The Free Motion Quilting Project

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Yay! and Uggh!

This week has been a weird mix of Yay! and Uggh! On the Yay! side I have a new quilting collaboration and podcast coming out next week.

How would you quilt this mini quilt? I couldn't decide for a bit, then decided to throw the kitchen sink at it with eight different designs. Let's just say I went completely over the top with the quilting and (I hope) it worked!

Be looking forward to this collaboration, podcast, and new video all next Wednesday and Thursday.

On the Uggh! side I have some kind of stomach bug that has beaten me around the block. I really hate getting sick in the summer and this was a doozie.

Thankfully I'm feeling better today and heading back out to the Crafty Cottage to film new videos and plan more fun projects. Getting sick definitely puts good health in perspective!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Machine Quilting Feathers on the Grace Qnique

Happy Sunday! Today is a very lazy day because we spent all day yesterday canning 30 quart jars of tomatoes. It was hot, sticky work, but definitely worth it to enjoy fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter. Today I'm continuing to work with food as I'm quilting another pear in my table runner with Swirling Feathers! Check out the new video on the Grace Qnique right here:



Click Here to check out the Grace Qnique 14+ machine and learn more about it.

Swirling Feathers is one of my favorite feather designs because it allows you to stitch feathers in all directions and fit them together organically. Sometimes the design has to completely break the rules to fill a quilting space consistently like around the stem of the pear shape:


This feather design is also great for sorting out excess fabric issues, which is something I'm dealing with on this quilt. If you watch the video, you'll see how the fabric begins to go baggy within the pear shape as I quilt towards the edges.

This was caused by two things - #1 Density - the background is quilted densely with collage quilting. The density of that stitching has made the fabrics very stable and secure, which causes the unquilted areas to bubble up a bit more.

#2 - Where are the pins? - I clearly basted this quilt quickly and didn't leave the pins in the pears as I quilted the background. That allowed the fabrics more leeway to shift and puddle over the pear shapes.

Is this a deal breaker? Nope, I don't think so. Quilting designs like Swirling Feathers will secure the open spaces and allow the excess fabric space to puff outward. If I end up stitching a pleat or two in the quilt top, it's not the end of the world. It's a table runner, not the Mona Lisa!


So that's it for this video! I hope you enjoyed learning how I quilted this pear shape with Swirling Feathers. I have a few other videos of quilting on this project you may like to check out:

Collage Quilting Four Designs - Learn how to quilt the four free motion quilting designs in the background of this quilt.

How to Quilt on Marked Lines - How to quilt the marked lines on printed fabric to create a cool effect.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, July 14, 2017

Machine Quilting Bean Sprouts, Design #482

Gosh it's hot! It's definitely feeling like July today so I plan to spend some time in the pool soaking up the sun. It also seems like a great day to stitch a new quilting design so I created Bean Sprouts:


This funky, flowing quilting design starts with a very simple Dew Drop shape. Basically a wiggly line with two tear drops on the end. Then just echo quilt around it multiple times until you get bored and move on to quilt another shape.

See how this design is quilted in this new video:



Are you looking for more inspiring quilting designs to add beautiful texture to your quilts? Click Here to find 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs, a huge book filled with hundreds of quilting designs to stitch on your home machine.

Now let's learn a bit more about quilting Bean Sprouts:

Difficulty Level: Beginner - This is a really simple design to machine quilt so long as you keep the basic rules in mind. Memorize the starting Dew Drop shape and quilt it carefully first, then all you have to do is travel stitch and echo to expand the design.


Design Family: Echoing - This family of designs will fill your quilt with a clustering effect. Basically you form the starting shape and rows of echoes, then to keep going with the design you stitch a new shape and new set of echoes.

Last week's design Cotton Candy is also an echoing design. The only difference between the two is the starting shape - Fluffy Clouds or Dew Drops!

Where Do I Quilt It? - Echoing Designs like Bean Sprouts can be quilted anywhere on your quilts. You can expand the design and quilt it on a huge scale and cover your quilt with All Over Quilting. You can also quilt it easily in blocks, sashing, or borders.


This design has a beautiful flowy texture that would also look nice in art quilts and wall hangings. You could use Bean Sprouts to add texture to a windy sky, or flowing waves.

No matter where you quilt it, this Bean Sprouts is going to add a soft, curving texture to your quilts. If you use it in your quilt, make sure to share a picture with me on the Leah Day Quilting Facebook Group!

Whew! It's time to hit the pool! What are you quilting this weekend? I'm puffing more squares of James's puff quilt and quilting walking foot samples for my new book. Learn more about both projects in this week's podcast episode here.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Graffiti Quilting with Karlee Porter - Podcast Episode #24

Helly My Quilting Friends! I have a terrific interview for you today with Karlee Porter, the creator of Graffiti Quilting. Click Here to find Karlee's website.


I also have a super exciting announcement - all the podcast episodes are now live on YouTube! I've put the episodes together in a playlist so you just have to click once and the videos will play automatically so you can binge listen / watch to all the episodes shared so far.

Also I've pushed myself to start recording the introduction section live. I pulled out a quilt, turned on the camera, and shared the updates from around the house while stitching on James's puff quilt. The rest of the video will be a still image, but it's one small step to making the entire podcast live video (which is a big leap forward!)

Watch this week's episode here:


Click Here to check out No Sewing Until You Quilt It, an awesome form of applique that allows you to create turned edge applique without taking a single stitch before you're ready to quilt! And yes, I do use affiliate links below to help support this podcast.

Now for links from the interview with Karlee Porter:

In 2014 Karlee published her first book Graffiti Quilting and has also followed up with Graffiti Quilting Volume 2. Graffiti Quilting is basically a method for taking lots of different designs and squishing them together to form a unique texture for your quilts.

Graffiti Quilting from KarleePorter.com
Karlee considers herself an artist first and had been drawing graffiti style art for years. When she learned free motion quilting she simply decided to quilt what she already knew how to draw.

Karlee has traveled around the world teaching Graffiti Quilting. We both agree quilting is an awesome industry because quilt guilds and shops help connect us together. Her favorite moment of a class is when the lightbulb clicks for a student and they suddenly understand how Graffiti Quilting works.

We both agree teaching online is very helpful for both teachers and students. Authenticity and interaction is very important to Karlee and she's interested in using technology to make beautiful quilts and teach new techniques.

Karlee also designs custom printed fabrics for quilters to practice machine quilting. Spoonflower.com is my favorite website for printing fabric easily and on demand.

Don't forget to check out Karlee's website and learn more about Graffiti Quilting!

Now for a few updates from around the house:

In the video I was working on James's puff quilt while I chatted about this week's news. I've been working on this quilt for several months first folding the fabric squares to create individual little pillows, then I stitched them together into blocks, then stitched the quilt together.

Puff quilt with Leah Day

Now I've sliced very small holes in the back of the quilt and I'm puffing each little pillow with exactly 5 grams of fiberfill (yes, I'm weighing each puff!) I decided to go back over the quilt and stitch each hole closed so the fiberfill won't leak out after the quilt is complete.

Whew! It's already been several months and I still need to finish puffing, stitching, then sandwich and figure out how to quilt between each puff. It's been a crazy fun project to create and yes, one of these days I will get around to making a video tutorial so you can see how I made it.

walking foot quilting with Leah Day
I've also been working on my walking foot quilting book this week and we have a potential date for when it will be finished! That's super exciting, but also scary because I still need to find a photographer, plan the photos, and finish three of the quilts.

It's been an interesting process to create this book and I've learned a bit more about how to stay better organized and how I can write my next book better and with less stress. Yes, self publishing is a lot more work, but the payoff is definitely worth it. Click Here to find Podcast Episode #1 about publishing.

While I've been finishing the text and diagrams for the book, Dad has been having fun making Wonky Christmas trees downstairs. I'm a bit jealous - these are so cheerful and fun!

Wonky Christmas Tree quilt pattern

Click Here to find the free Wonky Christmas Tree Pattern. I'm planning to create a simple, skinny wall hanging version of this quilt to give as Christmas gifts. Maybe if we start in July we'll have them done in time!

I've also been working on little tree art quilts with scrap velvet and silk fabrics. I also turned the hanging rod in the wood shop and plan to make beaded accents for each quilt.

art quilting trees with Leah Day

Sometimes I get stuck on projects and fearful of ruining it with ugly stitching. I plan to make several more trees then force myself to start quilting them. Mostly the issue these days is TIME - where does it go and how do I get more of it?! Lol! I think I need to listen to Vicki Holloway's podcast episode again and remember her tips for working efficiently.

So that's it for this week! I hope you like the new video podcast and seeing what I'm stitching on. Let me know what you think and if you have suggestions for quilters to be on the show. I'm always looking for more quilting friends!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, July 10, 2017

Quilting the Triple Tulip Flower Block

Last week we learned how to piece the Triple Tulip Flower Block and this week I'm quilting it with a combination of feathers, Pebbling, and a ruler guided grid design. I love this quilting design!

How to piece and quilt a flower quilt block

Quilting this block is a little time consuming, but it's absolutely worth it because of the beautiful texture and designs we're adding to the block. Take your time with each section and follow the video to learn how to move through the block with the least number of thread breaks:

Click Here to find the pattern for the Triple Tulip Flower Block.

I'll be honest - Pebbling isn't usually my first choice for a background filler design. It's a bit more time consuming to stack circular shapes together nicely and the texture can be very dominant on the quilt and outshine the other designs.

How to quilt a flower quilt block


For this block I think quilting Pebbling was a great choice because I could quilt it easily around the flower shapes and the almost-matching thread made the texture blend in a lot better than if I'd used contrasting thread.

Quilting with rulers on your home machine

What did you think of the ruler foot quilting in this block? I love quilting with rulers because my lines are straighter and much more evenly spaced than I could ever create quilting free hand (without marks or rulers).

For this block I was using Template #6 from the Dresden Plate Template Set to guide the lines. This template set can be used to cut out dozens of Dresden plate blocks AND it can be used for ruler foot quilting on your home machine. What can I say - I like tools that multitask!


If you'd like to learn more about ruler foot quilting, click here to find a Ruler Foot Quilting Basics video with lots of tips on ruler quilting on your home machine. I still feel like I've only just scratched the surface with ruler foot quilting and I can't wait to dig deeper and learn more about this quilting style.

Have you tried ruler foot quilting yet? What did you think? Would you like to see more designs and videos created with this quilting style? Let me know in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

P.S - Don't forget about our challenge this month - piece and quilt the first 6 blocks of your Flower Festival Quilt and follow the instructions in Block 7 to bind them together. Post a photo to the Block Party Facebook Group and you'll get a copy of Block #8 for free!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Quilting on a Marked Line on the Grace Qnique

Gasp! I'm coming up for air after working on my book all day. I've been busy creating diagrams to illustrate binding techniques for the last chapter in the book and honestly it's making me crazy! Give me a video camera and let me make a video on it any day.

Speaking of videos, I did have a fun adventure on the Grace Qnique longarm this week. I pulled out the IKEA pear table runner and began quilting inside the pear shapes. The design in this area was so busy I just quilted on the marked lines and shot a video to share how it worked:



Click Here to find all the videos I've shared on the Grace Qnique machine so far. I really love this little longarm and enjoy sharing a new tutorial on using this machine each week.

On this table runner, that was one crazy print inside that pear! I just picked a line to get started and began quilting through the area. The nice thing is the lines were 1/8-inch wide so I could quilt pretty sloppy and it still looked great.


Next week I'll plan to fill one of the empty pear shapes with feathers so be looking forward to that new video next Sunday. Do you like those background designs? Click Here to find a video on how I quilted them using Collage Style Quilting.

But I admit I'm getting a bit bored with those designs. If you have suggestions for more designs in this project let me know!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, July 7, 2017

How to Machine Quilt Cotton Candy, Design #481

A few weeks ago I started playing around with a simple Clouds quilting design and then I couldn't seem to stop playing with the design! It's fun to quilt the fluffy shapes and add a light, pretty design to our quilts. Here's a simple variation I'm calling Cotton Candy:

Learn how to machine quilt Cotton Candy

Cotton Candy is a very simple design and a great way to practice quilting Clouds. You begin with the simple clouds shape, then travel stitch and echo quilt around it multiple times to add a ripply texture to your quilts.

Confused by all that quilty jargon? Watch how to quilt this design in this new machine quilting video:


Learn how to machine quilt a wholecloth

Would you like to take a quilting class with me? I've created several online quilting workshops just for you! Create the quilts, watch the videos, and learn how to quilt bigger quilts, master walking foot quilting, and even make a wholecloth quilt like the one above. Click Here to find a workshop.

Now let's learn more about quilting Cotton Candy:

Learn how to machine quilt Cotton Candy
Difficulty Level - Beginner. Cotton Candy isn't a hard quilting design to master because the steps are simple enough to memorize. Think of this like memorizing how to sign your name in cursive. It took a little time, but now you sign your name without even thinking about the letters and how they connect together to form the shapes.

Quilting a design like Cotton Candy is the same. It may help to mark the design on your quilt to begin, then quilt on the lines. That way you can see the lines and know where to stitch, then pretty soon you won't need the lines to guide you.

Design Family - Echoing - This family of designs begins with a simple shape (circle, triangle, fluffy cloud). You then travel stitch and echo around the shape to expand the design. Some similar designs include Echo Shell, Brain Coral, and Trippy Triangles

Try quilting these designs as well and then quilt Cotton Candy. Which is your favorite Echoing Design?

Where do we quilt it? - This is one sweet design and I think it will work just about anywhere in your quilts. You can expand the cloud shapes and echoes to quilt the design on a big scale for bed quilts. You can also shrink Cotton Candy down to quilt densely on wall hangings too.

Learn how to machine quilt Cotton Candy

Where do you think this design will work best? Give it a try and share a picture of your quilt on the Leah Day Quilting Friends Facebook Group. 

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day
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