Angela Walters & Leah Day Taught Me to Machine Quilt

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A couple years ago I decided I needed to learn how to expand my free motion quilting talents beyond basic stippling. I needed some quick and easy go-to filler patterns that I could master and quilt in my sleep. 

Enter Angela Walters (aka The Midnight Quilter) and Leah Day and their amazing online classes!

I watched their lessons, doodled on every blank piece of paper I came in contact with and eventually started free motion quilting and using ruler work on all my own quilts! 

Click the picture to see all of Angela Walters online quilting classes.

Today, I give credit to their teachings and constant encouragement to never stop learning. I can now say I am a free motion machine quilter.

Click the picture to see all of Leah Day’s online quilting classes.

Today, I am also quilting my 5th Stitching Cosmos quilt with full custom quilting in each block. As you can see, each block needs a different quilting design. Since I am on a deadline to complete the Husqvarna Viking Stitching Cosmos quilt, I will be quilting it without thinking about every stitch. I have to just pick a design and stitch it! Deadlines are looming. 

Click here to learn more about the Pfaff, Viking and Bernina Stitching Cosmos online courses.

Bernina, Viking and Pfaff Stitching Cosmos Online Courses

Is it perfect? 


But every quilt I do get better. AND THEY ARE DONE!

Leah Day taught me to work through different designs within a small area. Each square I free motion quilted a different practice design. Some I liked, some I did not. Some turned out and others did not. But I kept at it. I never gave up.

I first “met” Leah Day through her Bluprint Free Motion online classes. (She probably has no idea who I am). I am just one of her tens of THOUSANDS virtual students who adores her soft voice. She encouraged me step by step to keep trying new patterns and never stop learning. 

Since I am not an artist I appreciated watching her first and then I could mimic her same movements. 

Somedays I would just DRAW the pattern if I wasn’t near my sewing machine. Doodling had the same effect of practicing free motion quilting on paper instead of fabric. 

Angela Walters taught me how to free motion FEATHERS. This one still takes a little focus and practice but in a pinch I can stitch out a feather or two. 😉

You might recognize Angela from the Midnight Quilt Show. If you have not seen her in one of her shows, you have to check her out.

Check out Leah Day’s wonderful 365 Day Free Motion Project. If you complete this challenge I guarantee you will be able to free motion quilt anything when you are done!

I did spurge and buy Leah Day’s book 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs so I would have all the designs at my finger tips. I can flip open the book and start quilting any design I see! Totally worth it! Click the book below to purchase.

If you have ever said you want to learn how to free motion quilt, the resources are at your finger tips. Set the time aside and do it.

I am so glad I did.

Happy Quilting!

  1. Sue Gardner says:

    Thanks so much for sharing Sara! I’ve been wanting to learn machine quilting for 25 years but “Life” always seemed to need my attention more. NO MORE!! I’m ready to begin and will do just that….as soon as I’m done with all the sewing I need to get done for my daughter’s wedding Sept. 7. Oh, and I’m recovering from 3 major surgeries within 8 months. This winter I’m settling in and embroidering and quilting!! And I may come down to HC for a class or three! I’ll definitely purchase a few of the blueprint classes – the videos on here look so fun! As always Sara you are an inspiration!! Can’t wait to see you again!

  2. Anne Dirks says:

    So funny. I learned the same way. First with watching Leah Day and now Angela Walters. I love ❤️ FMQ.

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