Monday, March 30, 2015

Awesome Anniversary Trip

Ah! Josh and I just got back last night from the most awesome anniversary trip. We headed down to Savannah, GA on Thursday and enjoyed three days walking around the historic district, eating great food, and enjoying the awesome Quilt Fest Savannah quilt show too.

A helpful attendant at the Savannah Tour of Homes snapped this picture of us together. We attended the tour on Thursday and walked through seven homes around Forsyth Park. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos of the homes or inside, but we were able to capture pictures of this gorgeous live oak:

This tree is over 300 years old! It was so big they ran cables up to a lightning rod at the top so the tree would be protected from lightning.

Downtown Savannah is quite simply the most inspiring, beautiful place I've ever seen. There is loads of ironwork, beautiful houses, and massive live oaks around every corner.

This is a picture of the riverfront area. These massive buildings are over one hundred years old and were once warehouses for cotton and other goods that were shipped out of the port. Now these are filled with little shops, hotels, and amazing restaurants.

Did I mention we like to eat?! I think this is our favorite hobby after quilting, and we're always willing to go out of our way for a great meal. In Savannah we found many unique places like The Coffee Fox which served a Affogato - espresso poured over a cup of ice cream, and Goose Feathers Cafe which served a `Ecrousant - a combination croissant and donut which was absolutely delicious!

We had so much fun taking tours, finding great places to eat, and wandering around Savannah without ever once getting back in our car. The icing on the cake was winning two ribbons at Quilt Fest Destination Savannah!

I also finally got to try out the machine I've been dying to try for more than 6 months - the Juki 22000 table mounted longarm:

This is SUCH an awesome machine and the show was running such a good deal that we placed an order and will be getting a 22000 sometime next week! I'm so excited and can't wait to shoot new videos on this big guy.

All in all, it was the best 10th anniversary trip ever! Josh and I had an amazing time, totally stepped away from business and just had fun the way we did on our honeymoon - traveling to a pretty place and eating lots of good food. If you're into the same things, Savannah, GA is definitely a place you need to check out.

Let's go quilt,

Leah

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

We Made it to the Big 10!

Josh and I have been officially married for 10 years! YAY!

It's really hard to believe it's been ten years. Sometimes it feels like we've been together forever, and other times I can't believe our son is 8 years old! 

In the time we've been married we've supported one another, built a business together, and survived several house renovations that made us both exceptionally crazy. 

 
When I stop to think about my life without Josh, I can't even picture it. I probably wouldn't be a quilter right now if Josh hadn't encouraged me to attend guild meetings and make my first quilt. I honestly don't know where I'd be without this awesome guy in my life!

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Here's to another ten awesome years!

Cheers,

Leah

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dancing Butterfly Design #14 - Sleeping Seeds

Ah! Spring really feels like it's around the corner and we've enjoyed several nice warm days outside with the chickens and our new flock of baby ducks.

It seems perfect timing for us to learn the next design for the Dancing Butterfly Quilt Along - Sleeping Seeds!
This design is inspired by what I imagine inside a flower seed. The little wiggly spiral is the potential new plant that's sleeping within the tear drop seed shape. Hmm...I wonder what this would look like in the next stage of growth? Definitely inspiration for another new design...



Yes, you can still join the fun project! Click Here to find your copy of the Dancing Butterfly Quilt Pattern.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Saturday, March 21, 2015

How to Make Fitted Crib Sheets

Way back 8 years ago I was the mom of a tiny baby boy and decided to make all of my son's nursery gear myself. One of my favorite projects was his set of fitted crib sheets.

Using just 2 yards of fabric, I created cute new sheets that lasted more than 4 years and hundreds of runs through the washer. They fit the crib mattress perfectly and never popped off, and that's saying something cause my boy loved to bounce!

Today I've finally gotten around to finishing up a super quick and easy pattern so you can make these too. Here's a video to guide you through sewing your own crib sheets step by step:


I hope you can see just how easy and fun this project can be! Not only do you get to play with several different sewing machine feet, you'll also gain experience working with elastic and finishing the raw edges of the fabric with a zigzag or overlock stitch.

I loved making these because they were cheaper and prettier than the store bought baby sheets in my area. I could pick out my favorite fabrics and coordinate with the other baby quilts I'd made for my son.

Pick up your fitted crib sheet pattern right here and jump right in to making your own unique fitted crib sheets today.

Let's go quilt (or sew!)

Leah Day

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Five Years of March 18th

Hmm...what were we doing this time last year, or the year before, or the year before that? I've been blogging for more than 5 years and this blog has become my own personal time travel machine.

I can scroll back through the older posts and remember trips we've taken, when important quilts and projects were started, and see my little boy James transform from a chubby 2 year old to the super skinny 8 year old he is now.

So today I'd like to blast back to the past and see what was happening on March 18th for the last five years!

http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2014/03/joshs-wiggles-teeth.html
This time last year Josh was quilting in a Rail Fence Block for the Building Blocks Quilt Along. Working together on that project was sometimes challenging, but mostly fun, and it taught us both a lot about how to communicate and make good videos.

After we worked together on that project, we began filming all videos together, though Josh definitely prefers to be the man behind the camera, not in front of it!

http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2013/03/17-learn-how-to-quilt-zigzag-spiral-382.htmlOn this day in 2013, I was sharing a new free motion quilting design called Zigzag Spiral for the Express Your Love Quilt Along.

That was design #382 and it just goes to show how easily new designs can be created by combining simple shapes together. In this case it was Zippling combined with Basic Spiral to create Zigzag Spiral. Around that time I remember making a list of every shape I could think of and extrapolated over 225 new designs!

Now what was happening three years ago? We were right at the beginning of the very first Free Motion Quilt Along, which was a much more open ended, random assortment of videos and link ups. In response to a lot of questions I'd received about building quilting skills I wrote the post Blueprint to Mastery.

http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2012/03/blueprint-to-mastery.html
In this post I directly addressed the two issues that seem to hold quilters back the most: lack of time and too much negativity. Reading back through this post, I'm reminded again of the struggles I went through and still see from quilters in my classes.

Free motion quilting is tough and in the beginning it's pretty ugly!

You HAVE to practice it every day and keep building your skills or it's just not going to happen. Why do you think I started this blog?

To challenge myself to create designs and dedicate myself to learning free motion quilting. I know for a fact that I wasn't a very good quilter when I started, but within 40 days, my abilities had changed exponentially, and yours can too!

Now for what I posted back in 2011 which oddly fits into this whole theme - it was an update to the Transformation Challenge. The challenge was to create a letter page sized quilt featuring at least 5 filler designs from the blog.

The challenge was a fun way to encourage quilters to start quilting and designing on a small scale. Transformation was the theme and it was interpreted in many unique and creative ways. You can find all the finalists and winners to this challenge right here.

While it was a fun challenge to host, I wasn't able to keep up with the logistics end of the project. I didn't end up making the quilt featuring all the challenge quilts (too many projects, not enough time!), but it was loads of fun to see all the beautiful, creative quilts that were created with designs from the project.

http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/2010/03/day-145-knit-stitch.html
Now what was posted back in 2010 - the very first March 18th on this blog? That day I posted Knit Stitch, design #145. Looking back, I know this was one of my absolute least favorite designs, so it's kind of funny it ended up being posted today five years go!

I can honestly admit that I don't like all the designs I've shared. At that time I was posting 4-5 new designs per week and that level of production required me to post any design that popped into my head, no matter how ugly they were.

It's been a mixed bag, looking back at all the posts on March 18th. Some of these posts have made me smile, some have made me cringe, but isn't that life? Are there months or years of your life that you just don't want to remember? I personally wish I could just erase all of 2002!

Ultimately I'm so happy that I started blogging back in 2009 and extremely thankful for this record of my creative journey over the years. I will always have a better memory of these years and what I created and how I felt because of these posts.

So what about today? On this March 18th Dad and Josh have been packing orders downstairs with lots of help from James who is out for spring break.

I've been spending the day upstairs designing new quilts and writing articles. Right now I have a lot of "secret" projects in the works that might stop me from posting here as regularly as I like. Rather than fight it, I've learned to accept the ebb and flow of this business. Suffice it to say there will be a lot of really, really awesome new stuff coming out soon!

I hope you've enjoyed this little blast from the past as much as I have. Do you know what you were doing 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years ago today? Blogging is definitely a cool way to keep track of life as it happens and be able to quickly look back too.

Let's go quilt,

Leah

Monday, March 16, 2015

Dancing Butterfly Design #13 - Flame Key

Whew! The last few designs like Spiral Matrix and Amazing Daisies have been pretty complex. Let's change gears and try a super easy design today called Flame Key:

This design works from Edge-to-Edge on your quilt and adds a beautiful, flowing flame-like texture to the surface. Let's learn how to quilt it in this video from the Dancing Butterfly Quilt Pattern:


So this free motion quilting design is pretty easy! Once you get your flames lined up against one side all you need to do is travel and echo to fill in the space. The more wiggly and freeform your flames are, the better!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Time Change Sale

We've been celebrating the time change this week with a super quick sale on all download books, DVDs, and quilt patterns!

http://www.leahday.com/shop/product/piece-perfect-quilts/
One of the download books that's currently on sale is How to Piece Perfect Quilts, a 125 page study on the art of precision piecing. If you're struggling with matching your seams and unsatisfied with how your quilt blocks look, this book will explain exactly where you're going wrong and how to improve.

This downloadable book also includes instructions for making five simple skill-building quilt tops which could double as either lap quilts or cute baby quilts - take your pick! Pick up a copy of How to Piece Perfect Quilts, on sale until Monday for just $12.48. Click Here to learn more now!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day
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