Love the Light Walking Foot Wholecloth
Finished Size: 34-inches square
When I first began thinking about writing a book on walking foot quilting, I knew I wanted to dispel many of the myths about this style of quilting. Many quilters view walking foot quilting as too simplistic and slow and that you can’t make as many creative quilts or designs with this style of quilting.
So how can I showcase the amazing power of walking foot quilting? Make a wholecloth!
Designing a Walking Foot Wholecloth
A wholecloth quilt is a showcase of beautiful quilting designs. Because the quilt is created from one piece of fabric (hence the name whole cloth) the quilting design is the entire focus.
As I designed Love the Light, I shared the process of creating this design which you can watch in this video:
Once I created the sketch of the design, I scanned it into my computer and drew the quilting design full size. Because of the woven effect in the center of the quilt, I had to include half of the quilting design split into pages that would fit inside the book.
Quilting the Love the Light Wholecloth was a very fun, but challenging adventure! It’s one thing to say in theory that you can quilt anything you want with your walking foot, it’s another thing to stitch it out in reality!
Flaw in the Design
The first time I created this quilt, I discovered a design flaw when I reached the outer edges. I’d designed the woven border to interlock in a beautiful way through this section. Unfortunately I didn’t realize the way I’d designed the border ran counter to the natural clockwise direction that feels easiest to quilt in with a walking foot. I ended up with a trouble spot – an area on the quilt that no matter how carefully I quilted, it would always end up with rippling fabric and potential pleats.
I had to go back to the drawing board and figure out where the design went wrong. Ultimately I found just flipping the border design so it would be quilted in a different set of steps was enough to fix it. I made the entire quilt again and quilted it carefully just to be sure.
This quilt also taught me the importance of machine basting. For this second quilt, I basted first with straight pins and pin moors, then put the quilt on the machine and basted again using walking foot quilting, a 5 mm stitch length and water soluble thread to hold the layers together.
This temporary stitching was the perfect choice because it secured and stabilized the quilt layers so even if I had to quilt at a funky angle, the fabrics didn’t begin to whisker and pleat.
Making two Love the Light Wholecloths was a challenging, skill building adventure. This was actually the first quilt I made for the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting and as I made these quilts I learned so much along the process.
Writing a book shouldn’t be a process of sharing only what you know, but a journey of new discoveries and challenges. I hope you’ll make the Love the Light quilt as well and challenge yourself to master walking foot quilting.
Find the quilt pattern for the Love the Light wholecloth quilt in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day, available in the following formats:
Follow along and make your own Marvelous Mosaic Quilt! If you make this quilt, please contact us and send in a picture so we can add it here to this page.
Check out the other quilts included in the book Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day. All of these quilts were specifically designed to machine quilt on a home machine with a walking foot:
We pieced and quilted Marvelous Mosaic, Prism Path, and the Rainbow Log Cabin quilt during the 2018 Walking Foot Quilt Along. Click Here to check out all the quilting tutorials to see how all three quilts were made.
Let's go quilt,