The Free Motion Quilting Project: June 2018

Friday, June 29, 2018

How to Machine Quilt River Path

I have a super pretty quilting design for you today! Nope, this isn't curving lines again, this is River Path!

Click Here to find this quilting tutorial.

This is one of my favorite designs to quilt in the border of my quilts. Start with a deeply curving line to set the foundation, then travel stitch and echo to fill in the remaining space. The entire texture of the design depends on that foundation so it makes sense to plan it out and even mark it on your quilt if you want.

You can also find the original free motion quilting video for this design as well just in case you're wanting to stitch it up a notch and try both types of quilting this weekend!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Treadle Play, Podcast #63

Hello My Quilting Friends! I have to apologize for being lax with my blogging this month. I've been super busy working on two quilt alongs, editing Mally the Maker, and keeping up with all the normal stuff coming and going with the business.

While I haven't been able to stay in touch as much as I'd like here on the blog, I have been keeping up with the podcast. Click Here to find the latest episode.

This is a fairly short podcast this week as I wasn't feeling very good. Either something really wicked is blooming outside or I've caught a summer cold!

So I kept it simple and shared a little update on my treadle sewing machines and my attempt to get my Singer 27 running smoothly. I still haven't gotten the treadling timing down to keep the machine running in a forward direction. Work in progresses all around!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, June 25, 2018

Quilting Eternal Love Step 1

We're almost finished with the Eternal Love Quilt! This week we're free motion quilting the goddess' face and her massive head of hair with many beautiful designs.

Click Here to find this quilting tutorial.

I quilted simple echoes, MicroStippling, Echo Feathers, and Swirling Water to her hair and skin tone fabrics. I love how these textures make the quilt come alive with movement and flow.

I also like quilting densely on a wall hanging this small. Eternal Love is only 20 x 25 inches so even though my quilting designs are really tiny, it's not going to take a million years to finish it.

I can't wait to see how you quilt these designs in your Eternal Love Quilt. Click Here to find all the Quilt Along posts if you're just getting started.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, June 24, 2018

How to Quilt Wobbly Cosmos

What happened after the Big Bang? The universe got a bit wobbly! LOL! Come learn how to quilt this fun design with me today using walking foot quilting.

Click here to find this quilting tutorial.

I've just had a wonderfully busy day writing, working on my treadle sewing machine, and playing Monopoly with James and Josh. After being a total wimp at the game of property development my whole life, I've finally found my edge.

I've cleaned the guys out on our last three games! My favorite properties are the red and yellow on the line before you hit Go to Jail. What are yours?

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, June 23, 2018

You know you're a quilter if...

Does this sound like you?

LOL! I was arranging pieces and playing with scraps in the studio, then walked outside to the Crafty Cottage and this quarter square triangle fell off my shirt as I sat down. 

Hey! Where did you come from!?

I wonder how long it would have clung to my shirt and... where was it stuck exactly??? LOL!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chatting about Fear? Podcast #62

Yep, fear is the topic of the podcast today. Have I mentioned that sharing my goddess quilt stories is scary, scary, SCARY?

Click Here to find this podcast episode.

I decided the next quilt to share should be Torrent of Fear, a goddess quilt I created in 2012 after spending a year stuck in place by ultimately very silly fears.

Yes, this is a dark quilt about a negative emotion, but the funny thing is when I look at this quilt, it actually makes me feel good. I feel good and happy because I know I'm not THERE - stuck in that fearful state, unable to move or make decisions, unable to let my light shine.

Have you been feeling afraid of something lately? Do you want to make a different type of quilt or try a new craft or technique? Do you wish you could say something out loud that you've been meaning to say for a long time?

It's time to stop waiting.

Waiting to do the things you want to do, to live the life you wish you could live is a recipe for disaster. Because you may wake up one day and suddenly realize you've waited to long. Times up.

We don't know how much time we have on this Earth. It may be 5 days or 5 months or 50 years.

So the only way to get an insurance policy for your life, the only way to guarantee you've done the things you're meant to do, or that you feel pushed to accomplish is to do it right now!

Sharing my goddess quilt stories is something I've wanted to do for years. I've put it off and put it off and this year I got several wake up calls that I have to stop waiting. I'm facing the fear and making this happen because ultimately the mark I want to leave on the quilting world is not how to quilt hundreds of designs or piece pretty patchwork quilt blocks.

That's certainly something I'm proud of and I enjoy doing, don't get me wrong. But what I'd really like to do is encourage you to make quilts that mean MORE, that change your life for the better, than rock your world, literally and figuratively.

So I hope you find this episode helpful and interesting. Please share it with your friends and think about the ways fear has been holding you back with your quilting journey.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, June 18, 2018

No Raw Edges Please!

I've run many polls about applique over the years and I don't think I'm the only quilter that finds raw edge applique a little... unpleasant.

If I cut out a shape or a lock of hair, I usually want it to stay that shape! I've also found raw edge to always cause problems in the quilting. Do you stitch along the edge or inside the edge? How do you secure the edge and stop it from fraying irregularly if you don't quilt along it in an even way?

All these questions are easily dealt with if you just finish the edges with a blanket stitch or zigzag stitch.

So that's the quilting tutorial I've shared today! Click Here to learn how to finish those edges.

I mixed things up for my Eternal Love Quilt and did the edge finishing and quilting at the same time. Yes, this means that the decorative stitching will show on the back of the quilt.

Does this also make your skin break out in hives? What if I told you it seriously speeds up the quilting process? Willing to give it a try now?

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Very Fashionable Evening

About a week ago I learned the authors of The Tunic Bible, Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr were going to be in Charlotte sharing their "Hand Curated Wardrobe." Count me in!

Remember - I made a tunic along with Amy Johnson in 2016 and really loved this pattern. Click Here to see my finished tunic.

It was a fabulous event and I really enjoyed seeing all their garments from simple skirts to amazing dresses. I knew I would come home feeling inspired to sew and make something new to wear.

What surprised me is WHAT I'm wanting to sew and wear - a French jacket.

This is surprising because I'm not much of a fashionista and French jackets have always felt a bit... stuffy to me for lack of a better word.

Then I realized they are quilted. Ooooo... Then I saw the possibilities for decorative trims and embellishments. Ahhh... Then I realized you get to sew a chain in the back because the front is so heavy and for some reason - SOLD! Gotta make one now!

It's not immediately going to the top of my list, but it's definitely a project on the list to sew as soon as I have time.

Overall it was a terrific evening and I highly recommend attending a workshop or lecture with Sarah Gunn or Julie Starr if you're interested in learning more about sewing your own clothing.

Let's go quilt (or sew!)

Leah Day

Friday, June 15, 2018

How to Quilt Matrix Maze

It's Walking Foot Friday! I have a fun design for you to quilt today or over the weekend that's perfect for walking foot quilting or free motion quilting, whichever one you like best.

Click Here to find this quilting tutorial.

I've shared both the new quilting tutorial with walking foot quilting AND the original free motion quilting tutorial from the very early days of the Free Motion Quilting Project.

I look back on those early videos and cringe a bit, but at the same time I also have to smile because that was how I got started. It's good to smile at your start because everything grew from there.

I'm taking off tonight to go to a fun sewing event. I'm hoping to see many beautiful inspiring garments and hopefully learn how to dress more stylishly. That's never been my strong suit and there's always room for improvement!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Back from Vacation Podcast #61

James and I popped off to Charleston this past weekend for a short trip to visit family and hang out together. In this week's podcast I share about the trip and my major obsession: freeform crochet!

Click Here to find the show notes and podcast video.

I think I'm mostly loving freeform crochet because it's the perfect project to work on while I'm editing Mally the Maker. I've spread out over my couch with yarn, crochet hooks, and the printed book galley and as I crochet, I'm listening to the book being read to be via Natural Reader.

That's an app that will read anything to you in a fairly robotic voice, but it's still good enough for me to be able to get lost in the story. It's amazing how easy is to miss small words in sentences, especially when editing the book and by listening to it, I'm hopefully catching most of them.

Did you catch that missing word? Our brains are magnificent at filling in gaps like that so listening really is the best way to edit in my opinion.

So that's the podcast for this week! Next week I'm going to share another goddess quilt story about Torrent of Fear. I feel like this is the perfect quilt to talk about next because sharing like this is scary and I have to push myself to be so open and share from my heart.

I hope you're looking forward to that and YES! There will be new quilting design videos coming Friday! I missed my design last week while on vacation so we'll definitely have a new one this week.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Learning How to Watercolor

It’s never too late to learn a new skill! This summer I decided to learn how to paint with watercolors. Turns out, there’s quite a lot to it and it’s definitely not a fast skill to master.

Watercolor paints are random and weird and I can honestly say I don’t know what I’m doing. But I’m having fun!

The thing I like best is the unpredictable nature of this paint. I use too much water intentionally so I get really weird results. I’m aiming for nice color washes with great light / dark effects for each color. It’s definitely a work in progress!

What I love most about learning something new is the flow of trial and error. I paint something and it dries and I have to decide if I like it or not and if I want to throw more paint at it or leave it be.

I’ve ruined a few tests, but that’s kind of the point – they are tests! The more I paint, the more I know how to handle the paint and what to do with it and how much water to add and so on.

This same set of lessons also apply to quilting. Every quilt is a test. Every quilt is an experiment. Make something, finish it and decide if you like it or not. If you decide it’s awful, throw more fabric, thread, yarn or glitter at it (glitter makes everything better) and see if you like it better. You hate it more? Sorry, try again!

The point is to learn by doing.

Do more stuff. Make more messes. Don't get attached to the results.

I'm off to make more messes with watercolors! What will you make a mess with today?

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, June 11, 2018

How to Make an Applique Quilt

Our second post for the Eternal Love Quilt Along is up and ready for you! This week we're taking all the pieces we traced and cut out and layering them together to create the finished quilt top.

Click Here to find this new quilting tutorial.

This feels a lot like putting together the pieces of a big puzzle. I made a few mistakes with my quilt and had a near catastrophe at the end when I flipped it over to fuse onto the background fabric and the entire thing started to fall apart.

It ended up being a bit of a "do what I say, not what I do" situation and I think the main reason I had some struggles is I was being too rough with the applique and flipping it over too much.

So make sure to watch the entire video to get all the tips you need for creating the Eternal Love quilt and connecting all the pieces together!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Amazing Trip to the Beach

James and I just got back from a mini vacation to Charleston, SC. This is our second trip with just the two of us and we had such a great time!

It was so nice to get away, visit family, and hit the beach. I can definitely say my Whole 30 diet / lifestyle has paid off big! This was the first time I've ever gone to the beach and not felt self conscious. I felt pretty, healthy, and happy!

James and I left super early this morning so we could get back home, get the house back in order, and get back on track for the coming week. I love traveling in the morning because I'm wide awake and the whole rest of the day feels like a bonus.

I know I've been a bit lax this month already with blog posts, but more are on the way! I have lots of fun things planned and many goodies in store for you this summer!

I've definitely come home relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to work! I love my work and I love being home so it always feels great to return fired up like this. I'm most excited about digging into the last round of edits to Mally the Maker and beginning the formatting and cover design for that book.

More on that later and lots of pretty things to come!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Quilting Gratitude in Your Life and Quilts

Hello my quilting friends! Today I've shared a new podcast episode with my first quilt story all about quilting with gratitude and how I constructed the quilt My Cup Runneth Over. Click Here to find the episode.

Why this new style of podcast? I've wanted to share my goddess quilts in more ways for years. I've wanted to write a book on these quilts for years. I've wanted to rebuild their pages on my website...FOR YEARS!

I finally realized that this was never, ever going to happen if I didn't MAKE it happen by incorporating it into something I was already doing. Each week I write a nice post, pull together some photos, shoot usually one or two videos and get the whole thing done in two or three days. That's what every podcast episode takes.

So it just seemed like the perfect fit to combine a podcast episode with a quilt story. In these podcast, I'll talk about the quilt and remember how it was made (including the bumps in the road) and share life lessons I learned from these quilts along the way.

I also get the nice kick in my pants to pull out the quilt and shoot new photos and write a new page about it too. All around, this is win, win, win and it's helping me accomplish a very big project one week / one podcast episode at a time.

I should also admit straight up that these episodes are a lot more personal and that's scary. It's scary to be vulnerable. It's scary to be honest.

But I wouldn't want to be anything else. I've wanted to share my goddess quilts more openly for years and this is a way to do it. My eventual plan is to put them all in a book and share even more and this is also the first step to making that happen.

So I hope you enjoy this podcast episode! I'm so very thankful you're here and reading / watching / listening and so happy to be sharing my life with you!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Always a good time for a rainbow star

I think it was 2 years ago that I first shared this Twin Rainbow Star quilt pattern. I had an interesting set of fat eighths and wanted to use them all up at once, but no matter how I fiddled with the half square triangles, I always ended up with a lot left over.

Then I realized the solution - make two quilts!

This Twin Rainbow Star quilt makes 2 - 36 inch square baby quilts. These are perfect for charity quilts as they piece and quilt up super quickly. 

I love seeing quilts I've designed used for charity and I know it makes such a difference for people in need.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, June 4, 2018

Let's Make a Goddess Quilt Together!

It's Quilt Along time! I'm thrilled to be sharing a new goddess quilt with you this summer and I can't wait to see all the beautiful quilts we create together. Today I've shared the first post on Fusible Applique Basics to help get you started.

Click Here to find the video and quilting tutorial.

I admit, fusible applique isn't my favorite, but it is very fast! I challenged myself to create a second Eternal Love quilt using the fabrics in May's Quilty Box and managed to cut and fuse it together in just 1 day.

So while it may seem like there's a lot of steps to tracing, cutting, and fusing the fusible web, it's a lot faster than turning edges and stitching by hand!

Just in case this is the first post you've run across about this Quilt Along, please know that you can begin at any time and work at your own pace. All you need to get started is a copy of the Eternal Love Quilt Pattern available here.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, June 2, 2018

2 Days to New Quilt Along!

We have a new Quilt Along starting in just 2 days! The Eternal Love Quilt Along is going to be a blast - just 5 weeks with new posts being shared every Monday to guide you through creating this beautiful quilt:

Click Here to find the Eternal Love Quilt Pattern

How do you sign up for the Quilt Along?

We like to keep things very simple so there's no official sign up or forms to fill out. Just pick up a pattern and swing by every Monday to find the new videos posted each week.

I'll make sure to link everything up in one place. Click Here to find the official page which you can bookmark so it's easy to find each week.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, June 1, 2018

Let's Quilt Super Spiral!

I have a new quilting tutorial for you today and this is a terrific mash up of walking foot quilting and longarm quilting.

Seriously, I quilt this design first with my walking foot, then switch over to the Grace Qnique to quilt it on my frame!

Click Here to find this tutorial at

Did you know that I'm a dealer for Grace Company now? Click Here to learn more about the Grace Qnique.

What is the best method to quilt your quilt? The way that works best for you!

I hope you can see from this quilting tutorial that there are upsides and downsides to every form of quilting. No machine, frame, or foot is 100% perfect and you just have to make the best of it to quilt your quilts.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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