The Free Motion Quilting Project: Back in the Studio with Duchess Reigns and Emergence

Monday, July 30, 2012

Back in the Studio with Duchess Reigns and Emergence

Whew!  Lots of traveling and packing and unpacking chaos can really mess with quilting time!  Fortunately I left NC in the middle of two big projects that really need to be completed this summer, so coming back home I know exactly what I need to work on next.

The first project is Emergence, who I'm calling my "problem child."  She's had her string of issues so a few weeks ago I pulled her off the wall and ripped her face and hair out.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Hairless and faceless, she's now ready for a new design.  Using tracing vellum, I've sketched the outline of her face and neck and have begun designing her new hair and face.  With these elements designed, it should be a simple process of attaching new applique shapes for her hair and quilting in the new face design.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
On the design front, The Duchess Reigns is almost ready!  I played with many designs for the woven star in the center of the quilt, but ended up deciding to use both circles (as in chain of pearls) and triangles (as in flock of geese) in the spaces between the woven lines.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I've also taken another look at the goddess and her vase.  These elements were designed first and after completing the rest of the quilt now they need a bit of adjustment to fit into the symbols and shapes I ended up using elsewhere.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

A big change was the goddesses breastplate.  Every time I tried to sketch a fill over the area, I couldn't figure out what to quilt there.  That's a good sign that the design needs to change!  So I drastically changed the vase and elements of the goddess so they now fit more solidly with the other elements in the quilt.   

Now looking at the design, the only thing left to complete is some triangles or circles in the border area.  Once this is done, I think it will be finally time to print and start marking fabric!

With two big projects going on, it's tough to decide what to work on first.  One thing I like to do is have a project in a hand work stage and another project in a machine quilting or design stage.  This way there's only one quilt on the lightboxes or machine, and one quilt rolled up on the couch for hand work.

It's also a nice way of balancing the projects by what I feel like doing each day.  Sometimes I just don't want to do hand work, while other days I'm craving it.  As always, balance is best!

So now I'm off to the studio to begin working on Emergence.  Once her face is put back on properly, then it will be the duchess's turn.  I can't wait!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day


  1. Your energy astounds me.
    I have a question for you. I understand the practice practice method of learning, however do you practice one design at a time or just doddle? Love your posts!

  2. Is someone a Xena fan? Looks like her breastplate! I guess you really can bring inspiration from anywhere - I can't wait to see your work on the machine Leah!!!

  3. Your problem child looks stunning ..LOL. I'm sure you will get a breakthrough with the face.

    Really love the Duchess quilt design.Amazing!

  4. Both projects are so beautiful, Leah.

    I'm probably out of line for saying this (as I hate suggestions myself) but if it were mine, instead of drawing a face I'd try to embroider on a piece of mirror where the head/face is, a la Kutch shisha work:

    It's a beautiful piece, whatever you decide to do.

  5. One of the things that really interested me about this post was your comments on how you are organizing your quilting so you have a variety of things to work on. I like your ideas.


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