The Free Motion Quilting Project

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dad's Cabin Fever Quilt - Part 2

Dad's been keeping busy this week working on his Cabin Fever quilt! You can find the first part of this series right here.

We had a bit of a math mishap. When I looked at Dad's quilt colors and design I decided to change the block from flying geese units to more half square triangles so the blue fabric wouldn't shadow through the yellow fabric. It might also be a bit faster to construct half square triangles.

Except...if you don't calculate the number you need accurately!

Dad ended up cutting out plenty of yellow and green fabric, but only cut half as much blue needed for the quilt. I knew something had to be off because I'd cut and washed the fabric and he still had an entire yard of blue that hadn't been cut.

So it's back to the cutting board for more blue squares! I think Dad needed a break from making half square triangles because he's constructed two rows and this quilt is coming together beautifully:

This quilt is turning out so, so cheerful! Dad says he can't help but smile at it when he sees it and that is the whole point!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Renting the Bernina Longarm

Yesterday I drove to a local quilt shop to rent time on the Bernina Q24 longarm. What a day! I loaded a piece of plain, black fabric, set up a spool of gray Isacord thread, and quilted for hours trying to learn how to control the machine. Here's a quick glimpse of just how terrible it looked in the beginning:

Honestly I'm really pleased with all of my quilting, even this wobbly mess in the beginning! The great thing about the Bernina Q24 is the stitch regulator which kept the stitches roughly the same size and shape no matter how crazily I moved the machine.

The biggest goal I had for the day was to find more control over the machine's movement. I wanted to be able to quilt wiggly shapes and Stippling by the end of the day and great news! That definitely happened:

Now before you jump to conclusions - no I'm not switching to longarm quilting. Mostly I'm curious to know how a longarm works and how it differs from quilting on a home sewing machine. Yesterday I learned a lot - like why you don't want to tighten the quilt up SUPER tight because that adds more bounce. When the quilt surface bounces around too much the stitch regulator has trouble working.

I also learned that designs like Stippling are much easier to quilt than designs that require travel stitching. While I had enough control to stitch a wiggly design I knew really well, I definitely did NOT have the control to hit points or travel stitch consistently.

So that is going to take a lot more practice and patience to master. Overall I was pleased with my day and how much I accomplished. My quilting was far from perfect, but I learned quite a lot about this different form of machine quilting!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, July 25, 2016

Beginner Walking Foot Quilting Tutorial

Last week I used the beautiful materials in my Quilty Box to create the Twin Rainbow Stars quilts - a pattern that helps you make two quilts at the same time! This week I begin the quilting process very simply with my walking foot and created an excellent beginner walking foot quilting tutorial:

Click Here to find the quilt pattern and more tips for quilting!

After stitching in the ditch and quilting many straight lines with my walking foot, I found I had beautiful open diamond spaces that would be perfect to practice many free motion quilting designs.

Would you like to see this mini project continue? Let me know if you'd like to see more quilting tutorials for filling in the spaces of these Rainbow Star quilts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, July 22, 2016

Facebook Live Chat Today!

Last week we tried our first Facebook Live event with the Machine Quilting Block Party group and had a terrific time talking about quilting. Today we're hosting another live event at 4 PM EDT!

Here's how to join in the fun:

1. Join the Leah Day Quilting Facebook Group right here. 

2. At 4 pm EDT, the event will begin. Click Here to figure out what time that will be for you!

(If you need to put in a city to check the time, we're in the same time zone as New York City)

3. If you're on a computer, just click the "click for more" link on the video screen so you can post comments.

If you're on a tablet or phone, rotate it vertical so you can see the comment area.

4. Post any questions you have about quilting and I'll try to answer them all!

Even if you miss this event, the video will be posted to the Leah Day Quilting Group so you can watch it any time.

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Sale!

It's the height of summer, at least in our neck of the woods, and the tomatoes are ripe, the mosquitoes ravenous, and all the baby chicks hatched in the spring are now fluffed up and roaming the yard. It seems like the perfect time to host a big sale!

Right now you can save 10% on almost everything at! 

Click Here to shop now!

Unfortunately we can't discount our affordable tables and custom cut inserts, but everything else in the shop is 10% off from today (7/20) through Monday (7/25). This is a great time to stock up on thread, quilting supplies, books, patterns, and more.

Your support of our quilt shop helps us continue making free videos and quilt patterns each week. We really appreciate your support!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, July 18, 2016

Twin Rainbow Stars Free Quilt Pattern

#Affiliate - This article and video share this month's Quilty Box, a subscription box of quilting gear you can receive every month. Click Here to learn more about Quilty Box.

This past week I received my Quilty Box, filled with beautiful fabrics and supplies selected by Kathleen Starr from This box came with gorgeous hand dyed fabric that I couldn't wait to cut into and turn into a beautiful quilt. I ended up creating TWO super easy Rainbow Star quilts!

These little quilts measure 32 inches each and are SO fast to piece together. I think they will make a great project for charity quilts or anyone you know that's having twin babies!

The star of these quilts is definitely the fabrics. I absolutely fell in love with Kathleen Starr's hand dyed fabrics and definitely plan to pick up more.

Of course, with two quilts pieced, we now have the fun job of deciding how to quilt them both! Make sure to check back next week when I share tips on quilting both Rainbow Star quilts.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, July 15, 2016

Dad's Cabin Fever Quilt - Part 1

Last week I shared the piecing tutorial for our Cabin Fever block and included an image of what an entire quilt would look like created from just this one block. The next day Dad told me how much he loved that quilt design and wanted to make one for himself. Color me delighted!

I showed Dad the basics of using EQ7, and he played around with fabric colors and the design for a few hours until he was happy with it. He expanded it to 42 blocks so it would fit a queen sized bed and played around with borders as well until he came up with this beautiful quilt:

As you can see, Dad added a lot more colors to the block design and also added bright yellow cornerstones and sashing. Now I know where my love of bright colors comes from!

I'm super excited to see this quilt come together. Dad's already started prepping up fabric and piecing a few test blocks just to make sure he really likes the colors.

Dad's eyes nearly bugged out when we drew up the yardage list and it was 4 yards of yellow, 3 yards, of blue, another 3 yards of green. It really is surprising how much fabric a queen sized quilt requires. Thankfully we had plenty of fabric on hand and this massive patchwork quilt is already in progress!

So what do you think of Dad's design? Have you ever made a quilt with a family member? What was your favorite part? Please share your experience in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day
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