After Spring International Quilt Market I was approached to write about a quilter whom I have been admiring and following for years. She is a domestic quilter but her work has inspired me in many of my longarm quilting adventures. During Market this spring I got the pleasure of meeting both her and her husband since they were staying on the same floor of our hotel.
I found Leah Day more than 3 yrs ago and have been subscribing to her emails since then. You might as well follow the link and sign up now you wont regret it!! http://www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/p/free-newsletter.html Each email is PACKED full of amazing information and free links to online video tutorials on over 400 designs…… yes you read that correctly, FREE and over 400 designs.
Now a bit about Leah and her 365 freemotion fillers project. Leah is a mostly self taught absolutely delightful down to earth creature with a heart of gold!! Her creation of the 365 project was born from frustration with a lack of fill designs available to her. She began searching and the frustration led to a decision to challenge herself to create a new design each day for the next year. That is how the 365 project began. On August 14th 2009 she launched the project with a short blog post about the rules she had set for herself and the first design. WOW did it snowball from there! Follow this link to hear more of Leah’s story in her own words. http://www.leahday.com/about/
The 365 project eventually led to a quilt consisting of small blocks made during the design process. The blocks were joined together and sandwiched just like a quilt, those sandwiches eventually became a quilt which was FINALLY completed in May of 2014 just a few short years after it started (she discovered it takes a LONG time to hand bind over all those seams on the back from joining the blocks). http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/p/365-designs.html
the 365 quilt at market
i was able to admire it in person
it was SUPER cool!!
Each of the blocks in the quilt were photographed and a video was created of Leah stitching out the designs. These videos can all be accessed on their site. Many changes in the video techniques occurred thru the process and improvements have been made along the way compared to the beginning but one thing that has not changed is Leah’s view on providing her inspiration to others. Her designs are FREE, you do not have to join a group or pay a fee to access her site. You will not find a cost associated with her designs or videos. She believes that inspiration lies within sharing knowledge and helping others to learn not in the profit which can be made. This philosophy has served her well as her designs and inspiration has reached over 5million people since she began in 2009.
This year Leah’s husband Josh decided to learn to quilt and you will now find videos of his progress as he learns to freemotion quilt Leah’s designs in her latest project. 2014 began a new adventure called the buildingblocks quilt along http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html. You can join the quilt along at any time and learn new designs each week to boost your freemotion design library. This project along with the help from Josh and his bobbles and trips has been a fun adventure for them both.
I was delighted to find out Leah’s original 365 freemotion fillers book (which I use CONSTANTLY) has a new design and will be available exclusively at quilt shops. The new design includes a spiral binding which is completely awesome!! I cannot wait to get my hands on it!! Keep your eyes out at our local quilt shop and ask if they can get the new book for you if you don’t see it!!
During Market I talked with both Leah and Josh a great deal and they did not disappoint me, they were just as I pictured they would be. Sweet, honest and willing to inspire at every turn. Take a bit of time to explore all they have to offer and sign up for the news letter it is amazing!! Here I am with Leah in front of the 365 quilt at spring quilt market when she signed my little book 50 feather to flames designs ( Josh is in the purple on the left of the quilt).
Leah helps take the scary out of domestic machine quilting and proves that it can be done on a domestic machine, it just takes a bit of practice. Come on, join us and start finishing your UFO’s and quilt tops with beautiful designs to accent your work.
Mandy joined us at Quilt Market and teaches machine quilting classes at O’Susannah’s. Check out our website www.osusannahsquiltshop.com for her next classes. She will also be introducing a new technique in the Fall so continue to check out our website. Leah’s book has shipped and will be in any day now. Give us a call to reserve a copy!