The Free Motion Quilting Project: 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

That's a really bad sound!

How to clean and oil your sewing machine
Ever turn on your sewing machine only to find it sounding more like a meat grinder? Yeah, that's what happened to me this weekend!

I've created a new tutorial on cleaning and oiling your machine and you can find it right here.

I push my machines hard on a regular basis and in order to keep them running smoothly, I regularly service them myself. I take the base of the sewing machine apart, then brush out all the parts and apply oil.

The most common questions I get about this are about the little details: how often do you clean the machine? How often do you change needles? Where and how do you oil it?

Find all of the answers you seek right here.

This weekend was a whirlwind of ruler quilting and I've had a blast quilting my new Dresden Plate sunshine blocks. I'm still not sure about the name of this quilt. Here's the first block I finished:

Sunburst Dresden Plate Quilt Block

Sunburst? Sunshine? Sunny Day? What do you think? Please share your suggestions in the comments.

The quilt is going to be 4 super sized Dresden Plate blocks and I'm going to put the quilted blocks together like the Winter Wonderland quilt with curvy bias binding.

That's IF I can get all the blocks quilted. These are taking a LOT longer to quilt than I expected. Mostly because I start quilting in one section, then I get an idea for another section, and that takes another few hours, then I get another idea for the center...and you get the idea.

Sunburst Dresden Plate Quilt Block

But I couldn't be more in love with this gorgeous texture! Who would have thought you could do all this with 3 quilting rulers?

Just in case you missed my other post, I'm designing a set of quilting / cutting rulers with Grace Company and they will be available in April!

I plan to make this quilt all over again and shoot videos of each step, but right now the push is on to get this quilted, connected, bound, and finished by Friday so I can take it with me to a show on Saturday.

Cross your fingers! It's going to be tight!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, March 17, 2018

New Walking Foot Quilting Tutorial and Late Night Quilting

This has been one crazy week! Changing the location of quilting tutorials doesn't sound like a big deal, but yeah, it's a big deal.

Click here to find the new tutorial: How to Quilt Desert Sand.

I find that just being on the site and working on one page makes me want to work on another, then another. This is great because a lot of updating needs to happen there and it's high time I get it done.

Click Here to find a set of pages I updated with lots of new goodies!

The downside is I felt literally chained to my computer yesterday. As one page update fed into another, I kept putting off my quilting projects until...where did the day go?!

I ended up quilting until midnight, something I rarely do because I love to sleep. I went through a phase of staying up super late to quilt and it was completely unsustainable. Last night I was caught up working on my ruler quilt for Grace Company and just lost track of time.

I love, love, love this beautiful texture! This is the first quilt I'm making 100% with quilting rulers and planning the design as I go. I have kind of an idea of what I want for each block, but then when it comes to quilt it, sometimes that changes and has to adjust based on how it feels on the machine.

Yes, there will be videos! Yes, there will be a pattern!

But no, I'm not filming them right this second because this quilt needs to be Done with a capital "D" by Friday. I'll just have to make this quilt again and shoot the videos as I go. That's not my favorite way to work, but the good thing is if I mess up, I'll know what not to do for the next one.

And yes, this ruler is coming soon! This is the Mini Slide quilting ruler and it's honestly one of my favorites. It makes a very gentle curve, but it's identical on both sides which makes it so wonderful for stitching repeating lines like this without wobbling.

Be looking for this new quilting ruler, which can also be used for some very unique cutting and binding techniques too coming very soon to!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I Just Wanna Quilt!

I shared the podcast today, yes, a day late, but it's up! Click Here to find Episode 49: Quilting and Copyright with Elizabeth Townsend Gard.

Elizabeth is the host of the Just Wanna Quilt podcast which is about understanding the quilting industry with a bit of copyright and intellectual property business mixed in for fun.

I've certainly gained a different perspective on the quilting industry as a whole by listening to Elizabeth's podcast and I think you'll like it to. Click Here to find Just Wanna Quilt.

Around the house today, I was really dragging. Yesterday I thought I had food poisoning. Today I realized I just had a weird cold that included bonus GI issues. Ew!

But that seems to have leveled out now and I started feeling better about halfway through the day. I pushed myself to get out to the Crafty Cottage and finish the quilt block I was working on and start the next one.

I've also reset my upstairs sewing machine to the Juki Exceed F600. Yep, still had it hanging around downstairs for backup. I don't have an insert for it in the Quilty Table so I had to improvise a bit:

Surprisingly, this is working okay and I'm making more progress on my Twisted Squares quilt. I probably won't have it all finished by next Monday, but I'll have a lot more quilted than I did last week.

I'm going to turn on a Vampire Diaries episode to play in the background and quilt at least three blocks on that quilt to finish out the day. What are you working on this evening? I hope it's something that makes you smile!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Updating the Header! Whew!

Whew! I just changed out the header for this blog and it gave me fits getting the sizing and spacing just right. It's always scary to upload a new photo and hit "publish" only to find the image way smaller than you expected, shifted off center and looking really weird on the top of the page.

Just in case I ever need to come back and do this again: size the header a bit smaller than the width of the total blog (1200 pix worked good), then if needed wiggle the width in the advanced settings to get it just right.

I also made a new FMQ Project square logo. Again, just something that needs to update every couple of years.

I decided to use a picture of the 365 quilt I created with the first 365 free motion quilting designs shared here. I've been feeling a bit nostalgic today, just looking at some old designs and playing around with a few ideas that are taking me back to 2009.

I do have a podcast coming today, but I'm waiting on photos so it might be a bit late. It might not go up until tomorrow. I dropped the ball and forgot to ask for photos last week and didn't realize they weren't in the folder until late last night.

But that's okay! I'm glad I had a chance to do this little update and tool around a bit on the blog. I'm not feeling well (unhappy stomach) so I think it's time for a break, a cup of tea, and some time drawing at the kitchen table.

We also released the Super Squares and Sashing Workshop today. This quilting class is all about learning how to quilt designs into different spaces in your quilts. Click Here to check it out.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sock Darning Tutorial and Sneak Peek

Whew! It's been a really long filming day. I shot the podcast intro for tomorrow and began working on new videos for a quilt along I'll be sharing this fall with Sheri Cilfaldi-Morrill. Here's a little sneak peek of the block I was working on:

I love these beautiful batik fabrics! Can we just skip the next 5 months and go straight to August? I'm really looking forward to sharing this project and showing you more sneak peeks as it develops.

Now for something that's up and ready for you to enjoy. Click Here to check out the sock darning tutorial!

I'm so happy to be able to fix the holes in my socks so I can keep wearing them. It makes no sense to throw away a perfectly good sock just because the heel has a hole in it.

Now I'm off for a cup of tea and a tiny bit of Zelda playing before dinner. I hope you've had a beautiful day!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Uggh...time changed...

Today was like this ugly darned sock.
It's fixed, but it's still ugly.

Well, maybe it wasn't THAT bad...
Daylight Savings Time began today. Uggh! I hate losing an hour in the spring because suddenly it feels so much harder to wake up early and get the day started.

On the weeks I take James to the bus stop I get up at 5:45 am. Yes, I like my sleep, but I also love to write and by waking up that early, I get to write at the kitchen table for around an hour before anyone else wakes up.

I already knew it would be an Uggh Day because one of my machines broke last night. I was quilting along happily, playing a silly Vampire Diaries episode in the background and suddenly the needle stopped catching the bobbin thread.

I broke thread and switched the machine to piecing. Still no go. The needle would drop, but didn't catch the bobbin thread at all.

Then the needle stopped going down. Umm...what???

I pulled on it and like a loaded spring, it just jumped back to the up position. This happened once before on this particular machine, but the glitch only lasted for a minute or so. I gave it a stern talking-to and it magically stopped glitching and went back to being an awesome machine.

Well no matter of yelling or sweet talking got her working again this time. To the shop with you!

Other than losing an hour and my upstairs machine, the day was nice. I shot a sock darning tutorial I'll share tomorrow, played a good bit of Zelda, and hung out with my guys. Give it a week and the time change won't matter a bit.

Let's go quilt (or go reset all your clocks),

Leah Day

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Chill Zelda Day

I'm finishing up the last pages of the Super Squares and Sashing Workshop today and fiddling with layout and design. This is one of those things that is tedious, but I actually enjoy arranging photos and text boxes on the page. It's kind of like quilt design and it's a bit of a puzzle to put together so the pages look as nice as possible.

After staring at the computer screen for a good while, I took a break with James to play some Zelda. I've been a die hard Nintendo Zelda fan ever since getting Links Awakening for Christmas in 5th grade. I even dress up like Zelda for comic book conventions!

Right now I'm exploring the incredible world of Breath of the Wild, which is the most awesome Zelda / Nintendo game ever! Just finished beating a massive labyrinth and shrine and can now go get more hearts and stamina.

I do have videos to film and quilts to quilt, but it's nice to kick back and relax and solve puzzles and hit things with swords for an hour or two. What are you working on today? I hope you're having a very relaxed Saturday!

Let's go quilt (or kill more Chu Chus and Gardians),

Leah Day

Friday, March 9, 2018

Super Star Quilting Tutorial and a Stubborn Cat

It's time for another fun walking foot quilting tutorial! I'm changing things up and going to begin sharing all the new quilting tutorials on my website. It gives them a more permanent place to live and hopefully easier for you to find.

Click Here to learn how to quilt Super Star. Let me know what you think of this new quilting tutorial format!

It's a beautiful day and I have a super cheerful quilt to work on. It's a bit chilly though so I'm waiting a few hours to let the Crafty Cottage warm up a bit before I go film the last videos on Prism Path

I can't wait to start quilting this bright, beautiful quilt! Josh will be editing the videos for quilt along series today so I'd like to have everything done for him by the end of the day.

Remember, Prism Path begins on April 2nd so you have plenty of time to gather your fabrics and be ready to begin this new quilt. I'll be sharing new videos every Monday and we will piece and quilt it together in just 6 weeks!

Click Here to find a fat quarter pack with the same colors of batik fabrics I'm using in this quilt.

Now if I could just figure out a way to stop Pickles from pawing at the window while I'm filming. She doesn't like being left outside, but she also doesn't like sitting still while I make videos.

Last week she decided to get my attention by jumping on the air conditioner. Talk about scary - it sounded like the back end of the cottage was being torn off! LOL!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sneak Peek of New Quilting Rulers with Grace Co.

Yep, you read that right! I'm teaming up with Grace Company to make a new set of quilting rulers!

Yes, you can quilt with this ruler too!
These are still in prototype, but I should have the official cut rulers sometime next week. I'm really excited about working with Grace Company for these because we'll finally be able to create rulers for home machines AND longarm machines. Longarms need the thicker plastic so the foot doesn't hop over the edge of the rulers.

Last year I designed a set of 10 quilting rulers for the Flower Festival Quilt Along. They were created cut Dresden Plate quilt blocks and were etched so they could also be used for machine quilting. I really don't like uni-taskers so I design my rulers so they can be used for quilting AND cutting.

But I could only produce this Dresden Plate Template Set for home machines. It was just too expensive to cut all 10 rulers for longarms too.

All experience is good experience and I learned a lot from creating that first set of templates. This new batch with Grace Company will be packaged singly so you can just pick up one at a time. That keeps the cost lower and makes it possible to cut them for both types of machines.

I don't have an official date when these will be ready yet, but I'm already planning a beautiful quilt to play with the designs. More videos and details coming soon!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

New Quilting Friend from Qatar

I've made a new quilting friend this week! It's so much fun meeting quilters from around the world and having the excuse to have a chat on my quilting podcast.

Click Here to find this episode #48.

Grace Medina is a mother of two from Venezuela now living in Qatar. She shares quilting tutorials in Spanish on her YouTube channel Handy and Crafty.

This is the second Spanish quilting instructor I've had on the show. It's wonderful that quilting is being taught in different languages and countries so everyone who wants to sew and quilt can learn easily.

Starting this week I'll be sharing the show notes for the podcast on my website Click Here to find all the links, photos, and video!

The sun has come out once again which means it's a filming day. I'm heading out to the Crafty Cottage to begin quilting Prism Path.

Dad basted this quilt for me yesterday so it's ready to go! I love how this new version turned out with black fabric in the background.

Remember, this quilt along begins on April 2nd and you can find the quilt pattern to follow along in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day.

I also have a sock darning tutorial I'm wanting to film today too. I think I've found the perfect hoop for darning the toe of a sock - a mason jar lid! LOL! Sometimes you just gotta use what you've got on hand. Stay tuned for more details!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Paisley Ultimate Quilting Tutorial

Hello from a very rainy, gray day in North Carolina! I can't film new quilting videos on days like this because the rain is too loud on the Crafty Cottage roof.

Instead I'm staying in the house and quilting on a project that's been on my list for months. My Twisted Squares Quilt has been basted and I'm quilting this upside down - the quilt top is on the back and the back is printed Minky fabric I designed for Spoonflower!

This will be a new tutorial coming out in a few weeks. I've been putting it off because I knew it would take awhile to finish it, but now that I've started, I can't wait to get it done. This is going to be one bright, snuggly quilt!

Yesterday I shared a new Ultimate Quilting Tutorial for Paisley. This is the last of four older tutorials I've just recently updated. The videos had been originally posted back in 2009 and were look looking a bit dated so I filmed a new Ultimate tutorial quilting on both my home machine and longarm.

Click Here to find all four tutorials.

This Paisley tutorial was particularly tricky because I wrote all the text and had everything perfect. Then I clicked "save" and...


...the site glitched and I lost all my work! ARGH!

That wasn't fun. It took another hour to write it all back out again, but hey, I had already written it once, so it went a bit faster writing the second time. I hope you'll check out this tutorial and learn more about quilting Paisley.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, March 2, 2018

Walking Foot Quilting: How to Quilt Jagged Plain

Hello my walking foot quilting friend! Wow, that's a mouthful! We're starting our third month of the Machine Quilting Party and I can't wait to teach you a new batch of quilting designs. Learn how to quilt our first Foundational Design in this new quilting tutorial:

Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day - This is the book we're using as a guide to our quilt along! If you'd like to learn more about walking foot quilting and find the patterns for the quilts we're making together, you'll need to pick up a copy.

Click Here to find this book in print format.

Click Here to find the ebook version.

Click Here to find the kindle version of this book.

Now you might be looking at Jagged Plain and thinking - isn't this just Zigzag Lines, but with a bit more punch?

In an way, you're right. Both designs are created with straight lines that zigzag in different directions. The difference is in how you plan and think about the design.

With Jagged Plain, I begin by marking the foundation - the starting line that guides the design. Yes, this could just zigzag evenly across your quilt, but I encourage you to make this more interesting. Jagged Plain can double back and twist, so long as the lines remain straight and angles sharp, and create a much more interesting texture for your quilts.

I used Jagged Plain in one of the "X" blocks for the Hugs & Kisses Quilt. This is far more interesting and free form than if I'd quilted Zigzag Lines into the same area. This is another beautiful quilt from the book and a great way to dive deeper into the quilting designs and get to know them better.

Helpful Quilting Tools

Yes, is absolutely possible to quilt your quilts with just a quilt, thread, and a sewing machine. But if you find yourself having issues keeping the quilt moving smoothly or controlling where it's going, it's good to know what tools can be helpful for the job.

To keep a good grip on the quilt, I always wear quilting gloves. I love Machingers best because they're lightweight, but super grippy and my hands don't sweat when I wear them.

I also baste my quilts and blocks using Pinmoors and Flower Head Pins. The Pinmoors are anchors that cap the sharp end of the pin so I don't get stuck. They are much easier to insert and remove than safety pins and easier on my hands.

I also always have Queen Supreme Slider on my sewing machine because it helps the quilt slide easily over the surface. I don't want to think what it would feel like to quilt with grippy Minky material on the back without a slider to help it move. Click Here to learn how I set up my machine for walking foot quilting specifically.

So that's it for this week! I hope you enjoy learning how to quilt Jagged Plain. Remember, we have a lot of walking foot quilting tutorials available so make sure to check them all out right here.

And if you're ready to go on a quilting adventure with me, be sure to pick up the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Longarm Quilting with Mom and Pop Quilt Shop

Hello My Quilting Friends! Today I'm chatting with Laura-Lynn Fulford, the mom from the Mom and Pop Quilt Shop! Listen to the episode or download it using the player below:

You can also watch the podcast and see what I'm stitching as I share the intro here:

Laura-Lynn is a longarm quilter from Canada. She and her husband share videos on longarm quilting on their Youtube channel Mom and Pop Quilt Shop.

She also has a website where you can check out all of her services. Find it at WeSewIt.Ca.

Laura-Lynn quilts on a Gammill Stattler Stitcher, which is a BIG machine! It's 16 feet all around and she can quilt 24 inches before needing to advance the quilt. She also has automation set up so the computer can drive the machine and stitch out digitized designs.

What struck me immediately about Laura-Lynn is her connection to her community. She's a crossing gaurd, teaches quilting to kids, and quilts for a living. She also does alterations and makes charity quilts for her local fire department.

Laura-Lynn always sewed and her business started naturally a few years ago when someone needed alterations. Then she and her husband decided to make it their retirement income and got a small business loan in order to purchase the longarm and a Janome Horizon 15000.

The biggest part of her business recently has been finishing quilts for people that didn't finish them before they died. These projects sound like a real challenge because they might be in a seriously unfinished state and Laura-Lynn has to figure out how to work with the fabrics, stabilize, and complete the project for the family to enjoy.

That sounds like a lot of work and could be very expensive, but Laura-Lynn tries to work with everyone. She'll barter with customers and accept straw for her chickens in exchange for alterations or other services.

We and I talked a lot about quilt basting on a longarm and basting the batting before layering the quilt top on the frame. She's made a video for you to see how this works right here. 

Laura-Lynn's longarm quilting tips:

- Check your tension with every bobbin. Weird things can happen when you change bobbins so always test off the quilt before getting into the project.

- Baste your batting so the quilt rolls up nice and square.

- Practice! The more you quilt, the better you will get.

I've shared a few videos quilting on my Grace Qnique, but Laura-Lynn was super helpful sharing her tips for setting up my cameras. She uses a Go Pro and sets it up on the handles of her longarm using a bicycle mount. She's also set up a web cam to the top of the machine that films livestreams.

With a name like Mom and Pop Quilt Shop, you know there's two people involved, but Pop is the behind the scenes guy. He helps with editing the videos, designs quilts, and digitizes designs. He's also focused on keeping an archive of their work to leave a legacy behind.

I loved talking with Laura-Lynn and learning about longarming as well as her wholesome approach to business and life. The last thing she said has really stuck with me:
There is always something to be happy about and be celebrated in the future.
Make sure to check out Laura-Lynn's website here and the Mom and Pop Quilt Shop YouTube Channel.

Now for the quilting updates from my neck of the woods...

I finished my gingerbread house! 5 years after it began, this little massively huge cross stitch project is finally finished, stitched and stuffed!

It's such a relief to have this project finished. I was very scared of cutting into the embroidery canvas but thanks to an inspiring comment from Suzi J, I knew I could do it if I stitched carefully and focused on each step.

After finishing the ornament, I fully anticipated taking a break on cross stitch and embroidery for awhile. I was packing away my supplies when I ran across another unfinished project.

This little goddess has been stashed in a bin for over 17 years! She's traveled with me from my home to college to living with Josh, always stuck in this unfinished state.

I largely put her away because I didn't know how to stabilize the edge of the aida cloth. I designed the border as an after thought after stitching the goddess design and got way too close to the edge. It shows just how far my skill and understanding of fabric has changed. Once I saw the problem, I immediately stitched along the edge and fixed it.

I added ribbon around the piece for now. I might pick that out, I might leave it. Mostly that's just stabilizer so I could put her into my embroidery frame and begin stitching.

I've also made some adjustments to her face (she was a bit grumpy before) to lighten her up. I was 16 or 17 when I designed this so...yeah...I'm allowed to change it!

Working on this project feels very different than the gingerbread house. I'm making excuses to work on it more and I'm excited about finishing it. This feels like a project I NEED to finish verses kinda sorta want to finish.

Squares and Sashing is Coming Back

Another project I'm working on this week is a video series for the Squares and Sashing Quilt. I quilted this in several years ago, but after our website change in 2015, I didn't have time to get it updated into a workshop.

But the issues with this quilt went back a bit further. I made this during a time I was very critical and saw only how my work wasn't good enough.

This week I watched the videos and honestly I have no idea what I was so upset about! They're great! I shot a new intro for the workshop along with some basics videos to get you started and I'm looking forward to getting this quilting workshop updated and back on the site in March.

It's easy to get stuck. It's also easy to look at all the ways something doesn't measure up.

Now I look at this quilt and see all the ways it's beautiful and interesting and so different from what I've been quilting for the last few years. It will be a great addition to our Quilt Shop!

Mally the Maker Update

I've set myself a tight deadline to wrap up the final scenes of Mally the Maker, my fiction quilt novel. I identified three scenes that needed the most work in order to finish the book so I'm focusing on those. Reading the scenes out loud made me cringe at first, but then I began editing and polishing and feel a lot better about my writing.

It's kind of like a gemstone - it comes out of the ground looking pretty ugly, but once polished and cut, it's gorgeous. I have a very raw gemstone in this book, but it's going to be great!

Nearing the End of Whole 30

Today is the last day of February so I only have 2 days left of my Whole 30 diet. I feel AMAZING!

I know I've lost weight (I've cheated and weighed myself), I feel smaller and stronger. I've also lost mental weight and I'm moving forward on many goals with less fear, more excitement, and getting away from that STUCK feeling I can no longer stand.

Many quilters commented last week with advice to take care of myself and not push too hard. Burnout and workaholism was a major issue for me in the past.

I do feel pressure to do more of everything: more tutorials, more patterns, more books, more workshops. The quilting world is changing and consolidating and I am a bit worried about how things are changing online.

But I also know that I wouldn't want to be doing anything else with my life! It's worth the work, it's worth the push in order to do what I love.

Catch Up on Quilting Tutorials

Speaking of things I love, I finally tackled a quilt design I've been wanting to make for years: Tumbling Blocks!

Come learn how to make a Tumbling Blocks quilt without Y-Seams! Click Here to find the tutorial and free quilt pattern.

We're continuing to quilt new walking foot quilting designs. This past week's tutorial was how to quilt Curving Lines.

Click Here to find this quilting tutorial.

Look for new walking foot quilting videos posted every Friday during the month of March. Click Here to find all of the videos shared so far.

We have another fun quilting project in the works for this spring! We will begin piecing and quilting the Prism Path quilt on April 2nd.

Yes, we're making another rainbow quilt! I can't wait to show you how to piece this unique pattern with a Bargello quilting technique and quilt it with easy walking foot quilting designs.

Would you like to find the bright rainbow batik fabrics I'm using in this quilt? Click Here to find them in a fat quarter pack.

Would you like to binge listen to the podcast while you quilt? Click Here to find all the podcast episodes and a convenient player so you can listen to them all!

You can also find a playlist of all the episodes on YouTube and watch all the videos shared at once.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, February 26, 2018

Tumbling Blocks Quilt Tutorial - No Y-Seams!

Can you make a Tumbling Blocks quilt without Y-Seams? Yes, you most certainly can!

I've been wanting to make a Tumbling Blocks quilt for awhile now, but the Y-seams (which I prefer to sew by hand) kept putting me off. So I never took on this quilt project and never tried to make a Tumbling Blocks Quilt.

Quilty Box arrived this month and brought me an awesome new cutting ruler. The Sidekick Ruler cuts 60 degree diamonds, triangles, and half triangle shapes.

I played around with the ruler a bit and YAY! We can piece a Tumbling Blocks quilt with NO Y-Seams. Even better, this can be chain pieced which makes the quilt go together in no time.

I sliced and diced and pieced and pressed and created this Tumbling Blocks Sunrise quilt. 

Each month I get Quilty Box, a subscription box of fun quilting tools, thread, and fabrics. Rather than stash these new supplies in a drawer, I challenge myself to use up the fabrics in a new quilt.

In just a few days I design a quilt, cut and piece it with help from my dad, and write a free quilt pattern for you to enjoy. It's a fun challenge and I enjoy pushing myself to work quickly and make a new quilt every month.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

P.S - Yep, there are affiliate links within this blog post because it helps support my business. This allows me to share free quilting tutorials every week. You can also help support us by checking out our Quilt Shop at

Friday, February 23, 2018

Walking Foot Quilting: How to Quilt Curving Lines

Last week we learned how to quilt Zigzag Lines, a very simple walking foot quilting design so this week let's tackle Curving Lines. This is a bit trickier to manage because the walking foot really prefers to quilt straight, so make sure to watch the video for tips on adding a wiggle to your quilts:

Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day
Would you like to learn more about walking foot quilting? Join me for a machine quilting adventure and explore all the things you can do with this beautiful style of quilting. You'll learn how to quilt 30 designs, plus how to use them in quilts of all shapes, sizes and styles, including a wholecloth quilt!

Click Here to find the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting.

There are three designs I consider the baseline for walking foot quilting: Straight Lines, Zigzag Lines, and Curving Lines. These are the basic three shapes you can form easily with a walking foot and pretty much all other designs are just a variation of one of these.

Of the three, Curving Lines can be the trickiest because it's...well...curvy.

It's not that curves are hard, it's just that they require a bit more time and attention to quilt with a walking foot. To create the curves, you'll need to pivot your quilt and push it gently to form the curve as the walking foot feeds the quilt forward.

It's better to quilt shallow curves so you don't have to shift the quilt dramatically. As you stitch a small curve you can angle the quilt very slightly with every stitch so the walking foot manages the direction changes.

Watch Out for Whiskers!

But there is a weird thing that can show up with curves, even shallow ones. Quilting at an angle to your fabric can create ripples and this is especially prone to happening when you're shifting the quilt into a curve and quilting at the same time.

See those ripples that stared between the curves in the photo above? This is called whiskering. It's just a gentle ripple forming on the quilt surface and it's really not so bad. I wouldn't rip out stitches if this shows up.

But whiskers can lead to pleats. If the quilt is particularly big and the whiskers become deeper and more fabric shifts, it can create enough distortion that the fabric forms pleats when one design overlaps another or you run up against some sort of outline, like stitching in the ditch.

To avoid whiskering, lift up on your foot often to reduce the tension on the quilt and pressure of the walking foot on the fabric.

Wear quilting gloves and flatten out the quilt with your hands as you stitch the curves. If the curve becomes deep, stop, lift the foot, and rotate the quilt slightly to follow the angle rather than trying to stitch and twist the quilt to follow the path.

That's a lot of curves!

I love quilting on a 1/2 inch scale with my walking foot because that's the automatic spacing I get when I use the edge of the foot as a guide. But you could increase this scale and have less lines to quilt and less time on your project by using a guide bar.

Click Here to see how I used a guide bar when quilting Gridlines.

You can also mark the design on your quilt too. This is especially helpful when you want flowing curves that don't perfectly echo one another or you want a much wider spacing of 4 inches or more between the lines.

Click Here to find my favorite marking pencils for fabric marking. No, it's not cheating to mark a design on your quilt! You have to mark designs when you want the lines to fill a space symmetrically or in an exact way.

I definitely marked the curves in this "X" block from the Hugs and Kisses quilt so it formed evenly spaced curves that crossed in the center. When you overlap curves like this, I call this Matrix. That will be another design we'll learn how to quilt together soon!

If you'd like to get more practice with walking foot quilting on blocks so big they feel like baby quilts, consider making the Hugs and Kisses Quilt. This is a Quilt-As-You-Go project with nine supersized blocks and lots of space to quilt many walking foot designs.

You can find this quilt pattern along with Marvelous Mosaic and five other skill-building projects in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day.

Don't forget to check out our other videos on walking foot quilting! Click Here to find them all.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

No Sewing Until You Quilt with Ann Holmes, Podcast Episode 46

Hello My Quilting Friends! Today I'm chatting with Ann Holmes, the creator of my favorite No Sewing Until You Quilt It applique technique. Get to know Ann and her assistant Rachel and how this cool technique works in this podcast.

Listen to the episode or download it to listen anytime:

Or watch the podcast and see me cooking sausage and apples for lunch!

Click Here to check out Ann's website Ann is both a stained glass artist as well as a quilter and her goal in creating the No Sewing Until You Quilt It Applique technique was to easily make her original stained glass art into quilts.

It's a wonderful technique for creating smooth curves without having to sew. Yep, you do have to glue though! You can watch Ann's videos to see how she does No Sewing Until You Quilt It on her YouTube Channel here.

Ann mentioned working on many quilts in this podcast. One of my favorites is Summer's End which is also on the cover of her book:

Another beautiful example of what you can do with the No Sew technique her with Enchanted Evening:

The last quilt here is Cygnus where flying geese form a quilting constellation. These beautiful swirling shapes make me want to go pull out fabric right now and start slicing! Remember, this is not pieced - it's turned edge applique built on a base of French Fuse:

I do hope you'll check out Ann's website and her YouTube Channel to learn more from her.

We carry her book No Sewing Until You Quilt It and package it with a 1 yard pack of French Fuse so you can try the technique immediately. Click Here to learn more.

Now for the updates around the house!

This week I've shared a huge three part binding series to guide you through all the steps to binding your quilts completely by machine.

That finishes up our Rainbow Log Cabin Quilt completely! This has been a wonderful project and I've really loved sharing it with you.

Remember you can always join in the fun and make this quilt too. Click Here to find the quilt pattern in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting.

We will be continuing the Machine Quilting Party into March working on our Marvelous Mosaic quilt. Every Friday you'll find a new quilting tutorial guiding you through quilting a new walking foot quilting design on your home machine.

This quilt along has definitely been keeping me busy and this week I've been filming the videos for Prism Path which we will begin in April.

I've also been working hard on my fiction novel Mally the Maker. It's funny, just last week I thought I'd settled on the subtitle, but nope! I just changed it again. I'm going to wait until I finish the book completely before I finally settle on the final title.

I've also been working hard on a very fun project made from this month's Quilty Box. The box included an awesome Sidekick Ruler that is so wonderfully designed. It cuts diamonds and triangle shapes super easily and very accurately.

So I've tumbled down the rabbit hole that is Tumbling Block quilts and I'm not sure I'll be emerging anytime soon. These are so much fun!

Be looking forward to this Tumbling Block Mini Quilt tutorial on Monday Feb 26th.

Nope, I didn't get much done on Dream Goddess or fabric design this week because I spend a lot of time playing with tumblers. But I had loads of fun and made a quilt just for me and that feels great.

A lot is changing in the quilting world and as I mentioned at the end of my introduction, businesses that were once considered the best and brightest can suddenly disappear.

It's certainly made me much more introspective this week and take stock of what I'm creating and sharing, and how I feel about my business in general. I'm working on letting go of a lot of weight I've been carrying around in the form of regrets and working happier and lighter.

It certainly feels amazing to be wrapping up Mally The Maker and I'm really looking forward to what comes next for this new quilting / writing challenge.

I love hearing from you so please leave a comment if you enjoyed the show and let me know what you're working on as you listen!

Click Here to find all the podcast videos listed in a playlist so you can listen to them all in reverse order. Yes, binge watching or listening is a great thing!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day 

Help us create more quilting tutorials! Check out our quilt shop at