Leila is our December Featured Designer and we are so excited for you to learn more about her! You can learn more about her at leilagardunia.com.
My name is Leila and, so you don’t have to ask, it’s pronounced li-la. :)
My goal is to share quilts I’ve made and what I’ve learned along the way with you, so you can have more fun quilting too!
I’m a biologist by training, a mom, and a quilter. I love planning, drafting, picking out fabric - all of it. It doesn’t always come easy, but that is what makes it interesting.
I’ve become that crazy quilt lady, and it all started with a children’s book...
I made my first quilt when I was about 10. I was inspired by the Little House on the Prairie books and made a hand pieced nine patch block. In my child's mind, I thought the "small stitches" described in the book meant "narrow seam allowances" so now my small quilt is literally coming apart at the seams.
I didn't piece again until I was about 25. A friend convinced me to participate in a local quilt shop’s block of the month program. I thought it would be super lame and only went along to hang out with my friends. Boy, was I wrong! I was hooked.
For a long time quilting literally was my therapy. We have five girls, and everything was pretty overwhelming when they were little. When it became a little too much, I would sneak away to quilt downstairs for a bit. Quilting was a way to decompress, a way to make something beautiful when my house was a continual mess. It was something interesting to think about and plan in-between the day-to-day chores. Most of all, it was something that I could focus on when I was depressed. Something beautiful to do and make when everything else was gray.
As the kids have gotten older, and things have gotten easier, quilting has changed from a way of coping to a way of challenging myself to learn new skills and try new things (like building this website!). I’ve started to write patterns as a way to pay for my quilting and to add to the family funds. Specifically, the travel funds. I think it is so important for people to see new places and experience different cultures and I want that for my girls. I also donate a portion of sales to charities that are close to my heart. Especially ones that help in places where there is war and famine. I feel so blessed and want to help where I can. I know there are a million ways to spend your money and it means a lot that you use it to buy my patterns. Thanks so much for your support!
I am dedicated to sharing content that will teach and inspire others in their quilting. I co-authored You Can Quilt! Building Skills for Beginners and have an online beginning piecing course, You Can Piece! at iquilt.com.
I’ve recently become obsessed with designing scrap busting foundation paper pieced Scrappy Triangles and I have other scrap busting patterns waiting in the wings. (I’ve just got to get writing!)
When I'm not cutting up fabric, you'll find me listening to audiobooks while cleaning the kitchen (mostly young adult and history), working to convince my five kids and husband that we really don't need to get a dog (they are wearing me down!), sampling new ginger beers and chocolates, and trying to sleep in.