The Free Motion Quilting Project: Quilting Bigger Also Means Faster!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quilting Bigger Also Means Faster!

Whew! We're having one weird week this week what with the sale ending on Monday and today Josh and I drove to Gastonia, NC to visit Gaston Day, a wonderful school James will hopefully attend next fall.

While in Gastonia, I hopped by Sew Much Fun, Mary Jo's Cloth Store, and Hobby Lobby to collect some new supplies: solid fabric for more modern quilts, printed batiks for a couple skirts, and yarn to experiment with couching.

Three times today I was browsing through the store, looking over fabrics or trying to select a ball of yard and I heard: "Are you the Leah Day?!" This has started happening just about every time I go in a craft / fabric store in this area, and I have to admit, it's pretty weird!

But it's also wonderful to have a chance to chat with quilters who know the project and have enjoyed following along with the designs. I do miss that side of teaching, getting to see people in person, so maybe we will be able to pick up again when James starts school full time in 2013.

Who knows! All I know is I'm having a great time quilting on a larger scale. Here's a little quilt I finished last weekend:

free motion quilting | Leah DayIf you recognize this little wall hanging it's probably because I've created it before! You can read about the original Flower Bouquet Quilt right here.

This time, I've chosen to quilt on a 1/4 inch scale which isn't huge, but it's much softer, and covers the quilt much quicker.

free motion quilting | Leah DayThe last time I created Flower Bouquet, each flower was different. This time each flower is the same Sunflower design and stitched with a layer of white and a layer of pale yellow thread.

The background was quilted with Gravel Stitch, and the base stitched with Flaming Spiral, two designs we'll learn next year.

Finally the border was quilted with Edge of Reality. I think I'll go back and couch some dark red decorative threads through the middle of that wiggly line to bring it out a bit more.

What do I love the most about quilting this little quilt? How much time it took to finish! I worked on this over 2 evenings so it was quilted in around 4 to 6 hours. Best of all, it was a suitable amount of time for the size of the quilt, which means I didn't get bored working on it.

Overall, I really like this little quilt, and it certain has made for an easy and quick gift for Christmas. Now if I can just get two more small quilts finished, I'll have covered everyone on my list!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. I was almost one of those speaking to you at MaryJo's.
    On my way from Atlanta to visit my son and his family in Durham I stopped on Saturday and then again on the way home on Monday. I just missed seeing you.
    As I drove through I thought that you lived pretty near that store.
    The Bouquet quilts are great. You have used some very interesting techniques in the quilting. I especially like the border on the first one. The concept of foundation quilting is very cool. I'll have to try it. Using the Hawaiian applique motifs as inspiration is a brilliant thought. I could see using designs from many different cultures as well as decorative arts. Think about Asian, Islamic, Greek and Roman designs...
    You have inspired me to try some new things.

  2. It's a wonderful project and very original. CONGRATULATIONS!

    A hug from COSTA RICA.

  3. So glad to hear you are enjoying the process again.

  4. Hi Leah, just wondering if you ever use spray adhesive to baste you quilts. What are your thoughts. I have used it some and it seems to work well.

  5. Again a wonderful it

  6. The next time you are in Gastonia you might want to check out Long Creek Mills thread manufacturer - it's a wild place. (theyre also on the Internet)

  7. Awesome Ben - Sorry I missed you. Next time you're coming through town, make sure to stop in for a visit!

    Grandma Quilter - I don't use basting spray because it's smelly and sticky and I don't feel that it bastes my quilts strongly enough. Just my opinion though, but you should read the case study I've linked to here:




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