Learn More About Leah Day
Hi! I'm Leah, nice to meet you!
I'm 25 and have been quilting for 4 years, ever since I got married and decided that I HAD to have a double wedding ring quilt.
I got started with scrap fabric from my wedding dress and of course nothing worked, the piecing was terrible, nothing matched, and I ended up throwing that first try out (which I do regret).
I decided to keep working at it and joined my local quilt guild. I truly believe that guilds are a wonderful place to get inspiration, learn, and meet other supportive quilters. I quickly became very good at piecing and applique thanks to information I learned through the guild, but could never find much information about quilting.
After completing Eye of the Forest I got really frustrated. Here was an awesome quilt that looked very nice color and shape wise, but the texture left a lot to be desired. The quilting was just not as good as the rest of the quilt.
So I set out on a journey. I searched the web and eventually found Karen McTavish and Sharon Schamber. Through buying their books, watching videos, and looking at pictures my quilting evolved. I began using Trapunto on every quilt and began using the quilting as a design element in the quilt itself.
But even with unique quilting motifs and trapunto to make them stand out, I still wasn't satisfied.
When you get into trapunto, your brain starts seeing everything black and white: you have motifs that are puffy and flat areas that are filled with dense filler stitching. The puffy areas are seen first, but the dense filler is what makes them stand out and can actually add an enormous amount of texture and directional movement to the quilt.
I scoured books and looked at quilts everywhere, but quilters were mainly using only 4 main free motion filler designs: stippling or microstippling, mctavishing, pebbling, or paisley. This was hugely limiting! There HAD to be more designs somewhere!
I looked. I searched. I waited for someone to do the work and design filler stitches for me. I questioned what I was really after: everyone else seems satisfied, why can't I just be happy with four designs?
Finally I finished Release Your Light and I knew I had to do something.
And the whole reason for designing and creating Release Your Light was to help spread and share creativity. Read more about the creation and background of this quilt here.
So in the final days of painting the surface of this quilt, the idea for 365 days of free motion quilting filler designs was born.
Why 365? Because any other number seemed too easy. I wanted to devote a year to this project. I wanted the challenge and I wanted the focus it's given me.
And the changes have been dramatic! I love the movie American Beauty when Kevin Spacy says something like
a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise
That's exactly how I feel. I can do more than I would have thought! Getting these designs from the sewing machine onto the blog with videos on youtube is not the easiest or fastest process, but just the habit of working on it a little every day feels wonderful.
With the videos going up on YouTube every day, I realized that I needed to connect quilters with the supplies and tools needed for really beautiful quilting.
Now with the addition of our online quilt shop, Day Style Designs truly is a giving, growing business!
I love this project so much and I'm so happy to be sharing it with so many quilters! Please pass the word along to anyone who's wanting to get better at free motion quilting or expand on what they already know. The sky is the limit with this project, and you never know - one year may not be enough!
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