The Free Motion Quilting Project

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Stencils are Back Up!

Yes, indeed, I've finally gotten my act together and rebuilt my quilting stencil page at Click Here to check it out now.

Why has this page been missing for so long? Mostly it was just lost in the shuffle as we scrambled to build a new website last September. 

I know that was more than 8 months ago, but changing website systems is a bit like moving house - doesn't everyone leave some boxes unopened for a few months?

In any case, I'm definitely going to be working on the site more and returning pages that I've been missing a lot, like my quilt gallery. 

While these pages have never been super important for website traffic (not that many people searching for quilt goddesses unfortunately), the gallery has always made me happy and has been a convenient way for me to organize my quilts and remember when they were made.

This kind of reflection is fun and often reminds me of cool techniques and ideas that I might have forgotten. Just working on our stencil page today reminded me of the three cool stencil marked quilts I created last year. I've added pretty photos so you can see them all here.

It's also inspired me to take a look at the stencils I've already designed and create new, fun projects for you to enjoy! While it might not seem like it, marking designs with stencils actually takes less time and focus than quilting free hand, and they are a terrific starting point for planning your quilt design.

But what do you think? Have you ever marked a quilt with stencil designs? Would you be interested in seeing new videos featuring quilting stencils? What are your favorite designs that work best when marked with stencils?

Share your opinions and ideas in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, May 2, 2016

Piecing an Easy Flaming Pinwheel Block

It's the first Monday of the month which means we have a new block to piece together! This month we're learning how to create a Flaming Pinwheel block which features half square triangles and flying geese:

We've definitely gotten a lot of practice piecing half square triangles this year, but we could always use more practice! This time we're piecing the half square units together to form a pinwheel block in the center and surrounding it with flying geese units. Let's learn how to piece this beautiful block in this new video:

I do hope you enjoyed this new video! Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you're the first to know when a new video is released.

Of course this Flaming Pinwheel block won't be complete until we quilt it! Later this week we'll learn tips for quilting Matrix, our feature machine quilting design this month, then next Monday we'll learn how to machine quilt this block with a combination of free motion quilting and walking foot quilting.

I can't wait to share many fun tips for quilting this block and the gorgeous effects we can create with Matrix!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, May 1, 2016

New Flaming Pinwheel Block

It's finally May 1st and time for another block added to the Machine Quilting Block Party! This month we're quilting a Flaming Pinwheel Block with a combination of walking foot and free motion machine quilting!
Machine Quilting Block Party Block 5

walking foot quilting | Machine Quilting Block Party
Click Here to find the pattern for this Flaming Pinwheel quilt block

The best thing about this month is tomorrow is the first Monday, the day our piecing video is released! So you won't have to wait long to learn how to piece this beautiful block.

The following Monday (5/9) we will learn how to quilt this block with a combination of free motion quilting and walking foot quilting. It's really fun to combine techniques like this and I can't wait to share more about walking foot quilting!

Don't forget to pick up your pattern within the next five days so you get the best deal. Click Here to find all the videos posted to the Machine Quilting Block Party so far.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, April 29, 2016

Amanda Made a Quilt with Block #4!

It's always such a delight to see the creative projects being posted to the Leah Day Quilting Facebook Group every day, and today I got an extra treat! Amanda B shared two beautiful photos of a quilt top she's pieced using Block #4 from the Machine Quilting Block Party!

Amanda Patchwork Quilt | Machine Quilting Block Party

Isn't this great!? The blocks are set up with 2 1/2 inch sashing strips and squares to create a extra 9-patch quilt block effect in the center. I love it when a quilt design creates bonus blocks like this!

Machine Quilting Block Party | Spinning Sun Block

I love how Amanda took the pattern from one block and turned it into such a beautiful quilt. This is definitely giving me ideas for playing with our past and future quilt blocks to see what beautiful quilts we can make with just one block design.

Thank you so much Amanda for letting me share your pictures on the Free Motion Quilting Project. It's definitely inspired me to keep piecing and playing with creative patchwork designs.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

LOVE Paintable Embroidery Design

I seem to be on a roll with a painting theme this week! Dad and I have just finished a funky new Stitch n' Paint Embroidery design featuring hearts, feathers, and a whole lotta love!

Click Here to find this new embroidery design at

I've been having so much fun painting these designs! Not only do they stitch out quickly out perfectly on the embroidery machine, they are so quick and easy to color and embellish in creative ways.

This new designed is sized at 5 x 7 inches so it will fit in standard picture frames. We have produced it in all the major file types: ART, ART USB EXP, DST, EXP, HUS, JEF, PCS, PES, SEW, VIP, VP3, XXX 
so it will work great on any embroidery machine.

I think this design would make a terrific gift for a friend. Just stitch it out, paint it with your own unique style, trim the extra fabric around the edge and pop it into a picture frame. You can't get an easier or faster handmade gift than that!

Let's go stitch and paint,

Leah Day

Monday, April 25, 2016

I AM ENOUGH Fabric Painting

It's high time I admit to my new creative obsession: painting. I want to paint, paint, paint! There's something fast and freeing about painting fabric that is giving me such a kick these days. 

I've been designing Stitch n' Paint embroidery designs so I have more excuses to paint (new design coming this week!) and this weekend I finally gave into my muse and painted some fabric I designed for Spoonflower:

If you'd like to make this too, you can find the background fabric right here.

Leah Day in 1998
Yep, this was me circa 1998
This video was really fun to create just using my iPhone and the timelapse option in the camera. I set it up on a mini tripod and hit record while I quickly painted the words I'd sketched over this fabric. 

I wasn't actually listening to any music while painting this, but if I had, it would probably have been along the lines of the music I added to the video. I was once a girl that head banged with purple hair at Lalapalooza after all!

I AM ENOUGH has long been one of my favorite affirmations because it perfectly sums up several points in one - No, you don't need to do any of this stuff. You don't need to do more. You're okay as you are. Please enjoy what you have and where you are and who you are right now.

Painting these words over fabric with all the things I feel pressure to do felt powerful and fun and I definitely see more painting in my future. These days I just want to work faster, simpler, with less fuss and complication.

I also want to express myself more without creating tons more stuff. I've finally reached that critical mass where I don't want or need more huge quilts, so I plan to make a lot of small quilts and cover every inch of my house with bright, beautiful things.

I'm also working on my first painted barn blocks to decorate the outside of my Crafty Cottage and woodshop. James and I primed to massive plywood boards this weekend so be looking for a new video on painting barn blocks sometime next week!

What is the next step for this beautifully painted fabric? I'm going to heat set the paint, baste it with thin batting and backing, and hand quilt the layers together with big stitch quilting.

Yes, you did just hear me say that. Big stitch. Hand quilting. Fast and slow. Whatever you're feeling, give into it and have fun!

Let's go create!

Leah Day

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Spring Fabric Designs

I've been playing with Spoonflower fabrics again and finally learning how to create repeating designs easier and faster. I decided to participate in this month's Spoonflower challenge and designed this pretty Japanese garden themed design called Pink Flowers over Gray Echoes:

Pink Flowers on Gray Echoes
The voting will be open on this Spoonflower challenge until April 27th so you can vote for your favorite designs right here!

I've also been playing with fabric designs inspired by machine quilting and what is the best place to start? Feathers! I've created this Feathers and Pebbles design in both black and white and a blue and gray colorway.

Feathers and Pebbles Black & White

With the black and white version, I keep thinking about basting up a square, quilting it on the lines, then painting within each space to make the feathers stand out.

With the Pebbles and Feathers in blue and gray, I keep thinking that would look great as a skirt or halter top shirt. What do you think?

Feather and Pebbles Aqua and Gray

Playing with fabric design also allowed me to easily create the background for a new art quilt I'm planning. I often feel a lot of anxiety in the spring and summer and my to-do list seems to grow longer and longer. It's overwhelming to have a constant stream of "I need to..." in my head, but this is the usual state of my brain:

I Need To...List of Reminders

This is called I need to...List of Reminders. It might not be the prettiest fabric, but it's going to make an awesome background for the quilt I have planned.

So that's the fabric designs I've been creating this month! I've had such a good time learning how to design better repeats much faster and I can see this definitely being something I design more regularly.

Let's go quilt (or design pretty fabric!),

Leah Day
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