The Free Motion Quilting Project: My feet are sore but I'm smiling!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My feet are sore but I'm smiling!

My apologies for not posting yesterday! Between the super long day and my phone not cooperating with photos, I couldn't manage to get this up. Here's the scoop:

It's the first day of official market when the big doors open and quilters from around the world stream into the amazing exhibits and booths set up by thousands of quilting businesses. I shot this pic yesterday from the observation bridge while the booths were being put together below:

I'm left in awe of the effort and drive of these business owners - really whole teams of people - who plan, organize, pack, ship, and build these incredible displays. I'm in even more awe of the quilters who teach Schoolhouse classes, then set up a booth, teach in the morning, THEN go run the booth during the day. WOW!

I'm really going for the full experience of market too, and with Josh and our helper Mary on hand for the booth, I was able to sign up for morning classes each day before market officially opens at 9:30.
Today I took a class with Helen Stubbings, owner of Hugs & Kisses on English paper pieced hexies.

Yes, I already know how to do English paper piecing, but this technique still sounded fun and I was SO glad I attended because Helen's method is so much faster and easier than the traditional technique with paper.

It was so fast, I managed to piece my little hexie ring and get it glued down to the backing fabric - all within the space of a 1 1/2 hour class!

free motion quilting | Leah Day

This little project is Helen's mug rug hexie project, which features 6 hexies, some cute decorative embroidery, and really neat rippled binding. I think this would be a great quilting bee project or quick holiday gift workshop for quilting friends to get together and make in a variety of colors.

After class I hightailed it down to the market floor where booths were just starting to come alive with the first wave of business owners and buyers wandering the aisles.

Josh and Mary were already at our booth (2349) and had everything arranged for the start of the show

free motion quilting | Leah Day

We worked together through the day handing out flyers about our available books and DVD, and sharing news about the Free Motion Quilting Project.

free motion quilting | Leah Day
I never assume that anyone knows who I am, so I start every conversation with "Have you heard of the Free Motion Quilting Project?" I guess that sounds interesting enough because it usually breaks the ice quickly!

We made the decision that we wouldn't take sales at the booth, and I'm super happy we made that choice so we can focus entirely on talking to store owners, listening to what they like and what they still feel they need for quilting education.

My goal this year is to bridge the gap between my online business and the local quilt shops owned by thousands of wonderful quilters around the world. This is why we hope you'll ask your local quilt shop to order our new 2nd Edition of 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs! If you want to order a copy for yourself right now, click here. :)

free motion quilting | Leah Day
Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was go to a fabric or craft store. My mom could shop for an hour, and I would happily keep myself amused in the different aisles of notions, fabric, thread, and buttons. I rarely got anything, but boy did I dream, touch fabric, and drool over buttons and blingy rhinestones!

But then ALL of the fabric stores in my town went out of business before I reached middle school. It broke my heart then, and I want to do my part to create cool products that keep quilt shops growing and vibrant.

So now I'm off for another day and will be doing a book signing / free book giveaway at the booth starting at 11 am. Hope to see you there!



  1. Oh, I wish I could be there, it would be like wakeing up in a dream and hopefully a never ending one :-) Thanks for your lovely stories wich I enjoy very much. Take care and keep writing. Love from a fan in Denmark.

  2. I wish I could meet you in person. My dream is tho get out there. I will have to go to my store and ask for the book. I really enjoyed the first one.

  3. Oh, what fun you had, Leah! I wish I could be there one day to see what's offered, and feel the vibe!

  4. I hope to go next year. I will have to start planning now.


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