The Free Motion Quilting Project: May 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

FMQ Project Link Up

It's Friday and time to link up what we've free motion quilted together! And this is also a special week because this will be our LAST Friday link up. 

We're moving this link up over to the BBQA Off Topic Facebook group. Quilters from around the world are already sharing photos, their blog posts, questions, and stories every day, so it just makes sense for all linking post to move to Facebook.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

So to join in the fun, simply join this Facebook Group and share your photos or links to your blog posts anytime. You don't have to wait until Friday anymore, you can share anytime, meet new quilters, and post questions to a very active, fun online group.

Now I know not everyone is on Facebook, but there are lots of other ways you can share your work online. I love Pinterest for organizing the giant collections of designs and photos I've shot over the years.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Instagram is also super fun to share what you are currently working on. I like to challenge myself to shoot and share at least one photo of every day, which sometimes leads me to jump on the machine for a quick quilting session I might not have fit into my day otherwise.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

We're so lucky to have so many places to share and connect! So what have you been working on this week? Link up and share here today, and also consider posting to this Facebook group filled with beautiful quilts and fun quilters!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

#434 - Free Motion Quilt Zany Hearts

I'm craving a new quilting design and this Zany Hearts design just popped into my head!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This design was a lot of fun to stitch and while quilting on the video I explained my mentality about echo quilting, that this skill involves the same visual estimation of space and movement that hitting a baseball involves.

Watch the video to see what I'm talking about!

Visual space estimation is basically being able to look at a space or distance and judge how far away it is without measuring. I'm able to consistently echo around 1/8th inch apart, but I never take a ruler to my quilt to measure it - this spacing is all done visually by focusing on the space between your first line of quilting and your needle.

While it might feel impossible to control at first, with time and practice echoing smoothly around any shape will become easier. I'm just thankful quilting doesn't involve a high speed ball flying at my head!

So have you practiced echo quilting much lately? How did it feel and were you happy with your results?

If you've never tried it, definitely give Zany Hearts a try today and see what echo quilting is all about!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Back to Quilt Shows

Yep, I'm dipping my toes back into quilt shows! Yesterday I mailed my first quilt show entry in 3 years, crossing all my fingers that hopefully I'll get in. I don't even care about winning a ribbon - I just want to get IN to this show!

This is a bit different attitude from when I first started showing. Back in 2008, I thought if I could make an award winning show quilt the award money would be the base for a quilting business. The income from ribbons would pay the bills. Ha! Seriously, that is a very funny idea!

The reason this is funny is that winning a ribbon is a lot like winning the lottery. You enter to win, yes, but getting the award is entirely up to fate, whether the judges saw and liked your quilt in particular, and felt like you deserved the ribbon.

An omniscient computer doesn't pick winners - HUMANS pick winners and if you've ever listened to the comments swirling around a Best in Show quilt, you'll know that not everyone agrees with what the judges decide.

So winning ribbons is NOT something you can depend on to pay the bills, but it can do other things like boosting your self esteem and letting you know that yes, you really are a talented quiltmaker.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
That's actually exactly what it did for me. Back in 2009 when The Duchess first ribboned, getting a first place ribbon made me feel like a million bucks. It gave me a much-needed self esteem boost and kick in the pants to start teaching and taking quilting seriously.

Fortunately I realized pretty quick that winning ribbons wasn't going to pay the bills, but it could buy more fabric! Now I see competition was a nice addition to all the other things I do and a way to reach quilters that might not have heard about this blog or me before.

For the last three years I haven't competed really at all, mostly because I've been too disorganized to keep track of the show schedule and get my entry form in on time. Organization has certainly been a priority this year and I'm doing a lot better keeping my life better organized and on track, but I still had to overnight my entry form to make sure it arrived before the deadline on Thursday!

I also haven't competed lately because I didn't really have a quilt to compete with. Quilts can compete for 2 years after they're completed, and honestly I haven't finished that many quilts in the last 2 years.

Yes, I'm still working a bit here and there on The Duchess Reigns, but at this point I'm able to see that yet again I made a mistake of overcompensation - she's just too big, too complicated, and I have no idea when I'll be able to finish her. Maybe this year...maybe...

Josh has been saying this for years - just make your quilts SMALLER! But I've rarely listened. When I'm in the design phase, I'm so eager to get started and 70 inches doesn't seem all that big so I rush to mark a giant piece of fabric, only to realize in the quilting / filling process that this is indeed a monstrously huge quilt that will be a total beast to finish.

Well, lesson learned! I've been seriously tempted in the last few months to simply slice Duchess Reigns in half - half of her is fully quilted and finished after all! I could retitle it Half Duchess Reigns and if you see it in a quilt show you'll be in on the joke.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
More than half of this quilt has been filled at this point.
Why not just whack her in half and call it finished?!
Hmm...that's still a nice possibility. It'd be a shame to lose all the work I've done on that second half, but man, it would also be nice to get this massive quilt off my floor and out of my sewing room!

So what is competing this year? The also equally massive 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs Quilt. All the designs posted from 2009 to 2011 are now combined into one huge quilt, bound, finished, and ready to show!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I'm so glad I finished this quilt before quilt market because it was a big hit. Quilters who had never heard of this project would stand for several minutes just staring at the squares. No, it's not the prettiest quilt from a distance, but if you get close enough, the designs come alive:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

It's interesting to see the different perspective I have now after taking so many years off of competing. I'm less concerned with winning ribbons (though they are always nice!). Really I just want to show this quilt and celebrate the effort it took to create.

It was so much work to put all these little squares together, and of course the journey to stitch them all out over two years. It's been a long time in the making and now it's time to see just how far it can go over the next two years.

 So all my fingers and toes are crossed and I hope it gets in! If it doesn't, well, there's always more quilt shows to enter so I'm not going to let it knock me down. This quilt was made to be shown!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Josh's Spirals in a Cheater Drunkard's Path

Josh here! It's Tuesday, so that means it's my turn to work on probably my least favorite design, spirals.

I have to say this block is great for practicing circular shapes. I liked the scale, I liked the fact you had a lot of circles to stitch in the center (where it's easiest for me), and finally, it's a nice looking block.

Here it is finished:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

And the back:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Looking at the back of the block, I'm really happy with the result. I can see some significant improvement. To get an idea of how much better I'm getting, take a look at one of the very first blocks I free motion stitched:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Yikes, that's ugly. It almost looks as bad as a spider's web when the spider's been fed doses of caffeine. But I'm glad we took the photo as it shows how far I've come.

Have you taken pictures of your early stitching? Are you noticing marked improvements? If you have not joined us yet, please check out our social Facebook page for the Quilt Along. Quilters share numerous photos of their blocks every day and it's always active. And given the number of people who are following all over the world, something is always going on at any hour.

Until next week, let's go quilt.


Monday, May 26, 2014

21. Spirals and Echoes in a Drunkards Path Block

It's the last week of May so we're quilting our last Cheater Drunkard's Path Block! This time we're stitching it up a notch with spirals and echoes:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

After making three of these blocks and seeing all the amazing design variations on the BBQA Facebook Group, I'm really excited to see what everyone will do with this block too.

If you're just getting started in this group, remember you can find all the posts, videos, and extra tip articles right here.

Between Josh and I, we've now posted over 6 hours of videos to the Building Blocks Playlist! You can go to Youtube, click on the playlist and each video will automatically play in order they were posted.

Speaking of videos, let's watch this week's video to see how to quilt this cool design:

Ready to jump into the fun of this quilt project? All you need is a copy of the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Click Here to check out the PRINT version
free motion quilting | Leah Day
Click here to check out the DOWNLOAD version
Anytime is a great time to join in this quilt along! The videos will stay online forever, so you'll always have a visual guide for how to piece and free motion quilt every block.

Check out all the fun blocks we've learned so far in this Quilt Along! 

free motion quilting | Leah Day

When it comes to quilting this last design in your Cheater Drunkard's Path Block, the main goal is keeping your echoes evenly spaced in the quarter circle corners, and also carefully quilting the lines of the spiral between.
free motion quilting | Leah Day

I left the center spiral shape for very last so I could stitch inside, then break thread right in the center of the spiral. If this doesn't quite work out for you, remember there's 100 ways to quilt this block and ALL of them are right! So even if you have to break thread a few times, or do some extra travel stitching to hit all the lines of echoes, that's just fine.

Josh will be joining in the fun tomorrow with his take on this fun block, so make sure to swing by tomorrow to see his video.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Photos from the Week

Since starting my Instagram account a few weeks ago, I've suddenly found a million excuses to shoot and share photos I probably would never have shared before. Here's a bit of the news from this week:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Quilter's Dream Blend quilted with Sharp Stippling
I'm still stitching out batting samples to see exactly how certain batts react after being washed. Before market I'd finished quilting a whole stack of samples, only to realize I needed to stitch more because I hadn't prewashed the fabric.

Yes, yes, I ALWAYS prewash, but in this one tiny situation with my Spoonflower fabric, I didn't have time and the pieces were so small that I skipped that step and boy do I regret it! Not only are all my batting tests results a bit skewed by the shrink of the fabric, I also accidently added detergent to the samples I washed, and the fabric faded considerably.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Lesson learned - no detergent when washing Spoonflower fabric!

Note: According to the Spoonflower website, you can use detergent, but it needs to be chlorine free - good luck finding that!

So prewashing fabric can REALLY make a big deal for your quilt's finished results. So to see how this batting acts with prewashed fabric I've been quilting more samples with many different designs.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Flowing Leaves was the perfect choice to quilt over Quilter's Dream Green! Quilting it this big was a bit of a challenge though because they're bigger than my hands!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This is Quilter's Dream Deluxe. I couldn't decide on a design until I remembered - when it doubt, quilt feathers!

I've also been inspired by the landscape we saw coming down the mountains in West Virgina on Monday. Maybe we should have a landscape quilt along next year?!

And finally, my dad has just moved to a town nearby and will soon be joining our little family business!

Hmm...maybe I have another guy I can convince to learn how to quilt on video? Maybe...For now I'll be happy to have a helping hand at preparing fabric and piecing quilts!

I'm off to relax on the hammock on this bright spring afternoon. Maybe some hand applique will join me, or maybe someone else!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Let's go quilt,


Friday, May 23, 2014

FMQ Friday Link Up

Time to link up and share! It's been two weeks since we last linked up because I was a bit too distracted with the trip to spring quilt market. I posted continually during the show so find all the posts for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday by clicking those links.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Yes, I'm still glowing with happiness from all the amazing people I met and the fun Josh, Mary, and I had running the booth together. I can't wait until the next market - it will be even better!

Getting back on track this week was tough, but Josh and I still managed to share our newest blocks for the Building Blocks Quilt Along. Learn how to quilt Wiggles in a Cheater Drunkard's Path block right here.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Also see Josh's take on this design here.

Josh is really showing huge improvement at free motion quilting and it's only been 5 months! I'm seeing gorgeous blocks in the Building Blocks Facebook Group where quilters are adding extra decorative stitching and micro stippling to make their blocks even more amazing.

And remember, just 5 months ago these were the same quilters wondering if they would EVER get the hang of free motion quilting. You've all come a long way and we're not even have way through yet!

So that's what we've been up to. What have you created this week?

Simple rules for the FMQ Project Link Up:

1. Link up with a post that features something you've learned from the Free Motion Quilting Project.
2. Somewhere in your post, please link back here.
3. Comment on at least 2 other links. Share your love of free motion quilting and make this weekly link up a fun way to connect with other quilters around the world!

Grab a button to easily link back to the Free Motion Quilting Project!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

All the Different Facets of Free Motion Quilting

Over the weekend Patricia H. posted this very interesting question to our Building Blocks OFF Topic Facebook Group:
So, I've always thought of freemotion quilting as a design you had in your mind that you just quilted, or maybe you sketched it a few times first, is it still freemotion quilting if you mark it out like we are with Leah's blocks? What do you think?
free motion quilting | Leah Day
What is free motion quilting?
This was a great question that sparked a lot of conversation with quilters around the world. I realized immediately that this is one confusing point - what IS free motion quilting?

Some people define free motion as quilting without marked lines. Some mentioned using or not using the feed dogs, or using or not using a darning foot.

I found this instantly intriguing because I assign different names to so many techniques, though I consider it all to be Free Motion Quilting.

So here's my response, and some examples from quilts I've designed for added clarity:

Definition for Free Motion Quilting - moving the quilt under the needle (or the machine in the case of longarms) freely in all directions. You can use feed dogs up or down - so long as you're quilting with a darning / free motion foot, that is free motion quilting.

So it doesn't matter if the design is marked, not marked, a stencil design, or something you make up as you stitch, the important point is YOU are moving in all directions and controlling the size stitches yourself with the movement of your hands.

The feed dogs are involved because in order to move freely in all directions, you need to make sure the quilt isn't being forced to feed straight forward through the machine. However, this doesn't necessarily mean you HAVE to drop your feed dogs. You can also cover them, or leave them up and set your stitch length to the lowest setting.

free motion quilting | Leah DayYou do need to use a special foot to free motion quilt called a darning foot which is designed to hover over the quilt. Again the purpose is freedom of movement. You can't move from left to right if the presser foot is squishing the quilt against the feed dogs and forcing it to move only forward and backward.

So free motion quilting is free movement in all directions, stitched with a darning foot, but with multiple options for the feed dogs depending on your machine.

Now for the more interesting sub-definitions!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
No marks = free HAND quilting
Free HAND quilting - These are designs that are memorized and quilted without marking. No marks means the design is unique to you, though the steps you take to make it remain the same - like signatures! Two Leah's will sign their name totally differently.

Free hand designs made up the bulk of the designs on the Free Motion Quilting Project. Simple rules make up the bulk of these designs, which you can memorize through practice, and then apply to any area of your quilt.
free motion quilting | Leah Day
Assisted Marking
A few feathers were marked to make
the whole design easier to stitch!
Assisted Marking - This is my own term for marking SOME lines on the fabric, like a few reference lines to keep a grid straight, or a single circle to make sure it's really a circular shape.

I use assisted marking when I need a set of shapes, like circles, to stack together nicely. I could mark every circle, or I could just mark the two lines on the outsides of the circles and use those lines as a reference guide. The circles won't be perfect, but at least they will fit within the space I wanted them to.
Marked Design quilting - The entire design is preplanned and usually marked using a lightbox or stencil. Mark the design, then quilt on the line.

The Building Blocks Quilt has 42 full size quilting guides that you can either use as inspiration and drawing practice, or you could use to mark all the blocks in the quilt.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Marked lines, but still definitely free motion quilting!
 It's important to understand that just because you're marking the designs, that doesn't mean you aren't free motion quilting. It just means that you're taking an extra, slightly time consuming step to ensure the design finishes perfectly in that area of your quilt.

It's also good to understand that you can mix and match ALL of these types of quilting. They are all still Free Motion Quilting - you haven't changed feet after all!

Case in point - Duchess Reigns has marked designs in the form of the goddess design in the center, the borders, the outlines of the overlapping feathers.

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Free hand quilting in the filler designs in the background. No marking, just stitching the designs from memory and within the available space.

AND assisted marking with the feathers - they were not preplanned, but marked occasionally as needed on the quilt itself so they would look asymmetrical.

Does this make sense??? It's probably overly complicated to have so many different terms and definitions, but it's better to be clear than confused.

Ultimately the definitions really don't matter so long as you're and able to stitch the design you wish to stitch in your quilts. Understand that you can mark all the lines, some of the lines, or none of the lines - whatever works for you and makes this process the easiest on your machine.

Let's go quilt!


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Josh's Wiggly Lines in a Drunkard's Path

Josh here for my turn at free motion quilting Wiggly Line's in a Drunkard's Path, on Spoonflower cheater fabric.

And here's the finish:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

And the back:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

You can see on the front panel how I went off the rails pretty considerably, yet when you flip the block over, it doesn't look so bad. Still, this block was challenging, and pretty frustrating, but in the end it provided some great practice.

On another note, Leah and I are now back from Pittsburgh, PA, after three amazing days of International Quilt Market. If you haven't read about our time there over the weekend, Leah has blogged about each day starting with Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

It was a wonderful time and we got to meet so many great quilters and business owners. Unfortunately, we were so busy we had very little time to explore downtown Pittsburgh, save from walking the 1/2 mile from our hotel to the convention center every morning and evening.

The view from our hotel window.
This was my biggest regret about the trip--I would've loved to had a chance to check out the heart of downtown and tour the various incredible landmarks, historic bridges, and beautiful skyscrapers. To give you an idea of what a unique city Pittsburgh is (with its more than 400 bridges and hilly landscape), here's what it's like entering the city via I-376 through the Fort Pitt tunnel.

Wasn't that stunning?

I've been to a fair number of cities, and I can easily say entering the city proper of Pittsburgh was 100% unique and a jaw-dropping experience. Almost every other city I've visited you're forced to drive through mile after mile of urban sprawl with one franchise, car dealership, and big box store after another. This was not the case entering Pittsburgh via I-376. Green rolling hills, clusters of towns, and scenic, old rail bridges (plus bumper to bumper traffic as we arrived during going home hours) were the only signs you were about to enter a major city. Coming up to the tunnel, I could make out the top of one skyscraper, as if dropped from orbit into the forest beyond the hill.

I will definitely be coming back to properly tour the city. If you're ever in the area, I suggest you do so too--the city has garnered a bad reputation, which is totally undeserved, at least in my experience. Before we got there, I was under the impression the city was a monument to a tragic 1980s Bruce Springsteen song, a dingy, crime-ridden metropolis, a skeleton of its former industrial power with condemned buildings and riverfronts of decaying steel mills and ironworks. This was absolutely not the case.

Generally, I am not a fan of big cities, and with the exception of Toronto Ontario (far and away the cleanest, best functioning city I've ever seen), I've never been impressed and really never had any desire to go back to any of them.

I'm happy to say this is quite the contrary with Pittsburgh.

So until next week, let's go quilt!


Monday, May 19, 2014

20. Quilt Wiggly Lines in a Drunkards Path Block

It's Monday and time to get back to Building Blocks! I'm so excited about this latest quilting design - wiggles, wiggles, and more wiggles in our Cheater Drunkard's Path Block:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

Why am I so excited??? Because this particular design is becoming a stencil! Yay!

free motion quilting | Leah Day
See the top center design - Wiggles in a Cheater Drunkards Path!
New Building Blocks Stencils from Quilting Creations - Available in both 8 inch and 12 inch size squares
This came as a total surprise at quilt market when I swung by the Quilting Creations booth on the last day of the show. We've been working on these for a few months (surprise!) and a good chunk were ready to go for market. These will soon be added to the Quilting Creations website where you can order them for yourself or your quilt shop.

So the ENTIRE collection of 42 designs are not quite ready, but they should be by fall market. Obviously you guys have marked all blocks without the stencils so far, but if you really love a particular design, you'll now be able to use it on a variety of quilts, but mark it far easier without a lightbox, tracing paper, or press and seal wrap. 

With that fun announcement out of the way, let's learn how to quilt this cool block:

Remember you can join in this fun project with a copy of the Building Blocks Quilt Pattern. Click here to check it out today!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

See my thread "fix" in the corners? I didn't rip - I just added a few rows of wobbly echoes to hide a mistake in one corner. Then I did the same thing on purpose in the other corner. Remember - you can always add more fiber!

Did you like last week's design - the straight lines and grids in this block? Do you see how this week's design is basically just a wiggly version of the last design?

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This is one cool way to come up with new designs - of the lines are straight, change them to curvy wiggles and you'll end up with a totally different look and feel.

So that's it for my post on Wiggly Lines in a Cheater Drunkard's Path! Swing back by tomorrow for Josh's take on this fun design!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Last Day of Quilt Market

Hanging with the BattGirls from
Quilters Dream Batting under
my favorite Poly Select!
Last day of market and I'm buzzing, glowing, tired, sore, super happy, and missing my kid all at the
same time. It has been SUCH a fun time meeting so many people, connecting with all kinds of business owners, and learning more about the quilting industry as a whole.

Many times over the years I've heard, "You've gotta go to quilt market!" and many times I wondered why. Why must I haul myself to this event twice a year when I can forge these relationships online through email and social media?

But after going to market, I have to admit - this really is worth attending to experience the full force of being able to meet, shake hands, and talk face to face with sales reps and even presidents of the big branded companies that might be too intimidating to approach otherwise.

This weekend we met with Quilter's Dream Batting, YLI Corp, Quilting Creations (basically all the companies we LOVE already) and many, many other companies with amazing, interesting products. We've definitely got some work to do sorting and sifting through all the cards, notes, and photos we've snapped of cool quilting gear from market.

Market is also wonderful for meeting people who you might rarely or never see in your area. There are many quilters who I have wanted to meet for years, and I finally got to meet them in person.

Of course, we had to snap a photo of the whole group:

Yep, this is the amazing Angela Walters from Quilting is my Therapy, the multi-award winning Master quilter Sharon Schamber, Cristy Fincher from Purple Daisies Quilting, Sharon's super talented daughter, and me on the end. Yay!

I still have goosebumps from meeting all these amazing women in person.

Angela and I have emailed a bit, but we both agreed we already felt like friends before we came to market. I wish we'd had more time to get together, but there's always the next market to meet up and hang out.

Sharon Schamber's videos have inspired me since 2008 when I first started learning to make show quilts. Just to shake her hand and give her a hug nearly made me cry. I'm just so grateful for her videos and willingness to share her skills and talent online, and I know for a fact I wouldn't be the quilter I am today without her videos on the Sharon Schamber Network.

If that wasn't enough, I then ran into Sarah Vedeler, the amazing embroidery designer and digitizer and we went to lunch.

It's so easy to be intimidated by people you've seen in magazines, or in the case of Sarah, almost every single Brewer distribution flyer (which is a huge deal in the business side of quilting). In reality, we're all just creative women who love to connect and share. It was a wonderful lunch - though our waiter really wanted us to all have tequila shots on a Sunday morning.

In the middle of lunch The Bitchy Stitcher, Megan Dougherty swung by for a final hug. We'd planned to get together during market, but busy schedules got in the way.

I made her swear to come to AQS Quilt Week in Charlotte (I'm attending as a student!) at the end of July. Be there or be square, Megan!

It was so much fun to meet all these amazing, creative people. Like I said, I'm literally buzzing with excitement and happiness for all that happened at quilt market.

But really the stars of the show were my awesome crew: my husband Josh and Mary from Perfect Plan it in Pittsburgh, PA. Market is definitely an event you can't do by yourself, and even Josh and I couldn't have handled everything by ourselves. Thank you, Mary!
free motion quilting | Leah Day

In the end, I can definitely say quilt market is worth attending. I'm glad I waited all these years to come - to get organized, to get our big book written and ready for quilt shops - but now I'm VERY happy to have finally been part of this awesome event.


Amazing people to meet!

Yep, I'm behind again! Market is definitely a busy, busy time! I'm determined to post it all before we head home, so watch out for two posts today!

Saturday at quilt market was a wonderful day! I swear my cup is running over and over from all the kind compliments we've received over the last two days. Earlier this year James brought home a book called "Can I fill your bucket?" and I swear I've never had my bucket so full!

First on the list for Saturday was to take another fun class in the morning before the show started. I jumped at the chance to take a class on a Nouveau Wedding Ring taught by Eleanor Burns from Quilt in a Day.

Not only was it a super fun class, but Eleanor knew who I was! Whoa! I'm glowing!

The class was super fun and I love the way this Double Wedding Ring method comes together. It's a bit more applique than piecing, but that makes the method quicker and easier, particularly on a limited time budget. Here's a few versions Eleanor had ready to share:

This was the little block we worked on in class. More than just learning the technique, I loved seeing how Eleanor taught the class. She's fun, funny, excellent at demonstrating techniques, and exhibited total grace under pressure. Some students had issues, but Eleanor opened more kits, supplied us with what we needed, and made sure everyone left class happy and prepared to make or teach this pattern ourselves.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I managed to get my arcs turned and pressed and triangles stitched in the corners.
Is it perfect??? NO!
But it's my the first double wedding ring block that I've ever considered pursuing past the first block.
Hmm...I don't think I have an excuse not to make my long overdue double wedding ring. Definitely check your local quilt shop for Eleanor's new pattern and the template set which makes the process even easier.

Next we hit the booth with new energy ready for another day of connecting with shop owners from around the world.

This is Enjoli Strait and Angelyn Anderson, twins from Anchorage, Alaska who run Seams Like Home quilt shop. They're super fun, high energy and, while I've never visited their shop myself, I really WANT to now! Maybe an Alaska cruise could be in my future...

This is Ann Parsons Holte, the creator of a special diamond template - the Lancaster Diamond. It's a unique diamond shape - not for Tumbling Blocks or Lone Star, but a shape unique to a small township in Lancaster County, PA. I'm definitely intrigued by the possibilities of this neat little template.

This is Judy Gula and her husband from Artisan Artifacts, an art quilt shop in Alexandria, VA. She not only has unique, beautiful tjaps and batik panels, she also has these gorgeous bead mixes for embellishing your quilts.

This is Moya Hu, the owner of Moya's Workshop, a distributor of quilting and patchwork supplies for Taiwan. Not only is she super nice, multi-lingual, and a rock star business owner, she's also published this beautiful book of bag patterns:

Of course, I've met HUNDREDS of people over the last two days, and while things are starting to blur together a bit, I make sure to stop and jot down some notes after I meet someone interesting. It will be a fun challenging to decipher all my little scribbles when we get home on Monday.

I already mentioned yesterday that we elected not to take orders at this first booth, which was a great decision. Instead we brought two cases of Free Motion Quilting from Flames to Feathers and I signed and gave away all the books starting at 11 am on Saturday.

Well, quilters started showing up at 10:25 and by 10:55, we had a line stretching around our booth and down the aisle!

Josh and Mary were SO helpful during this time, answering questions, shooting photos, and keeping everyone happy and entertained. The line drew a lot of attention, and many quilters who had never heard of the Free Motion Quilting Project looked up and took notice. Eleanor Burns was even in line for a book!

If you go to market and decide to do something like this, make sure you have a flyer to advertise the giveaway. Many quilters kept the flyer to remind them of the time. An even better idea that other companies were using was to give quilters a pin to wear. So many times over the day I though I was speaking to reps of that company and it was really just their pin to wear for that company's giveaway.

So that was another day of market, and an amazing experience all around. Just one more day left!

Let's go quilt,


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