Meet Leah Day from Shelby North Carolina.
I began sewing when I was a little girl. I grew up sleeping under many hand-stitched quilts from both sides of my family and loved sewing but quilting was very challenging to learn. In 2005, I was getting married and really wanted a Double Wedding Ring quilt to celebrate my wedding. That is a hard pattern to start with, so my first quilt ended in disaster. But I was determined to learn how to quilt so I joined a guild, began taking classes, and finally made my first quilt that year. When I made my first quilt something just clicked. It's a wonderful combination of skills to make a quilt – from precision piecing to free form quilting.
I love all styles of quilting. I make everything from traditional bed quilts and throws, to elaborate show quilts designed only to be hung on the wall. Right now, I'm mostly quilting on a large scale to create soft, functional bed quilts and throws for my home and charity. I love dense free motion quilting too, but it's very time consuming so I'm mostly using that for very small projects.
My current favorite quilt is a small rainbow throw quilt. I designed a panel of fabric with a Twisted Squares design in the brightest rainbow colors and printed it on Minky fabric. I then pieced all my scrap strips together to create a rainbow quilt top. I quilted this project from the minkyside, and the finished quilt ended up super soft and so cheerful I can't help but smile every time I see it!
I grew up being told stories about my Great Grandma who had a hand quilting frame that was hung from the ceiling in her dining room. Every Sunday night, she'd have her sisters over and they'd drop the quilt frame down and hand quilt together. I wish someone had taken a picture of them together! My mission is to empower and encourage quilters of all skill levels to piece and quilt their own quilts. I was proud to be awarded MQX Teacher of the Year in 2014 and have received several Best Machine Quilting awards.
Leah is the author of Explore Walking Foot Quilting with Leah Day and365 Free Motion Quilting Designs, the largest collection of quilting designs ever published. Her latest book is Mally the Maker and the Queen in the Quilt is the first novel in a quilt fantasy series for kids.
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