The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 96 - Spaghetti and Meatballs

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day 96 - Spaghetti and Meatballs

What is your favorite food to eat? What if you could stitch your favorite food onto your quilts?

My absolute, hands down, favorite meal is my husband's spaghetti and meatballs and today's design is inspired by this yummy dish!

free motion quilting | Leah DaySpeaking of food and favorite meals, last night Josh and I watched Food, Inc, a movie about the food industry in America.

Even though Josh and I are natural health and diet advocates, this movie still opened our eyes to the very real health dangers and hidden costs associated with our current food industry.

Way back in high school and college, I ate terribly. Candy and sugar were my mainstays. I would eat two or three candy bars a day and meals were typically pizza or a hamburger.

I got really sick as a result of this diet, but the weirdest thing about it is I didn't KNOW I was sick. We associate sickness with sore throats, runny noses, and fever. Diet sick is very different.

I could burp louder than any guy, I would wake up at night with horrible stomach pain, and in the daytime I was tired and lethargic. I accomplished very little because I felt so terrible all the time.

It wasn't depression, acid reflux, or irritable bowel syndrome, as the doctor's I went to suggested and medicated me for. It was simply eating a bad diet.

So I changed my diet completely. I cut out all sugar, all processed foods, all dairy, and all for awhile all carbs and lived only on vegetables, some meat, seeds, and nuts. I was working near a fresh produce stand at the time and bought 90% of the food that we ate from a fresh, local vendor.

It wasn't more expensive. It actually cost less to buy local, but it did take more time to shop for and prepare fresh foods. But then again, nothing is faster than driving through a drive thru window!

The transformation to my body and health was tremendous. I felt better, lost the excessive gas and stomach pain, and began to get my normal energy back. The food we eat really does determine what we can do and how we feel on a daily basis.

But it's easy to forget this and it's REALLY easy to fall back on the old habits of convenience food. After watching the movie last night, Josh and I realized how far we'd moved away from the healthier diet we used to have.

But it doesn't take a lifetime of commitment or a zealot's flair of enthusiasm in order to eat healthier. It's simply a choice we make three times a day. Picking an apple over a candy bar. Picking water over soda pop. It's really that simple!

If this is something that interests you, please go to your local video store and rent Food, Inc. You can actually watch the other food movie, Supersize Me, in full length here. These two videos really explain the full relationship between food and health.

So now that I'm off my food soapbox, let's learn how to stitch Spaghetti and Meatballs!

Inspiration - McTavishing really is still my favorite quilting design of all time. It's easy, it's gorgeous, and it fills large amounts of your quilt quickly.

But I also love Pebbling and want to use it more often, but it takes so much time to pebble large areas of your quilt that it doesn't feel like it's worth it.

So by combining the two I think we get the best of both worlds: faster fill with gorgeous texture!

Design Family - Branching. McTavishing is a branching design and when you combine pebbling with it, things don't change much about how the design is formed. This should work just about anywhere on your quilt no matter how big or small.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. Neither of these stitches are very difficult, but simply require a little bit of practice before you can memorize the shape and style of the design.

Directional Texture - All Directions. McTavishing has one of the most flowing, organic textures that looks a lot like water or wind.

Suggestions for Use - Definitely use this in the background of your quilts, around applique, or complex quilting motifs. You can fit both designs in just about any area and no matter where you put this design, it's going to look great!

Back of Spaghetti and Meatballs
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,
and send in a picture to show it off.

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

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Congratulations to you and your DH for making better food choices! The state of our "food" in this country is awful!!!

    Now in my mid 40s I too used to eat horribly even though I was a vegetarian...I ate junk food... I had some serious health issues that forced me to get my act together on nutrition and here I am 20 something years later very healhty, still a Vegetarian but in the true sense of the word "Vegetables"... I too gave up dairy and quite a few other foods that some vegetarians do eat... the pay off is great health, lots of energy etc. :O)... stay with it!

    Nice first advent.

  3. I love, love , love seeing your new designs! Since I have a backlog of tops ready for quilting, I am getting lots of inspiration. But, I'd also like some advice. I've got a Twisted Sister pattern, and I'm thinking of using Jagged Cosmos. What do you suggest for those kind of "star" patterns?

  4. I hear you with the food...I am just getting back into eating properly, after having a minor stroke (age 47) in August :( bad cholestorol is too high and might be one of the reasons for the stroke so I am hitting the roads for running because when I run (exercise) I drink water and eat better but at the same time I am really looking at what I am putting into my body and finding recipes for meals that are healthy. I will have to check out the film you suggested.


  5. Your quilting designs are totally fun! I had Spag & meatballs night before last--first time in forever--they were great. My husband is vegetarian so I am too to an extent. I rarely have red meat. It is so hard to stay away from that bad candy and other sweets. Thanks for not being a food nazi and keep those quilting designs coming--something to do with my hands so I don't overeat!!!

  6. OMG Leah, today I *finally* went into a U-Quilt-It longarm shop that I pass every day on my way home. I got chatting with the owner, and said pretty much everything I learned about quilting I learned online from an awesome freemotion quilter named Leah Day. She said, "OH I KNOW LEAH DAY". She told me that she has checked out your site and made HUGE use of one of your patterns "Spaghetti and Meatballs". I've been keeping up with your blog since the beginning, so I am surprised I missed this one, but there you go. She told me to google it and to tell you thank you, as she LOVES it! LOL Small world! Either that, or you are more famouse now than ever!


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