The Free Motion Quilting Project: Shadow Self - Part 3

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shadow Self - Part 3

Yay! Yay! Yay! Yesterday I finally finished clipping the batting from Shadow Self and it's officially ready to quilt!

But rather than staying up half the night to baste her, I decided to hold my horses and shoot one last video on this quilt explaining the design process step by step.

So for this Anything Goes Thursday, let's learn how to design a quilt like this. Here's part 1:

To sum up the video in case you can't see it, the design process for this quilt was really simple.

I sat at my kitchen table for several weeks and sketched on tracing velum using some really hi-tech tools including a pencil, eraser, protractor, and ruler. Chances are if you raid your kids or grand-kids pencil box you'll be able to find everything you need!

After the piecing lines were solid, I then played a bit with colored pencils, but quickly got inpatient. For the next quilt I design, I will spend more time working with the color until I've got a very clear idea of what fabrics I'll be using.

Next I started sketching the quilting design on a fresh piece of tracing velum. This was the first time I've ever spent so much time, or went into such detail, with the quilting design before the quilt was put together.

And this work paid off big time! The design is nicely balanced and has a wonderful contrast between the lighter side and darker side.

Here's the second half of the video where you can see the quilt flipped over and the full quilting design exposed on the back:

Click Here if the Video Does Not Appear

I've also had several requests for a video that teaches how to clip the trapunto batting away, and while clipping Shadow Self I turned on the camera and shot this quick video on that too:

So that's it for this Anything Goes Thursday! I'm off to baste Shadow Self and start the quilting process.

With how much space I filled with puffy motifs, the quilting process should move along very quickly, but then again, I really don't know what to expect until the process gets started.

Cross your fingers I don't run into any surprises!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. Thank you, you have a gift of teaching others. I have learned so much by watching what you do. Thank you again and again!

    glen: off to a four day dyeing workshop! I am "dying to dye!"

  2. WOW Leah! Amazing videos and great planning. It's always important to analyze ahead of time. Thank you for reinforcing that point.

  3. Do you ever use basting spray to help you with trapunto or any other quilting?

  4. Hi Metanoia - Nope, I'm a safety pin baster all the way!

    Maybe it's something about being a mother to a three year old, but I've sworn off using anything that's sticky and smelly, which spray basting is both.

    Also with trapunto, you have to pull the batting away from the quilt top and clip it carefully.

    The one time I did use spray baste, it was a constant sticky, nasty mess, and not an experience I wanted to repeat!

    That's just my two cents though. Try it yourself if that's more up your alley.

    Let's Go Quilt!

    Leah Day


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