The Free Motion Quilting Project

Monday, September 25, 2017

New Sashing Splendor Quilt Pattern

It's that time of the month...yeah, you know...it'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 LeahDay.com 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
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