The Free Motion Quilting Project: Piecing the Rainbow Log Cabin Quilt Top

Monday, January 15, 2018

Piecing the Rainbow Log Cabin Quilt Top

Welcome back to the third week of the Machine Quilting Party! We're chugging right along with our Rainbow Log Cabin Quilt and today we're piecing the quilt blocks together to create the finished quilt top. Learn how to arrange and piece your blocks in long rows in this new quilting video:


Are you looking for the quilt pattern? Click Here to find it in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting!

When piecing any quilt fabrics, remember I always lower my stitch length to 1.5 mm to produce a tight, secure stitch. This locks the pieces together securely so I can press the seam allowances open.


Have you heard this is a bad idea? Click Here to find a Great Quilting Debate about pressing seams!

There are a lot of nuances to quilt piecing that I hope I illustrated well in this video. My hands are constantly tweeking the quilt, lifting it up to check the seam allowances are staying open, brushing the fabrics so they stay in good alignment, and pressing hard to maintain that alignment as the rows are fed into the machine.

My #1 tip is to take your time. Be patient as you stitch the blocks and rows together.

My #2 tip is to be forgiving and loving to yourself if your quilt top doesn't turn out perfect.

My new Rainbow Log Cabin quilt was far from perfect! Dad and I pieced the log cabin blocks together and our seam allowances aren't quite the same, which is noticeable in a few spots on this quilt. Should I rip it out and obsess about perfection? Will you think less of me if I leave that in?

A few years ago, I would have ripped and fussed and fiddled and fought with the quilt to get it perfect. I would have worried my pants off about what everyone would think if those blocks didn't match perfectly.

It's taken years to let go of this anxiety and fear and accept the simple truth: I'm not a perfect person. I will not make perfect quilts. I can love myself and love my quilt exactly the way I pieced it the first time.


So if you are feeling upset about your blocks, please take a minute to look at the colors you've chosen, the pretty fabrics you pulled from your stash, and lovingly accept exactly who you are and where you are right now with your quilting skills.

You can always improve, and you do that by piecing and quilting more quilts. Keep your quilting experience light, easy, and joyful and there will always be more quilts to create and more skills to build.

A Quick Quilting Catch Up

Now a little recap just in case you're just joining in the fun of this Rainbow Log Cabin quilt project. At the beginning of the month we started this project by washing, starching, pressing, squaring, and cutting the fabrics accurately. Click Here to find this tutorial.

Last week I shared a video on piecing the log cabin quilt blocks. Many quilters on the Facebook group mentioned having issues with their blocks measuring the correct size. Make sure to watch the video to learn how Dad and I worked around the same issue. Click Here to find that tutorial.

This week the goal is to take the dozens of Log Cabin quilt blocks we've pieced and sew them together to form one big quilt top.


Wait! What?! One big quilt top? I thought we were quilting this on a home machine?

Yes we are! I want to teach you how to quilt a big quilts on your home machine. Don't worry it won't break your arms off, or kill you, or ruin the quilt. I'll share more tips on managing the weight and size of the quilt in each new video.

Remember, more videos for the Rainbow Log Cabin Quilt come out every Monday, but you can follow along and make this quilt anytime and work at your own pace. You can find the pattern in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day.

You'll also want to layer and baste the quilt top with batting and backing fabric to create the quilt sandwich. Next week we will begin quilting the layers together as we stitch in the ditch between the quilt blocks.


Do you need help basting a big quilt? Click Here to learn about basting in the Basting Basics Workshop.

In this online quilting class, you'll learn all the steps to basting a quilt and a wealth of information about the different quilt battings you have to choose from and the big impact this middle layer can have for your quilts. I share my favorite pin basting methods as well as new techniques for machine basting as well!

Click Here to learn more about quilt basting.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

P.S Are you looking for all the videos shared so far? Click Here to find a page where they're all linked up.

Would you like to binge watch all the videos as well? That's a great idea! Click Here to find the playlist.

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