The Free Motion Quilting Project: October 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

Longarm Ruler Quilting on a Baby Quilt

Last week I unfolded a quilt I'd started quilting on my home machine and moved it to my longarm frame. Lots of drama ensued as the quilt didn't go on the frame very straight, but I eventually managed to baste it into submission. Click Here to watch that video.

This week my goal was to quilt the entire center of the quilt, continuing the ruler foot quilting design I'd established. Check out how things went in this new longarm quilting tutorial:




I really love how this turned out! It was tedious and I caught myself multiple times wishing I'd started a simpler design on my home machine.

But it was a great experiment to see if I could move the quilt and continue the design. It worked out great and now there's only a bit of quilting left to finish in the borders.

And what is the perfect design for borders? Feathers! Make sure to check in next week as I try my very first feathered border.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Listen to a Chapter from Mally the Maker

Hello My Quilting Friends! This week I'm trying on a new hat - audiobook narration. I've read Chapter 1 from Mally the Maker and the Queen in the Quilt so you can begin the journey with Mally into the magical world of Quilst.


Click Here to preorder your copy of Mally the Maker.

I had SO much fun reading this! I've loved reading out loud since I was a kid so narrating this book felt natural and fun.

I've been planning to record the audiobook within the next few months, but sharing this first chapter has finally convinced me it's worth the time and effort to pursue. I'm going to pull out a small laptop and my really good microphone and begin the official recording today. I can't promise when that will be available, but I'll at least take the first steps this week!

I won't be able to film that because I'll most likely be recording in my bedroom closet. You need REALLY good audio quality for an audiobook and that is the best space in the house for recording without any outside noise. Once I fill it with quilts, it will hopefully have the perfect acoustics too.

Whew! I feel like there are a million things to do this month before this book is ready to release officially on November 1st. Today I'm working on the layout for the Ms. Bunny sewing pattern and finalizing the files for print.

I hope you're having a wonderfully creative day!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

How Do You Quilt the Background?

Do you know the trickiest area to quilt in a quilt? No, it's not inside appliques, or within triangle points. The hardest place to pick a good quilting design is the background.


A few things make this area challenging - it's usually a very large area, and sometimes you have a lot of open space. Other times you will have tiny, complex areas created by the piecing that is tricky to quilt through seamlessly.

This week I shared a video on how I plan my background quilting design and add extra details to make it more interesting. Click Here to find this tutorial.

I quilted the entire background of the Leaf Peepers Quilt with only three designs: straight lines, curving lines, and Sharp Stippling. By using the lines created with rulers, I was able to break down the background space. This also made that open area more interesting and dynamic.


I love the flow of Sharp Stippling and Yes, I could just as easily have quilted only Sharp Stippling through the entire background.

But then I would have been very, very bored by the end of it!

Sometimes I break up the background of a quilt just to give myself different designs to play with. I could have quilted each open space between the lines with a different design. That would have made this quilt even more interesting and fun!

Do you have a quilt you're struggling to pick the designs for? Spend some time looking at the quilt top and think about ways you can add extra designs, shapes, and motifs to the background. I often find once I see those extra elements, the entire quilt starts to come together like magic!

Don't forget to check out Sheri's post from the Leaf Peepers Quilt Along this week on quilting the 4th block with walking foot quilting. Click Here to find her quilting tutorial.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Painting and Drawing and Driving

Happy Sketchy Saturday! James and I drove to Charlotte today to go painting at Art Space Studio. It was a long drive, but totally worth it to spend the day with my son painting two projects for the holidays.


I reserved my little Christmas tree a few weeks ago. It's one of those trees with the little plastic colorful lights. I honestly find them kinda tacky, but it brings back memories of my grandma. She had one of those trees and brought it out every year and now I want one too! LOL!

I know I've skipped a few Sketchy Saturdays here. I honestly haven't been drawing much, unless you count doll pattern revisions. Yesterday I got back to my card sketches and had some fun:


I've already started writing Mally the Maker book 2 and the scenes I'm working on is making me want to do a lot more sketching for this book. I just need to set aside the time, make sure I have a sketchbook and pencil and make myself DRAW.

Why is it hard sometimes to do the thing you want to do, even when you want to do it? That's what's on my mind today and I honestly don't have a good answer.

I hope you had a great Saturday! What have you been working on?

Let's go quilt (or draw),

Leah Day

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Preorder Mally the Maker

Yes, it's finally time to share my new book Mally the Maker and the Queen in the Quilt! Click Here to check out the book.


This novel has been such an adventure to write! I've loved every step of the process from creating the magical world of Quilst (no, that's not misspelled) to inventing the evil witch who nearly destroyed it. I had so much fun incorporating hand sewing and traditional quilt blocks into the story and making small illustrations for each chapter.


My goal with writing this book was to create a fun story for quilters to read. Quilters who love piecing beautiful quilts, appliqueing turned edges, and adding hand embellishment will love this story. Quilters who love making sampler quilts and piecing traditional quilt blocks will love this story.

This book is also written about a 10 year old little girl and it's my hope that kids will enjoy this book too. In a day when everything is on a tablet or cell phone and most kids spend more time staring at a screen than the sky outside, I want to encourage kids to turn off the video games and actually make things with their hands.

A big part of this book is Mally's journey to learning how to stitch by hand. It's not an exaggeration to say that her life often depends on being able to stitch a secure seam!

Another amazing part of writing this book was creating the other characters who help (or hinder) Mally along the way.

Ms. Bunny is my favorite. She's based on a doll I was given for Christmas when I was 4 years old. Bringing her to life has been marvelous. She is a very kind, brave rabbit who tries hard to keep Mally out of trouble.

 Bunny doll pattern


I actually wrote this story with the idea I'd bring my own Ms. Bunny back to life. I lost my Ms. Bunny when I was very young yet she still was always a part of me. Writing Ms. Bunny back into life was cathartic but what really made her come to life was recreating her again as a doll pattern. I've gone through at least seven different models of Ms. Bunny until I got it just right.

Books and Ms. Bunny patterns will ship out the first of November!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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