The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 92 - Leaf Veins

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 92 - Leaf Veins

This design is also featured in the DVD Beginner Free Motion Quilting Fillers, as well as the ebook From Daisy to Paisley.

With the leaves now almost completely fallen and laying in wet, soggy piles all around the yard, I'm suddenly feeling rather sad that they're gone.

While flowers and leaves have not played a huge role in my designs so far, I have a feeling that that will chance as we move deeper into winter. So let's check out the latest nature inspired design with Leaf Veins:

free motion quilting | Leah DayA funny thing happened today to jog me out of my normal routine email checking and blogging.

A reader from Australia emailed me with the question "What is Black Friday?"

I found this funny because I know for a fact that people from all over the world are reading this blog, but I'd totally forgotten that, to an Australian, Canadian, or Swede, the term Black Friday is probably as foreign and weird as Bread Pudding, Kangaroos, and Boxing Day are to me.

And when I talk about the upcoming Black Friday Sale, I'm sure it doesn't make very much sense!

So to explain, Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving in America. After we've filled our bellies full of turkey, stuffing, and enough pie to re-sink the Titanic, we work off our calorie surplus by shopping.

And it's not just any type of shopping - it's insane, over-the-top, mega shopping. The best deals, product releases, and sales always happen on Black Friday.

While it sounds amusing, the frenzy over cheap computers and TV sets is actually quite dangerous. A man was killed last year in a Walmart after a mob of crazy shoppers stampeded into the store.

I've shopped a couple times on Black Friday, but always found that the crowds and stress were just not worth it. The good news is you can now find even better deals all year around on the internet without the danger of getting trampled by an angry mob!

So with that American culture lesson out of the way, let's learn how to quilt Leaf Veins!

Inspiration - I love the big, thick leaves of Elephant ear plants and Calla lily bulbs. Amazingly enough, I still have some Calla lilies left since the weather has been so warm.

I love the large, open spaces of these leaves and how easily the simple the vein texture looks over dark green fabric.

Design Family - Stem Centered. This is a design where you first create the center vein, then you stitch the lines radiating off to form the texture. Because of the way it's created, this design will work best in the large, open areas of your quilts.

Difficulty Level - Beginner. These are just long, slightly curving lines that are very easy to quilt. If you're working to the edges of your quilting space, you won't even have to do much traveling to get back to the center leaf vein as you work.

Directional Texture - All Directions. Your eyes will definitely pick up the the center, stem shape, but because the lines are all radiating out in all directions, it really gives your quilt an all over texture.

Suggestions for Use - I like the idea of using this design over leaf appliques. I just recently checked out: Hop To It! Appliqued Blocks and Projects by Edyta Sitar from my local quilt guild library.

This is an awesome book, full of beautiful appliques that are slightly different from your typical applique style. If I could get a hold of one of her quilts, I would definitely use Leaf Veins in each of the leaf shapes. Just a little texture added to an already gorgeous block is an easy way to take a quilt from pretty to spectacular!

Back of Leaf Veins
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and make sure to tell your friends where you learned it.

Click here to support the project by visiting our online quilt shop.

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. The "Black" of black Friday is because this is when retailers usually get out of the "red" column, and into the black - and are actually making money. If "black Friday" sales are bad, they may be in the "red" for the whole year.

  2. Wow, the first to comment, that always feels like a treat. :) I wikied Black Friday and it's always interesting what comes up. There's the discussion of Black Friday in 1929 when the US stock market crashed... that's what always comes to my mind when I hear the term - but the day after Thanksgiving sales Black Friday, wiki says, refers to retailers being in the black instead of in the red. Thanks for the push to come to understand my own culture a little better. :)

  3. and from what I understand, the *term* "Black Friday" comes from the fact that after ALL THOSE PEOPLE have emptied their wallets into the stores by heavily shopping, the retails store books have finally gotten "in the black". Most retail stores receive the majority of their sales in the last quarter of the year .. due to Christmas shopping.

  4. Ooh! Ooh! I'm liking this one a whole lot! I'd love to use it as a background fill for a medallion applique quilt. Hmmm... I wonder what's in my UFO pile???

    (Thank you!)

  5. Another winner Leah - I've even started FMQ - made a bag yesterday for a Secret Santa gift and FMQ for the first time - I need though to get my quilting space sorted to make any quilting go smoothly - make an extended table bed and cover it in teflon materail (don't have a fancy sewing table - just a pasting table with an off cut of kitchen worktop to strengthen it)


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