Friday, January 26, 2018

Leah Does It Again!

I’ve long been impressed with Leah Day and her 365 Day Free Motion Quilting Project. If you missed it somehow, it started several years ago when, at a tender age somewhere in her mid-20’s, Leah decided that she was going to try a different free motion pattern every day for a year, video herself doing it, and post the instructions and the video on her blog,
She had the videos sorted into beginner, intermediate and advanced patterns and then came out with books that illustrated the patterns as well. I have a couple of those books and it’s handy when I’m looking for some inspiration to just pick one up and start leafing through. For instance, last year I was working on a quilt that had wood grain printed fabric in the border and I wanted to emphasize that. Sure enough, a few pages into one of her books was a wood grain pattern that was exactly what I was looking for.
I have been very intrigued by the modern quilt movement and how many of these quilts are quilted with straight lines using a walking foot rather than the free motion that we’ve all practiced like crazy. Leah’s latest book is a primer on how to do this type of quilting, including excellent setup instructions, illustrations for many styles of quilting and patterns for seven quilts. Five of them are pieced, one is quilt-as-you-go and the last is a beautiful wholecloth quilt that is pretty detailed; frankly, I think that I would do the wholecloth quilt in a combination of walking foot and free motion quilting due to the curves. I’m always better with curves in free motion, but I know not everyone feels the same.
Leah covers all-over quilting, ditch stitching, section stitching (where you do different things in various parts of the quilt), quilt-as-you-go and wholecloth quilts. I usually ditch first, but she recommends doing section stitching first, then ditch stitching to enclose that area — I love that she calls this a “victory lap”! Dan thought it was odd that I was laughing while reading a quilting book!
After the quilt patterns, there is an excellent Troubleshooting chapter and binding instructions for quilt-as-you-go (which she calls “edge binding”), straight binding and curved binding (the binding for that gorgeous wholecloth quilt).
As usual for Leah, the instructions are very clear and encouraging; the photography is excellent and very colorful. In fact, I had purchased “Walk: Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot” by Jacquie Gering around the same time, but read Leah’s first because of all the color — it just called to me!
I learned some new things — I am going to try that victory lap as well as some of the walking foot designs illustrated in the book. And I think I have to make the “Infinity Knot” quilt. On the other hand, I know I will never be a convert to the idea of leaving long thread ends, threading needles (“cheater” or not!) and burying threads!
It is also definitely worth a visit to her website,, and I have enjoyed my subscription to her free newsletter. Always good ideas, again with lots of color (!), showing up in my inbox. Leah is definitely one of the jewels in our quilting world and I love seeing and learning what new things she’s coming up with!


  1. Thanks for the fabulous review. I'll have to order it into store.

    1. With the quilts in the book, you could also run some beginner piecing/quilting classes at Bolts.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...