The Free Motion Quilting Project: Midnight Sewing Lesson

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Midnight Sewing Lesson

I love this hobby, I really do. In no other hobby can you make mistakes like this and still be able to fix it!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
This is the product of trying to rush through a project and piece more than half of it after 1 am. My midnight sewing lesson only served to teach me one thing - to go to bed!

The funny thing about it is, I didn't even see the mistake until after the whole thing was pieced. The shadows only really start to work and create the dimension after the background is completely together, so it was only after I pinned it to the design wall and stepped back that I saw my shadows weren't all going in the right directions.

According to Casting Shadows, a book on creating dimensional quilts, you really want to keep all the shadows angling in one direction. Otherwise it appears like shadows are being cast all over the place and it ruins the effect.

So a bit of seam ripping was in order to fix this mistake and once the pieces were ripped apart they could be stitched back together again the right way.

free motion quilting | Leah DayLooking at the finished center of this quilt which I've decided to name it Australian Shadows, I'm stunned at how awesome the fabrics look. Really the fabrics don't even need to match at all. These are all M&S Textiles Aboriginal prints, but they don't have to be. I could mix in other prints and it'd look just fine.

Which is great because I didn't buy enough fabric for the borders I designed. Instead that will have to be pieced using this batik fabric:

free motion quilting | Leah DayReally I love this little quilt already and I'm planning to make a really huge one for my king sized bed. I still haven't gotten around to making a quilt that will actually fit the whole bed and I'm looking forward to the challenge of quilting on a large scale for a change.

This small quilt, however, will probably end up being a wall hanging and I may end up showing it just for fun. It's going to be interesting to pick out filler designs that work in the shadow and background areas. The fabric areas are too complex for the quilting to really matter much, but the rest of the areas should be fun to play with.

So that's it for this What's Leah Working on Wednesday! Since I was up so late last night, I'm feeling the need for a little nap, and then I'll get back to this little quilt and finish up the borders this evening.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. That quilt is turning out nice, now that it's turned around! (We've all been there...that 'doh moment!)
    But good job of pushing through and fixing it, rather than shoving it into a corner!

  2. Hi, Leah! This little quilt looks so good. I named mine "Australian Shadows", too. It looks so dimensional when you're done. Funny story, about piecing it the wrong way. Yes, sleep is always good at that point! lol Hope you're well. Have a very good Christmas and New Year!
    hugs, Cathy Miller

  3. Leah, it is so refreshing to know you are human, just like the rest of us!

  4. I love that you post something like this in process. What a great pattern that really showcases the fabrics. Nice!

  5. It's a lovely quilt. How big are the blocks?

  6. Just goes to show we all need to step back sometimes to get a better perspective!

    I love my design wall! I didn't have one for years and when I finally got one, I don't know how I did without it!

    Love your site!


  7. this is beautiful, love the shadows, is there a pattern available somewhere

  8. I love that book Casting Shadows. And I did the exact same thing, only mine was the center strip. LOL.

    I love the effect, don't you? It makes people think I am better than I really am!!


  9. The quilt is beautiful and I love your batik border, it blends so well. And you are right about the shadows needing to go in one direction.

  10. I think all of us have sewn things together in the wrong order before and not catch it right away.....I know I have! Love this pattern and it is on my list of to do's in 2011, thanks for sharing.

  11. a great quilt to highlight some fab fabric. I like it!

  12. The quilt looks great - I have a pattern similar to that and now I want to get started on it!

  13. It is funny how you do not recognise a mistake until you look at it with fresh and awake eyes. Who has not done this? I love the fabrics and the shadows really make them stand out. Looking forward to seeing what filler designs you choose. Please show close-ups of the fillers after stitched.

  14. The American Navajo weavers always make a 'mistake' because only the Great Spirit is perfect. Its a lovely quilt right or wrong!

  15. Leah, I hope you don't get mad at my comment, but I love the first version. So unexpected and lovely. either way your fabrics are gorgeous and I can't wait to see your quilting, of course!
    Tina in San Diego


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