All Quilts and Creative Crafts by Leah Day
Leah's Quilting Story
I started quilting in 2005 because I wanted to make a double wedding ring quilt to celebrate my upcoming wedding.
As you can see from this quilt gallery, I've never managed to make a double wedding ring quilt! Instead, my first quilt was a simple nine patch quilt, as basic could be, but even from that very first project, I designed the blocks, the layout, and used a very experimental technique to connect the blocks together after they were quilted.
I've branched out from that first quilt into many different quilting styles. I love traditional patchwork and quilting because that is what drew me to this craft in the first place. I grew up playing with and sleeping under many traditional hand pieced and hand quilted quilts from my grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Because of this influence, I have always loved simple, beautiful pieced traditional quilts.
This tends to be the quilting style I teach the most online through free quilt patterns and our yearly Machine Quilting Block Party. I love sharing my knowledge of traditional quilt piecing because these methods are so integral to understanding fabric preparation and design.
I also teach a lot of Quilt-as-You Go style quilts which are pieced and quilted in separate pieces, then connected together at the end to make a beautiful quilt. This is one of my favorite ways to teach beginners how to machine quilt because the blocks are always smaller and more manageable to quilt on a home sewing machine.
This is important because very early in my quilting journey, I fell in love with free motion machine quilting, but I only had space for small machines. Learning how to break up a quilt into smaller sections definitely makes the process easier. Though I have quilted a king sized quilt on my home machine, it was quite a work out!
When I first started quilting, I found piecing and applique a bit frustrating because I loved machine quilting so much. I finally realized the quilting design could be the star of the show when making wholecloth quilts.
Wholecloth quilts are wonderfully freeing because you don't have to fuss with turning edges on fiddly applique pieces or piecing complicated shapes. You can create any shape, any design in this quilt style and all you have to do is be able to stitch on your marked lines and fill within the background areas with dense filler designs.
I find wholecloth quilts extremely relaxing and fun to design and create. My favorite step is clipping away the extra layer of batting for trapunto to make the motifs extra puffy. I shared my love for wholecloth quilts by teaching the Heart & Feather Wholecloth workshop so you can learn how to make a quilt like this too.
The Goddess Series
The most important and meaningful quilts I've created are my Goddess Quilt, a series I began in 2007. Each quilt in the series has represented an idea, issue, or personal journey. These quilts are extremely personal and each one has helped me grow as a woman, become a better wife and mother, and ultimately a better quilt maker.
Why so many different quilt styles?
I prefer not to stick with one particular quilting style or method. I love traditional quilts, wholecloths, art quilts, and have even made a modern quilt or two. I love making quilts, and I love sharing the journey and teaching other quilters how to make quilts too.
I find this craft extremely liberating and a constant source of inspiration. My best advice to any quilter is to never shut your mind to the many possibilities quilting has to offer.
When you start putting rigid rules on your craft - like we must only ever made quilts with only 100% cotton fabric, thread, and batting - this can be extremely limiting on what you can do. Suddenly there is a "right" and "wrong" way to do everything and your world begins to shrink until you can only enjoy a small pocket of this vast, limitless craft.
Keep your world open, and you will find so much more enjoyment and fulfillment from this craft! Keep your mind open to new possibilities, materials, and techniques and I promise you will never get bored, never make the same quilt twice, and always be filled with excitement and anticipation for what you can make next.
I hope you've enjoyed browsing my quilt gallery! Click Here to find more articles on patchwork, quilting, and machine embroidery.