The Free Motion Quilting Project: Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Today is the Friday before the 4th of July which means that most Americans are off their computers traveling to visit family or in the kitchen mixing up the ingredients for a tasty barbecue.

It seems that every family has a different tradition when it comes to independence day celebrations. My family always had a tradition of blowing something up, not with fireworks, but with actual dynamite!

This year we're opting for a low key celebration that involves going out to lunch with good friends and maybe watching some fireworks in the evening.

So this Friday instead of featuring one specific thing, I'm instead going to share several older videos that you may have missed over the course of the project.

It's a great weekend to kick back and relax so enjoy learning a few new tips on free motion quilting!

Click Here if the Video Does Not Appear

Visibility really is key to beautiful free motion quilting. If you can't see your stitches, where you're going, or what line you're aiming to hit, it's really hard to quilt and produce the results you want.

I've played around with a lot of different free motion feet, but found that most of them have limitations. I finally realized that the best way to get the foot I wanted was to break a cheap one and make it myself!

So if you're looking for a way to see your stitches better, Click Here to read more about the Generic Free Motion Foot.

Now let's review what we should all do with our threads every time we stop and start quilting:

Click Here if the Video Does Not Appear

Quilt show judges look for thread starts and stops more than anything else because it's a dead give-a-way as to whether you hide your threads or just clip them off.

Click Here to read more about the Pin Place and Clover Cheater Needles and never clip those threads off again! Secure them into the center of your quilt instead!

Finally, here's a super silly video I made with my son when he was around 8 months old:

Yes, the first business I ever built was for a direct sales skin care business called L'Bri Pure n' Natural. I still use and sell the products, but it's definitely take a back seat to quilting since the start of this project.

But it's still fun to watch this old video and remember how itsy bitsy my son used to be.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. Any hints on how to do the modifications for a Bernina? I'm not even sure of how to get generic feet the fit.

  2. Hi Kristine - For a Bernina, you actually have a really good open toe foot designed for that machine.

    Go to a Bernina Dealer and ask for an open toe darning foot for your machine. It's really the perfect foot for free motion quilting, I just wish it was made for all the different sewing machine brands!

    Let's go quilt,

    Leah Day

  3. I can't say enough good things about the Clover Cheater Needles, and I especially like using them in combination with the pin place.

    I'm quilting very large squares based on topo maps and there are lots--LOTS--of large and small contour islands, so there are lots--LOTS--of threads to knot and bury. The cheater needles make this job so much easier. Where have they been all my life????

    And using the Pin Place with the needle also saves time. I can keep it by my machine or move it to my work table when I'm burying a lot of tails, and being able to just "throw" the needle at it and find the needle again in an instant is saving me a lot of time.

    With these two tools you won't mind burying your threads. And it makes a much nicer (and more secure) finish.

  4. I second Liz's comment. I've committed to training myself to get in the habit of hiding my threads, (I tend to hide them as I go) and if it weren't for cheater needles and the pin place, I would not be able to be consistent! There is no excuse now! I've given them away as small gifts to quilting friends.
    To Kristine, I have a Bernina 430 and the open toe foot is the way to go. They do have others as well, but only the open toe foot allows you to see your stitching freely. There is a freehand Embroidery foot #24 that has the opening ("C" shaped)and also a darning foot #9 that is "O" shaped. Check out their website and the various tabs on the presser feet page!


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