The Free Motion Quilting Project: Vacation Link Up #2

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Vacation Link Up #2

Well if last week was any guide, it looks like we're all making good use of the break from the quilt along to finish up many projects this month.

I checked off a huge box on my to-do list by finishing up the monstrous KING quilt:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
But then...maybe I was just needing a break from the sewing room, but I just haven't managed to get back on my machine.

Or, to be totally honest, I did do some quilting, but ended up hating every single bit of what I stitched.  So when I'm not spending the next two days ripping out what was stitched in 30 minutes, I've decided to tackle some projects outside of the sewing room.  Sometimes you just need a break in order to come back to the machine with a fresh attitude!

A major project was this outside patio in front of my wood shop:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Josh's brother was in town this past weekend so we all got outside and set this patio together.  It was really nice to have an extra set of hands and a balancing opinion.  Josh tends towards the attitude of "that's good enough" and I tend toward the attitude of "it must be perfect!" so having a third vote made the work go much faster.

No, the patio isn't as perfect as it would be if I'd set all the stones myself, squaring and leveling each one, but it's also DONE, which it certainly wouldn't have been had I taken the next three years to be a perfectionist about it.

Inside the wood shop, I'm really needing to hang shelves, clean up and organize all the tools, and install a dust collection system.

Yes, I did say WOOD shop. I grew up hanging out in my dad's wood shop and watching my grandfather turn bowls.  Last winter when I picked up a scroll saw magazine, I remembered how much fun it was to play with a scroll saw and decided to make a big move to bring wood craft back into my life.

I still need to dig out the 9 stepping stones between the shop and the house, and have more stone to set for these side gardens:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Josh and I started putting these in when we bought this house 6 years ago.  The goal was to put a garden in each year we live in the house.  Obviously we've fallen several years behind!

When I'm not outside laying stone, moving dirt, swatting mosquitoes, and planting tomatoes, I'm going to play with a series of dyeing experiments.

I finally found an awesome Quilting Arts video with Candy Glendening - Dyeing to Stitch - that shared a simple step-by-step walkthrough of fabric dyeing from a scientific standpoint.

I've been playing with dyeing fabric for a few months, and really enjoy the process, but I've been feeling very frustrated by my inability to produce an exact color, or to reproduce a color after I've created it once.

Candy's instructions come straight out of her experience as a biology professor and she explains simple measuring and mixing steps that can be reproduced to create a gorgeous pallet of colors.  Here's a little sample video that teaches you how to dye fabric with several colors at once:

Today it's rainy and gloomy, which makes for a bad day to work outside, but a great day to play with fabric.  I'm off to find the perfect shade of red!

Time to shut up and go quilt!

Leah Day


  1. I am enjoying this at my own pace.Thank you a so much for your patient instruction! Glad you took a little vacation.Patio looks great by the way!I love when I catch a glimpse of the chickens...makes me smile.Now off to practice some free motion on my regular sewing machine

  2. Sun is shining here but a bit chilly (did I really say that!?!). It's 63F...normal of 68F. Anything less than 75F is chilly, unless actually exerting yourself in some fashion;-) Am fascinated by the dye process but must watch from afar as I absolutely have NO place to put any further supplies!!!! Will be anxious to see the outcome of your endeavors.

  3. I saw your comment, no, I know you work very hard! and a lot for free...I love your blog...I just wish I did not have to go to work everyday so that I could just go quilt :)

  4. scroll saw work and FMQ have a lot in common! My son does wonderful scrollsaw work.

  5. it's so weird you taking about dying fabric. I work at a school. Every year, for Field Day(end of the year fun) the PTA buys every kid a t-shirt. the PTA decided to do tie dye shirts with the kids this year for cost reasons. One of the PTA moms let me take some dye and soda ash home so I could play! OMG what fun! I never tye-died before, but it was a blast. I did a heart, peace sign and an alien. the heart turned out stunning. By the time I was done, the PTA mom was asking ME how to do them. haha. I just catch on quick to stuff like that. She gave me some more dye yesterday, and I thought, hmmmmmm, I should go buy some bleached muslin, and play some more! It would be beautiful quilting fabric.


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