Quilt Along with Leah Day - Week 4

So, this week I finally got to start working on Quilt Along series with Leah Day. I really love the way she teaches Free motion quilting. I had accidentally stumbled upon her video while searching for Free Motion quilting in YouTube. And I have been hooked ever since.

This week is kind of a crash-course for me. Because this week I'm practicing everything starting week 1 through week 4.Not sure how many times I have watched all those videos though :-). So, its totally 4 weeks worth of practice. Actually this week's quilt along really intrigued me to get started and find time in my really really busy schedule. You know its kind of hard to find time when you a 6months old baby, who always wants to be held. But I don't mind it though :-). He is my precious little one.

I will be adding the pictures of all the practice I did this week.

By the way, some insight into my very basic sewing machine. I'm using brother XL2600i domestic sewing machine. I purchased a very generic quilting foot after watching Leah's basic quilting video where she explains how to get that quilting foot and other tools. I found this quilting foot on amazon where I didn't have to make changes as Leah had mentioned in her video. It was already done for me :-). Once less thing to worry about.

Week 4 Task:
I'm making a baby changing pad with Debbie Mum's elephant print fabric. I'm using warm and natural cotton batting.
Thread: Coats & Clark's machine quilting thread.
I learned my lesson while quilting my first baby quilt, not to use different weight threads on the top and bobbin. So going forward I always use the same thread both in my bobbin and top.
Needle: I'm using Schmetz machine quilting needles
Batting: Warm & Natural Cotton Batting
Settings on my machine: My manual says that I need to use the darning plate....but the stitches at the back of my quilt looked really bad and loopy. So, I just set my stitch length to ZERO. By the way, my machine doesn't even have the option to lower the feed dogs. I realized that after opening the top of my bobbin and feed dogs.Luckily I didn't mess up anything.( Touch Wood!!)

Here is the Quilted Changing Pad:
Quilt Back:
Back of the quilt - you can see the straight lines
In this picture you can see both the lines and the quilting done around the elephant print:
Quilted around the printed Elephants
I don't think it came out great. Also the print was too small. I think I do better with big print. If I have time I might try a fabric with big print.

Close up of the back of the quilt to see the straight lines:
Quilt Back - closeup shot
Close up of the back 2:
Quilt Back - Another closeup shot

Not bad for a beginner..huh! So, this would be my third mini quilt. Before this I did two baby quilts. First one I just used regular foot to quilt around the blocks. Second I did a combination of the using regular foot to quilt around the print and then free motion quilting using the quilting foot for the tiny prints in the border of the quilt.

Leah if you're reading this, I have 3 of questions:
1. Stitch Length:
I don't have the option to lower the feed-dogs on my sewing machine. Its a very basic Brother XL2600i.
Before I saw your video on basic FMQ, I was trying to lower the feed-dogs on my sewing machine. Luckily your video said I need to use stitch length settings to ZERO. For Straight line FMQ can I keep my stich length to different than ZERO? Are there any consequences??

2. Speed Control:
I seem to do well when I start quilting. but then half way through I can't seem to control my speed. Either I go slow or fast which prevents me from having beautiful curves. How can I work on this? Is your answer going to be Practice...Practice...Practice??

I tired another quilt sandwich where I used variegated thread. It was pink & purple variegated thread. The purple one didn't have a tension issue on the top but the pink did or vice vera. I can't remember exactly. Is this possible? Or could it be my speed which was a problem. As soon as I changed the thread my stitches aren't pretty anymore on the top. You can see the pics below:
Basted and Ready to quilt around the butterflies & Lady bugs
Quilted areas using the variegated thread
Quilted around the butterfly and the body

Another quilted butterfly

Quilted Lady bug; this is where I started
Quilted Back
Closeup shot of the quilted back


  1. Your doing fabulous, especially for just starting out!

    1. Thank you, Pat! I need to go back to Leah's post and look at all your quilts too. This is fun!

  2. You're doing so well, especially if you're also holding your baby (:

    1. Thank you, Anne!
      I usually try to sew/quilt at night when the baby is sleeping ;). It would be nice if I can quilt with him being on my lap ;).

  3. You really are rocking with free motion quilting! I'll definitely be answering your questions tomorrow so check in for more details, but for the record - 1. go with whatever works 2. Yes, practice, but maybe take a break when things go wild, and 3. Did you put the pink and purple variegated in the bobbin as well? Hmmm...all I can say is there's a reason why I don't like variegated thread!


    Leah Day

    1. Yes, Leah I'm using the same variegated thread in the bobbin too. The stitches on the back of the quilt are perfect but front seem to have tension issue. But I didn't change any settings from doing the changing pad(elephant print) to the butterfly quilt.


    2. Thank you, Leah! Couldn't have done without your inspiration.

  4. It is such fun seeing what everyone is doing. This is lovely!

  5. You are doing amazing work for being just a beginner. And so brave, too. It took me ten years of piecing quilts to get the nerve to try free-motion quilting.

    1. Thank you, Pat! I'm new to quilting but have been sewing for many many years. Just for myself though.

  6. I was looking at SewCalGal website for quilting supplies and found this suggestion:

    Sewing machine needles

    Topstitch needles 80/12, 90/14. 100/16 topstitch needles for heavy decorative thread and 70/10 for thinner threads, such as silks.

    So, probably this what my problem was. I was using the variegated thread without any my needle to 100/16. Once, I changed my needle to 100/16 everything seem to start working.


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