The Free Motion Quilting Project: Happy Anniversary!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

It was 2 years and 2 days ago that I finally sat down, collected all my thoughts and dreams, and began this Free Motion Quilting Project.

The original goal, as you may know, was to create 365 free motion quilting designs in one year. I ended up slowing things down and now a project that was supposed to take only one year has stretched into 2.

But I have absolutely no regrets about this! Had I not slowed things down, I may not be posting right now. I easily could be in a padded cell because, quite frankly, that was a pretty insane goal on top of starting a business, raising a toddler, and dealing with all the family junk that's blown by the last few years.

And yes, to answer those lingering trolls who like to occasionally point out my failure, I will be publishing all 365 designs by Christmas THIS YEAR!

free motion quilting | Leah DaySitting here 2 years from the beginning, I can see how far we've come, but it's only just now starting to sink in just how big this project has become. I checked my stats on YouTube the other day. We've had over 2 MILLION views of the videos I've posted. I can't even fathom how many people that is!

Of course, not every video is perfect, and some of the early ones are downright terrible. Just yesterday I posted a video for 5 hours with no sound (it's fixed now by the way)!

I have to thank you all for being so very patient with me. Sometimes I run off on lofty tangents like my still uncompleted How Do I Quilt This Series and the popular Sewing Machine Reviews - both will be continued...sometime...

What can I say? I'm human! To a large degree I'm making this up as I go along!

free motion quilting | Leah DayBut even though I'm sometimes disorganized and flighty about random side projects, the one thing that has tied this project together from the beginning has been the free motion quilting designs.

So many of you have written in, emailed, commented, spoken to me over the phone, met me at guild meetings or quilt shows (thinking of you Ben H!) letting me know how much you love the new designs.

And so the designs shall continue! I'm not stopping at 365. Now that we're nearly at the original goal, this just doesn't seem like enough. How about 500? 750? 1000? Why put a number on it?

As we round out this anniversary and head into the fall, rest assured that the Free Motion Quilting Project is here to stay. It's only going to get bigger and better from here, baby!

free motion quilting | Leah Dayfree motion quilting | Leah DayTo celebrate this 2nd anniversary we've just launched a huge sale in our Quilt Shop.

Lots of great tools for free motion quilting are on sale, plus the new DOWNLOADABLE version of From Feathers to Flames has just launched.

For this week only, you can get the Australian Shadows Quilt Pattern for free when you order this new book!

Let's go quilt!


P.S - If you love the project, please share this post with as many quilting friends as you can!


  1. Glad to hear the sewing machine reviews will continue. I'm thinking about a new machine but am taking my time to make a decision and value your opinion. Info such as the sewing machine reviews is offered for free, so why would I complain about timeliness? I appreciate what you do!

  2. Congratulation!!!!
    And thank you so much for all these beautiful and interresting designs and sooo many post you've shared with us.
    I'm very glad that I have found your blog.
    Thanks for all!
    Kathrin from germany

  3. One thing that you should do it erase the word 'failure' from your vocabulary!!! You, are so NOT a failure in any way shape or form, do not use that word again!!!

    365 designs in year is a crazy fun goal - but it did not fail!!!! you did/could have done that goal easily!!! It's all the extra stuff that come with that - sewing it (you said design, not make it up!!), taping it, then getting it on the comp to share...... that would slow down a whole camera crew and how many are working on this project?????

    So, Happy Anniversary!!!!!

    And by the way, I love that the 365 daily pattern didn't happen!!! It takes me more than one day to 'get' what you've already done, so you are working at 'my' speed and I love it!!!!!


  4. I am so glad you took your time otherwise I wouldn't have found your wonderful blog before it ended. I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing your fabulous quilt designs. Thank you so much for all the enjoyment I have experienced because of you. Stay strong, keep quilting and kiss that cutie till he screams.

  5. Happy Anniversary!

    Thank you so much for all of your beautiful designs and inspiration, but mostly for the boost of confidence and kick in the rear to get us all doing more FMQ!

    I love your site and haven't been disappointed at all with the pace. I feel like the posts in between have been incredibly helpful and educational as well, so I don't feel like they're "filler" or that they take away from the designs.

    Stick to your pace and give yourself a little pat on the back about all you've accomplished in the last two years. It's an amazing journey that I'm excited to witness.

    Thank you!

  6. Congratulations Leah and the Project!! And Happy Anniversary! Both the time and the views are milestones you should be very proud of. I too am so happy to have 'met' you and appreciate all the time, effort, and engergy you have put into all the designs, shop, vids, etc., all while helping grow a child and nurture a family. I admire you greatly and wish you nothing but the best, all the success you can wish for, health...and an endless number of designs! Thank you...
    P.S. Glad there is sound on the vid now and I don't need a doctor's appointment! ;)

  7. It is just great what you have made - it is so creative - and I love looking at the videos and learn from them.
    I admire you. Good luck with the rest.

  8. Thank you Leah for making this a 2 year project!! I only recently found you and already I have learned so much! Love the patterns and your books (I've already downloaded the new one) but I really enjoy reading your blog and seeing what you have created each day. You are a beautiful, wonderfully talented lady that has enriched my life and given me new skills I can enjoy for a life time!! Here's to the next 100 years of Leah Day and The Free Motion Quilting Project!!!!
    Mary Beth Ticknor

  9. Happy Anniversary! Wow, what an achievement. Whenever I read that someone is intimidated by FMQ on their domestic machine, I refer them to your site. Your blog is the single, best resource for a FMQuilter. Keep up the good work, and keep working on the life balance.

  10. Congratulation on your blog & FMQ anniversary. I did not want to see the end of the designs & was not looking forward to #365. Glad to hear they are going to continue. I am also glad that you do not post a design every day. 5-7 new designs a week would be too much to absorb and could get frustrating. I enjoy your sharing thoughts and quilting ideas with us and showing your quilting process from start to finish. I am looking forward to purchasing your new book and video. I am waiting for the printed version. I keep your first book on my cutting table and look at it a lot for reference. Will do the same with the second.

  11. Спасибо за блог и вашу большую работу! Благодаря этим видео я открыла для себя целый мир художественной стёжки!И теперь думаю мне нужна новая машина))) Удачи вам и процветания!!!

  12. Congratulations, Leah, on reaching such a milestone :)
    Continued success!

  13. Happy anniversary! So exciting. Want to encourage you to keep up the good work. It is not always easy to juggle career and family that is for sure. I am thankful for all that you share. It has literally changed my quilting life. Helped me to stretch and grow. (Even at fifty four a person can learn new tricks! haha)
    From NS

  14. I just want to say that I love your blog best. Seems like more and more blogs are becoming shills for businesses to avertise their items. You know, send the blogger a "free" GO! Cutter and then we have to read 80 posts about how fabulous it is. Biased much? I'm so impressed that you do not do this, Leah. You've helped my quilting immensely and I love hearing about your life, family, projects. I consider you a friend although not in the traditional sense . Thank you for all you do!

  15. Hi Leah, I am your loyal follower from Germany. Even my DH, who sometimes has to listen to your talking to the video's because his desk is next to mine :o) admires the way you present yourself. I think of you as a very creative person and thank you very much for sharing your designs and personal development with us.

  16. It was about two years ago that I decided to drop the feed dogs and have fun with my 1950's Singer. One day I was binding a small quilt and realized that I had no idea how to do it like real quilters... So, I found you on You Tube and got the hang of binding and mitered corners! Way to go sweet girl! I'm one of your trainees :-) visit my blog someday and see what you're responsible for.
    Hugs from Mary

  17. Wanted to add a comment. Never think of yourself as a failure. Just tear that word out of your dictionary and mind. No plan is ever set in stone that it can not be modified or changed. Your 365 design ideas in one year was a noble goal, but it changed and I think for the better. Your blog and sharing only adds to the enjoyment. Improvising can add great improvements. That is what you did. Artistic people do not work by route or routine. Webster's dictionery describes routine as ordinary. (I just looked that up). Artistic people work "out of the box" as you often say. I am not saying that routine is bad. Some routine is needed in life. If you used the same "routine" in quilting, you would never have invented all the designs and techniques that you so freely share with us. You are a true artist and true artists never keep to an exact timetable.

  18. I think you have done a fantastic job of presenting this information and echo the sentiments of the others who have posted. Live your life how it works for you my dear and if people don't like it to H*** with them! Life is WAYYYY too short to worry about what non-supportive people think. Keep on keepin on, you are awesome!

  19. Happy Anniversary, dear Leah!
    I am a close follower of you from Romania.
    I am very grateful for all the quilting (and not only...)things I'm learning every day from you,even I am your mother's age...Please, do not use the word "failure". Every post of you gives me courage and proves me that good people does exist!
    You are a beautiful person!
    Keep going, I am next to you!

  20. Congratulations!! I enjoy seeing your new quilting designs when you have the time to post. It's more than okay to change the time to two or three years....

  21. Thanks to you, I am becoming a happy free motion quilter. I love my slider and gloves, I've successfully altered my free motion quilting foot, and I just bought the Gidget 1 sewing table. You rock, Leah! Happy Anniversary!


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