The Free Motion Quilting Project

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Finished Quilts, New Deadlines

Yesterday I put the last finishing stitches into the four quilts, shot tons of photos of each of them, packed them in a big box, and sent them off to Island Batik for catalog printing. Whoo hoo! My major deadline of the summer is DONE!

As you can see from my big grin, this is a big weight off my shoulders. While I love deadlines because they force me to be efficient and to not question myself, I find that I rarely set deadlines for myself for my own projects. I was able to knock out four awesome new quilts, but what progress have I made on my own quilts, workshops, and books?

I've decided enough is enough! It's time to set deadlines for my own work and to build a new habit for working efficiently.

First up is Dream Goddess. This quilt has been in progress since 2015 and it's time to get MOVING! I really love this quilt and I only have a tiny bit of machine quilting left to do in the sky section above her head. Really I should be able to knock this out by the end of August.

So that's what I'm going to do! I have a new deadline for Dream Goddess to be finished by September 1st!

Setting this deadline has also made me think of the other things that have been continually pushed back as we got too busy to focus on them. I've had multiple video workshops planned, and even a few videos shot, but when life gets too busy these projects often get set aside.

Downside of Deadlines

The problem I've had with deadlines in the past is I set unrealistic goals and put way too much pressure on myself to make the deadline. I would push myself way too hard and exhaust myself trying to reach an unrealistic goal.

It's often hard to know how long something is going to take. Sometimes Dad will need a full week to prep fabric, but we'll have quilt tops pieced within a few days. Some quilts take a week to quilt while others can be finished in a few hours.

Intentions Rule

Ultimately I've learned continually check in on my deadlines. Every day I check what work was accomplished the day before and adjust my goals accordingly. If Dad was able to prep all the fabric required for a pattern today, he's going to need the pattern by tomorrow so he can begin construction.

This really helps me focus on what is the most important thing to work on right this second. I also love feeling productive! That is my favorite feeling in the world.

So that is my new focus: to feel productive, creative, and efficient while working steadily through a new batch of video workshops, quilts, and even a book or two! I've already started researching a new book for beginners and you can help out by participating in the survey right here.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Machine Quilting Survey!

Yes, it's high time I ran another machine quilting survey. I like to create these polls occasionally to see what you like and find inspiration for new videos to create. For this particular survey, I'm going to use the responses for a new machine quilting book!


Thank you so much for participating and sharing your experience! 

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, June 27, 2016

Super Easy Way to Quilt a Real Quilt

Last week I received my Quilty Box for June and was inspired by the included fabric to create a paper pieced quilt top. Click Here to find the free quilt pattern for Paper Airplanes!

Paper Airplanes Quilt Pattern and beginner video tutorial with Leah Day

This quilt has a lot of plain white background space and yes, I could have used dozens of filler designs to add more texture to the quilt. However, something about that plain notebook paper fabric got stuck in my head and I couldn't shake it.

Paper Airplanes Quilt Pattern and beginner video tutorial with Leah Day
When you get struck with a design inspiration please don't question it. There are always a million different ways you could quilt any quilt, but if only one way is speaking to you, follow THAT inspiration!

So I decided to fill the entire quilt with evenly spaced straight lines and to bend those lines around the triangles.

This texture is so subtle, but it really stands out because I used two layers of batting. Learn why I made these design and construction decisions in this new video:


Click Here to find the free Paper Airplanes Quilt Pattern.

What do you think of this simple design? Have you ever used multiple layers of batting in a quilt? Does paper piecing scare you or annoy you? Please share your experience in the comments below!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Silly Summer Fun

Yes, we're having a great time this summer! James was in an especially great mood today and we shot some silly faces together.

What's really wonderful is our new parenting style has definitely been paying off. We're limiting video games to just 20 minutes and only earned from pull ups or push ups. James is up to 8 pull ups a day and rocking karate two days a week!

When James isn't hanging out with the chickens, cat, or dog, he's reading on the couch or playing Legos. He's doing this without complaining or whining for attention while we work in the next room or downstairs.

If you'd told me that we would have had such a great turn around this quickly, I would have cut off gaming a long time ago! It's been a tough road, but the end result has been so worth it and I know James is stronger, smarter, and happier for the change.

Super Productive Summer

So far it's also been a very productive summer. Dad and I have pieced and quilted more than six quilts together over the last month, with many more to create over the next few weeks. Today I've been out in the Crafty Cottage shooting new videos for next week. Here's a little sneak peek for the video coming out this Monday!


Lots of beautiful long, elegant lines! Come to think of it, we should probably do an update on the Crafty Cottage, shouldn't we? I've had the little barn finished for over a year now and it's been such a nice space to film videos and work without interruption. Let me know if you'd like me to shoot a video update in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Easy Applique Sunflower Quilts

It's now officially summertime, and that means sunflowers!

Check out these two gorgeous quilts from Sandi E. and Diane D. shared on our interactive facebook group:





These two quilts were made using Ann Holmes' No Sewing until You Quilt It applique technique.
The method is turned edge applique which allows you to easily build complicated quilts over a layer of French Fuse interfacing.

And yes, the sunflower quilt pattern is included with the book, along with one yard of french fuse fabric to help you learn the technique.

Hope to see you on our facebook group! It's like being part of an international quilt guild with friends all over the world sharing their quilts and getting help on various projects. So much fun!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

More Sneak Peeks for Fall Market

I've been quilting up a storm this week every since I got back from Heroes Con to meet my deadline to ship quilts to Island Batik. I still can't share the full projects I've designed, but I have shot a few sneak peeks for you to enjoy!


I decided to design a variety of quilt sizes - one wall hanging, one large throw, one queen sized quilt, and one small throw that could also be a baby quilt. This new set of patterns will become available in November this year.


Of course I love adding as much texture as I can with the quilting design! When I shared this photo on Facebook, a quilter instantly commented that she knew it was mine without reading the description.

It's funny how subtle things combine together to become your signature style after awhile. For me it's lots of filler designs stitched in contrasting thread with relatively small stitches. This is just the way I love to quilt!

Do you have a particular style of quilting? The best way to develop your own style is to quilt lots of quilts, look at lots of quilts, and always be asking yourself what you love to see and stitch. The more you do what you love, the better your quilting will reflect you.

Now I'm off to finish quilting two more quilts so I can get all of these beauties bound and shipped off by the end of the month. It's been a lot of fun to have this deadline and Josh is already planning deadlines for our own projects coming out later this summer. New workshops, books, and embroidery designs are already in the works!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Monday, June 20, 2016

Easy Paper Airplanes 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 awesome quilting supplies selected by Heather Gavins, from CrimsonTate.com. Heather designed a fun line of fabric called Paper Obsessed and included several fat quarters in the box for us to play with. I was inspired by the paper themed fabric to do a bit of paper piecing and created the Paper Airplanes quilt, a really easy paper piecing project you can learn how to make in this video:

Paper Airplanes Easy Paper Pieced Quilt Pattern at LeahDay.com

Click Here to find the video and free quilt pattern at LeahDay.com.

Just like last month I've published this free quilt pattern in an easy-to-print PDF you can download, print, and share to your heart's content! This is a paper pieced quilt pattern so make sure to print the pages full size with no scaling or shrinking so the paper patterns are the correct size.

Paper Airplanes Easy Paper Pieced Quilt Pattern at LeahDay.com
For my first run with the blocks to test the pattern, I used Island Batik fabrics that really looked great. I'm honestly tempted to piece another quilt top using Island Batik Sunset, Black, and Blurple because the colors looked so pretty.

Of course, with this much background space around the airplane blocks, the biggest question is going to be - How do we quilt it? Make sure to check back next week when I share tips on picking designs for this quilt!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day
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