driving me crazy until I get around to finishing them.

So I'm off to sketch and dream! I hope you've had a wonderful weekend and you're ready for next week to begin.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, July 20, 2018

How to Quilt Crazy Matrix

Just three more walking foot quilting designs to go and I added a bit of longarm quilting on top. It's a bit like icing on the cake, but better!

Click Here to find the Slice Quilting Ruler I used for travel stitching in this video.

Click Here to read more about the Grace Qnique 15R.

I really love quilting designs two radically different ways. It's really important to understand that there isn't a perfect type of quilting out there. There are always limitations to what you can do easily and how much control you have over the design.

With walking foot quilting, I think the main advantage is you have lots of control. The machine guides the quilt for you and you can control the stitch length by the setting on your machine.

The disadvantage is walking foot quilting is slow and if your quilt is big, I'm not going to lie - it's going to be a workout!

The advantage of longarm quilting is you have a much easier range of movement. Instead of muscling the quilt under the needle, you're moving the machine smoothly over the quilt.

The disadvantage with this type of quilting is the size and cost - longarms take up a lot of space and aren't as affordable as a home machine. It also does take practice to learn how to control the machine. That's why I used the ruler in the video to keep the outline of my design nice and straight.

That said, longarm quilting machines have come down in price considerably since they were first created. You may even be able to rent time in a quilt shop in your local area to try it out.

I hope you're enjoying these quilting tutorials! Let me know if you have anything specific you'd like to see and I'll film a video just for you.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Leaf Peepers Quilt Along with Sheri Cilfaldi-Morrill

It's time for a new quilt along! Last year I mentioned in a few podcast episodes I would love to collaborate with another quilting designer and host a quilt along together. My friend Sheri Cilfaldi-Morrill from was up for the challenge and together we've been working on a fun new project for more than 8 months!

Click Here to find the Leaf Peepers Quilt Pattern

Sheri designed this beautiful Leaf Peepers Quilt to highlight the changing colors of leaves during the autumn season. I love decorating for each season and Leaf Peepers is going to be a wonderful quilt to pull out each fall.

With this quilt pattern, you can piece the blocks into a square shape to create a 40-inch wall hanging or you can piece the blocks in a line to create a 24 x 74-inch table runner. Check out the beautiful quilts in this video:

The process of writing a pattern and hosting a quilt along with another teacher has been a wonderful experience. Sheri and I tested the pattern, pieced the blocks, and quilted our quilts, filming videos throughout the process.

Next month this new Leaf Peepers Quilt Along will begin and each Monday from August 13th - October 8th, we will share new videos detailing every step of the process!

These big leaf blocks are so much fun to piece and along the way you'll learn two methods for piecing half square triangles, how to make quarter square triangles (my new favorite unit) and how to quilt your Leaf Peepers Quilt with walking foot quilting, free motion quilting, and ruler foot quilting.

How do you join this quilt along? All you need to do is pick up a copy of the Leaf Peepers Quilt Pattern.

Once you have the pattern, you can get started prepping up your fabric so you're ready to begin on August 13th. Follow the directions in this video to wash, starch, press, and cut your pieces accurately:

Click Here to find the Leaf Peepers Fat Quarter Bundle

I can't wait for this new Leaf Peepers Quilt Along to begin and I'm really looking forward to decorating with my new quilts this autumn.

Click Here to find the Leaf Peepers Quilt Along Schedule.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, July 16, 2018

How to Quilt Pinstripe Matrix Maze

We're down to our last four designs from Explore Walking Foot Quilting and I've decided to add a bit of longarm quilting exploration to each video as well. See what I mean in this new quilting tutorial:

Click Here to find the Slice Ruler.

Click Here to learn more about the Grace Qnique Longarm.

The key to Pinstripe Matrix Maze is that nice spacing of lines and as you can see in the quilting tutorial, no matter whether you quilt it with a walking foot or with a ruler on a longarm, this can be tricky!

The nice thing is this design is so complex and zigzaggy that slightly wide or slightly narrow lines aren't going to be obvious. Definitely give it a try and see what I mean!

Let's go quilt

Leah Day

Friday, July 13, 2018

How to Quilt Crazy Curves

We're nearing the end of the Walking Foot Quilt Along and have only a handful of designs left to quilt together. I've been adding a little extra quilting goodness to these quilting tutorials to teach you a bit about my new obsession: ruler foot quilting!

Click Here to find the new Basic Ruler Quilting Kit which comes with my three new rulers: Slice, Mini Slide, and Super Slide made by Grace Company!

I know it might seem confusing how ruler foot quilting and walking foot quilting are different seeing as I mostly quilted in the same direction - pushing the quilt through the front of the machine just like with walking foot quilting.

The main difference is what the machine is doing - with walking foot quilting the machine's feed dogs are doing the work for you and pulling the quilt through the machine one stitch at a time.

Unless you take a heavy hand with the quilt and start shoving it through the machine (which can happen when you're impatient and the walking foot is feeling a little slow!), your stitches will be the same size.

Ruler foot quilting, which is a form of free motion quilting doesn't use the machine's feed dogs so you can quilt in all directions, but you'll no longer have the guaranteed consistent stitch length that you get from walking foot quilting.

So it's a bit of a trade off, but ruler foot quilting is faster. You can speed up and so long as you can match the speed of your hands with the speed of the machine, you can move the quilt faster.

The only downside is your stitches may sometimes get bigger / smaller depending on your speed / movement ratio.

Feeling confused? It's hard to understand the differences of these types of machine quilting until you try them! Give Crazy Curves a try this weekend and quilt half your quilt sandwich with walking foot quilting and the other half with rulers or with free motion quilting.

I promise you'll learn a lot and have a new perspective on these different types of machine quilting!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Can I Make a Quilt with a Bed Sheet?

I have a new Great Quilting Debate for you today! Can you make quilts from bed sheets? SHOULD we make quilts from bed sheets?

It seems like this single question is enough to start a riot in certain quilting groups and I decided to weigh in on the issue today with a new episode of the Hello My Quilting Friends podcast.

Click Here to check out the episode.

I also ended up weighing in on fabric purchased from big box stores, and using weird fabrics like silk, jeans, corduroy, and wool in our quilts.

Basically - if my machine doesn't eat it, why can't I use it?

I think there's a bit of snobbery in the quilting world from quilters that can afford $12+ yards of fabric and those that can't. A quilt is a quilt, and no matter what fabric you use, it's probably 300% better than what women were using 100 years ago.

So I'm calling for a stop on judgement and this silly criticism. Who cares what anyone else is using? Make what you want to make and use whatever you want in your quilts!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, July 6, 2018

How to Quilt Crazy Ziggie

I have a fun new quilting tutorial for you today! Come learn how to quilt Crazy Ziggie with both walking foot and ruler foot quilting!

Click Here to find this quilting tutorial.

We're stitching it up a notch with the last few walking foot quilting designs from the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting. I'm editing the videos and adding a bit more quilting to show you how to stitch these designs with different types of machine quilting.

I think it's easy to get stuck in a rut and stick with one type of quilting as a default simply because it's what feels easy. You have to push yourself to try different things and different ways to quilt, even if that means less-than-perfect stitches in the beginning.

I hope you'll enjoy this tutorial and sneak peek for a special tutorial coming Monday for this quilted zippered pouch!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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