The Free Motion Quilting Project: A Nice Trip Away

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Nice Trip Away

I apologize for being MIA for a few days, but losing Jinjo threw me for a bigger loop than I ever expected, and after the events of last week, we all needed to get out of the house and out of town for awhile.

So we headed up to Linville Caverns, but it turns out the caves are closed in the winter and only open on Saturday and Sunday. That was a bit disappointing, but we quickly changed plans and decided to head further north to Grandfather Mountain and Boone, NC.

free motion quilting | Leah DayHere are some pics from Grandfather Mountain on Friday. It was SUPER windy and cold. We all had 3 layers on at least and James was actually wearing a hat, but we were still cold.

James wasn't too into the heights or wind either. We made it halfway across the swinging bridge before he declared "I wanna go home!" and that this was way "too much!"

But we did have a good time in the nature area and James loved the animal habitat despite the fact that no animals actually showed up. In his almost-4 year old's mind, the best thing in the whole world is running, running, running and the ramps and pathways allowed a lot of that!

free motion quilting | Leah DayOf course, when planning any trip, I always do a bit of googling before we leave to see if there are any quilt shops within a reasonable drive of our destination.

After a bit of searching I found two quilt shops in Boone, NC, so we set our sites on that college city after our windy trip to Grandfather Mountain.

I vacationed in Boone about 10 years ago and it's amazing how much it has changed. Much more traffic, a ton of road construction, and for some reason I just could not get oriented in this city.

I pride myself on having a really good sense of direction and an excellent mental "map" of where I'm going, but in Boone, I got turned around more in one day than I usually do in 1 year! I swore the roads were jumping up and switching places with one another when my back was turned.

Anyway, after a bit of turning around, we finally found a hotel and I left in search of my quilt shops. I ended up at just one of the two because of lack of time and because the one I stopped at was just so awesome.

The Quilt Shop is a small shop located in the New Market Center. The first thing you see walking into this shop is this gorgeous quilt created by one of the owners:

I love everything about this quilt! The fabrics are all Australian prints created by M&S Textiles. This is just one of the many beautiful collections of fabric carried by The Quilt Shop.

It's the shadow effect is what really makes this quilt pop and shows off those fabrics so spectacularly. If you'd like to learn how to create a quilt like this, definitely check out Casting Shadows by Colleen Wise. This book is all about creating visual dimension with simple piecing or applique techniques.

Seeing this quilt in the quilt shop reminded me again of the lecture with The Singing Quilter, Cathy Miller and her beautiful Australian shadow fabric quilt. I think this shadow technique is awesome for highlighting beautiful fabrics that might be tricky to work with in another way.

I decided on the spot that I wanted to piece one for myself and picked up some gorgeous prints and a dark brown shadow fabric.

free motion quilting | Leah DayNow that I'm home I'm already prewashing the Aussie prints to get ready to piece my top and getting ready to start the new design. It's always nice to start a new project, and playing with the shadow techniques will be a fun and interesting challenge.

Speaking of challenge, I got loads of inspiration for more filler designs from inside Linville Caverns. On our way back home, we stopped in for a 30 minute tour and I took many pictures of these interesting rock formations:

Does this one remind you of anything? It's a bit like Brain Coral which was inspired by corals in Josh's fish tanks, but this is actually Cave Coral. I'm going to have to play with this texture and see what happens!

Overall it was a great trip, we all had a good time, and coming home today the weight of losing Jinjo wasn't quite so heavy. Now I'm off to distract myself further by slicing and piecing the new fabrics!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. I'm so glad to hear that you got to get away with your family and that you are feeling a little better. Welcome back. I can't wait to see what that shadow quilt looks like. Very cool pattern.

  2. That is what I call making lemonade out of lemons. Good for you, Leah! Going back to our chosen families when we hurt is what it is all about. They are our support, we are their support.

  3. Hi Leah,

    I'm glad that you and your family were able to get away and have some fun. I'm very sorry for your loss. I don't care what some people say, a loved pet is a member of the family, and the loss is always very tramtic!! I love the work you do and am very pleased that you are so willing to share that work and yourself with us!!! Hugs!

  4. The caverns look neat - I used to do a lot of wild caving in Virginia and West Virginia while a college student in Pennsylvania. Haven't been in a cave in years.

    Love the photo of you and your little guy!

  5. What a sweet picture of you and your son :) I miss those days, but also treasure them. Glad that you and your family took some time off.


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