The Free Motion Quilting Project

Monday, May 22, 2017

Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt Pattern

It's Quilty Box time! This month's Quilty Box came with an awesome collection of gear from Alex Anderson plus ten fat quarters of her beautiful Mirage fabric. I decided to create a very easy Disappearing Nine Patch quilt using these ten fat quarters plus ten fat quarters of solid fabrics I had on hand.

Creating this quilt is so easy and fast! First you create jumbo Nine Patch Quilt Blocks, then Poof! make them disappear to create the quarter block shapes, then arrange and piece the blocks together to create the Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt.

Watch how I pieced my Disappearing Nine Patch blocks in this video:

Click Here to find the free Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt Pattern

There are lots of ways you can arrange your Disappearing Nine Patch quilt and I played around with many creative layouts. Click Here to find more pictures and how you can rotate the blocks to create different effects.

The quilt will also look very different if you use one solid color of background fabric. I created this layout in EQ7 to see what it would look like with a white background. If you wanted to create this quilt you'll need around 2 1/2 yards of white fabric instead of the ten solid fat quarters.

I really liked the scrappy, colorful effect of my Disappearing Nine Patch quilt, but now I'm curious to see all the ways this pattern can change to create more cool quilt designs. This is definitely one simple quilt pattern with hundred of possibilities!

What do you think of this Disappearing Nine Patch quilt pattern? Do you like simple scrappy quilts or quilts with more background space? Do you like mostly squares and rectangles in your quilts or prefer triangles and more complex piecing?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Practice Echoing on the Grace Qnique 14+

When you quilt a shape, then quilt around it again with a parallel line that is called Echoing. This is one of the most important techniques to learn in machine quilting because evenly spaced lines are used in so many different designs, and it looks really pretty on any style of quilt.

Echo Quilting Tutorial Sit Down Longarm Quilting

See those rows and rows of evenly spaced lines in the background? That's echo quilting!

In this last video on my Peaceful Goddess quilt blocks, I'm quilting the background with a Super Spiral on the Grace Qnique 14+. This is unique because I usually quilt this design with a walking foot on my home machine.

But with practice you can quilt continuous echoes like this with free motion quilting! I found the open toe foot on the Grace Qnique created a perfect spacing for lines around 3/8 inch apart. That was perfect for the scale of my Peaceful Goddess blocks so I quilted around the appliqued circle, then around and around to fill in the background completely.

See how it works in this new sit down longarm quilting tutorial:

Click Here to find more videos on the Grace Qnique.

I've been getting a lot of questions about the hopping foot on the Grace Qnique and if I find that annoying or not. I actually hardly notice it anymore!

Echo Quilting Tutorial Sit Down Longarm Quilting
The foot base is so wide and the open toe gives me a clear view of the needle so the hopping doesn't bother me as it's outside of the place I look at while quilting.

The difference between a longarm and a home machine is that longarms have the hopping built into the mechanics of the machine. Every time the needle comes up, the foot comes up. Every time the needle goes down, the foot goes down.

This isn't like the darning feet for home machines I alter in this video. You can't bend or break it to stop the hopping action on a longarm. It's a built in feature.

So while it's annoying to see in the videos (yes, I agree), it's not a problem when I'm actually quilting.

Now that I'm finished with this Peaceful Goddess quilt project, what would you like to see next? Share your suggestions for new sit down quilting videos in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, May 19, 2017

How to Machine Quilt Fanfare - #474

It's Friday which means it's time for a new free motion quilting design. Ta Da Da-Da Da-Da....imagine a trumpet fanfare...

I'm calling this cool quilting design Fanfare! I love designs that fill based on spirals because once you set the starting lines, the rest of the design is super easy to quilt.

See what I mean in this new beginner quilting tutorial:

Click Here to find the book 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs and challenge yourself to quilt a new design every day of the year!

Now let's learn a bit more about this Fanfare quilting design...

Difficulty Level - Beginner. As you can see in the video, I marked the starting spiral on my quilt with a marking pencil, and then quilted on the marked lines.

Nope, this isn't cheating, it's awesome! There are two skills to master with machine quilting - quilting on a line and quilting without lines. This particular quilting design will help you build both skills and it looks really pretty too. Win, win, win!

The bouncy echoes running down the spiral are pretty easy to quilt. Just slow down and bring your hands closer to the needle so you don't overshoot the spiral line.

Design Family - Foundational. The spiral line begins this design and sets the base. I mentioned in the video that you might be able to fit this into a border, just interconnecting two spirals together. I played with it a bit as a Zentangle design and so far just made a mess. 

Don't worry, the same rule for quilting holds for drawing. In this case I'm going to throw more ink at it!

The trick is keeping the bouncy echoes of the Fanfare design to one side of the spiral. That could be fixed by doubling the starting line and quilting bouncy echoes up both sides a bit like a quilted feather design. That might work better and look more balanced on your quilt.

Where do we quilt it? - I think Fanfare will look best in large blocks or cornerstones. If you begin with a large spiral, then add small bouncy echoes, the quilt will look great and remain soft.

Where do you plan to quilt Fanfare? Do you like spiral based designs? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Podcasting with Modern Sewciety's Stephanie Kendron

Hello My Quilting Friends! Today I have a terrific interview with Stephanie Kendron, the host of the Modern Sewciety podcast. Click Here to check out her website and podcast right now.

Stephanie began her podcast while remodeling her dream house after listening to lots of podcasts. Katie from Katie's Quilting Corner was super helpful and supportive to Stephanie as she was getting started.

Hosting a podcast is a lot more complicated than it looks. Stephanie learned how to do this from the Smart Passive Income podcast and Pat's steps to creating a podcast.

Stephanie set up an RSS feed and records using Skype on her computer. She used to edit each episode herself, but has recently changed to sending her audio to an editor who cleans it up and sends it back to her. Then Stephanie uploads it to itunes, then Libsyn, then Wordpress.

The hardest part of a podcast is knowing where someone is listening and how they found your podcast. It's almost impossible to track exactly where people are listening and how many people.

Stephanie's favorite conversations are when quilters open up and share their lives and personal journey. For her, the story is the key and that's why she created her podcast and continues to ask questions.

Make sure to check out Stephanie's podcast Modern Sewciety right here.

And you can find all of the Hello My Quilting Friends podcast episodes right here.

Podcast Sponsor

This podcast is sponsored by the Machine Quilting Block Party, a quilt along designed for beginning quilters! Each month you'll learn how to piece or applique a new quilt block, then how to machine quilt it with a combination of walking foot quilting, free motion quilting, and ruler foot quilting.

Click Here to check out the patterns and how to get started today!

Now for a few updates I shared before the podcast:

I'm really excited about a new quilting workshop I started filming last week. I'm quilting the Mega Pinwheel Star quilt with three simple designs using my walking foot.

Lately I've been tapping into what makes me feel great and the word effective keeps coming up. Working on this workshop closely with Josh and Dad, I really feel my actions have been focused and effective and that feels great!

I'm also working on my walking foot book! I've set a deadline for July 1st to have the text finished, which will be a tough deadline as I've decided to add more designs.

I debated this a lot, but ultimately decided I need to honor my nature. I'm a design junkie! It's also going to be used next year as our guide for the Machine Quilting Block Party so the more designs we have to quilt, the more we will learn together.

So that's it for this week's podcast! If you would like to be on the show or have someone you'd like to recommend, please click here to contact us today. I'm always eager to make more quilting friends!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New Quilting Workshop in Progress!

Last month I shared the free Mega Pinwheel Star quilt pattern using the beautiful Monaluna fabrics included in April's Quilty Box. Rather than fold it up to quilt another day, Dad and Josh challenged me to plan a very simple, quick quilting design and film it for a new quilting workshop.

So that is exactly what I'm working on today! I decided to dive into walking foot quilting and pick three very simple designs to quilt the Mega Pinwheel Star quilt quickly and easily.

I'm delighted with how the videos are turning out so far! It's really exciting to go from a basic idea to halfway through quilting the quilt in just a few days.

The fact is, not all quilts need to be quilted with a complicated, time consuming design. For this quilt, I just wanted it to finish soft and cozy so James and I can enjoy cuddling up with it on the couch. I even backed it with minky so it's super plush!

I'll keep you posted on the progress of this new quilting workshop, which should be available sometime in June.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Sunday, May 14, 2017

How to Quilt Sharp Stippling Over Fusible Applique

Happy Mother's Day! I hope you're having a wonderful day with your family. I'm enjoying a typical Sunday with my guys - making pancakes kicking back for a few hours until we're ready to start the day.

I'm planning to relax and take it easy today, but also fit in time to turn some wood on the lathe in the wood shop and finally clean up my flower mask mess in the laundry room downstairs. Think plastic flower explosion. It's scary messy!

This week I've been continuing my progress on the Peaceful Goddess quilt blocks and shot a quilting tutorial on how I fill the spaces in this quilt with one of my favorite machine quilting designs: Sharp Stippling.

Curious about the machine I'm using? Learn more about the Grace Qnique 14+ in this video.

Sharp Stippling is one of my favorite quilting designs because it's so easy to quilt and creates a beautiful flame-like texture on your quilts. If you're feeling bored with regular Stippling, this design is kind of like it's younger, hotter brother. Spicy!

Quilting over fusible applique might not seem like a big deal, but it can feel different under your hands. I find fused quilts to feel stiffer and flatter than pieced quilts.

Surprisingly enough, this makes fusible quilts easier to machine quilt because the quilt is easier to move over the table. Something about that added stiffness makes the quilt less "sticky" to the machine bed and easier to move with less pressure and effort from your hands.

All this makes quilting over fusible applique easier...or does it?

I find I always need a small practice sandwich to stitch on to adjust to the feeling of quilting over the fusible applique. Because I can move the quilt faster, my stitches tend to become longer and less controlled.

So I always practice a bit to remind myself of how the quilt will feel. If I jump straight on the block, I'm bound to make mistakes I'll have to rip out.

And that's another really don't want to rip stitches out of fusible web.

I made a mistake with my feathers in one Peaceful Goddess face and had to rip out a lot of stitches around her eye. Then I messed up again and had to rip again. See the holes left over from the stitches? It got a bit mangled in that area.

Fusible web stops the fabric from sealing up after it's been stitched. These holes will close slightly after washing, but they will likely never go away completely.

So you don't want to make mistakes as you quilt over fusible applique. Isn't that a recipe for making all sorts of mistakes? It's like trying not to think about donuts after I've just mentioned donuts. Now you really want a donut don't you?

It's best to test and remind yourself what a fused quilt feels to machine quilt before jumping on the real thing. Take some time to make a small practice sandwich and quilt a bit on it and you'll be a very happy quilter.

Speaking of happy quilters, James and Josh gave me an awesome present for Mother's Day - permission to do whatever I want, play with anything I want, or do nothing at all. I'm off to dig out my crafty supplies and have fun making a big mess!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Friday, May 12, 2017

How to Machine Quilt Undulating Oil, Design #473

Let's learn a new quilting design today! I've been looking back through my quilting design notebooks and found a special variation of the design Trapped Ripples. This new quilting design changes only one thing and creates this beautiful new quilting design called Undulating Oil:

Does this design look intimidating to you? Don't worry! Machine quilting Undulating Oil is pretty easy because we quilt the design in two parts. First you break up your quilting space with wiggly triangle spaces, then you fill the spaces with bouncy echoes.

Learn how to quilt it on your home machine in this new quilting tutorial:

Are you looking for more machine quilting inspiration? Click Here to find 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs, a book packed with designs to inspire you as you quilt.

Now let's learn more about quilting Undulating Oil and where it will work best in our quilts:

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. Because this design is quilted in two parts it's a bit tricky to rate the difficulty level. On the one hand the curvy triangle foundation is easy enough to quilt. 

Just quilt gently curving lines and try to quilt from a corner to the middle of a line or from the middle of a line to a corner. Weirdly enough, this will almost always break a space into triangle shapes. You can bet I was a really happy quilter the day I figured that out!

This design does involve a lot of precision stitching and the ability to hit lines exactly, bounce, and echo evenly. It will be a great skill builder for bouncy echoes as well. So don't be put off if it looks a bit intense. Give it a try on a practice square and see how it goes!

Filler Design Type - Foundational. For this family of designs, you begin with a base, then fill the open spaces with shapes. This foundation is simple curving lines that break the space into triangle shapes. If you'd like to see more designs with this foundation, check out Foundation Puzzle and Crack Maze.

If you'd like to try this with straight lines, Trapped Ripples, Garden Mazeand Modern Weave are also great designs to try.

Suggestions for Use - Quilting designs like Undulating Oil can be quilted anywhere so long as you can break up the space with the foundational curving triangle shapes. If you wanted to quilt this all over a bed quilt, the first step would be to quilt the wiggly foundation working from the center of the quilt to the outer edges.

If you break down the space into large sections then it won't become too dense as you fill in each triangle with bouncy echoes. You can also experiment with where you begin the echoes. If you begin all in the same spot, you'll create these pretty flower designs!

What do you think of Undulating Oil? Do you have questions about quilting it on your home machine? Make sure to post your questions in the comments below!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day
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