The Free Motion Quilting Project: September 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017

How to Machine Quilt Voodle, Design #487

It's late Friday night, but I didn't want the day to slip by without sharing a new quilting design this week. Here's a super simple, funky design called Voodle!

Learn how to machine quilt Voodle

This easy machine quilting design is a basic change-up of Paisley. Just add a circle in the end of the tear drop and you get a new design with an extra punch of travel stitching. Ready to learn how to quilt it? Here's the video:

Would you like to have a lot of beautiful quilting designs in an easy to browse place, maybe a book? I've gotcha covered! Click Here to find 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs, a massive book of quilting designs.

We have a new version of the book with lay flat binding so you can spread out the book next to your machine and find the perfect design for any quilt!

Learn how to machine quilt Voodle

Now let's learn a bit more about this Voodle quilting design:

Learn how to machine quilt Voodle
Difficulty Level - Beginner. This design isn't very challenging, but there is some travel stitching involved. Slow down as you quilt the circle shape in the end of the tear drop and travel stitch on top of the lines of quilting.

Design Family - Pivoting. This family of designs is all based on Paisley, so make sure to watch that tutorial too so you can understand how these designs work. Designs like this are easy to master so long as you're using thread like Isacord that is thin and strong so you can travel stitch many times over one area without the thread breaking.

Where do we quilt it? - Voodle can be quilted anywhere! Shrink it down into tiny Voodle shapes to quilt in the complicated spaces of your quilts or expand it to fill large bed quilts with a unique, funky texture.

This family of designs fills with clusters of the same shapes so if you get bored you can always switch to other pivoting designs and your quilt will look even more funky and fun.

Learn how to machine quilt Voodle

Where do you plan to quilt Voodle? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Uggh...I'm a Data Hoarder!

Yep, it's finally time I fess up and reveal the truth: I am a data hoarder. Today I've been digging through files, sorting out a monumental mess and finally organizing 8 years worth of quilting designs, ideas, inspiration, projects, and thousands of ugly photos.

Honestly I feel like I'm switching from shaking my head in disgust to banging it against a wall in frustration. Before I bought my iPhone, I struggled with several point and shoot cameras that all produced terrible pictures. But instead of just shooting one terrible picture, I'd shoot fifteen. And then SAVE ALL OF THEM!

Regardless of my terrible organization habits of the past, today is a clean sweep. I'm digging through each folder in Dropbox and figuring out whether to trash it or keep it and then figuring out where it can go so I can easily find it again.

The worst are the years 2012 and 2013 when we first began quilting along with new videos published weekly. I posted thousands of photos, but never organized them post by post. Instead I have dozens of folders labeled "d" and "f" from the original photo import, as if that means anything now!!

So please, if you are shooting pictures of anything, if you are creating, writing, or designing anything, please create an organization method that will keep your work tidy. For me it's creating folders of the main headings like Books, Workshops, Quilt Along, then folders within those folders for each individual project like Mega Star Workshop, Heart and Feather Workshop, etc. And then even more folders within for photos, drafts, diagrams, and final copies to separate the finished files and best photos so it's easy to grab what I need.

The upside to sorting through all of this junk? I feel extremely productive! Looking back at all the projects I've made, all the pretty quilts I've experimented with, all the weird tangents, crafts, ideas, and gadgets I've designed, I see my body of work and it is huge. Seeing it all organized makes me feel even better and I feel like I'll be able to work faster, with less fuss and fighting to find the photos and files I need.

Do you struggle with organization or does it come easy for you? What tips have you picked up over the years? Any other advice for a recovering data hoarder?

Let's go quilt (or sift through another thousand photos),

Leah Day

Monday, September 25, 2017

New Sashing Splendor Quilt Pattern

It's that time of the month...yeah, you's Quilty Box time! Here's the Quilty Box tutorial for this month:

Sponsor: Click Here to subscribe to Quilty Box and join me each month making a new quilt top! I love challenging myself to make a new quilt each month with the fabrics included in the box.

Click Here to find the Sashing Splendor quilt pattern as well as more tips and tricks for piecing your quilt.

This month's Quilty Box was one of my favorites and filled with beautiful fabrics and fun quilting supplies picked by Jena Brandvig from Quilting in the Rain. I loved the fabrics Jena designed for the box which are delicate floral prints in light pink, blue, and green colors.

I instantly thought of picnics in the spring and bright sunshine on a crisp white quilt. I knew I wanted to use all eight fat quarters with white fabric to create a simple quilt.

Right now my favorite part of this quilt is the cheerful fabrics, but I know once I start quilting it, I'll love the big open blocks and cornerstones even more. This quilt is made for fun machine quilting and you could easily quilt a different design into each square. Contrast your thread slightly with a bright pink, blue, or green so you can see where you're quilting and keep track of which blocks you've filled.

If you subscribe to Quilty Box, you've probably already seen the sneak peek for next month. Yep! I've put together an awesome Quilty Box for you next month and we're going to not just piece the quilt, but also quilt it step-by-step together!

So if you'd like to join me in making a beautiful quilt next month, make sure to subscribe to Quilty Box today!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fun Machine Quilting Grid Designs

I've been experimenting a lot lately and trying new quilting designs. I had a pretty boring grid block to quilt in my Building Blocks cheater cloth quilt so I decided to try three different ways to quilting the grid designs:

Click Here to find my full review of the Grace Qnique 14+. I'm really enjoying quilting with this machine and making tutorials for you to enjoy each week.

machine quilting grid designs
I loved playing with these grid designs and I plan to try even more! The grid creates a solid base for the lines to flow and allows you to form interesting repetitive patterns without marking. While the lines are permanent on this fabric, the quilting design still stands out because the stitching flattens out the quilt and adds beautiful texture over the surface.

When quilting the Robbing Peter to Pay Paul design, I got a bit lost in the grid and had to think about how to quilt the arch shapes so the design would remain continuous. I think with more practice this could become very easy so you don't even have to think about it.

What do you think of grid designs? Have you tried marking a grid on fabric and quilting over it with a different design? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, September 23, 2017

My Bucket is Filled to the Brim!

This morning I rolled out of bed, walked into the kitchen and found my sweet sweet boy had made breakfast! James baked blueberry muffins all by himself and made me a cup of tea and wrote a sweet note. Aw! My bucket is so filled!

Have you read the book (Ad) How Full is Your Bucket? We learned about it in kindergarten I think and "bucket filling" and "bucket dipping" quickly became words we used a lot in our family. 

The basic premise is we all have an imaginary bucket of water over our heads and when nice things happen, it fills our bucket up. When bad things happen that make us feel bad, it dips the bucket. So the goal is to fill up your bucket by doing things that make you feel good, and also to fill up everyone else's bucket because that makes us all feel good.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and focusing on self care - filling my own bucket. I've been getting up early every morning to do yoga, something that really fills my bucket, but I sometimes make excuses not to get on the mat. I've also been taking more time to write for myself, journal, plan, and design which is all stuff I love.

I think when I'm doing all of those things, I'm a better person. More loving, more connected, and more receptive to my family and that circles back around with lovely breakfasts like James made me today. The more I take care of myself and fill my own bucket, the more I fill my family's bucket and the more they want to fill mine right back. Round and round it goes!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

P.S Did you notice the quilt on my table??? Yep, I took a leaf out of Laura Coia's book and I'm using quilts as tablecloths now! 

This quilt is going to be a super fun project and mini quilt along next month. Hint - You might want to (Ad) subscribe to Quilty Box so you can join in the fun!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Curved Ruler Foot Quilting on My Hoop Quilt

This week has been all about Hoop Quilts as I shared the podcast with Anne Marie Chany on Wednesday and now today I'm quilting my Hoop Quilt using ruler foot quilting!

I decided to challenge myself and use the curved edges of Dresden Templates #2 and #4 to create this cool design in the center of the quilt:

I love love love this effect, but it was a bit challenging to create. Watch this quilting tutorial to see how I quilted it:

Do you want to make a Hoop Quilt? Find the quilt pattern from Anne Marie Chany!

Click Here to check out the quilt shop at where you can find books, tools, workshops, and more to help you master machine quilting.

While no, my quilting wasn't perfect, I really enjoyed creating this hoop quilt. I've played around with using the curves on the Dresden Plate templates a bit on a practice sandwich, but you know there's nothing like trying a new technique on a real quilt. It really takes the challenge up another notch!

Something I was thinking about while making this project is my constant push / pull with perfection. For many years I nit picked my quilts to death and ripped out every single bad stitch. I didn't finish a lot of projects and the stuff I did finish, I usually didn't like very much.

Quilting this hoop quilt was the complete opposite - I quilted it from start to finish in 2 hours and it's peppered with mistakes. Sometimes the ruler wasn't in the right place and sometimes I got distracted and quilted something...creative...instead.

But now that it's finished secured in the hoop, I absolutely love it. Don't get me wrong, I still see the mistakes, but somehow leaving them in makes me happy. Is that weird or what?!

How are you feeling about perfection today? Are you striving for perfect stitches or accepting what is naturally coming from your hands and machine?

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pickles the Quilt Cat

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this cat? We rescued her this past spring and it took her a few months to settle in and now her personality has come out - LOUDLY!

She is one whiny cat, especially when she's hungry. She's also manic about food to the point of digging through the cabinet, opening containers, and eating directly out of the bag.

The other day I left this stack of quilted squares in the office and guess who curled right up? Tee hee! It was really cute because the stack is about a foot off the ground (couldn't capture that exactly in this photo) so she's propped up like a princess on her cushion.

Anyway I thought that was cute and it made me smile! And this stack of squares? Be looking forward to learning how to quilt these beautiful designs next year! This is a stack quilted for my new book on walking foot quilting and I can't wait to start putting the quilt together. The blocks have black and red minky on the back so it's going to look great and feel super soft too.

What are you working on today? Got a furry friend keeping you company? Now I'm thinking Pickles needs a special spot all her own. What about a tuffet? Hmm...

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Make Hoop Quilts with Anne Marie Chany, Episode #29

Hello My Quilting Friends! Today I have a terrific interview with Anne Marie Chany from Gen X Quilters. Anne Marie hosts a yearly sampler quilt along, is the author of several quilt books, and has recently created Hoop Quilts - a new way to create and display mini quilts!

Here's the video with live intro so you can see what I'm working on!

Let's learn more about Hoop Quilts! I fell in love with this over the summer as Anne Marie began posting pictures to Instagram. I LOVE this idea because it takes care of a big issue I have with mini quilts - what do you do with them after they're done!?

Seriously, I've made a lot of mini quilts in sizes from 12 to 30 inches and there's only so many table surfaces in my house that need a quilt on top. And hanging them on the wall is such a pain to hand stitch the hanging sleeve in place, then you have to install the stuff to hang it. Can you tell I'm whining? I've seriously blown this out of proportion, but it's a serious quilting problem here people!

By putting the quilt in a hoop, Anne Marie has fixed all the issues of displaying and hanging mini quilts. No more hanging sleeve, no more side tables covered with dusty quilts. Pop that beauty into a quilt frame and stick it on the wall. Ta Da!

Anne Marie has created a beautiful quilt pattern for you to make your own mini hoop quilt with sixteen half square triangles you can mix and match. She also has templates you can cut out and piece the curved seam to create this pretty circle too. Click Here to find the quilt pattern.

Hoop Quilts are also a great way to use up small scraps of fabric and play with embellishment. I love the idea of gluing on buttons and stitching decorative threads on the surface. Anne Marie was originally inspired to create Hoop Quilts after spending a lot of time hand embroidering while recovering from surgery so this seems a terrific way to try new techniques on a small, manageable project.

I've had my own Hoop Quilting adventure which I'm planning to share this Friday so be looking forward to learning how I machine quilted my mini quilt.

We also discussed Anne Marie's Block of the Month programs which she's run for five years now. This year she's sharing the Chocolatier Block of the Month which is not only gorgeous, it's also scrumptious!

Show Sponsor

The sponsor for the show this week is my website and the new Happy Fish Quilt Pattern we just released today! This cute quilt will show off your pretty fabrics and create a bright, cheerful addition to any kid's room.

Just like all of my quilt patterns, I go beyond just teaching you how to piece a pretty quilt top. I also include ideas for machine quilting so you're not stuck with an unfinished quilt top. For Happy Fish, I added extra texture to the quilt with air bubbles and embellished each puffy circle with hand embroidery. Learn how to do this and make this cute quilt with me!

Now for a few updates from around the house...

I'm officially working on a new online workshop featuring the Love the Light Wholecloth quilt. I had the quilt half marked and decided it was time to mark the rest while talking through the intro. This is a walking foot wholecloth - two things you probably don't think of going together!

I love how this quilt turned out and I've learned so much every time I've created it. Now I'm going to make it one more time, this time filming each step of the process so you can see how it works too. And yes, this quilt is entirely created with walking foot style quilting. It's a bit slower, but creates such a beautiful finished effect!

Another thing we're working on is the new Rainbow Log Cabin quilt for our the Machine Quilting Block Party starting in January. We're going to piece this beautiful, bright quilt together, AND machine quilt it too!

Dad has been working on the new version of this quilt that we're piecing with beautiful Island Batik fabrics. I can't wait to get started making the videos next week!

I hope you didn't mind my tale of spider slaughter in the podcast. That little bugger had it coming! If you make me scream in terror you're not long for this world (or at least you owe me a very big cookie). Oh and here's the Bug-A-Salt gun on Amazon (yep, that's an affiliate link). Josh LOVES blasting flies with it!

Just in case you missed Friday's post, here's the Itsy Bitsy Spider design post. Yes, I like spiders stitched in thread. Not a fan when they're real and huge and wiggling right in front of my face.

And last but not least, the design video Cotton Candy that YouTube decided was Inappropriate Content. Can you give it a watch so they will review it and hopefully remove this incorrect flag?

Thank you for watching and super thank you for listening! If you're enjoying the podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes as that also helps increase the podcast reach so more people can find it. We had eleven wonderful reviews left so far and I was so touched to read everyone's kind words about the podcast.

I really love creating this show and am seriously thinking about increasing to every week. That's a lot of work, but honestly this is turning into my favorite video of the week so why not?! Let me know what you think of that idea and please continue to watch, listen, and share the podcast with your friends.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

New Double Basket Weave Quilt Pattern

I have a new quilt pattern for you today! This week I received a box of fabric provided by JOANN fabrics and challenged myself to create a new quilt top in just a few days. Click Here to find this new quilting tutorial and learn how to make this quilt!

Does this quilt look familiar? It should because this is a doubled version of the Basket Weave Quilt I shared last year:

This doubled version is actually a bit easier because it uses only two print fabrics. The Basket Weave Quilt has been confusing to some beginning quilters when it comes time to arrange the blocks to create the woven effect.

I also like that the Double Basket Weave has nice wide vertical lines so you can show off your favorite fabrics in a big space. This is the perfect place to finally use the fabrics that have been too pretty to cut!

Enjoy this new free quilt pattern and please share it with your friends!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Three Easy Longarm Quilting Designs

What are the three easiest designs to learn how to free motion quilt? I'm sure if you asked three different quilting teachers you'll get three different answers! Here's my take on the easiest machine quilting designs to start with:

Click here to find my review of the Grace Qnique 14+. Remember if you're interested in this machine to call the company and mention Leah Day said Hello my quilting friends to get a discount on your order.

three easy longarm quilting designs

Last week I started quilting on this Building Blocks cheater cloth quilt. It includes all the skill-building quilt blocks we quilted together in 2014 printed with the quilting designs included! Click here to find this cheater cloth fabric.

For best results, pick the Kona Cotton Ultra Fabric. If you want all 42 blocks for the Building Blocks Quilt, you'll need to purchase 3 yards. If you only want to make a baby quilt 1 yard should be plenty.

Now let's learn more about these three easy quilting designs: The design I always teach first in any quilting class is Wiggly U Shapes. It's a super simple design that most people naturally draw and doodle without even thinking about it. Even if you don't draw or doodle, you'll probably still find this an easy shape to create because the movement is so similar to writing the letter U or N in cursive.

three easy longarm quilting designs

Quilting this design is a good first step and usually the first thing I stitch when testing out a new machine or a new table setup. It'll get you started moving the quilt under your needle and quilting curves. Come to think of it, I'm tired of calling this essential quilting design such a clunky name. Hence forth, Wiggly U's will now be Noodles!

Noodles is more than just a simple line of curves, it's a terrific first step to quilting Stippling. When I was first starting to free motion quilt, I quilted rows and rows of Noodles until I was bored to tears.

Then one day I was quilting in a particularly tricky space and finally realized I could branch out and make the design more interesting by adding bends and deeper curves. Sometimes it takes that level of repetition, to the point that you're beating your head against the wall, to see and understand how design works and how you can manipulate it to achieve the look you're after.

three easy longarm quilting designs

Stippling itself can be a bit challenging because the rule for this design is a bit tricky. Stitch a curving line without crossing over it. But if you think in terms of Noodles and learn how to quilt the design in rows, it's much easier to master.

The last easy design to try is really two designs in one. Cursive letters are extremely easy to machine quilt because the shapes are formed in one continuous line. Rows of cursive letters like the E and L are the easiest because it's a continuous line and repetitive movement. Plus, rows of cursive L shapes are pretty and quickly add a lacy effect in quilt sashing or borders.

three easy longarm quilting designs

Even better, quilting cursive words directly on your quilt is a wonderful way to give it personality and a special message to future generations. I created this mini quilt as a fun experiment with a new quilting ruler and these three designs.

I marked the cursive words on the quilt so they would be evenly spaced and so I wouldn't forget essential words or letters. Yes, I could easily forget or space the words badly so marking the designs is the best way to go about it!

I mark fabrics like this with the Ceramic Marking Pencil which I've used for years because it shows up bright with a thin line that's easy to follow, but erases completely after I've quilted over the marks.

three easy longarm quilting designs

We all have to get started machine quilting somewhere, and I think these three designs are a great place to start. However, they're not the ONLY place to start so please don't get frustrated if you hate quilting Noodles, Stippling, or Cursive Letters.

three easy longarm quilting designs
Machine quilting is a skill building process and I believe the most important aspect is your enthusiasm to master a design. If these three seem too basic to you, check out our Quilting Design Gallery and pick a design that looks fun to you.

It doesn't matter where you begin with quilting. It just matters that you quilt daily and never give up!

What do you think of these three skill building designs? Remember, these are not just for longarm quilting, but can also be quilted on a home sewing machine too. Here are some older tutorials featuring each of these blocks and Josh, my wonderful husband giving them a try:

Josh Quilting Noodles in a Pinwheel Block

How to Quilt Stippling in a Spinning Square Block.

Josh's cursive words in a Rail Fence Block.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, September 15, 2017

Machine Quilting Itsy Bitsy Spider, Design #486

Have you been searching for the perfect design for a spooky quilt? I have a great Halloween themed free motion quilting design for you today called Itsy Bitsy Spider!

machine quilting spiders | free motion quilting

Looking back through the quilting design gallery we have a few spider themed designs to check out. You could quilt a Spiderweb or Cobwebs in the Corners and use Itsy Bitsy Spider to fill around these bigger designs.

Do spiders creep you out too much to machine quilt? I realized you could also think of these as little sunshines instead while I was quilting this design for the video. Watch the tutorial to see how this design is free motion quilted:

Would you like to celebrate the coming autumn season and spice up your free motion quilting?
magical punpkin mug rug

Check out my tutorial on quilting this magical pumpkin mug rug! I think I need to make another version of this super sized coaster but with spider themed designs instead. Click Here to find the tutorial.

machine quilting spiders | free motion quilting
Now let's learn more about Itsy Bitsy Spider:

Difficulty Level - Beginner. This machine quilting design will be easy to quilt because it's based on Stippling. So long as you've mastered this wiggly design, adding the little spider bodies and wiggly legs will be simple and fun.

As you will see in the quilting tutorial you can use Stippling to quilt around each spider shape and fill your quilting space consistently.

Design Family - Independent. This family of designs are quilted independently of everything around them. So long as you can wiggle into the area, you can stitch this design on your quilts. You may want to change how densely you fill the spider bodies when you quilt Itsy Bitsy Spider on a bigger scale. Instead of thread painting, just fill that center circle with a spiral instead.

Some similar designs include Wandering Clover, Frog Eggs, and Heart Scramble. The cool thing is you can use this design to add the extra spider elements to your quilts.

So where do we quilt it? You can machine quilt Itsy Bitsy Spider in just about any area of your quilt. You can quilt this design into blocks and add wiggly spiders over your pretty patchwork, you can also machine quilt the spiders easily into the sashing or borders of your quilts as well.

machine quilting spiders | free motion quilting

I love the idea of mixing spiders and spiderwebs in a spooky Halloween-themed quilt. I'm going to play with this more and make a new mug rug, but this time with a creepy twist!

So what do you think of this design? Do you like the ideas of spiders on your quilt orders that creep you out? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Steampunk and Mushrooms

With a title like that this is sure to be interesting! This week I've been having a blast creating many fun projects and exploring creative experiments.

One thing I've been struggling with lately has been excessive mess around my Grace Qnique. I finally decided to do something about it and created a steampunk leather tool organizer and cup to hold my Pinmoors. I made this quick video to show you what it's like:

I love working with leather like this because I can literally hammer it together with rivets and that feels so fast in comparison to my other quilting projects.

Speaking of long-term quilting projects, this week I finished the puff quilt for James! This has been my nightly project for several months and its so nice to see if finished.

Recognize this mushroom? It's the iconic power up red spotted mushroom from the Super Mario Brothers video game series. I knew it was the perfect, simple design to make with this puff quilt!

Let's go quilt, 

Leah Day

Monday, September 11, 2017

Quilting the Pot of Petunias Quilt Block

It's time to quilt the Pot of Petunias quilt block with many fun designs: Circles, Microstippling, Stippling, feathers, and Echo Shell:

flower block | machine quilting

As you can see I decided to stitch my flower block up a notch with extra Microstippling in the flowers. You don't have to do this of course, but I like to add that little punch of extra texture in a few areas. I also did this in the center of the Daisy Dresden Plate (Block 4) so by adding it to this block too, the quilting design is nicely balanced through the quilt.

Adding dense quilting like this will make that small area a bit stiff, but since the rest of the quilt is quilted on a 1/2-inch scale or bigger it will still remain soft and cushy. Learn how to quilt all of these beautiful designs in this new quilting tutorial:

machine quilting | flower quilt block
Click Here to find the quilt pattern for the Pot of Petunias Quilt Block.

My favorite part of this quilt block is how the Stippling connects the different quilting designs together so there were very few thread breaks. I quilted through the tight areas around the stems and leaves around the flowers and down to the base of the vase where I could connect with the feather designs.

Connecting the designs together this way made for a very fast quilting project. Stippling is one of my favorite designs for exactly this kind of quilting because you can wiggle through the different spaces fast and with minimal thread breaks.

Sometimes I hear quilters say "Anything but Stippling!" and I understand because if you've been quilting for a long time, chances are you've seen that design quilted A LOT.

But that doesn't mean it's a bad design. Stippling is often the perfect design to quilt through complex areas and it can't be beat for machine quilting a large scale, fast, all-over filler for your quilts.

It can get boring to quilt if you stick with the same wiggly lines for everything. Remember you can always mix it up with Sharp Stippling, Zippling, and Circuit Board too.

machine quilting | flower quilt block

Get a load of those feathers! I think this is one of my favorite ways to fill in the flower vase in this block. We've quilted nine different vases so far this year, so if you don't like one design in particular, remember you can always swap it out with a design from another block.

What do you think of the Pot of Petunias quilt block? Are you ready to tackle another Dresden Plate next month? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, September 10, 2017

How to Quilt with Rulers on a Longarm

This week I've been cleaning out my sewing room and found many unfinished quilt projects that would be fun to quilt on for our Sit Down Quilting Sunday posts. This quilt was created with a Building Blocks cheater cloth quilt panel I had printed years ago on Kona Cotton Ultra. Click Here to find this cheater cloth fabric on Spoonflower.

I basted my sixteen block cheater cloth panel with quilters Dream Puff batting and minky fabric on the back to create a super soft and puffy baby quilt. The upside of thick batting and minky backing is I'll be able to get away with lots of mistakes. Subtle stitch offs and inconsistent travel stitching will be hidden by the thick pile on the minky fabric.

However, the downside is it will feel a bit harder to move the quilt over the machine. I've found minky fabric tends to grip the machine bed so it really helps to clamp the quilt upright to reduce the weight on the machine. Click Here to learn more about how I clamp my quilts. 

This Building Blocks quilt panel has sixteen different blocks to play with and one in the middle is a Sawtooth Star with lots of straight lines in the background. It's the perfect block to play with some ruler foot quilting!

Click here to learn more about the Grace Qnique 14+. Remember if you live in the US and you're interested in the machine, be sure to call the company and mentioned Leah Day told you to say "Hello my quilting friends" to get a discount on your order. This helps me make more videos and helps you save on your machine or quilting frame!

Now for more ruler foot quilting basics:

As I was quilting with rulers on this Sawtooth Star block I realize this is the largest quilt I've ever quilted with rulers. I noticed imediately I wasn't able to rotate the quilt as much as I rotated and shifted small blocks with ruler foot quilting. This changed the way I quilted some lines and did make it feel awkward to quilt certain lines.

However even though it sometimes felt a bit weird I do think my lines are straighter and more consistent than they would be if I quilted without the ruler as a guide. I think this is just one of those things you need to practice a lot first with smaller blocks, and then progressively bigger and bigger quilts.

The ruler I was using in this video was Template #5 from the Dresden Plate Template Set, but mine was specially cut extra thick to use on the longarm. If you'd like a thicker set specially cut for you, make sure to contact us to check on pricing and availability. And yes, making more rulers is definitely on my list of things to do in the next few months! The more rulers the better and the more creative things you can do!

Have you tried ruler foot quilting yet? What did you think of this style quilting? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Love Yourself Quilting with Jennifer Farsh, Episode #28

Hello My Quilting Friends! Today I have a wonderful interview with Jennifer Farsh, an online quilting friend! Jennifer is a quilting hobbyist and today we're talking about how she's using this awesome craft to love herself and feel happier every day. Enjoy the audio podcast here:

And you can also watch the video here:

Now a bit more about Jennifer: She's doesn't have a website or blog, but you can see her kindness and loving nature in every comment and post she shares on Facebook and YouTube. Honestly it makes my day, nearly every day, to see a message from Jennifer!

And that's why I asked Jennifer to be on the show. I wanted to have a real life chat with this sweet person and get to know her better. Turns out, Jennifer in SC, which isn't that far away from me, and I would never have known this if I hadn't reached out and asked her to be on the show.

Never discount the power of a kind message. It might just help you build a new friendship!

Jennifer shared many pictures with me from the projects she's working on right now. She's working on a Flower Festival quilt for the Machine Quilting Block Party and already put the first six blocks together!

And she's also quilted this beautiful peacock panel:

You might be curious about Jennifer's sewing room so this is her setup:

Jennifer has also been using quilting to help heal and transform her life. She thinks of an affirmation to quilt and stitches it out with free motion quilting:

I love these beautiful affirmations and I know just how powerful it can be to stitch out words like this onto fabric. Click Here to learn more about quilting with words.

She was inspired to try this after watching this short timelapse video I put up last year:

When I put this video up, it was mostly an experiment to play with the timelapse feature on my iphone, but I had also been feeling squashed under the pressure to constantly be DOING something. Painting this fabric was a reminder that I am enough and I can just be still. I don't have to work at such a fast pace.

Talking with Jennifer reminded me how much I love to share this more personal side of my life, which sometimes gets lost when I'm too busy. It's hard to be self reflective when deadlines are bearing down on me.

It's also been a reminder to me to be true to that side of myself and not let it fall to the wayside. I love teaching quilting and I love designing and writing too, but the work that feeds my soul is my goddess quilt series which has been slowly shifted aside for other projects. That must change.

I'm so thankful for this conversation with Jennifer and I feel like this has reminded me of my deeper purpose - to teach you how to make quilts that mean more. Thank you so much Jennifer!

Show Sponsor

The sponsor for the show this week is Quilting a King on Your Home Machine, a fun quilting workshop that will guide you through all the steps to quilting a huge quilt on a small home machine. Click Here to check out this workshop now.

Now for what's going on around the house:

I've finally shot the last photos for the new book on walking foot quilting and it feels great to finally have that responsibility finished. I still have some editing to wrap up, but that will be done by the end of the day. Yay!

But the Crafty Cottage had reached a state of epic clutter and it was time to clean up and clear out. Here's the before:

I haven't shot an "after" photo because I still want to hang up a few more hooks and holders to hopefully control my habit of hoarding around my machine. I'll update this post with a nice cleaned up desk in a bit.

But of course, I shifted most of my mess back inside the house and now the entire basement studio needs to be cleaned up! Lol! Shifting from one spot to another doesn't make it all go away. I really need to clean out drawers and make decisions on where things go, then use a label maker to label the drawers so I stop losing everything. Yep, it's on my list!

For now I'm planning to take a few days to make new quilting tutorials, write, and generally relax now that the book photography is complete. That's a seriously huge weight off my shoulders and I couldn't be happier with how everything has turned out.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, September 4, 2017

Piece a Pot of Petunias Quilt Block

Hello My Quilting Friends! It's time to piece our ninth block for the Machine Quilting Block Party, the Pot of Petunias quilt block:

This is the last block featuring three flowers with stems and a big vase. Do I hear you exhaling with a gasp of relief? Blocks #5, #7 and #9 have been on the complex side with lots of little pieces to create the stems and flowers.

But piecing slightly more challenging blocks like this is a good thing! It forces you to pay attention to your cutting and piecing on each seam. Many quilters have built great new piecing skills on these blocks and shared their progress to the Block Party Facebook Group.

Peg P shared her Triple Tulip block and a disaster story about accidentally spraying the right side with spray basting. The great news is she was able to remove the glue from the surface using rubbing alcohol. I think it looks terrific!

Michele M stitched her Triple Tulip Block up a notch with different piecing with half square triangles. I love this variation!

And a huge congratulations to Wendy C who has already created a quilt as a gift using the first seven blocks from this sampler quilt:

It just goes to show you don't have to do 12 different blocks! You can always piece and quilt multiple of your favorite blocks to make a bigger quilt or to get more practice with the technique.

Thank you to everyone that shares their blocks and quilts to the group and both the good and the bad that happens along the way. It's always good to know that we're not alone making mistakes and sometimes sharing the ups and downs of a project can keep things moving forward.

This month we also have a new piecing unit to learn along with our flower block. Click Here to learn how to piece a Flying Geese unit.

I love flying geese because they're simple units that add add multiple triangles to your quilt without actually having to piece a single triangle!

Now learn how to use your flying geese units along with a lot of half square triangles to create the Pot of Petunias Quilt Block:

Click Here to find the quilt pattern for Block 9.

Now that we've pieced this beautiful block together, the next step is to quilt it. Next Monday I'll share a video on how to machine quilt the Pot of Petunias quilt block with Stippling, Microstippling, circles, and feathers!

What do you think of this new quilt block? Do you like flying geese or half square triangles better? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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