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sewing machine
yahoo groups
quilter
burning questions
amazement
cliche
admiration
A 365 Day Quilting Challenge
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A 365 Day Quilting Challenge

One of the more difficult sewing/quilting skills to learn is called "free motion quilting". In ordinary sewing, a part of the sewing machine called the "feed dogs" sits under the fabric and grabs it with tiny metal "teeth" and pulls the fabric backward as the machine makes the stitch.

Free motion means that you set the machine to drop those feed dogs down, and now the only thing moving that fabric is YOU. Why do this? To gain a greater control over the fabric and the quilting process. (The quilting process is how the 3 layers of the quilt - top fabric, batting & bottom fabric are united by stitching.) With those feed dogs up and doing their job, your sewing is only going to be in a forward or backward direction. Feed dogs down means that your hands can move that "fabric sandwich" in any direction you wish.

This frees you to stitch elaborate designs with your quilting!

A quilter by the name of Leah Day challenged herself to design and publish on her blog a WHOLE YEAR - 365 days of free motion quilting designs! The whole world of quilters (in yahoo groups and quilt guilds) watched in amazement as this project blossomed.

Could she do it? That is a LOT of designs! Could there even BE that many possible quilting designs? These were burning questions in the quilting world. Understand that this free motion quilting skill is difficult to learn and intimidates beginners in this technique!

You have my admiration, Ms. Leah Day. Not only did you tackle the design challenge of one of the more difficult aspects of quilting, you did it publically, and kept the challenge going for a whole year. Wow. I feel like this woman could do anything she puts her mind to!

Her fabulous example makes me think that we are short-changing ourselves (me included). It sounds trite and like a cliche to say "think outside the box", but that is exactly what a challenge to yourself really is. What if I challenged myself to write an article or story a day for a year. Wow, I would have 365 articles or stories. That would make a fat book.

Is there something in your life that you can challenge yourself with? I urge you to try it. I don't think you have to be public on your blog with it unless you want to... that is really giving yourself a lot of pressure.

Something else wonderful happened to Ms. Day as a result of her 365 day challenge. Her idea of 365 free motion quilting designs evolved from an idea to a personal challenge and then into a real business for herself (on her website).

The 365 days of quilting challenge designs are all done. You can look at all of them on her website: daystyledesigns (dot) com / 365project (dot) htm She freely shares them, and if you are a quilter or crafter you can challenge yourself and give them a try.

Leah Day is a beautiful example to me of how you can take an element of your everyday life, and inject it with desire, creativity and courage, and create something fabulous. Something that is a challenge not only to yourself but to others too! Very well done, Ms. Leah Day, you inspire me on many levels!


Street Talk

Makes you stop and think what you can really accomplish if you just persist. Enjoyed the article. I've got a few quilt tops I need to pull out and finish.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

@Glenda Burrows, Thanks! Did you go and look at the 365 designs? That "eye candy" might make you want to pull those tops out...lol Thanks for the comment.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Going to do that as soon as I can.

  
  about 1 decade ago
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